Taxis and private hire vehicles

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 taxis and private hire vehicles 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 is located to the south west of Portsmouth.

The charge will be £10 a day for non-compliant taxis and private hire vehicles.

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. Previously Portsmouth City Council has provided a 6 month ‘sunset period’ to allow owners of non-compliant wheelchair accessible vehicles more time to upgrade. This period has now ended.

Clean Air Fund

We know that it’s a challenging time for the taxi and personal hire vehicle trade, 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 £1,500 per vehicle to help you upgrade to a compliant taxi or PHV via purchase or lease.

At the moment, there is enough funding to support all active non-compliant vehicles licensed with Portsmouth City Council. This could change if more licensed non-compliant vehicles that aren’t currently being used return to operation. If this happens, we’ll need to assess and prioritise each application for funding.

A CAZ-compliant vehicle is a one that is Euro 6 standard or newer if diesel, or a Euro 4 standard or newer if petrol. You don’t need to replace your vehicle with an electric vehicle to access the fund.

If you’re looking to buy a vehicle to license as a taxi or PHV, you should make sure that you can license this for use with Portsmouth City Council and that it is compliant with the Clean Air Zone euro standard.

From January 2022, any vehicles that are over 4 years old cannot be newly licensed, so you should make sure you can drive it in the CAZ before you buy a used vehicle. Please contact us or visit our licensing page to check if a vehicle can be licensed.

If you’re selling an older, non-compliant vehicle, you should make it clear to the buyer that it can’t be licensed as a taxi or PHV with Portsmouth City Council. You can still sell or transfer the ownership for private use. You can also sell it for scrap.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

If your non-compliant vehicle is wheelchair-accessible, you can access £5,000 for each vehicle. This is intended to help you upgrade to a compliant one via purchase or lease.

At the moment, there is enough funding to support all licensed non-compliant vehicles in Portsmouth. The number of grants are unlimited for each applicant, while complying with State Aid limits.

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?

Applications 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.

You can also find accredited retrofit suppliers on the CVRAS website.