The Clean Air Zone (CAZ) launched in November 2021 and some vehicles that travel through it face a daily charge. These include non-compliant taxis, private hire vehicles (PHVs), buses, coaches, and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
We appreciate that these changes come at a challenging time, so we want to help those most affected by the CAZ charges. Previously through this funding we have helped owners of HGVs, and buses and coaches to upgrade their vehicles to reach compliance. If you are a taxi or private hire vehicle owner, you may still be able to get help from the Clean Air Fund if you’re directly impacted by the CAZ.
If your business replaces or upgrades non-compliant vehicles with cleaner, greener ones, you’ll avoid the daily charge. We’ll also have fewer polluting vehicles in the city.
How much funding is available?
We don’t have enough funding to help everyone, so we have specifically targeted those who are most affected by the CAZ. This is intended to help those who are likely to be significantly impacted by CAZ charges and it will provide grants to replace older, more polluting vehicles with compliant ones. You can get different amounts of funding, depending on a few factors.
Taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs)
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. There is no requirement for replacement vehicles to be electric to access the fund.
You’ll need to apply for a grant and have received your approval letter before purchasing a replacement vehicle. Grants can’t be paid to anyone who applies after buying a new vehicle.
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.
Since January 2022, any vehicles that are over 4 years old cannot be newly licensed, so you should make sure it can be licensed and that 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.
How can I check if I can apply for funding?
To apply for the fund, you’ll need to meet all the following criteria.
- You must be the registered keeper or owner of a ‘non-compliant’ private hire or hackney carriage vehicle. You may have more than one vehicle.
- The vehicle or vehicles must have been licensed with Portsmouth City Council at some point between May 2020 and the date you apply.
- You must make reasonable attempts to continually license your compliant vehicle for the next 3 years.
- You cannot have received any Clean Air Fund incentives from another council. You also cannot be in the process of applying for one, or planning to apply for one in future from another local authority.
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.
Buses and coaches
This funding is now closed following successful take up.
Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs)
This funding is now closed following successful take up
Can I apply for funding towards Electric Vehicles?
Euro 6 standard diesel or Euro 4 standard petrol vehicles are the minimum requirement for a compliant vehicle, so you’re not required to upgrade to an Electric Vehicle (EV).
The Clean Air Fund is designed to assist as many people as possible who are most affected by the CAZ, so we don’t have specific funding for EVs.
If you’re still interested in investing in EVs, the government’s own funding may help with this. Visit the government’s plug-in grants page to find out more.
We’ll still consider applications towards associated costs of Electric Vehicles, such as insurance and lease fees. If you have a non-compliant vehicle and would prefer to upgrade to an EV, you’ll need to demonstrate the business need to upgrade.
How does the council assess applications?
Applications for the Clean Air Fund can be entered in our online application form. But if you don’t have access to our website, or if you need support in completing the forms, our engagement team on hand to assist.
How can I apply for funding?
You can apply for funding online, and we have a team in place to help you process it if you need it.
Before you apply, you should use the government’s Clean Air Zone charge vehicle checker. You can enter your vehicle registration to check whether it would compliant for the CAZ.
If you aim to retrofit your vehicle, you should also contact suppliers to get quotes for the retrofitting work before you apply for the fund. If you don’t do this, you could risk delays to your application or even have to reapply if your vehicle cannot be retrofitted.
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.
Please contact us at CleanerAir@portsmouthcc.gov.uk if you have any questions.