If you live in or near Birmingham, you might start to see the hashtag #brumbreathes a fair bit from now on.

On June 1st, 2021, the city of Birmingham introduced its new Clean Air Zone, and a corresponding congestion charge – similar to the one that has been part and parcel of the London road network for many years.

Birmingham isn’t the only city to join the clean air club, either. Bath and Portsmouth have also implemented similar rules and we can expect more areas to be added in the near future.

But what does it mean if you’re travelling into Birmingham by vehicle?


What is Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone?

The Birmingham Clean Air Zone has been put in place to help reduce the level of NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) in the air. The goal is to get it down to a maximum of 40 micrograms per m3.

The Clean Air Zone in Birmingham runs within the Middleway Ring Road and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s therefore pretty hard to miss.

So, if you’re driving a vehicle that is subject to the charge, you’ll need to pay up, no matter when you’re driving in Birmingham.


How much are the Birmingham Clean Air Zone fees?

The amount you’ll pay to drive in Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone depends on the type of vehicle you’re driving.

For instance, if you’re driving a car, taxi, van, or some other form of LGV, the charge is £8 per day.

As you’d expect, charges are subject to change, and your vehicle might carry a higher fee. This is why it’s a good idea to check on the government’s website before heading to Birmingham. They’ve created a handy checking tool for single or multiple vehicles. The latter is particularly useful if you have a fleet of vehicles heading that way.


How much are the fines?

If you fail to pay the Clean Air Zone fee, you’ll be hit with a pretty hefty fine.

This starts at £120 but reduces to £60 if you pay within 14 days. The fines come into effect if you fail to pay within the window provided by the government.

There’s really no excuse, either, because the method of paying is really straightforward and can be done in advance. You can use the government’s online payment system, and do so either six days before or after your visit.

So, be sure to create a reminder for yourself if you’re heading to Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone!


Does this affect van hires?

Yes. If you’re looking to hire a van and drive it within Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone, you’ll have to pay the fee, the same as the other road users.

As it stands, that fee should be £8 per day, but remember to use the link above to check. And, if you’ve got any questions on the Clean Air Zone or how it might affect your van hire period, just get in touch with the Squab team, today.