'A third' of UK drivers at risk of £480 fine due to new rule starting next week

New low emission zones are set to launch across Scotland in June - but motorists are confused. Sally Foote, chief commercial officer at Sell my Car at Carwow, has issued a warning of the new regulations across Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasfgow.

Sally said: “There are two clear issues that have come to light here. Firstly, more needs to be done to educate and inform drivers about LEZs. Secondly, it is cost and not lack of willing that is preventing drivers from making the switch to cleaner vehicles such as EVs and hybrids.”

Foote added: “We need to tackle the lack of understanding amongst motorists about Low Emission Zones in Scotland – where the current ones are, where the new ones will be and which cars are compliant, because, without better knowledge, millions of drivers are at risk of being fined.”

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Foote explained that “there is also much more that needs to be done” in terms of the affordability of LEZ-compliant vehicles. All LEZ drivers must meet the cleaner emissions standards or pay a penalty. Motorbikes, mopeds and fully electric vehicles are exempt from low emission zone (LEZ) requirements.

The minimum emissions standards to enter the LEZ are Euro 4 for petrol vehicles and Euro 6 for diesel vehicles. There are exemptions for certain types of vehicles, including vehicles for disabled people, emergency vehicles, naval, Military or Air Force vehicles, historic vehicles and showmen’s vehicles.

Carwow data shows nearly a third (30 per cent) of Scottish motorists are not sure they understand LEZ rules. Almost one in four drivers are not sure if they own a LEZ-compliant vehicle or not, the study from Carwow has also warned.

The penalty structure works on an escalating scale, with the first fine being £60 (reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days). A second offence will see a penalty of £120 applied, a third £240, and a fourth £480 (this is the maximum fine). The penalty for breaches by HGVs is capped at £960. All of those penalties are reduced by 50% if paid within a fortnight.