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The Scottish Government are trying to lower emissions in larger cities by introducing Low Emission Zones (LEZ).
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Everything You Need to Know About Low Emission Zones (LEZ) in Scotland

Everything You Need to Know About Low Emission Zones (LEZ) in Scotland

Governments are introducing Low Emission Zones (LEZ) and Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) in city centres to lower the pollution levels.

Across Scotland, four Low Emission Zones (LEZ) are in place in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. In this article, you can find everything you need to know about these zones – from how to spot them, to what vehicles can drive in them.

What is a Low Emission Zone?

A Low Emission Zone is an area where only certain vehicles are permitted to drive to improve air quality. Low Emission Zones and Ultra Low Emission Zones are being introduced in large cities where pollution from vehicles is at its highest.

To drive through these areas, vehicles must comply with certain standards or drivers face paying a penalty charge.

Where in Scotland are they?

Low Emission Zones have been introduced by the government in Scotland’s four largest cities – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

You can find out which areas the Low Emission Zones cover by visiting the relevant local authority websites below:






How do I know if I am driving into a Low Emission Zone?

There’s no need to worry about getting caught out. Signposts are located on main routes into the four cities to forewarn drivers before heading into a Low Emission Zone (LEZ).

Another key sign to look out for are LEZ road markings.


What are the charges?

You will be issued a penalty charge of £60 for driving a non-compliant, non-exempt vehicle in a Low Emission Zone. However, some cities are currently offering a grace period, with Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh set to enforce penalty charges from May 2024.

The penalty charge will be reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks.


What are the penalties if you do not pay the Low Emission Zone charge?

If you do not pay the penalty charge within 90 days, the amount will increase with a cap set for different vehicles.

The capped penalty charges are:

  • £480 for cars and LGVs
  • £960 for minibuses, coaches, buses and HGVs/li>


Which cars are compliant and how do I know if my car is compliant?

Vehicles must adhere to Euro emission engine classification standards to be compliant to drive in a Low Emission Zone. The following engines are compliant:

  • Euro 4 for petrol cars and vans (most vehicles registered after 2006)
  • Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans (most vehicles registered after 2006)
  • Euro VI for buses, coaches, and HGVs (most vehicles registered after 2006)


Modified or retrofitted vehicles that meet or exceed the Euro emission criteria can also enter Low Emission Zones in Scotland.

It’s generally considered that most diesel engines registered after September 2015, and petrol engines registered after 2006 meet the LEZ criteria.

You can check if your car is compliant by visiting the official website for Scotland’s Low Emission Zones:



How do Low Emission Zones help air pollution?

Older vehicles often emit harmful emissions that are detrimental to public health. By removing these vehicles, pollution is reduced, and air quality is improved. This reduces the risk of long-term health conditions.


Need to upgrade your car to drive in Low Emission Zones? At Macklin Motors, we have a huge range of new and used electric and hybrid cars.

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View used electric cars