Low Emission Zones (LEZs) were introduced on 31 May 2022 in Scotland’s four biggest cities (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow), meaning there will be minimum emission standards that vehicles must meet to drive in a zone.
To help people and businesses adjust to this significant change across the four cities, there will be a grace period before the LEZ is enforced.
- In Glasgow, the LEZ already applies to buses. For other vehicle types, enforcement will start on 1 June 2023 (1 June 2024 for residents within the zone)
- Dundee will start enforcement on 30 May 2024
- Aberdeen will start enforcement on 1 June 2024
- Edinburgh will start enforcement on 1 June 2024
Penalty charges cannot be issued during the grace period.
When enforcement begins, owners of vehicles that do not meet these emission standards and who drive in a LEZ will receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
The minimum emission standards for driving in a LEZ are, in general, petrol vehicles registered from 2006 and diesel vehicles registered from September 2015. These dates are only indicative - please check with your vehicle manual or the manufacturer to confirm. Find out more about the emission standards here.
Mopeds and motorcycles are not included in the current LEZ requirements for Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, so will not have to meet the emission standards. Electric vehicles will not be subject to any restrictions.
There will be certain exemptions to the LEZ entry requirements, and owners of these vehicles will not have to pay a fine if they drive in a LEZ.
Vehicles exempt from LEZ entry requirements
Vehicles that are exempt from the LEZ requirements (and therefore will not receive a penalty charge if they drive in the zone and are not compliant) include:
• Vehicles for disabled persons (including Blue Badge holders)
• Police, Fire, Ambulance and other emergency service vehicles
• Military vehicles
• Historic vehicles
• Showman’s vehicles
Blue Badge holders
Transport Scotland is developing an online scheme for Blue Badge holders to register vehicles they are travelling in.
Blue Badge holders will be able to register for a long-term or short-term exemption to drive in a LEZ. If the journey is a one-off or irregular visit to a LEZ, Blue Badge holders will be able to register for a short-term exemption to cover their travel. The exemption applies to any vehicle whether the Blue Badge holder is the driver or the passenger.
More information about how to access the scheme will be available soon, register here for updates.
Some historical vehicles are exempt from LEZ entry requirements. Exemptions will only apply if the vehicle was manufactured or registered under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 for the first time at least 30 years ago or if the vehicle is no longer in production and has not been changed from its original state.
Check your vehicle and see if it will be compliant for entering Scotland’s Low Emission Zones here.