Buses and coaches

The charging Clean Air Zone launched 29 November 2021.  A daily charge will be issued to some of the most polluting vehicles for driving in the zone. For the Portsmouth charging CAZ, this includes buses and coaches that:

Do not meet Euro 6 emissions standards (so are Euro 5 or older) if they are diesel.

Do not meet Euro 4 emissions standards (so are Euro 3 or older) if they are petrol.

If you’re not sure what Euro standard your vehicle is, please check your vehicle log book.

The zone is approximately 3km2, and will be located to the south west of Portsmouth.

The charge will be £50 a day for non-compliant buses and coaches.

The charge won’t be issued automatically, so you’ll need to be aware if your vehicle is subject to the charge and make payment within the payment window.

You won’t receive a notification or reminder to inform you that you’ve driven through the zone in a non-compliant vehicle and need to make payment.

You’ll only be charged once a day no matter how many trips through the zone you take.

Some non-compliant vehicles will not have to pay for driving in the CAZ. These vehicles are exempt from the charge, and there are both national and local exemptions.

You don’t have to pay a charge in any CAZ in the UK if you have:

  • a vehicle that’s ultra low emission
  • a disabled passenger tax class vehicle
  • a disabled tax class vehicle
  • a military vehicle
  • a historic vehicle
  • a vehicle retrofitted with technology accredited by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)
  • certain types of agricultural vehicles

In Portsmouth, there are also some exemptions for some specialist vehicles. You may also be able to apply for a ‘sunset period’. This allows you more time to upgrade or retrofit your non-compliant vehicle before having to pay the CAZ charge. You’ll need to apply for local exemptions and sunset periods.

Clean Air Fund

We know that it’s a challenging time for your business, so we want to help the people who are most affected by the Clean Air Zone. We’re offering financial support to help you upgrade or replace any non-compliant vehicles with cleaner, greener ones. This means you’ll avoid the charge and we’ll also have fewer polluting vehicles in the city.

How much funding is available?

You can access £15,000 for each non-compliant bus or coach you have. This is intended to help you upgrade by retrofitting your vehicle, or purchasing or leasing a compliant one.

There are 60 grants available, which will be assessed on a points based scoring system. You can apply for a maximum of 3 vehicles.

Apply for funding

It’s important that you respond quickly to this opportunity, as this will help us direct funding to those most in need. It also ensures that suppliers have enough capacity before the CAZ launches. This means you’ll avoid having to pay the charge while you wait for confirmation of funding or appointments for retrofitting your vehicles.

Piggy Bank Graphic

How do you assess my application for funding?

Since funding is limited, applications for buses, coaches and HGVs may need to be assessed on a points-based scoring system. This is designed to help those most directly affected, and will be determined by factors like:

  • How frequently you use the CAZ across the week.
    • For example, if your non-compliant HGV only travels through the CAZ once a week or less, you may not be eligible.
  • How dependent you are on the CAZ.
    • For example, if your business is located within the CAZ, you may be prioritised.
  • How many non-compliant vehicles you have.
    • For example, if your coach company has 3 non-compliant vehicles out of a fleet of 5 you’ll be prioritised.
  • Whether you can avoid the CAZ.
    • For example, if you both non-compliant and compliant buses, but can arrange your vehicles to avoid the CAZ charge, you wouldn’t be prioritised.
  • How much of your turnover is dependent on transportation costs.
    • For example, if 100% of your freight company trade needs to be transported by non-compliant HGVs, you’d be prioritised.
  • How recently you’ve worked in the CAZ and how committed you are to keep operating within it.
    • For example, if your taxi has depended on city centre pick-ups for the last 2 years, and you’ve made all reasonable commitments to continue for the next 2 years, you’ll be prioritised.
  • Whether you can access other financial support.
    • For example, if your coach company hasn’t been able to access government support, you may be prioritised over a company that has received fleet or vehicle improvement grants recently.

What do I need to complete my application?

When you make your application, you’ll need to:

  • Provide general personal data about you and your business.
  • Provide details of your non-compliant vehicles, such as registration, make and model, V5 document, proof of purchase.
  • Provide details of any new retrofit or leasing supplier or replacement vehicles you’re likely to use.
  • Provide evidence of how dependent you are on traveling in the CAZ.
  • Provide evidence of how frequently and for what purpose you’ll use the CAZ.
  • Confirm you can meet all the Terms and Conditions.

We can help you find suppliers to help you retrofit your vehicles. While we don’t have agreements in place with any approved supplier, we can recommend Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) accredited suppliers we’re confident will have the available technology and resources to help you. These include: