Birmingham Clean Air Zone

Launches 1 June

Birmingham is on a journey to cleaner air with the launch of the Clean Air Zone on 1 June 2021.

The clean air zone will become an area of Birmingham where the most polluting vehicles will be charged to drive in the zone.

Find out more about Clean Air Zone, sustainable travel options, and frequently answered questions on this webpage.

You can also check the Brum Breathes website for more information if you require it.

Where is the Clean Air Zone?

Map of clean air zone

The clean air zone is an area within the A4540 Middleways in Birmingham city centre (Also known as the Inner Ring Road). The clean air zone doesn’t include the Middleway itself.

More than 300 signs have been installed around the clean air zone boundary to inform drivers.

ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras will detect vehicles that do not meet the emission standards and will be charged.

When is the Clean Air Zone operational?

Brum breathes image

The clean air zone will be operational 365 days a year, 24/7.

A one-day pass runs from midnight to midnight, and NOT from 24 hours after you first enter the zone.

If your time in the Clean Air Zone overlaps the midnight period, you will be charged for two days.

How do I find out if I have to pay?

The charge to enter the clean air zone is applicable to the most polluting vehicles. If you drive an electric or hybrid electric vehicle, for example, you will not be charged. Some other vehicles will also be exempt from being charged.

You can check if your vehicle will be charged, by using this government vehicle checker.

If you believe the vehicle checker to be wrong, please contact the DVLA.

Cost and how to pay

Cars and LGVs will be charged £8 per day.

Coaches and HGVs will be charged £50 per day.

(A day period is midnight to midnight); during this period you will be able to enter the Clean Air Zone numerous times but only incur one single day charge. If you enter and leave the clean air zone between, say, 23:00 and 03:00 you will be charged two days.

Drivers can pay six days in advance of entering the clean air zone, and six days after. This creates a payment window of 13 days.

If a driver does not pay within the timeframe, they will be issued a £120 fixed penalty notice. This will be reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.

If you enter the zone by accident you will still be charged.

The onus to pay is on the driver, who should also have awareness of where the clean air zone is and having checked their vehicle status.

You will NOT receive any text message or email to notify you to pay.

Money raised from charges and fines will be used to fund sustainable transport-related schemes, such as cycling and public transport.



Birmingham City Council announced that it will introduce the zone through; a ‘soft launch’ of the scheme. From 1 June 2021 through to 11:59:59pm 13 June 2021 the council will not require drivers to pay the daily fee and they will not pursue enforcement. From 14 June 2021, the owners of non-compliant vehicles will be required to pay the daily fee (unless a valid exemption is in place). If they do not pay the daily fee after this date the registered keeper of the vehicle will be issued with a penalty charge notice. 

You can pay using the government’s online payment system.

Or you can call the Government Clean Air Zone team on 0300 029 8888

Please DO NOT CALL West Midlands Network, Transport for West Midlands, or Birmingham City Council as we cannot process payments.


Caz and Reg

There are certain exemptions if you live and work within the Clean Air Zone, as well as financial incentives.

I live within the clean air zone

If you live within the boundary of the clean air zone and are the owner of a vehicle that will be charged, you may be able to apply for a temporary exemption permit.

You must:

  • Live at an address within the clean air zone
  • Own a vehicle that is subject to a daily charge for entering the clean air zone
  • The vehicle must be registered at the same address you live at


You can check if your vehicle will be charged, by using this government vehicle checker.


You can apply for an exemption, and find more information on the Brum Breathes website.


I work within the clean air zone

I work within the Clean Air Zone

If you work within the Clean Air Zone, but live outside of it, you can apply for a temporary worker exemption permit if:

  • You are the registered owner of a vehicle that will be charged
  • You work at least 18 hours per week for a business situated within the clean air zone
  • You earn no more than £30,000 a year

You can apply for an exemption, and find more information on the Brum Breathes website.


Financial Incentives

In addition to certain exemptions, the government are also offering financial incentives to the following (subject to meeting full eligibility criteria):

  • Workers.
  • SMEs based in the West Midlands (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises).
  • Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Taxi Drivers licensed with Birmingham City Council.

