Road in Bristol with CAZ road sign


5 mins

A guide to navigating the CAZ

December 11, 2023

Driving into Bristol soon? Whether you live locally or are going to visit Bristol for the first time, you’re going to need to be aware of the new Bristol Clean Air Zone (CAZ) that goes live on Monday, 28th November 2022. From this date, all drivers of non-compliant vehicles, including cars, will need to pay the daily zone charge specific to their vehicle type.

We understand that navigating a new CAZ is confusing. Don’t worry, we’ve made you a step-by-step guide detailing how to check if you’re exempt from the charge or how to pay it in a matter of seconds.

A quick 3 step infographic to help people be prepared for the Bristol Clean Air Zone

Navigating the Bristol Clean Air Zone

Part 1: How will I know if I have driven into the CAZ?

Signs have already been put up across the city on the roads that lead into the Clean Air Zone. Some signs will indicate how far away the zone is, and others will let you know when the zone starts and ends. All signs will have a symbol with the letter D on it, indicating the class of the CAZ. View the image below for some examples of signs.

Clean Air Zone sign map showing examples of different Clean Air Zone signs you might see

In addition to looking out for these signs while you’re driving, we also suggest you familiarise yourself with where the zone is in place.

The charging zone will extend across the city centre and harbourside, covering the area from Bristol Temple Meads to the A4176 Portway. The zone will operate 24/7, and like all other Clean Air Zones, the charge will only need to be paid once, even if you are entering the zone multiple times a day.

A Bristol Clean Air Zone map showing the borders of the zone

For more information about the boundary of the Bristol Clean Air Zone, read through our Bristol CAZ page here.

Part 2: How do I know if my vehicle needs to pay the Bristol Clean Air Zone charge?

Bristol is a Class D zone, meaning buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), vans, minibuses and cars are all included in the charge, provided they don’t meet the minimum national emission standards.

To be exempt from the charge, your vehicle must meet the following emission standards:

  • Petrol vehicle: Meet Euro 4 emission standards (typically 2006 onwards)
  • Diesel vehicle: Meet Euro 6 emission standards (typically 2015 onwards)
  • Hybrid vehicle: Meet the above standards depending on fuel type
  • Have a fully electric vehicle

If you’re not sure whether your vehicle meets these requirements, don’t worry! Apart from making it easier for you to pay the charge, we’ve also created a Bristol Clean Air Zone vehicle checker!

All you’d need to do is download Caura (available on the Apple app store and Google play store) and enter your vehicle registration number into the app. Once the Bristol Clean Air Zone goes live on the 28th of November, you will see the CAZ charge in-app, telling you if your vehicle is exempt, or if you need to pay the charge.

In the meantime, the best way to check if you’re exempt from the Bristol CAZ is by tapping ‘City Charges’ in-app and looking at the Birmingham CAZ charge. Since Birmingham is also a Class D CAZ affecting all drivers of non-compliant vehicles, if the app tells you your vehicle is exempt from the Birmingham CAZ charge, it will also be exempt from the Bristol CAZ charge. Click here to view a video tutorial on how to check exemption status using our Clean Air Zone vehicle checker.

If your vehicle is not exempt, Caura will let you know exactly how much you need to pay depending on your vehicle type, and you can go ahead and pay in a matter of just two taps. By doing it this way, you’ll never have to worry about getting a fine!

There are quite a few temporary exemptions in place that last until March 31st 2023 to support residents whilst they look for a more sustainable mode of travel. If you fall within any of these categories, you will not need to pay the charge even if your vehicle doesn’t meet the minimum emission requirements. You will need to apply for an exemption on the Bristol City Council website – applications are open now.

Part 3: How much is the Bristol Clean Air Zone charge, and how do I pay it?

The charge is £9 for cars, vans, taxis, minibuses, and light goods vehicles (LGVs) and £100 for HGVs, buses, and coaches. Motorcyclists are exempt from the charge.

If you need to pay for the Bristol Clean Air Zone, Caura is the quickest and simplest way to pay. Once you’ve entered your vehicle registration number into the app, tap ‘City Charges’ and select ‘Bristol CAZ’.

In Caura, you can pay for yesterday’s, today’s or tomorrow’s travel – make sure you choose the right date and pay through either Apple pay, Google pay, or your preferred bank card.

No more faffing around with fiddly online forms and having to upload your personal details every single time you drive into the zone. Manage the CAZ with Caura instead.

Caura app with the Bristol Clean Air Zone charge selected. Also shows the payment success screen when the charge is paid in the Caura app

Part 4: Now you’re prepared, make sure your friends are too

Know someone who might need to pay for the Bristol Clean Air Zone? Head to the ‘Refer’ tab in-app and send them your referral link to download Caura. They can check if they’re liable to pay using our Bristol Clean Air Zone vehicle checker and from there, they can pay the CAZ charge in a matter of seconds, too.

That’s not all. Each friend that signs up to Caura using your referral code will also get £50 credited to their account, ready for them to use against their insurance renewal. When their insurance is expiring, they can get speedy insurance quotes from market-leading insurers in-app in under a minute!

Your account will also be credited with £50 for each friend that takes out a successful insurance policy with Caura. Remember, the more friends you share your link with, the more you can save on your insurance!

Want a quick way to share Caura with your friends? We’ve made a handy infographic you can share on your socials below!

Bristol CAZ infographic for people to share with their friends so that they can be prepared for the CAZ

*Image credit Flickr user Nick


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