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

    Glasgow City started enforcing its Low Emission Zone for car and van drivers in June 2023.

    In June 2023, Glasgow became the first of the Scottish Low Emission Zones to start charging non-compliant drivers. The city has implemented their regulated emission zone as part of their efforts towards Scotland’s target of achieving net zero by 2045. 

    In June, the first month of the scheme going live for non-residential cars and vans, over 100 drivers were issued with penalties each day. Only one fine was issued to any one vehicle, regardless of multiple entrances into the LEZ in a non-compliant vehicle. However, after this month, vehicles incurring multiple penalties will see the value increasing each time up to a cap of £480. For many who routinely drive within Glasgow’s LEZ, the best solution to avoid charges will be to sell their car in 2023.

    Learn more about the Glasgow LEZ penalty charges below. For more information about Clean Air Zones (CAZs) and Low Emissions Zones (LEZs) across the UK, read our ultimate guide.

    When did Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) start?

    Glasgow has operated a bus-only LEZ since 2018, in an effort to reduce air pollution in the city. This was known as phase one of Glasgow’s LEZ. 

    Phase two has begun in June 2023, with drivers of non-compliant cars, vans, and commercial vehicles being charged penalties for entering the zone. It is important to note that local residents have a grace period until 1st June 2024 to change their vehicle to a compliant model. In this time, they will not face penalties for driving in Glasgow.

    From 1st June 2024, when this grace period ends, all vehicles registered to a residential property within the zone will be subject to penalties along with all other eligible driver types. Read about exemptions and exceptions below.

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

    The LEZ in Glasgow is defined where the M8 meets the River Clyde, with the High Street and Saltmarket making up the other boundaries. It operates 24/7 and year-round. 

    Within this area, there are Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, which run vehicle registrations against the national database to determine whether they are compliant with the emission regulations. Driving in parts of Glasgow outside of this zone will not result in a penalty for non-compliant vehicles.

    Glasgow’s LEZ Map.

    What vehicles are charged in Glasgow’s LEZ?

    The compliance standards for Glasgow’s LEZ are the same as in all other Clean Air Zones of the UK. All 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 or any other upcoming LEZ in Scotland. Neither will motorcycles or mopeds be subject to LEZ restrictions in Glasgow.

    Vehicle typeLEZ compliance standard
    Vans, minibuses, taxis, private hire vehicles, carsEuro 4 (petrol engine) and Euro 6 (diesel engine)
    Buses, coaches, heavy goods vehiclesEuro V1
    Ultra-low emission vehiclesAutomatically compliant
    Glasgow’s LEZ compliance minimum standards by vehicle type.

    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 for entering the Glasgow LEZ. This gets reduced to £30 when paid within a fortnight of issue date.  

    Unlike London’s ULEZ and other CAZs across the UK, the LEZs across Scotland do 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. 

    If you are charged with a penalty in a Scottish LEZ, you’ll be relieved to know that the policy is ‘decriminalised’, meaning you will not get any sort of criminal record. However, the penalty level compounds with multiple infractions detected by the ANPR cameras.

    Glasgow LEZ fines, by vehicle registrationAmount payable
    First penalty£60 (halved to £30 when paid within 14 days)
    Second penalty£120
    Third penalty£240
    Fourth penalty and beyond£480
    Penalty Charge Notice levels in Glasgow LEZ

    Has enforcement of Glasgow’s LEZ begun?

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

    In the month of June, nearly 3,000 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) were issued to non-compliant vehicles entering the Glasgow LEZ. Bearing in mind that local residents still have a grace period, and only first-time penalties were issued in June while locals get used to the new restrictions, this is a high number of penalties, worth well over £17,000.

    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, you can find information about its Euro rating in the V5C logbook or by putting the associated reg through a compliance checker such as Motorway’s ULEZ checker

    In the run up to the 2035 switchover, the safest way to avoid rising emission charges, changes to tax categories, and other running costs associated with fuel type, is to switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle. 

    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 to get compliant vehicles in our guide to Scottish LEZs

    There are currently grants available for residents and small businesses within 20km of the Glasgow LEZ.

    Does Glasgow’s LEZ have exemptions or exceptions?

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

    Vehicles exempt from Glasgow’s LEZ 
    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
    Vehicles that are permanently exempt from Scottish LEZ penalties 

    You can apply for a one-year grace period for Glasgow’s LEZ if you feel you are in exceptional circumstances, via the local government website. 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.

    How to check if my vehicle is compliant with Scotland’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 in our ULEZ Checker.

    London’s ULEZ and the Glasgow LEZ have the same compliance criteria, so you can use our ULEZ Checker to make sure you can drive through regulated cities in Scotland without being subject to penalties.

    How to sell a non-compliant vehicle?

    If your vehicle is not compliant with Glasgow’s LEZ, the good news is – you can still sell it, in order to invest instead in a compliant vehicle. The LEZ in Glasgow may also have increased your compliant vehicle’s value, making it a great time to sell. 

    Whether you’re looking to sell a compliant or non-compliant car, at Motorway we offer a simple – and completely free – method of getting the best price when selling, whatever the model.

    Sell on Motorway and our network of 5,000+ verified car dealers compete to give you their best price.

    Just enter your reg on the homepage and you will be provided with an instant estimated sale price based on up-to-the-minute market data. We’ll then ask you a few easy questions about your car and guide you through the photos you need to take to complete your vehicle profile. It can be done right from your phone – in a matter of minutes.

    If you choose to enter your car into a daily sale, it will be shown to our nationwide network of more than 5,000 verified dealers looking to add to their stock of used cars. Interested dealers will then compete to buy your car, offering you their best price.

    In as little as 24 hours you will receive your best offer – and, if you choose to go ahead with the sale, your car will be collected for free by the dealer and the money will be quickly and securely transferred to your bank account.

    Selling your car?

    Read about everything you need to know about how to sell your car with more guides here. There’s a lot to learn as Clean Air Zones and emissions standards in the UK change in the run-up to 2035.