One in five motorists don’t know what a Clean Air Zone is

One in five motorists are unaware of what a Clean Air Zone is despite their introduction in cities across the UK.

Birmingham will be the latest city to implement a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) on June 1, following on from London and Bath, which have both created low-emissions zones.

However, a new survey by used car marketplace Motorway has shown a general lack of understanding of what a CAZ is and what it means for drivers.

One-fifth of the 2,009 motorists questioned had no idea what a CAZ is, while one in three motorists from Birmingham were unaware that one was being implemented in their city on June 1.

Some 21 per cent of motorists are unsure of how a CAZ works, while just 16 per cent knew how to check to see if they would be charged to drive through a CAZ.

Each CAZ is different in its approach, but they all share the common goal of reducing pollution in the UK’s worst-affected areas. London’s low-emission zone – called ULEZ – requires vehicles to meet certain emissions standards or face paying a daily charge of £12.50 for cars, motorcycles and vans, or £100 for heavier vehicles such as lorries.

From October 25, the ULEZ is expanding from central London out to the North Circular Road and South Circular Road.

The Birmingham CAZ will charge those people who do not drive a car that meets Euro 4 emissions standards for petrol and Euro 6 for diesel. In general, these are petrol cars made since 2006 and diesel cars since 2015. Those that do not meet these standards will be charged £8 per day.

Bath’s clean air zone is slightly different as it only charges commercial vehicles, leaving private cars and motorbikes exempt. High-emission commercial vans are required to pay £9 to enter the city centre, with buses charged £100. Private hire vehicles and taxis will also pay £9.

Tom Leathes, CEO of Motorway, says: “Clean Air Zones are popping up all over the country. First in London with ULEZ, then a CAZ in Bath, and now Birmingham. However you feel about them, if the car you’re driving means you’ll be charged when you enter the CAZ, then selling it may be an obvious choice to save money – especially while the used car market is so strong and prices of non-compliant cars are expected to fall this year.”