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01 June 2023, 04:05

Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) – 2023 - the ultimate guide

From 1 June 2023, Glasgow became the first of the Scottish Low Emission Zones, meaning that all vehicles entering the city centre zone area must meet the less-polluting emission standards or face a penalty charge. Glasgow has implemented their regulated emission zone as part of their efforts towards Scotland’s target of achieving net zero by 2045. 

Motorcycles and mopeds are not included in the current LEZ schemes and no restrictions will apply.

The initial penalty charge, applicable from 1 June 2023, for all non-compliant vehicles is set at £60, reduced by 50% if it is paid within 14 days

Only one Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) can be received per day (00:00 – 23:59).

The penalty amount doubles with each subsequent breach of the rules detected in the same LEZ. The penalty charges are capped at £480 for cars and light goods vehicles and £960 for minibuses, buses, coaches and HGVs.

Where there are no further breaches of the rules detected within the 90 days following a previous violation, the rate is reset to the base tier of charge i.e. £60 (rate from 1 June 2023).

PCNs will be issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle by the enforcing local authority, and will outline information on payment and appeals.


Where is Glasgow’s LEZ and when is it enforced?

Glasgow's LEZ is approximately one square mile in size.

It covers an area of the city centre bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, the River Clyde to the south and Saltmarket/High Street to the east.

The M8 motorway is not included within Glasgow's LEZ

Glasgow’s LEZ operates 24/7 and year-round.

Transport Scotland installed signage on the M8 so that those exiting the motorway for the city centre are aware of the zone area.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras linked to a national vehicle licencing database will monitor vehicles driving into Glasgow's Low Emission Zone.

When a non-compliant vehicle is detected in the zone, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle.

Driving in parts of Glasgow outside of this zone will not result in a penalty for non-compliant vehicles.


What vehicles are charged in Glasgow’s LEZ?

The compliance standards for Glasgow’s LEZ mean that alll petrol engine vehicles must comply with Euro 4 emissions standards, all diesel with Euro 6, and when it comes to HGVs, they need to follow Euro VI protocols. These labels rate the levels of pollutants emitted by different engine designs.

Vehicles that comply with these standards will not be fined in the Glasgow LEZ. Neither will motorcycles or mopeds be subject to LEZ restrictions in Glasgow.


Does Glasgow’s LEZ issue charges, fines, or penalties?

If your vehicle is non-compliant, e.g. does not meet Euro 4 (petrol) or Euro 6 (diesel) emissions standards, and you are not an exempt driver, for example, the driver of a disabled tax class vehicle, the vehicle’s registered keeper will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice of £60 (rate from 1 June 2023) for entering the Glasgow LEZ. This gets reduced by 50% when paid within a fortnight of issue date. 

Unlike London’s ULEZ and other CAZs across the UK, the Glasgow LEZ does not offer a daily charge that non-exempt vehicles can pay to drive within the zone; instead, non-compliant vehicles get a penalty straight away. To avoid penalties, you simply need to drive a compliant (lower-polluting) vehicle.

Since 2018, the Scottish government has been notifying the public that older or higher-emission vehicles will have to be upgraded to avoid these penalties.

The Glasgow LEZ penalty is treated as being as a ‘decriminalised’ policy, meaning you will not get any sort of criminal record. However, the penalty level compounds with multiple breaches detected by the ANPR cameras.


Does Glasgow’s LEZ have exemptions or exceptions?

The categories of vehicle currently exempt from Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone penalties are as follows:

  • Motorcycles and mopeds
  • Disabled tax class or disabled passenger tax class
  • Police vehicles
  • Ambulance and emergency service vehicles
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue
  • His Majesty’s Coastguard
  • Military vehicles
  • Registered historic vehicles
  • Registered Showman’s vehicles


Are there any grace periods for the Glasgow LEZ?

You can apply for a one-year grace period for Glasgow’s LEZ if you feel you are in exceptional circumstances, you can find out more by using this link. This may be useful to locals who do not live or work within the LEZ itself but drive into it in a non-compliant car or van, and are not able to replace or retrofit their vehicle.


Has enforcement of Glasgow’s LEZ begun?

Yes with effect from today, from 1st June 2023. Glasgow’s LEZ policy has expanded beyond just buses, which have been regulated for their emission levels since 2018.


What vehicles are compliant with Glasgow’s LEZ?

Almost all new petrol and diesel vehicles will be compliant with the Euro 4 and Euro 6 standards required by Glasgow’s LEZ.

Since 2006, almost all petrol engines have been rated at least Euro 4 standard, and as for diesel, Euro 6 has been the norm since 2016. However, it’s key to double-check.

When buying a used vehicle listed on its worth checking the “Running Costs” section where you will find details of its ULEZ compliance or you can double check using Transport Scotland's vehicle. registration checker


Are there grants for getting a compliant vehicle in Glasgow?

Yes, Scotland launched a Low Emission Zone Support Fund in 2021 and so far over £8 million in funding has been allocated to grants. These are issued to residents and small businesses who are within 20km of a LEZ and can’t otherwise afford to upgrade or retrofit their vehicles.

Read more about grants for households and microbusinesses, just visit the Energy Saving Trust website for more information.


How to check if my vehicle is compliant with Glasgow’s LEZ?

To check that your petrol car, van, or minivan is compliant with Euro 4 emissions standards, or your diesel car, van, or minivan is compliant with Euro 6, simply enter your reg into Transport Scotland's vehicle registration checker.


In Summary Glasgow's LEZ:

  • commenced enforcement on 1 June 2023
  • applies to all vehicles entering the zone, unless exempt
  • operates continuously, 24 hours a day, all year round
  • covers an area of the city centre bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, the River Clyde to the south and Saltmarket/High Street to the east
  • identifies non-compliant vehicles entering the zone by using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras

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