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2024 Scottish Low Emission Zones: Everything you need to know

By Mathilda Bartholomew | May 28, 2024

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By the end of this week, motorists in Scotland driving older petrol and diesel cars will face hefty fines for entering Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen city centres.

2024 Scottish Low Emission Zones: Everything you need to know

By the end of this week, motorists in Scotland driving older petrol and diesel cars will face hefty fines for entering city centres.

Four new Low Emission Zones (LEZ) will come into effect at the end of May, aiming to reduce air pollution in Scotland’s major cities.

Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, and Aberdeen will have strict rules on which cars can enter. Non-compliant vehicles will receive Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), with fines increasing for repeated offenses.

Glasgow’s LEZ has been operational for a year but won't start charging residents until June 1, 2024, the same date as Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Dundee will begin enforcement slightly earlier, on May 30.

With these changes imminent, it's crucial for motorists to understand how they will be affected and where the zones are located.

However, a recent Carwow survey revealed that nearly a third of Scottish drivers are unclear about LEZ rules, and almost half don’t know where the LEZs are. The survey also found that one in four drivers are unsure if their vehicle is compliant. Regit's here to clear up any confusion...

What cars can enter the new Scottish Low Emission Zones?

Entry criteria are based on Euro emission standards, similar to London’s LEZ.

- Diesel cars and vans must meet Euro 6 standards (generally registered from 2016).

- Petrol cars and vans must meet Euro 4 standards (generally registered from 2006).

- Buses, coaches, and HGVs must meet Euro VI standards (from January 2013 onwards).

- Taxis and private hire vehicles must adhere to Euro 6 standards.

You can check if your vehicle complies here.

How much will non-compliant vehicles be charged?

Non-compliant vehicles entering an LEZ will receive a £60 fine, which doubles with each subsequent offense, capping at £480 for cars and light goods vehicles, and £980 for larger vehicles like buses and HGVs.

These fines must be paid within 28 days, increasing by 50% if not paid on time. Failure to pay within a further 14 days will result in the fine becoming an enforceable debt.

LEZ Enforcement Important Details

Dundee LEZ

- Starts: May 30, 2024

- Areas Impacted: A991 Inner Ring Road

- Exclusions: Bell Street, West Marketgait NCP, Wellgate car parks

- Operating Hours: 24/7, all year round

- Exemptions: Blue Badge holders (registration required)

Edinburgh LEZ

- Starts: June 1, 2024

- Areas Impacted: City centre boundary from Tollcross to Palmerston Place, and along Queen Street to Picardy Place

- Exclusions: Vehicles can drive around but not within the LEZ boundary

- Operating Hours: 24/7, all year round

- Exemptions: Blue Badge holders, historic vehicles, emergency vehicles

Aberdeen LEZ

- Starts: June 1, 2024

- Areas Impacted: Northern boundary from Skene Street to Rose Street

- Exclusions: Vehicles from Orkney and Shetland ferry terminal turning left onto Market Street

- Operating Hours: 24/7, all year round

- Exemptions: Blue Badge holders, historic vehicles, emergency vehicles

Glasgow LEZ

- Enforced Since: June 1, 2023 (with a grace period until June 1, 2024).

- Areas Impacted: City center bounded by M8, River Clyde, Saltmarket/High Street.

- Exclusions: M8 motorway.

- Operating Hours: 24/7, all year round.

- Exemptions: Blue Badge holders, historic vehicles, emergency vehicles

Why have Low Emission Zones been introduced in Scotland?

Councils are introducing LEZs to improve air quality, reduce emissions, and protect public health. Benefits include creating vibrant, accessible, and safe city centres, making cities like Glasgow desirable places to live, visit, and invest. However, there is concern about the cost, with many Scottish drivers finding it difficult to afford compliant vehicles.

Make sure to check out Regit's best deals, if you're considering switching to a low emission vehicle. 

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