As enforcement of two new Scottish LEZs begins, the FBHVC has confirmed that historic vehicles are exempt thanks to its extensive lobbying

On Saturday, 1 June, Aberdeen and Edinburgh joined Dundee and Glasgow on the list of Scottish cities with enforced Low Emission Zones (LEZ) – but there’s good news for classic car owners.

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs has confirmed that historic vehicles are exempt from all Scottish LEZs following ‘extensive lobbying’ by the group starting in 2020. 

According to Low Emission Zones Scotland, vehicles of ‘historic interest’ qualify for exemption if “manufactured or registered under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 for the first time at least 30 years ago”. The vehicle must also no longer be in production and must have “been historically preserved or maintained in its original state and [have] not undergone substantial changes in the technical characteristics of its main components”.

This definition differs to that given for historic vehicles under similar schemes in England, where vehicles must be 40 years or older to qualify for exemption.

It is also worth noting that motorcycles and mopeds are not covered by the scheme and so are free to enter Low Emissions Zones.

Each of the four Low Emissions Zones in Scotland has been in place since May 2022, with enforcement delayed following a grace period. Glasgow’s LEZ was the first to go live on 1 June 2023, with Dundee following on 30 May 2024, then Aberdeen and Edinburgh two days later.

The Scottish schemes work differently to their English counterparts. Each LEZ covers a small area of the city centre, and crucially, non-compliant vehicles are banned unless exempt. There is no option to pay to enter any Scottish LEZ, only Penalty Charge Notices for straying into the restricted area. 

For cars, fines start at £60 per visit and double with each following breach up to a maximum of £480 per visit. Monitoring is carried out by cameras which use DVLA data to check vehicles for compliance. 

For more information on Scotland’s LEZ scheme and to see if your classic qualifies for exemption, visit: