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Grants and loans

Low emission zone support fund for businesses

Location notice

Please note that this page contains information and links most relevant for people living in Scotland.

Important information

  • This fund is now open for the funding year 2024/25. Customers who registered interest in the fund have been notified and invited to apply. This fund is expected to be highly popular and may be subject to delays due to high demand.

Energy Saving Trust is offering micro businesses and sole traders, with an operating site within 20km of Scotland's low emission zones, a grant towards the safe disposal of non-compliant vehicles.

Low emission zones in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee are in effect. Low emission zones are designed to improve local air quality by discouraging older, more polluting vehicles from entering the zone. 

For more information, please visit our low emission zone webpage

About the low emission zone support fund for businesses and sole traders

The low emission zone support fund is funded by Transport Scotland and administered by Energy Saving Trust. It offers an incentive for eligible businesses to take their older, more polluting vehicles off the road. 

Grants of £2,000 are available to sole traders and micro businesses with nine or fewer full-time employees. Successful applicants will be required to dispose of their vehicle at a  Scottish authorised treatment facility. A grant offer must be in place prior to vehicle disposal. 

Following vehicle disposal and successful receipt of the fund, eligible businesses may be offered an additional £1,000 towards the purchase of a purpose built cargo or electric cargo bike only, to support your specific business needs.

Funding is subject to availability; limited funding is available.

How to apply

If you wish to apply for funding, you can complete the self-referral form below to check eligibility.

Before you complete the form, please review the eligibility criteria.

Self-referral form 

If your answers indicate you may be eligible,  you will receive a link to the full online application form by email.  

You  MUST NOT scrap your vehicle until you have received and accepted a grant offer letter from Energy Saving Trust confirming your grant award, otherwise your offer will be withdrawn. 

For guidance on the fund application and disposal process, see the diagram below. 

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the low emission zone support fund, you must meet all of the following criteria (you can also download the eligibility criteria).

  1. Your business must have an operating site within 20km of a low emission zone. If you are unsure, please review the diagrams provided in the eligibility criteria document.
  2. Your business must own a vehicle that does not meet the minimum emissions standards of low emission zones:
  • Euro 3 or older petrol vehicles – this generally applies to those registered before 2006. 
  • Euro 5 or older diesel vehicles – this generally applies to those registered before September 2015. 

You can use the vehicle checker to see whether your vehicle would be allowed to enter a zone. 

  1. The vehicle must hold a current MOT, be fully taxed and cannot hold SORN status. If you are unsure, you can check online if your vehicle is taxed and its MOT status.
  2. The vehicle must be registered in the name of the business owner or under the business name as stated on the submitted application.
  3. You must have owned the vehicle before 17 September 2020 and utilise it for business operational purposes.
  4. Your business must be an active micro business or a sole trader. To fit this definition, you must:
  • Employ nine or fewer full-time employees. 
  • Have a turnover of £632,000 or less, or a balance sheet of up to £316,000 in the preceding and current financial year. 
  1. The low emission zone support fund cannot be used in conjunction with Transport Scotland’s switched on taxis loan or low carbon transport loan. This is a standalone fund, and the applicant must not apply for additional funding until six months following grant payment from the low emission zone support fund. In addition, the applicant must not have received funding from these programmes six months prior to applying.
  2. A business may apply to dispose of a maximum of three vehicles under this fund. If a business has previously received funding for three vehicles through the low emission zone retrofit fund, they are unable to apply for further funding through the support fund. 
  3. You must commit to replacing the vehicle with a zone compliant model if a replacement vehicle is required for business needs. Energy Saving Trust retain the right to withhold funding payment until evidence of compliant vehicle purchase is provided.

This fund has been made available to help applicants avoid low emission zone penalties by moving away from non-compliant vehicles and choosing more sustainable travel options or replacement vehicles that meet the low emission zone standards. 

If you would like additional information on the scheme, please email: 


Travel better fund for businesses

If you successfully claim the low emission zone support fund and choose to move towards sustainable travel, we can reimburse your business up to £1,000 towards the purchase of a purpose built cargo or electric cargo (ecargo) bike option. 

Eligible travel measures include: 

A cargo bike is a cycle that has been specifically designed to carry a large load within in-built compartments, while ecargo bikes have an electric motor to help support heavier loads and longer distances.

There are many different types of cargo bikes available, covering a range of business needs. For more information, please visit our ecargo bikes webpage.

Items which are NOT eligible for the Travel Better Fund for businesses include: 

  • non-cargo format cycles including ebikes and utility bikes
  • cargo attachment unitis such as trailers
  • electric cargo bikes which do not meet UK legal requirements
  • cycling accessories such as helmets and lights 
  • bike maintenance, repairs or servicing 
  • cycle storage 
  • insurance costs 
  • cycle training 
  • cars, mopeds, motorbikes or any other form of motorised transport 
  • electric scooters, scooters, skateboards, hoverboards 
  • items purchased through person-to-person sales, online marketplaces or auction sales.

Fund application and disposal process

Please refer to the below diagram for a detailed visualisation of the application process. 

Case study - Harajuku Kitchen

Meet Keith and Kaori, the owners of Harajuku Kitchen, an authentic Japanese restaurant with locations in Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield, Stockbridge market and St James Quarter. In preparation for the introduction of Edinburgh’s Low Emission Zone, they took advantage of Energy Saving Trust’s Low Emission Zone Support Fund for businesses to dispose of their older, more polluting van and replace it with a newer model.


Terms and conditions

Energy Saving Trust is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This fund is subject to availability and terms and conditions apply. 

If you’re looking for funding for households, find out more about the Low Emission Zone Support Fund for households

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for the Low Emission Zone Support Fund for businesses, you may be interested in the following funds and loans:

Last updated: 13 May 2024