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clean air zones signIn our recent blog "Starting Work as a Delivery Van Driver" we looked at the basics of becoming a van driver. In this blog, we look at one factor that delivery van drivers, and in fact all commercial vehicle drivers, will need to take into account as they drive throughout the UK – Clean Air Zones.

What are Clean Air Zones?

As a bid to improve urban air quality, the government announced plans to introduce Clean Air Zones in 2015. The plan was slated to be in place by 2020, but at the current time, not all local authorities have implemented the CAZs in major their towns and cities. Originally, the CAZ mandate for minimum emission standards was intended to apply to buses, taxis and HGVs only, but a legal challenge meant the plan now includes non-compliant privately owned vehicles, as well as small commercial vehicles and vans.

Types of Clean Air Zone

There are two types of CAZ – charging and non-charging – and four classes of charging depending on the type of vehicle and the Euro standard classification that vehicles of that type must reach. Charging zones with either a C or D classification will include Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs) in their charging schedule. To avoid a CAZ charge, vans (LGVs) must reach a minimum standard of Euro 4 for diesel and Euro 4 for petrol engines.

Where are the CAZ zones?

Currently, two regions have CAZ charging zones in place – Bath (Class C) and Birmingham (Class D). More regions are scheduled to have CAZs in place in the future, including Newcastle city centre (Class C – from late 2021) and Sheffield inner ring-road area and city centre (Class C). London already operates a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) which applies to all commercial vehicles in many areas of Greater London. In central London, the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is due to be implemented in October 2021 and will apply to all vehicles.

Check and pay to use a CAZ

The GOV.UK website has a tool to help you check whether you will need to pay a charge when entering a CAZ, LEZ or ULEZ. To use the service you will need the UK-based registration number of your vehicle. Go to for more details.

Keeping costs down as a delivery van driver

If your van does not meet the required Euro emissions standard, you may be able to retrofit approved technology under the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme. Find out more here: You can also keep your overheads down by shopping around for the best van insurance deals, especially if you need any driver van insurance and under 25 van driver insurance. Get a quote from iVan today.