Drivers warned of new rule changes ahead of major Low Emission Zone rollout next year

Clean Air Zone

Drivers with non-compliant vehicles will be hit with large penalties

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 09/11/2023

- 16:02

A number of Low Emission Zones are expected to launch in less than a year

Drivers are being urged to make use of grant schemes to save money when buying cleaner vehicles, like electric cars, ahead of a huge rollout of new emissions-based charging schemes.

Four new Low Emission Zones are expected to launch in Scotland next year, with enforcement beginning for drivers.

Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh will all see enforcement begin at the end of May and beginning of June, while Glasgow’s enforcement will extend to residents living in the area.

Penalties for driving inside the Low Emission Zone with a vehicle that does not meet emissions standards will be £60, although it can be slashed to £30 if paid early.

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The fine will double for each subsequent breach detected, with a cap of £480 for cars and LGVs, while buses and HGVs will have a £960 cap.

If there are no further breaches in the 90 days following the initial infraction, the penalty rate will be reset back to £60.

Support has been launched for drivers to help them deal with the incoming law changes for those in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Petrol vehicles need to have engines that meet the Euro 4 emissions standard, which generally applies to those registered after 2006.

Owners of diesel cars and vans are required to have a Euro 6 vehicle to avoid a penalty charge, with these generally needing to be registered after September 2015.

Energy Saving Trust is offering funding to households and small businesses within a 20km radius of Scotland’s Low Emission Zones.

This will help and encourage the uptake of zero emission cars and the disposal of non-compliant vehicles.

Grants of up to £3,000 are available to help drivers with the switch to cleaner vehicles, including a £2,000 incentive for households who ditch their polluting vehicle at a Scottish authorised treatment facility.

The person must live within 20km of one of Scotland’s LEZs and be in receipt of “specific means-tested benefits”.

Further incentives are available including Travel Better grants of up to £500 for each adult in an eligible household, worth a maximum of £1,000 per household.

Micro businesses and sole traders can also apply for a £2,000 grant if they have nine or fewer full-time employees, with a grant offer being required prior to the disposal of more polluting vehicles.

Following vehicle disposal and successful receipt of the fund, eligible businesses will receive additional grants.

This includes a £1,000 grant towards the purchase of a cargo or electric cargo bike through the Travel Better Fund.

The 20km radius could see a greater number of people benefit from the grant scheme, with some drivers on the outskirts of Dunfermline potentially included in the radius for Edinburgh.


Clean Air Zone sign

The new Low Emission Zones are set to begin enforcement next year


Similarly, towns and cities like East Kilbride, Hamilton, Motherwell and Forfar could potentially make use of the grant schemes.

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