Bath & North East Somertset Council

Financial Assistance Scheme

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Financial Assistance Scheme

We’re offering grants and interest-free finance to help local businesses and individuals affected by clean air zone charges to upgrade their non-compliant vehicles to compliant ones.

The finance can be applied to replace non-compliant taxis, PHVs, vans (including pick-ups and campervans), LGVs, minibuses, coaches, HGVs and buses (excluding scheduled buses which will be upgraded from a separate fund). This includes vehicles with temporary concessions.

To check whether or not your vehicle is compliant, please see our minimum emission standards and also exempt vehicles

The scheme will be funded by central government and will be open for applications in April 2020. There are limited funds so we encourage you to register your interest now.

What’s being offered?

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for:

  • Grants towards replacing non-compliant vehicles
  • Interest free finance to reduce the cost of replacing non-compliant vehicles
  • Grants towards installing electric charging points
  • Grants towards retrofitting or repowering existing or replacement non-compliant vehicles in order for them to be compliant.

Successful applicants can use the grants and interest free finance to reduce the cost of buying or leasing both new and second-hand compliant vehicles.

The scheme is technology neutral, so you can decide on the best route towards compliance for you or your business – petrol, diesel, hybrid, electric or alternatively fuelled vehicles.

Who can apply?

Businesses and individuals in B&NES and neighbouring authorities - especially those with premises in the zone - that are affected by charges. 

We’ll be prioritising applications from:

  • SMEs, micro SMEs, sole traders, charities and individuals based in B&NES and neighbouring authorities
  • Those with the most polluting vehicles regularly entering the zone
  • Upgrades to fully electric vehicles 

If you or your vehicle is eligible for a time-limited concession, we also encourage you to apply. Funds may not be available when your concession expires.

*Please note that if you're considering investing in a fully electric van, we advise you to read the section below: Thinking of upgrading to electric?

What are the terms?

Full terms and conditions will be available in April when the scheme is finalised. Meanwhile we urge you to register your interest.

In summary:

  • Applications will only be accepted to replace existing non-compliant vehicles that are roadworthy, have a valid MOT certificate and are not exempt from charges. This is not a scrappage scheme.
  • The scheme cannot be used for adding vehicles to your fleet, only to replace vehicles.
  • Funds can only be used towards similar replacement vehicles i.e. a similar make/model/specification as the existing vehicle, but with compliant emissions. 
  • In exceptional circumstances, finance may also be provided to retrofit or re-power existing non-compliant vehicles or to replace a non-compliant vehicle with a different type or size of vehicle where there is an additional air quality benefit or to protect vital services e.g. to upgrade to an electric vehicle, or exchange a coach with a bus to comply with DDA requirements.
  • The maximum repayment period for the interest-free finance will be 60 months, extended to 84 months for some specialist vehicles including buses and coaches.
  • All applications will be subject to credit checks. There will be a soft credit check when we assess eligibility but this will not affect your credit rating.
  • If your application is accepted then your existing vehicle will be provided with a limited concession until the expected handover date or 31 December 2022, whichever is sooner.
  • If you pass the eligibility assessment but fail the financial checks, you’ll be able to apply for a limited exemption until 31 December 2022 on any euro-4 or 5-diesel vehicles. There will be no concession for pre-euro-4 vehicles.

Telematics data

As part of the eligibility assessment you will need to provide us with telematics data from your current vehicle[AB1] . Our advisors can tell you more about this and, if you don’t have one already, can provide you with a telematics device free of charge. 

We also encourage you to do this if you're thinking of buying an electric vehicle using, whether that's through the government or ourselves. See 'Thinking of upgrading to electric?' below.

Thinking of upgrading to electric?

If you have a non-compliant vehicle and you’re thinking of upgrading to electric, we encourage you to register your interest now. However, the government also has a number of complimentary schemes available, which may be worth considering:

Electric private hire vehicles

If you're interested in buying an electric private hire vehicle the government's plug-in car grant offers up to £3,500 off the price of a new vehicle. Find out more about the government's plug in car grant.

Electric taxis

If you're interested in investing in an electric taxi, the government's plug-in taxi grant offers up to £7,500 off the price of a new vehicle.

Find out more about the government's plug in taxi grant.

Electric vans

If you're interested in buying an electric van, the government's plug-in van grant offers up to £7,500 off the price of a new vehicle. Find out more about the government's plug in van grant.

Undecided about electric?

If you’re in any doubt we encourage you to register your interest in our scheme. As part of the eligibility assessment we’ll be asking you to provide telematics data from your current vehicle. Our advisors can tell you more about this and, if required, provide you with a free of charge telematics device. Together with advice from our travel advisors, the journey data captured should also help you to decide whether an electric vehicle would work for you.

Next steps

We’re here to help people affected by charges. So if you’re driving a non-compliant vehicle, please register your interest today to avoid missing out. This will not affect your credit rating and there is no obligation to apply.

A member of our team will contact you to explain the scheme in more detail, including its full terms and conditions and the next steps. This is likely to be in the Spring when applications will be open.


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