Self Employed Drivers

This page is for self-employed drivers who own or lease the vehicle used for their business. Whether you drive a Hackney carriage, private hire vehicle or van, there are zero emission options available.

Taxi, Car & Van Drivers

If you drive a Hackney carriage, Private Hire Vehicle, car or van, to avoid paying CAZ charges your vehicle will need to meet certain criteria, depending on the fuel type:

  • Diesel – Euro 6 (VI) standard or better (most new registrations after 1 September 2015)
  • Petrolor LPG added to original petrol engine – Euro 4 standard or better (most new registrations after 1 January 2006)
  • Gas – Euro 6 (VI) standard or better 
  • Fully electric or hydrogen fuel cell – all are compliant and avoid CAZ charges
  • Hybrid electric – the diesel/petrol engine must meet the relevant criteria above
If your vehicle does not meet the criteria above, you might be able to make it compliant by fitting a retrofit technology. This must be approved by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS).

If you are upgrading your taxi, car or van, you can go further than a CAZ compliant conventional vehicle by switching to a zero-emission vehicle which has both air pollution and climate change benefits.

Zero emission options also offer cost savings too. You can see some typical annual cost and emissions savings here.

Replacing your vehicle is expensive and can have a significant financial impact. To help address this Birmingham City Council will implement a set local support measures, shown at the bottom of this page.

You can find out about CAZ charges, exemptions and applying for support at the Brum Breathes website.

Your low emission choices at a glance

If you are a taxi driver, the best zero emission replacement for your Hackney Carriage or private hire vehicle at the moment is a plug-in electric vehicle. This is the most developed zero emission technology and offers you the greatest choice, with several models on the market.

Your low emission choices at a glance

If you are a taxi driver, hydrogen cars are a less mature technology option but there are products coming soon to the market that are being trialled today. These offer a longer driving range and fast refuelling. Examples of fleets using hydrogen cars include the police and a private hire company, both in London.

Your low emission choices at a glance

If you are a van driver, plug-in electric vehicles are currently the most available and mature low emission option. The majority of electric vans on the market are small and large car derived models. More electric standard and large panel vans are due to be released in the next few years.

Your low emission choices at a glance

If you are a van driver, there is currently only one option if you are looking for a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or hydrogen model.


The government’s plug-in grant scheme is available to help drivers purchase electric vehicles. To receive the grant the vehicle you buy must be on the list of eligible models found on the government website. When you buy your new vehicle, the dealership will complete all of the grant-related paperwork on your behalf which means you don’t need to do anything.


If you are looking to upgrade your Hackney carriage to a low or zero emission vehicle there are two options: LEVC TX5 and Nissan Dynamo. These are eligible for a plug-in grant worth 20% of the purchase price, up to £7,500. The Nissan Dynamo is 100% electric, while the LEVC TX5 is a plug-in hybrid.

If you are looking to upgrade your private hire vehicle to a zero-emission vehicle there are a number of options available. Many of these are electric cars eligible for the plug-in grant. The grant will cover 35% of the purchase price up to a maximum of £3,500. A full list of cars eligible for this support can be viewed here.


If you are upgrading your van, there are over 10 models currently eligible for the government’s plug-in grant and this is likely to grow. The grant will cover 20% of the purchase price of your chosen van, up to a maximum of £8,000. The eligible vans include small and large car-derived vans, standard panel vans and large panel vans - these can be viewed here

As well as offering purchase grants, the government is planning a reform of the vehicle excise duty scheme for vans to incentivise low emission models. The rates will be updated and based on a combination of vehicle weight and CO2 emissions. These new rules and tax rates will be introduced in April 2021. 


Home charging

If you are looking to purchase an electric vehicle, the cheapest and most convenient way to charge it is at home and overnight. This makes use of the cheaper off-peak electricity offered by energy providers.

A domestic charge point typically costs around £1,000 to install. £350 of government grant funding can be applied for to help cover these costs through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme- charge point providers will often look after the paperwork for you.

Work charging

Funding is available to help employers pay for electric vehicle charge points through the Workplace Charging Scheme. These could be put in company depots or car parks. The funding covers 75% of the cost of up to 40 charge points per company (capped at £350 per charge point).


The Government has allocated Birmingham City Council £38 million from the Clean Air Fund to pay for a support package that will help businesses and individuals likely to be impacted by the introduction of a CAZ. The support package will include:

  • £10.84 million to provide mobility support for individuals working with the Clean Air Zone (of which at least 50 per cent must be used for a scrappage scheme);
  • £5 million for a Hackney carriage support package;
  • £2.75 million for a council-run Hackney carriage leasing scheme;
  • £7 million for a private hire vehicle upgrade package;
  • £10.05 million for an HGV and coach compliance fund;
  • £0.35 million for supporting engagement and awareness activity

To find out more, click here.

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