The government has launched an online clean air zone checker to help motorists prepare for extra charges.

The online service, which went live today, initially allows drivers in Leeds and Birmingham to check if their vehicles will be affected by charges imposed on high-polluting vehicles.

By entering a vehicle’s registration and selecting the desired air zone, motorists can see if their vehicle will be exempt from a charge or if they will have to pay to drive in the zone. The system also shows how drivers can pay.

The Birmingham and Leeds clean air zones are set to launch later in 2020. The latter is a ‘Class B’ zone – older buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and HGVs charged for entering – and the former a ‘Class D’, which will also apply to some older cars and vans.

The government claims to have provided around £60 million into Leeds and Birmingham to retrofit buses and support both businesses and drivers affected by the upcoming zones.

Bath and Sheffield are hinted to be added to the online checker at a later date, while London’s ULEZ has its own separate service.