• LEZ Scotland - ultra low emission zone in scotland's cities banner
  • LEZ Scotland - ultra low emission zone in scotland's cities banner

LEZ: Scotland Low Emission Zones and Cities

Navigating Scotland's Low Emission Zones: A Guide for Van Drivers

Attention all van drivers in Scotland! Four new Low Emission Zones have been introduced to major cities across the country as part of a nationwide effort to improve air quality and reduce the harmful effects of vehicle emissions. The Low Emission Zones are now in force in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, so our guide will help you navigate your journey throughout these key Scottish cities.  

As a van driver, it's crucial that you understand what these Low Emission Zones (LEZs) mean for you and your vehicle. Failing to comply with regulations could result in fines but by staying informed, you can continue to operate your business effectively. In this article, we'll delve into the details of Scotland's Low Emission Zones, explaining how they work, where exactly you’ll find them, and how your daily drive could be affected.  

***As a trusted partner for van drivers, Loads of Vans rose to the challenge last year by tailoring our services and crafting bespoke offers to suit every budget. We understand the needs of our Scottish customers, which is why we encourage you to explore our exciting range of Hot Deals. With nationwide delivery available, we're here to support you no matter where you are in Scotland

Don't miss out on this opportunity to find your ideal van at an unbeatable price – get in touch today and let us help you drive your business forward!

Table of contents:

 Key Information: Scotland's Low Emission Zones and Van Drivers

  • Low Emission Zones have been introduced in the Scottish cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow to reduce air pollution and improve public health.
  • Van drivers with older, more polluting vehicles may face restrictions or charges when entering the designated zones.
  • Petrol-fuelled vans must meet Euro 4 emission standards or better, while diesel-fuelled vans must meet Euro 6 standards to avoid fines.
  • The Low Emission Zone is in force 365-days a year, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. 
  • Each zone is monitored by a network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) enforcement cameras to check if vehicles comply with emission standards.  
  • The penalty charge for a non-compliant van is £60 and doubles each time the rules are breached in the same zone. 
  • Only one penalty charge notice (PCN) can be issued per day per vehicle. 
  • Penalty charges can be issued to a maximum of £480 for vans. 
  • Vehicles for disabled people and emergency service vehicles are among those exempt from paying fines. 

white van entering low emission zone in scotland

What is a Low Emission Zone?

Low Emission Zones are designated areas within cities where vehicles that do not meet specific emission standards are restricted or charged for entry. The primary goal of these zones is to reduce air pollution caused by vehicle emissions, particularly nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM), which can have harmful effects on human health and the environment.

Where are the Low Emission Zones in Scotland?

In an effort to improve air quality and reduce pollution, Low Emission Zones (LEZs) were introduced in the four biggest cities - Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. These zones are designed to restrict the entry of older, more polluting vehicles, including vans.

 

lez scotland - low emission zone map

As a van driver, it's essential to understand what these zones mean for you and your vehicle. Below, we’ve provided details for the Low Emission Zones in each of the four major cities across the country:  

Aberdeen Low Emission Zone

Aberdeen’s Low Emission Zone came into force on 1st June 2024 following a two-year trial. Introduced by Aberdeen City Council to address pollution in the city centre, it is enforced 24-hours a day, 365-days a year, and affects major streets in the busiest areas of Aberdeen. 

Drivers travelling to and from the Orkney and Shetland ferry terminal can avoid the zone by opting for an alternative route. The map below (courtesy of Aberdeen City Council) shows exactly where the Aberdeen LEZ is in force. For a more detailed understanding of all the roads within the zone boundary in Aberdeen, view a list of streets included via the Aberdeen Council website.    

LEZ Aberdeen - low emission zone map

 Aberdeen LEZ Map

 

Dundee Low Emission Zone

Dundee’s Low Emission Zone was fully introduced on 30th May 2024 after a two-year trial period. The scheme has been enforced round-the-clock by Dundee City Council to reduce air pollution in the city as congested areas are not meeting the Scottish Air Quality Objective (AQO).

