Do I pay the Oxford zero emission zone at weekends and in the evening?

With the Oxford zero emission zone meaning that some drivers will need to pay when driving in parts of the city - similar to the London ULEZ scheme - drivers are asking who needs to pay and if charges apply at night and on Saturday and Sunday.

Here motoring journalist and expert Pete Barden takes a look at all of these questions about driving in the Oxford zero emission zone to help motorists avoid getting a penalty.

A street in Oxford, EnglandWhen will you need to pay the Oxford ZEZ  (Credit: Pxhere)

What is the Oxford Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ)?

The Oxford ZEZ is an area of the city that allows zero-emission vehicles, such as fully electric cars, motorcycles and vans, to be used without being handed a charge. Other vehicles that enter the ZEZ are likely to be hit with a charge.  

Where does the ZEZ cover?

The Oxford ZEZ covers these streets.

Street Length
New Road Between Bonn Square and its junction with Castle Street
Bonn Square Whole length
Queen Street Whole length
Cornmarket Street Whole length
New Inn Hall Street Whole length
Shoe Lane Whole length
Market Street From its junction with Cornmarket, extending east for 40 metres
Ship Street Whole length
St Michael’s Street Whole length

Follow this link to see the latest area covered by the Oxford ZEZ on a map.

What vehicles will be charged?

Any petrol or diesel-powered vehicle – including hybrids – will be handed a daily charge if they are used within the zone during the hours of 7am and 7pm, unless they have an exemption.

Is the ZEZ operational yet?

The first stage of the two-phase scheme went live on 28 February 2022. This part covers Oxford City centre. If the scheme is deemed to have been a success, it will be expanded to cover a wider area. The area this covers will be decided after further consultation and gaining funding.

It is worth noting, too, that daily charges will double from August 2025. See how much they are now and how much they will be, below.

How do I check if I need to pay?

You can use the dedicated checker tool to check if your vehicle needs to pay the Oxford ZEZ by entering its registration number here.

How much will I have to pay?

The following table shows how much each qualifying vehicle will need to pay to use the Oxford ZEZ.

Daily charges by vehicle band and emissions for Oxford ZEZ

Vehicle band


Daily charge from 28 February 2022

Daily charge from August 2025

Zero emission vehicle (ZEV)

0 g/km CO2



Ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV)

Emits less than 75 g/km CO2.

Any two or three-wheeled vehicle emitting more than 0g/km CO2.
National ultra-low emission truck standard will be adopted for HGVs when defined.



Low emission vehicle (LEV)

Vehicles with four or more wheels that meet the Euro 4/IV petrol or Euro 6/VI diesel standard.



All other vehicles

Any vehicle not meeting any of the above standards.



Do I need to pay in the evening or at night?

Drivers using Oxford City Centre in the evening or overnight will not need to pay the charge – if they use the ZEZ between 7pm and 7am the following morning.

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Do I need to pay on Saturday or Sunday?

Drivers using the Oxford ZEZ will need to pay the charge on Saturday and Sunday between 7am and 7pm, but not outside of these hours.

Do I have to pay at Christmas?

Currently, it seems that drivers will have to pay to drive in the zero emissions zone on the likes of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and across the wider festive period. However, plans could change closer to the date, so bookmark this page and check back for an update, soo.

How do I know if I am entering the ZEZ?

Traffic signs are used to identify the location of the ZEZ, so keep your eyes open. The scheme is enforced using automatic number plate recognition cameras so you will not get a ticket as you enter the zone.

How do I pay and will I get a reminder?

You will not get a reminder, so you will need to ensure you pay the charge within the specified time limits. You can pay:

  • up to six days in advance
  • on the day the vehicle is driven in the zone
  • in the following six days.

It appears that drivers will need to pay the Oxford ZEZ online by entering their registration here

How do people without internet access pay?

This may cause problems - and therefore big fines - for those without access to the internet or other digital devices, as there is no clear way to pay without such access. We have contacted Oxford City Council and the customer service operator confirmed this was the case – potentially leaving many people with limited or no access to pay charges. 

What is the fine for not paying?

Failure to pay the ZEZ charge, could result in a fine of £60, but this can be cut to £30 if paid within 14 days of it being served (two days after the post date on the front of the penalty charge notice).

You can find out how to pay the Oxford ZEZ penalty charge fine here.

Are Blue Badge holders exempt?

The ZEZ scheme has discounts for residents living in the zone, blue badge holders and vehicles registered to business within the zone. You can see other exemptions, such as hearses, community transport and other ZEZ-exempted vehicle listed here.

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Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (, New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? ( Stuff Magazine (, Fastcar Magazine (, Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

Read all articles by Pete Barden

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