Petrol and diesel drivers can get free grants ahead of new 2022 car tax changes

'Clean air zone' plans mean diesel drivers could face charges

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New Clean Air Zone driving laws will launch in Bradford and Greater Manchester this spring, introducing daily charges for many motorists. Neither scheme will charge private car owners or motorbikes, instead focussing on goods vehicles, vans and private hire vehicles.

However, owners of non-compliant vehicles can now apply for funding to change their vehicle ahead of launch.

Bradford

Bradford Council says drivers who will regularly be affected by the new charge can apply for a grant to help “replace your vehicle” or retrofit some parts to make it compliant.

For some businesses, upgrading a car could be a “cost-effective alternative to paying the charge”.

They warn car changes could also offer many businesses “cost savings in fuel and maintenance”.

Bradford Council said: “The grant application window is now open to support the replacement or retrofit of non-compliant vehicles to clean air zone standards and to assist with the ongoing running costs of electric vehicles.

“The window for the HGV and buses has now closed. There is still some funding available for taxis, LGV and minibuses available on a first-come first-serve basis.

“Grants will be available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Sole Traders/self-employed, education establishments and charities registered within the Bradford Metropolitan District.

“Grants will not apply to businesses with more than 250 staff (other SME criteria may also apply).”

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They added: “Grant funding cannot be applied retrospectively.

“Therefore, if you intend to apply for a grant or exemption please wait to hear the outcome before making any purchase decisions.”

Manchester

Clean Air GM has confirmed the grant scheme is currently open for applications from HGV owners,

Other eligible vehicle applications will follow later this month ahead of the scheme launching this spring.

Drivers can check whether they are eligible for financial support through an online checker.

Clean Air GM added: “We have more than £120million of Government funding to help eligible Greater Manchester businesses, organisations and people switch to cleaner, compliant vehicles.

“The Clean Air Zone Financial Support Scheme will help people to either replace or retrofit non-compliant vehicles so that they meet emissions standards.

“Funding will initially be targeted to support micro-businesses, sole traders, the voluntary sector and private owners to upgrade to compliant vehicles.

“Financial support will be available as a lump sum grant, contribution towards vehicle financing, or a combination of the two.

“The amount of support available will depend on the vehicle type and size.”

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