This includes a large area within the A991 Inner Ring Road but does exclude some major public car parks as shown in the map below (courtesy of Dundee City Council. A full list of the roads included in the Dundee Low Emission Zone can be seen on the Dundee Council LEZ website.

lez dundee - low emission zone map

 Dundee LEZ Map

 

Edinburgh Low Emission Zone

Edinburgh’s Low Emission Zone came into effect on 1st June 2024 in a bid to improve the capital city’s air quality. Enforced by The City of Edinburgh Council LEZ, the zone operates 24-hours a day, 365-days a year, and applies to all vehicles except those that qualify for an exemption from LEZ.

The boundary encompasses major routes in Edinburgh city centre, from the West End to Picardy Place, over to Canongate, across to South Side, and on to St Leonard’s. The map below (courtesy of Edinburgh Council) outlines exactly where Edinburgh Low Emission Zone is.

 

lez edinburgh - low emission zone map

 Edinburgh LEZ Map

 

Glasgow Low Emission Zone

Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) has been in place since 1st June 2024 with the aim to reduce harmful levels of vehicle emissions in the city. An initiative introduced round-the-clock by Glasgow City Council, non-compliant vehicles are required to find an alternative route or face a fine. 

LEZ in Glasgow covers approximately one square mile of the city centre, enclosed by the M8 motorway to the North and West of the city, the River Clyde on the South-side, and the Saltmarket Hight Street area to the East. The M8 motorway itself is not included in the zone and still allows free travel to all vehicles in the area. The map below (courtesy of Glasgow Council) shows the zone’s parameters.

lez glasgow - low emission zone map

Glasgow LEZ Map

Is LEZ set to expand in Scotland?

Low Emission Zones (LEZs) are set to expand across Scotland in the coming years. While LEZs are currently in place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Dundee, the Scottish Government has plans to introduce the restrictive zones in other cities and towns across the country - although the exact locations have not yet been confirmed.

The expansion of Low Emission Zones is part of Scotland's commitment to improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Scottish Government has set a target to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and LEZs are seen as a key tool in achieving this goal.

As they expand across Scotland, it will become increasingly important for van drivers to ensure their vehicles comply with emission standards to avoid facing penalties or restrictions when operating in these zones. 

When does LEZ operate in Scotland?

All Emission Zones in Scotland operate 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, all year round. This means that vehicles entering a zone must always meet the specified emission standards, regardless of the time of day or day of the week.

How do I know if my van is compliant with LEZ in Scotland?

To determine if your van is compliant in Scotland, you need to check if it meets the required emission standards. The emission standards for LEZs in Scotland are:

  • Euro 4 for petrol vehicles
  • Euro 6 for diesel vehicles

scotland lez - van compliance checker

Ways to check if your van is compliant:

  • Check your vehicle registration certificate (V5C) - Look in section D2 of your V5C in the section named ‘Vehicle Details’, which should list the Euro emission standard for your vehicle.
  • Use the online vehicle checker - Visit the Scottish government's LEZ website vehicle checker page and enter your vehicle registration number into the vehicle checker tool to find out if your van is compliant.
  • Check with the vehicle manufacturer - If you're unsure about your van's Euro emission standard, you can contact your vehicle manufacturer or dealer for confirmation.
  • Use the date of registration as a guideline - As a general rule, diesel vans registered after September 2015 are likely to be Euro 6 compliant. Petrol vans registered after January 2006 are likely to be Euro 4 compliant.

If your van meets the required Euro emission standards, you can enter and drive within any LEZ in Scotland without facing penalties. If your van is not compliant, you may need to consider upgrading to a newer vehicle, retrofitting emission reduction technology (if possible for your make and model), or planning routes that avoid LEZs to prevent incurring penalty charges.

Unbeatable deals on LEZ-approved vans for Scotland

Are you a van driver in Scotland looking to upgrade your vehicle to comply with the Low Emission Zones? Look no further than our Loads of Vans dealership for unbeatable deals on new and used vans that meet the required emission standards. 

As a leading van supplier, we offer a wide selection of Euro 6 diesel and Euro 4 petrol-compliant vans, ensuring you can find the perfect vehicle to suit your needs and budget. We also stock electric vans from some of the leading manufacturers in the world, and these are fully compliant with Low Emission Zones across the country. 

