Sheffield city centre


3 mins

What’s happening in Sheffield city centre?

December 11, 2023

In a bid to reduce harmful emissions caused by the most polluting vehicles, Sheffield is implementing a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) on the 27th of February. The zone will cover the Sheffield city centre and inner ring roads. You can view a map of the Sheffield Clean Air Zone here.

The Sheffield CAZ will be a Class C zone meaning only drivers of non-compliant commercial vehicles (taxis, vans, LGVs, buses, HGVs and coaches) will be charged a daily fee to drive in the zone.

Do I need to pay the Sheffield Clean Air Zone charge?

Private cars and motorcycles are exempt from paying the Sheffield Clean Air Zone charge. This means that even if you drive an older vehicle, you will not need to pay a daily fee to drive in the zone.

For all other vehicles, you must meet the following emission standards to be exempt from the charge:

  • Taxis – Diesel car registered after September 2015, petrol cars registered after 2005
  • Vans/LGVs – Diesel cars registered after September 2016, petrol cars registered after January 2006
  • HGVs, buses and coaches – petrol or diesel vehicles registered after 2014

There are also some local and national exemptions in place. You can find a full list of Sheffield CAZ exemptions here.

Drivers are required to check if their vehicle is exempt from the charge and if not, will need to pay the fee within the given timeframe. The consequence of non-payment? A hefty £120 PCN sent straight through the letterbox.

Still confused? Caura will be adding the Sheffield CAZ charge to the app on the 27h of February, the day the zone launches. Add your vehicle to Caura and go to City Charges to check if your vehicle is compliant.

Caura is the fastest way to check exemption status or pay the charge

All you need to do is enter your vehicle registration number into the app, and the app will tell you if your vehicle is exempt.

If you need to pay, Caura will display the correct charge (either £10 or £50) depending on the type of your vehicle, and you can go ahead and pay in two taps using Apple Pay, Google Pay, credit or debit card.

Pay the Sheffield Clean Air Zone charge in Caura

Why Sheffield?

The annual cost of air pollution to the UK is £20 billion and contributes to 500 deaths in Sheffield alone.

After considering a variety of different ways to improve air quality in the shortest time possible, data collected showed that a Class C charging zone would bring down air pollution faster than any other option.

Sheffield is not the first city to implement a Class C Clean Air Zone. Back in March 2021, Bath introduced the first-of-its-kind Class C CAZ. Since its launch, the Bath Clean Air Zone has successfully lowered levels of nitrogen dioxide by 21%, with more than 90% of HGVs, buses, coaches and taxis now compliant with emission standards. [1]

The Sheffield Clean Air Zone is hoped to do the same - encourage drivers of non-compliant vehicles to change to cleaner models.

Financial support is available for affected drivers and business owners

Sheffield City Council has made financial support available to help affected drivers change their vehicles to a compliant model.

1) About the grants

The amount of funding you can receive is dependent on your vehicle type:

  • Up to £5,000 – Vans or LGVs
  • Up to £5,000 – Taxis
  • Up to £10,000 – Hackney carriages
  • Up to £5,000 – Minibus, motorhome
  • Up to £16,000 – HGVs, coaches

Support will be in the form of a grant and funding can only be used to purchase a compliant vehicle that meets government set emission standards.

2) How to apply for the grant

Applications can be made online via the council website here [2]. The application process has 2 stages.

  • Stage 1: This will involve things like making sure your car has a valid MOT and various other vehicle type eligibility checks.
  • Stage 2: If the initial eligibility check is passed, applicants will move on to the next stage where a detailed credit check by a third party may be required.

3) Are there any rules or exemptions?

The number of vehicles you can get support for is limited to 3 per business / resident.

You can’t apply for financial support if:

  • Your business is registered outside of Sheffield and Rotherham
  • You’re not a resident of Sheffield and Rotherham
  • Your vehicle has already received support from another CAZ scheme
  • Your business has over 250 employees (HGVs only)
  • Your business has already received grant payments that equal the maximum subsidy control allowance

4)  I’ve been approved for support and am waiting for my compliant vehicle, what happens next?

If your application has been approved, you will receive an ‘Agreement in Principle letter’ and a temporary exemption will automatically apply to your non-compliant vehicle. There are three types of temporary exemptions:

  • Vehicle search exemption: This is applied once an agreement for financial support has been approved by the provider. The exemption will be for 3 months to allow enough time for the applicant and provider to find a suitable vehicle
  • Delivery exemption: This is applied following receipt of the order confirmation for a compliant replacement vehicle. The exemption will start from the order date and will last 2 weeks after the delivery date to pre-empt any supply chain issues.

Failed credit check exemption: If an applicant passed the initial eligibility check but failed the credit check undertaken by the finance provider, the vehicle will be granted a 6-month exemption

[1] Success of Bath Clean Air Zone

[2] Financial support application

*Image credit Flickr user Paolo Margari


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