Could Vehicle Hire be a solution to Clean Air Zone challenges
With businesses across the UK tackling the growing network of Clean Air Zones, Saul Furse, Managing Director at Radius Vehicle Solutions looks at how vehicle hire might just be the solution the sector is looking for.
Across the UK the mobility sector is united in facing a new challenge: Clean Air Zones. In fact, businesses and motorists across Sheffield, Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Portsmouth, London and Greater Manchester are all tempering with new schemes that are either already in place or are set to go live in 2023.
Clean Air Zones (CAZ)
CAZ’s are new initiatives set to improve air quality which are delivered by local authorities. Whilst they vary in what the charges are for different vehicle types in different areas, at their core, if a vehicle exceeds emission standards and is driving in a clean air zone, businesses or motorists may have to pay a charge.
How does this affect businesses in the UK?
Whilst many transport and logistics managers across the sector will be well versed in the basics of CAZs, concerns around the challenges they raise are varied and far ranging, dependent on where businesses are based across the UK.
For example, Sheffield’s new CAZ, which came into force at the end of February, states that drivers that do not meet Euro 6 Diesel or Euro 4 Petrol emission standards will be charged – with vans, LGVs and taxis be charged at a rate of £10 per day, whereas coaches, buses and HGVs will be charged at £50 per day. In contrast, in London people driving older, polluting cars, will be faced with a £12.50 fee each day they use them in central London.
Ultimately, wherever you encounter them, the challenge for businesses and sole traders is clear: operational efficiencies and margin will be impacted, as businesses are charged more for using their vehicles in areas they have previously driven in free of charge.
Against this backdrop that is sure to put pressures on many, it is only natural that businesses consider making the transition to electric vehicles. Not only could it be seen as a necessity for any business pursuing sustainable growth, but it now it could be the economically literate decision to make.
However, the transition to electric vehicles can be an overwhelming prospect for many businesses – and currently there isn’t a clear roadmap from the government to assist businesses and sole traders. Many businesses want to run greener fleets however, with the current vehicle supply challenges and economic pressures, an upgraded fleet that can take on the network of CAZ’s in the UK is a cost that many businesses simply can’t front up.
To ease the process, vehicle hire is a great solution for businesses starting their green transition. If electric vehicles are too expensive to buy upfront, EV hire solutions are affordable and packed with benefits.
Hiring is a flexible and convenient solution which offers transport managers a choice of vehicles and duration of contract as well as the option of the latest models for however long it is needed. Businesses don’t have to worry about value depreciation or maintenance and repair costs as these are usually included in the hire agreement. And ultimately: it’s cheaper to hire a vehicle than to buy it. At Radius Vehicle Solutions offers can be tailored to meet your exact business needs and requirements, as we work closely with businesses to identify the right vehicles for them and their drivers.
Whilst businesses and sole traders might feel concerned about the ever growing network of CAZ’s, Radius’ suite of business solutions – from telematics that can help you navigate around CAZ’ to energy charging infrastructure – can help businesses with their transition from start to finish.
Article by Saul Furse, Managing Director at Radius Vehicle Solutions.