With competitive pricing, flexible financing options, and expert advice from our knowledgeable sales team, we make it easy and affordable to upgrade your van and avoid penalty charges in Scotland's LEZs. Nationwide delivery is available on our entire range of new and used vans. 

Don't miss out on these fantastic HOT DEALS – drive away in a LEZ-compliant van at an unbeatable price; search our stock by clicking on the button below! 

View All Hot Deals

What is the charge for LEZ in Scotland?

There is no direct charge or fee for entering emissions zones in Scotland - this means you cannot pay to enter a LEZ. Instead, the scheme is designed to restrict access to non-compliant vehicles that don’t meet emission standards. If you travel in a Low Emission Zone in a vehicle that does not meet the specified emission standards for the LEZ, you will face penalty charges for entering the zone.

How much is the LEZ penalty charge in Scotland?

The penalty charges notices (PCNs) for non-compliant vehicles can build up to a maximum fine of £480 for cars and vans, or £960 for larger vehicles, but can only be issued once per day. Here's a breakdown of the penalty charges in each of the four Scottish cities:

Vehicle TypeVehicle Category1st PCN2nd PCN3rd PCN4th PCN5th PCN
CarM1£60£120£240£480£480
MinibusM2£60£120£240£480£960
Bus/CoachM3£60£120£240£480£960
VansN1£60£120£240£480£480
LorriesN2 & N3£60£120£240£480£960

If the penalty charge is paid within 14 days of the notice being issued, the amount is reduced by 50%. For example, if a van driver in Glasgow receives a penalty charge notice for entering the LEZ with a non-compliant vehicle, they would be required to pay £60. However, if they pay the fine within 14 days of receipt, the amount will be reduced to £30.

It's important to note that these penalty charges apply to each entry into the LEZ with a non-compliant vehicle. So, if a van driver enters the LEZ multiple times with a vehicle that does not meet the emission standards, they will face a penalty charge for each instance, per day.

To avoid facing these penalty charges, van drivers should ensure their vehicles meet the required emission standards for the LEZs they plan to enter. Petrol vans must meet Euro 4 emission standards or better, while diesel vans must meet Euro 6 standards.

What are the vehicle exemptions for LEZ in Scotland?

While Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in Scotland are designed to restrict the entry of vehicles that do not meet specified emission standards, there are some exceptions to the rules. These LEZ exemptions are as follows:

vehicle exemptions from Scotland lez

  • Emergency vehicles - Police, fire, ambulance, and other emergency service vehicles are exempt from LEZ restrictions.
  • Military vehicles - Vehicles being used for military purposes are exempt.
  • Historic vehicles - Vehicles that are 30 years old or older and have been registered as historic vehicles with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) are exempt.
  • Vehicles for disabled persons - Vehicles that are adapted for use by disabled persons and are exempt from vehicle tax are also exempt from LEZ restrictions.
  • Blue Badge holders - Vehicles with a Blue Badge (disabled parking permit) are exempt from LEZ restrictions. 
  • Motorcycles - Motorcycles and mopeds are currently exempt from LEZ restrictions in Scotland.
  • Specialist vehicles - Certain specialist vehicles, such as mobile cranes, agricultural tractors, and road rollers, are exempt from LEZ restrictions.
  • Showman's vehicles - Vehicles registered to a person following the business of a travelling showman and used solely by that person for the purposes of their business are exempt.

It's important to note that these exemptions may be subject to change over time, and some cities may have additional specific ones. Van drivers should check with each local Scottish authority or visit the relevant city's website for the most up-to-date LEZ information on exemptions.

What is the difference between LEZ in Scotland and England?

While both Scotland and England have introduced reduced emissions zones to improve air quality and reduce vehicle emissions, there are some differences in their implementation and operation. For example, LEZ schemes in Scotland do not provide the option for drivers of non-compliant vehicles to pre-pay in order to enter a designated Low Emission Zone. 

This means that unlike some Clean Air Zones (CAZs) and ULEZ in England (these are the equivalent to LEZs in Scotland), there is no entry for non-compliant vehicles to the Low Emission Zone in Scotland without receiving a penalty charge notice of £60.  

How do Low Emission Zones affect van drivers?

