Clean Air Zones

Flexible rental helps small businesses upgrade vehicles as Clean Air Zones launch

Small businesses are being forced to renew their older fleet vehicles to avoid charges in several major cities this year as Clean Air Zones launch. Flexible rental provides a cost-effective solution

Hundreds of thousands of cars and vans will face daily fees to enter some UK cities under new rules to cut pollution in urban areas.

Already cities including Bath and Birmingham have rolled out Clean Air Zone schemes, in addition to London, which is planning to expand its Ultra Low Emission Zone later this year.

More than a dozen cities are planning to launch initiatives in the next year, with each typically charging more than £40 a week to drive into a city, so frequent travellers such as businesses are most affected.

Most Clean Air, Low Emission and Ultra Low Emission Zones impact pre-Euro 4 emissions petrol and pre-Euro 6 emission diesel cars.

Operators are expected to know if their vehicle is affected in each city and arrange payment or face a penalty charge; already hundreds of thousands of vehicles and drivers have been fined for non-payment.

With charges and costs rapidly adding up, a quick and cost-effective solution for businesses operating in Clean Air Zones is to use flexible rental.

Flexible rental vehicles are exempt from the charge because they are typically the newest models available with the lowest emissions.

Businesses can also quickly and easily add or remove vehicles as their requirements change, all without penalty.

This means that flexible hire is ideal for companies that need to upgrade their vehicles but cannot afford new models or source them in time.

Alternatively, businesses that are unable to predict when they will have to travel into a Clean Air Zone don’t have to spend money upgrading their fleet just in case – they can just flex their fleet whenever they need to enter a zone to avoid any emissions charges.

Lisa Spong, Reflex Vehicle Hire Sales Director, said:

“The UK is going to have a patchwork of Clean Air Zones with varying charges and requirements, which is confusing and costly for fleet operators.

Small businesses can manage this change by using flexible vehicle hire to provide them with the cleanest, safest vehicles without the expense and long-term commitment of buying or leasing new cars and vans.”


UK Clean Air Zone roll-out

Bath - launched
Birmingham - launched
Leicester (planned) - Summer 2021
Oxford (planned) - August 2021
Bradford (planned) - October 2021
London ULEZ expansion - October 2021
Bristol (planned) - October 2021
Portsmouth - November 2021
Newcastle - 2021
Sheffield - 2021
Manchester - Spring 2022
Glasgow - 2022
Edinburgh - 2022
Dundee - 2022
Aberdeen – 2022

You can check if you will be charged to drive in a Clean Air Zone by entering registration numbers here -

For details on the wealth of vehicles available on flexible terms from Reflex Vehicle Hire, review our Vehicle Selection page or contact one of our expert team members.


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