Reducing your vehicle emissions

Vehicle emissions legal requirements


You must ensure that any vehicle used by your business is roadworthy and complies with exhaust emission standards and weight regulations. The minimum exhaust emission standards are specified in the:

  • MOT test scheme for cars, light goods vehicles and motorcycles
  • heavy goods vehicle (HGV) scheme for lorries
  • public service vehicles (PSV) scheme for buses and coaches

The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) enforces these standards by carrying out roadside checks to improve the roadworthiness of vehicles and ensuring operators and drivers comply - find information on testing vehicles in Northern Ireland.

Air quality management areas (AQMAs)

Your district council monitors air quality in your area. If this falls below a certain threshold they may declare an AQMA and introduce their own Air Quality Action Plan to help improve poor air quality. The local authority may decide to charge drivers to enter an LEZ if a vehicle doesn't meet certain emissions standards or qualify for an exemption.

Check with your district council to find out if there are any restrictions on vehicle access in your area - find information on local AQMAs.

Avoid causing a nuisance

Dust, fumes or noise emissions from your vehicles can cause a nuisance to your neighbours. If your district council receives a complaint, they may request that you reduce or stop the nuisance, or ask you to carry out work to reduce or stop it - see noise pollution, odour and other nuisances.

You should turn off your engine when your vehicle is stationary to reduce exhaust emissions and noise. If the vehicle has refrigeration units, you should switch the engine off as long as there is an electrical supply to run them.