Van drivers who operate older, more polluting vehicles may face restrictions or charges when entering Low Emission Zones. In Scotland, the emission standards for vans are based on the Euro emission classifications. Petrol vans must meet Euro 4 standards or better, while diesel vans must meet Euro 6 standards.

If your van does not meet these standards, you will face a penalty for entering a LEZ. The fine for vans in the N1 category is £60 per day, up to a maximum of £480. 

What are the options for drivers of non-compliant vans?

Van drivers have several options if their vehicle does not comply with Low Emission Zone regulations in Scotland. Below, we’ve outlined the best alternative solutions: 

Upgrade your vehicle

If your current van does not meet the required emission standards, consider upgrading to a newer, compliant model. This may involve purchasing a new van or leasing one that meets Euro 4 (petrol) or Euro 6 (diesel) standards.

Retrofit your vehicle

In some cases, it may be possible to retrofit your existing van with emission-reduction technology, such as particulate filters or selective catalytic reduction systems. However, this option can be costly and may not be feasible for all vehicles.

Plan your routes

If upgrading or retrofitting your van is not an option, plan your routes carefully to avoid entering Low Emission Zones in Scotland whenever possible. This may involve using alternative routes or consolidating deliveries to minimise trips into restricted areas.

Use alternative modes of transport

Consider using alternative modes of transport, such as electric cargo bikes or small electric vans, for deliveries within Scotland’s Low Emission Zones. These vehicles are exempt from LEZ restrictions and can be a more sustainable, cost-effective solution for business owners.

FAQS and Answers - Scotland’s LEZ

We hope our comprehensive guide to the Low Emission Zone in Scotland has given you a thorough understanding of what to expect as a van driver. If you have any follow-up questions, take a look at our FAQs section below which provides answers to the most common questions our Loads of Vans customers ask us: 

What happens if you drive in a Low Emission Zone in Scotland?

If you drive a vehicle that meets the emission standards set for Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in Scotland, which are Euro 6 for diesel vehicles and Euro 4 for petrol vehicles, you can enter and drive within the LEZs without any penalties or charges. However, if you drive a non-compliant vehicle in a Low Emission Zone, you will face an initial penalty charge of £60.

How do I know if my van can enter a Low Emission Zone in Scotland?

To determine if your van can enter a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in Scotland without facing penalty charges, you need to check if your vehicle meets the required emission standards set for Scottish LEZs which are Euro 6 for diesel vehicles and Euro 4 for petrol vehicles. The best way to check if your van is compliant is by using the official LEZ Scotland vehicle checker. You can also refer to your V5C document and refer to section D2 which lists the emission standards for your vehicle. 

What vehicles cannot enter a Low Emission Zone in Scotland?

Vehicles that do not meet the specified emission standards are not allowed to enter Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in Scotland without facing penalty charges. The vehicles that cannot enter Scottish LEZs without penalties include diesel vehicles that do not meet Euro 6 emission standards and petrol vehicles that do not comply with Euro 4 emission standards. 

Can my van travel into the Glasgow Low Emission Zone?

To determine if your van can travel into the Glasgow Low Emission Zone (LEZ) without facing penalty charges, you need to know if your vehicle meets the required emission standards which are Euro 6 for diesel vehicles and Euro 4 for petrol vehicles. If your van meets these standards, you can freely enter and drive within the Glasgow LEZ without any penalties. You can check to see if your van is compliant by using the Low Emission Zones Scotland Vehicle Checker. 

How do I pay for the Glasgow Low Emission Zone?

There is no direct charge or fee for entering the Glasgow Low Emission Zone (LEZ) if your vehicle meets the required emission standards. The LEZ operates as a penalty system, meaning you only need to pay if your vehicle does not comply with the emission standards and you enter the zone. The penalty fee for cars and vans is £60 per day. These penalty charges are reduced by 50% to £30 if paid within 14 days of the notice being issued.

How do I avoid the Glasgow Low Emission Zone?

To avoid entering the Glasgow Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and potentially facing penalty charges, you should refer to a map of Glasgow’s LEZ boundary to familiarise yourself with the area it covers. You can then plan your journey to avoid LEZ routes. The M8 motorway is not included in the Low Emission Zone so you don’t need to pass through the city centre  to connect with other major roads in the area, 

Pop Up
Close
Saved