Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone (GMCAZ): FAQs

February 2022 Update

What has caused the Greater Manchester CAZ update?

There are two key factors that the Greater Manchester Authorities have cited for their decision to request the extension.

  • The impact of Covid-19 on supply chains.
  • The price and availability of second-hand vehicles.

Ultimately, the root cause of these difficulties is the semi-conductor (chip) shortage, which is affecting all types of technology. Vehicles, computers, phones and games consoles, just to name a few, are in short supply. During the pandemic, fluctuating demand meant some tech firms made semi-conductor orders en masse. Therefore, some companies could not get hold of them.

What does the update mean for fleets?

The update to the GMCAZ will come as a relief to many fleet stakeholders.

Delaying the first stage of implementation provides fleets with greater opportunities to make the changes they need to in order to avoid paying non-compliance charges. In turn, organisations can reduce their fleet spend.

However, there is no certainty that the issues above will be resolved by the new implementation point. Meaning we could be in a similar position that we are now, but months later.

Furthermore, there was already criticism that the initial plans and dates did not go far enough to tackle the pollution problem in the region. Delaying the plans will only frustrate those people more. The changes now also mean the GMCAZ is unlikely to reach legal limits by the 2024 deadline.

How should you approach the Greater Manchester CAZ update?

As always, EVP Solutions suggest a proactive approach to making changes.

Acting sensibly, but quickly, is paramount to make sure your organisation is not subject to expensive charges. As discussed in the previous blog, there are significant financial and non-financial consequences for those fleets who don’t comply with the GMCAZ.

Is your organisation ready for the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone (GMCAZ) implementation?

EVP Solutions have put together a handy list of FAQs relating to the GMCAZ, so you can determine your next steps in becoming an eco-friendlier organisation whilst avoiding unnecessary expense.

What is the GMCAZ?

The GMCAZ is a new low emission zone, which will cover the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester.

Why is the GMCAZ being introduced?

According to IQAir, Greater Manchester’s PM2.5 concentration (particulates that are 2.5 micrometres in diameter or less) is currently nearly six times above the WHO air quality guideline value. One of the most significant contributors to PM2.5 is exhaust fumes from vehicles.

Therefore, the local government are implementing a CAZ to try to reduce the number of environmentally unfriendly vehicles coming into Greater Manchester. Consequently, the air quality in Greater Manchester will improve.

When is the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone being implemented?

The GMCAZ implementation is in two phases.

  • Phase 1 – 30th May 2022 (non-compliant HGVs, buses and non-Greater Manchester licensed taxis and private hire vehicles)
  • Phase 2 – 1st June 2023 (non-compliant vans, coaches, LGVs, minibuses and Greater Manchester-licensed hackney cabs and private hire vehicles)

Who will be affected by the GMCAZ?

The table below demonstrates the vehicles that will be affected by the CAZ.

Vehicle Type
Diesel enginePetrol engineDaily charge
HGVs (N2 or N3)Euro 5 or earlier - registered pre-2013N/A£60
Panel/box van, car-derived van. pickup truck, minibus (8 - 16 seats)Euro 5 or earlier - registered pre-2016Euro 3 or earlier - registered pre-2005£10
Taxis/private hire vehiclesEuro 5 or earlier - registered pre-2016Euro 3 or earlier - registered pre-2005£7.50

While private cars, mopeds and motorbikes are not affected by the GMCAZ, everyone should be aware of the 2030 ICE vehicle ban.

If you would like to check your number plate, please click here.

What are the potential costs to your business?


Of course, the financial costs of being non-compliant with the CAZ will vary, depending on the profile of your fleet. However, considering the Zone covers the entirety of Greater Manchester and not just the City Centre, many businesses will feel effects. For instance, Trafford Park has many businesses that rely on HGVs accessing their depots.

The financial implications are going to be severe for businesses of all sizes. For example, a small builder with five non-compliant vans that operate in Greater Manchester would be subject to £10 per day per vehicle. In total, assuming they work in Greater Manchester 5 days a week, for 46 weeks a year, the small builder will need to pay £11,500 a year in charges.

Essentially, costs will be greater for larger businesses.


In addition to financial costs, organisations are keen to maintain a good public image. Therefore, choosing to pay the charges and not moving to a more environmentally friendly vehicle will look poor from the public’s perspective.

What can you do to stay ahead of the curve?

The Government has recently put £7.6 million in place to help HGV owners upgrade their vehicles to compliant ones. You can check your eligibility here.

Developing a roadmap to help make the switch from ICE vehicles to more eco-friendly options is crucial. Ultimately, everyone will move to electric vehicles (EVs) ahead of the 2030 ban on new ICE vehicles.

While businesses are looking to make changes to avoid non-compliance charges, it seems a sensible time to explore the EV options available to you. Individuals will have hesitancies about EVs, but the technology is rapidly improving. We have discussed some typical EV ‘myths’ in a separate blog.

Need help?

Does your business need help in making changes to fleet before the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone is in place?

EVP Solutions are independent Fleet Consultancy experts whose services include EV consultancy, fleet strategy advice and procurement assistance.

Our knowledgeable consultants can assist your business in making changes that will guarantee cost savings. Our results speak for themselves; for every £ invested into us, we return £26. Current clients include a major cosmetics brand, a household energy supplier and one of the largest dealerships in the North of England.

Similarly, EVP Solutions work with businesses of all types and sizes.

So, if you would like to know more about our services, please click here.