My Garage

Edinburgh Low Emission Zone Explained

Starting from May 19, 2022, Edinburgh's city centre will put into action its Low Emission Zone (LEZ). The main aim, backed by Scottish officials, is to cut down on harmful emissions within the zone and city-wide, aligning with Edinburgh's push towards Scotland's net-zero goal by 2045.

After a two-year grace period, where drivers won't face penalties for non-compliance, enforcement kicks in on June 1, 2024. Aberdeen and Dundee have also rolled out LEZs, while Glasgow led the pack by charging non-compliant drivers in June 2023. Dive into the details of Edinburgh's LEZ penalties below.

When does Edinburgh’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) take effect?

The Edinburgh LEZ was formally introduced by the Scottish government on May 31, 2022. Although it's in place, enforcement hasn't started yet. But starting June 1, 2024, when the grace period ends, non-compliant vehicles within the zone, regardless of driver type, could face penalties.

Where is the Edinburgh LEZ?

The LEZ boundary in Edinburgh circles the city centre, covering:

  • Tollcross in the south
  • Palmerston Place in the west
  • Queen Street in the New Town
  • Picardy Place
  • Abbeyhill and Holyrood Road
  • The Pleasance in the east
  • Back along the Meadows to Tollcross

The boundary itself isn’t part of the LEZ, so all vehicles, including non-compliant ones, can drive around it. Enforcement only happens inside the zone.

Edinburgh clean air zone map responsiveImg

Which vehicles are allowed in the Edinburgh LEZ?

Compliance standards for the Edinburgh LEZ mirror other Clean Air Zones across the UK. The minimum requirements are:

  • Euro 4 for petrol cars and vans
  • Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans
  • Euro 6 for petrol and diesel taxis and private hire vehicles (as per the Taxi Emission Standards Policy 2021)
  • Euro VI for buses, coaches, and HGVs

All zero-emission vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs), automatically meet the LEZ standards.

What are the charges for driving a non-compliant car in Edinburgh’s LEZ?

Starting June 1, 2024, Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) will be issued for non-compliant vehicles driving in the Low Emission Zone (LEZ). Here's what you need to know:

  • There's no daily charge option for non-exempt vehicles, differing from London's ULEZ. Multiple breaches lead to increased fines, but no criminal record.

Penalty structure: Set by Scottish Government, the initial fine is £60, reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days. Repeated offences within 90 days double the fines, up to:

  • £480 for cars and light goods vehicles
  • £960 for buses and HGVs

General rules:

  • Non-compliance detected via ANPR cameras and DVLA data
  • Only one PCN issued per vehicle per day (midnight to 23:59)
  • PCNs reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days
  • If no offences for 90 days, the fine resets to £60 for the next offence
  • Revenue from PCNs supports LEZ operations and sustainability efforts


  • PCNs must be paid within 28 days
  • Late payments increase by 50%
  • Unpaid fines pursued through legal action

Make sure your vehicle complies with LEZ standards to avoid fines.

Are there exemptions for Edinburgh’s LEZ?

Certain vehicles are allowed into the LEZ even if they don't meet the emission standards, as it's often difficult to adapt them. These exemptions, outlined in the LEZ law (Low Emission Zones (Emission Standards, Exemptions and Penalty Charges) (Scotland) Regulations 2021), apply consistently across all of Scotland's LEZs. The national exemptions include:

  • Motorcycles and mopeds
  • Blue badge holders
  • Emergency vehicles
  • Historic vehicles
  • Military vehicles
  • Showman vehicles
  • Vehicles for disabled people
  • Vehicles used for essential services

Are there grants for getting a compliant vehicle in Edinburgh?

The Low Emission Zone support fund for households, funded by Transport Scotland and managed by Energy Saving Trust, is now accepting new applications.

If you live in a low-income household within 20 kilometres (12 miles) of the LEZ, you might be eligible for a grant of up to £3,000. This includes:

  • £2,000 for scrapping non-compliant vehicles at authorised disposal centres
  • Up to £1,000 in Travel Better vouchers (£500 per adult) for bikes, e-bikes, cargo bikes, and public transport tickets

How can I check if my vehicle is compliant with Scotland’s LEZ?

Use Regit’s free ULEZ Checker with your registration to confirm compliance with Euro 4 (petrol) or Euro 6 (diesel) standards, ensuring hassle-free travel in Scotland's regulated cities.