If you meet the criteria you can apply for financial incentives on the Brum Breathes website.

There are also certain Vehicle scrappage and Travel credit scheme incentives. Check eligibility, terms and conditions, and how to apply on the Brum Breathes website.

Further FAQs relating to exemptions

How do I apply for a temporary exemption permit or financial incentive?

If eligible, you can apply for a temporary exemption permit now through the Brum Breathes website.
Applications for financial incentives will not be open until late 2020 but will be available through the Brum Breathes website. Details of the launch will be announced through the Brum Breathes newsletter, which you can register to receive.

I'm a blue badge holder and my car is not compliant; do I have to pay the charge?

Blue badge holders will not be exempt from the CAZ charge. If your vehicle is not compliant and you drive in the Clean Air Zone, you will have to pay the charge.
Vehicles registered with a 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicles' tax class 85 will not have to pay. More information about the eligibility criteria for the disabled tax exemption is available on the Government website.

I'm travelling to Birmingham Children's Hospital; will I have to pay?

If your vehicle is not compliant and you are visiting the Children’s Hospital (or the Badger Clinic or Attwood Green Medical Centre) for an appointment, visit or to drop off a patient, you will not be charged to drive in the Clean Air Zone for the first year.
A voucher will be available from these centres during your visit and, once the unique voucher code has been redeemed online, any potential charge you would have received will be redacted. You must request this voucher in order to ensure the charge is not issued.
This system is currently in development but will be hosted on the Brum Breathes website.

Following discussions with the NHS, the voucher scheme has also been extended to include the COVID vaccination centre at Millennium Point.

Do specialist emergency service vehicles have to pay the charge if they are not compliant?

All specialist emergency service vehicles will be exempt from the charge.

I have an historic vehicle; do I have to pay?

Vehicles registered with the DVLA as having a historic tax class will be exempt from Birmingham’s CAZ.
You can apply to stop paying vehicle tax if your vehicle was built more than 40 years ago. This date moves forward on a 40-year rolling system. When the CAZ launches in 2021 vehicles built before 1981 will be eligible to apply for historic vehicle tax class

What evidence do I need to submit to apply for a temporary exemption permit?

The evidence will depend on whether you are applying as a residentworker or business.

How long will it take to process my application for a temporary exemption permit?

The Clean Air Zone will come into effect on 1 June 2021. The aim is to ensure the majority of exemption applications received before the launch date are processed beforehand. Confirmation of successful or unsuccessful exemption applications will be provided to applicants in advance of the launch. It is important to note that your vehicle will not be registered as exempt until you receive confirmation from us. We recommend applying as soon as possible to ensure your application can be processed ahead of the launch as we expect demand to increase nearer the time.

Can I apply for multiple exemptions?

Yes if you are the registered keeper of more than one non-compliant vehicle, you can apply for an exemption for each vehicle. This is subject to the exemption type, not applicable to all exemptions.

If my car is parked in the Clean Air Zone for several days, would it be charged for that whole time?

Your vehicle is only chargeable when in motion. The ANPR cameras record vehicles when they are moving, so you would receive a charge for each individual day the vehicle in question is picked up by the cameras. Your vehicle does not have to be registered as SORN (statutory off-road notification) with the DVLA to avoid charges whilst being stationary.

Sustainable Travel

Could you walk or cycle instead? Across the West Midlands Network, we have launched cycle hire.

West Midlands Cycle

Journey Planner

Use our journey planner for public transport options, whether that be bus, train, or tram.

Journey Planner

Ticket Options

You can find various ticketing options across all modes of public transport.

Tickets & Swift

Car Sharing

Whilst we don’t recommend car sharing, outside of your social bubble at the moment, here is advice on how to stay safe car sharing during COVID.

Car share safely during COVID

Electric or Hybrid vehicles

Electric car being charges

There are many benefits to owning an electric vehicle, with tax incentives, quieter driving experience, cheaper to maintain, & better for the environment.

Have you considered changing your vehicle to an electric or hybrid vehicle?

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