Last updated November 23, 2022
Much like London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and congestion charge, Birmingham’s congestion charge was introduced with the aim of reducing city centre traffic and carbon emissions. The charge targets high-polluting vehicles travelling within an expansive area in Birmingham, inside the A4540 Middleway but excluding the Middleway itself – this is known as Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ).
Birmingham’s congestion charge was introduced on 1st June 2021 and is one of several implemented within UK cities following the success of London’s ULEZ. Other UK cities that have introduced Clean Air Zones (or are planning to) include Bath, Bristol, Portsmouth, Newcastle and Greater Manchester.
The Birmingham Clean Air Zone charge applies to all vehicles that do not meet the minimum emission standards. The charge is £8 per day for cars, vans and taxis - or £50 per day for coaches, HGVs and buses.
What cars are exempt from the Birmingham congestion charge?
If your car does not meet the relevant standards highlighted above, you can avoid the charge by using public transport. Alternatively, you could sell your existing car and make the switch to a compliant model. If you want to know how much your car may be worth, you can get an estimate in under 30 seconds with our free car valuation tool.
Most petrol cars produced after 2006 - and diesel cars produced after 2015 are exempt. However, if you are unsure whether a particular vehicle is exempt from the charge, we would recommend running its registration number through the Clean Air Zone vehicle checker on the gov.uk website.
Locals living within the Clean Air Zone are exempt from paying the Birmingham congestion charge until 1st June 2023.
Drivers have a 13-day window to make their Birmingham Clean Air Zone payment, which begins six days before the day that you use your vehicle in the Clean Air Zone - and ends at 11:59pm on the sixth day after.
If you fail to pay a daily congestion charge within the allocated 13-day payment window, you’ll receive a Penalty Charge Notice in the post with a fine of £120. This can be reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.
You can pay the Birmingham congestion charge online using the Government’s Clean Air Zone payment portal or over the phone by calling the Clean Air Zone team on 0300 029 8888.