Low emission zone

How the proposed LEZ will work

Low emission zones (LEZs) discourages drivers with the worst polluting vehicles from entering a certain area. 

Our proposed LEZ will operate continuously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, linked to a national vehicle licencing database, will be used to monitor vehicles driving in the zone. They will detect vehicles which do not comply with the minimum emission standards. The majority of vehicles currently driving through the city centre already meet these standards.

If a driver with a vehicle that does not meet set standards for exhaust emissions drives into the LEZ area, they will receive a a fine (penalty charge).

We are following the standards and way of operating set out by Tansport Scotland. You can find more details on Transport Scotland's low emission zone website.


Some vehicles which don't meet the emission standards will be allowed to drive through the proposed LEZ. This is known as exempt. We are proposing to use the exemptions set out by Transport Scotland. This includes blue badge holders and other essential vehicles. You can find details in the section on exemptions

There is also financial support available to help people who will find it most difficult to adapt.

Proposed start date for Edinburgh's LEZ

We will introduce the proposed LEZ on 31 May 2022, if approved by councillors and the Scottish Government,

To help people adjust to the changes, we’ll have a ‘grace period’ before we start making penalty charges. We’ve proposed a two-year grace period to support the city’s economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. We'll start issuing penalty charges from 1 June 2024. This period will apply to residents, non-residents and for all types of vehicles.

Penalty charges

For all Scotland's LEZs, the charges are set as:

  • initial charge will be £60, reduced by 50% if it is paid within 14 days
  • a surcharge will apply where a subsequent breach of the rules is detected
  • penalty charges will be capped at
    • £480 for cars and light goods vehicles
    • £960 for buses and HGVs.

If the driver of the vehicles doesn't breach the rules within the 90 days, the surcharge rate is reset to the initial charge ie £60.

Standards for exhaust emissions

We are following the standards set out in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019. Entry into the LEZ will be based on the Euro emission engine classification standards. The minimum criteria are

  • Euro 4 for petrol cars and vans (generally vehicles registered from 2006)
  • Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans (generally vehicles registered from September 2015)
  • Euro VI for buses, coaches and HGVs (generally vehicles registered from January 2013).

Please note these dates are only indicative - please check your vehicle on Transport Scotland's online vehicle checker.