Private car owners and businesses can check from today if their vehicles are exempt from Clean Air Zone daily charges.
The website – launched by the Government – allows motorists to find out if their vehicle will be eligible to use free of charge or not in Birmingham and Leeds, which will both have zones in place later this year.
The vehicle checker allows drivers to find out if they will be affected by the zones, which are due to charge the most polluting vehicles to drive in some cities, by tapping in their registration plate details.
Will you be charged to drive your car every day? A new online checker has been launched by the government for motorists to find out if their vehicles comply with city clean air zones
Birmingham’s ‘Class D’ Clean Air Zone is due to be introduced from 1 July 2020.
It will charge all drivers of pre-Euro 4 petrol and pre-Euro 6 diesel cars to enter the zone, within the limits of the A4540 Middleway Ring Road.
It will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and all revenue raised by the charge zone is promised to be reinvested in Birmingham’s transport network.
The daily fee for non-complaint cars will be £8.
Birmingham council is also considering a ban on motorists being allowed to drive through the city to get from one side to the other, instead forcing them to use the ring road to keep air pollution levels low in the heavily populated centre.
A zone in Leeds, which is described as ‘Class B’, will also arrive later this year having recently been pushed back to launch in July.
It will target some older, polluting buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and HGVs, with drivers of these cars being charged within the zone.
Privately-owned passenger vehicles won’t be impacted, for the time being.
In preparation for the launch of these schemes and more in the future, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Department for Transport have clubbed together to provide an online checker so motorists can find out if they will be charged to use their cars.
The clean air zone vehicle checker requires motorists to enter their vehicle registration details, confirm the car listed is their own and if it is being used as a taxi or private hire vehicle or not.
Once this information has been added, the database can tell owners if and when they can use the car if there are time restrictions and bans put in place, and the cost of daily driving charges if there are any.
The checker will update as more clean air zones are launched across the country.
Further local authorities including Bath and Sheffield are bringing in clean air zones in 2020 and 2021 and will also be responsible for introducing charges.
Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Derby, Manchester, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Reading, Slough and York are also among the towns and cities proposing to integrate clean air zones in the near future.
You can read more about the locations where bans, restrictions and driving charges are expected to be implemented in our guide.
Birmingham City Council has been given a ‘final warning’ to improve the quality of its air and plans to introduce a clean-air zone
The online service states: ‘Tackling high pollution levels is a serious challenge for communities across the UK which is why the government is providing financial and expert support to local authorities to help them clean up their air.
‘As well as the online vehicle checker, the government has already provided around £60 million to Leeds and Birmingham to retrofit buses and support businesses and drivers affected by the charge.
‘The online vehicle checker is available now to help drivers and businesses to check how they will be affected.’
A recent survey found the majority of drivers would be willing to pay hefty daily charge to drive their cars into town and city centres rather than use public transport.
Auto Express polled around 1,400 readers and found that 77 per cent would cough up the fee to use their own vehicle instead of a bus, train or tram.
You can check your vehicle using this link.
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