carwow, an online car buying and selling marketplace, predicts that the planned introduction of new Low Emissions Zones (LEZ) in Scotland will have significant ramifications for the used-car market north of the border.

As well as prompting more retail activity as consumers seek to replace affected cars, dealers in relevant areas may need to retail part-exchange stock at significantly reduced prices locally, or be ready to sell them outside their familiar territories to maximise returns.

“All eyes may be on London’s ULEZ and its planned expansion in August, but Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone, which comes into force in June, could start a series of ripples in the Scottish used-car market that become a veritable tide next year when three more similar schemes come into force north of the border,” said Hugo Griffiths, consumer editor at carwow.

London’s ULEZ allows drivers to pay a daily fee to drive older, more polluting cars into the zone, but Glasgow’s LEZ makes no such provision.

“If your diesel car is not Euro 6 compliant or your petrol one not Euro 4, you will simply be banned from entering the centre of Scotland’s most populous city, with a £60 penalty for the first offence, and that fine doubling until it reaches to a cap of £480 – per infraction – leaving individual motorists with theoretical fines of £174,180 per year if they drive into the zone every day.

“Three further Scottish LEZ schemes, working on identical principles to Glasgow’s, are being introduced in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee in 2024.

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“Given the broad geographical area these cities span, and that (roughly) pre-2015 diesel and pre-2006 petrol cars will be banned from entering their centres, non-compliant cars could soon experience a marked drop in value north of the border.”

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