Low Emission Zones in Europe.
Vehicle emission LEZ regulations, emission sticker and pollution badge requirements
Distance Chart from Channel Ports
International Driving Permit
Interactive Route Planner
Buy Road Maps
Cities throughout Germany and a number in Northern Italy are now participating in,
or soon will be, the Low Emissions Zone scheme to reduce pollution. London has its
own LEZ but so far this does not apply to private cars. Participating cities in
Germany require all vehicles, including cars, to display a windscreen sticker
confirming that the vehicle meets the necessary emission standards. The stickers
come in different colours which correspond to road signs. If your vehicle does not
display the right colour sticker you can be fined 40 euros on-the-spot. In Germany
the stickers are known as Umwelt Plakette (Emission Badges).
The information on this page is relevant to Germany. At the time of writing we
can find no information on the LEZs in Northern Italy. Any information on Italian
LEZs or any others in Europe would be gratefully received at
We suggest you purchase a sticker before driving to Germany as this saves the
hassle of finding a sales point once you have arrived. It has recently become easier
to do this following the launch of the
Berlin City Environmental Zone Sticker website where you simply input your vehicle
registration number, scan your vehicle registration document and upload the resultant
file. You can pay the 6 euro fee by credit card. As with stickers purchased anywhere
in Germany they are valid for the life of the vehicle and for use in any German
Low Emission Zone.
Another website offering online application forms and which also offers
information on LEZs in other European countries is
There is an
application form for German permits here.
You still need to print out the form and send it together with 12.5 euro.
In participating cities, Emission Badges are available from a wide range of outlets
including repair centres, car dealers, MOT (Tüv or DEKRA) stations and vehicle licensing
offices. The stickers cost between 5 and 10 euros, depending on where you buy them,
and are valid for the life of the vehicle and anywhere in Germany. You will need
to produce the Vehicle Registration Document and the latest MOT certificate (if
applicable). The easiest way to obtain a sticker is simply to visit any Vehicle
Garage that is a testing station for TUV or DEKRA, of which there are many.
Our personal opinion is that although we support any attempt to improve the environment,
the scheme is currently badly thought out. It is not easy for drivers from other
countries to find anything out about the German (not to mention the Italian) scheme,
and we guess many drivers will find themselves in breach of the regulations through
ignorance. The solution, it seems to us, is a Europe-wide scheme where stickers
can be obtained in any country and would be valid throughout the EU.
Green Zones: The German cities participating in the
Enviromental Green Zone scheme are currently -
Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Hanover, Ilsfeld, Leonberg, Ludwigsburg, Mannheim, Reutlingen,
Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Stuttgart, Tübingen
July 2008: Frankfurt am Main (not confirmed), Regensburg (not confirmed)
October 2008: Munich.
January 2009: Nuremberg
January 2010: Darmstadt, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Mühlacker,
Dates TBA.: Augsburg, Braunschweig, Dresden, Duesseldorf, Essen,
Leipzig, Magdeburg, Ruhr Area, Ulm
Q. - Will my vehicle be examined when applying for a Emission Badge?
A. - Your vehicle maybe looked at very briefly by an engineer,
this is purely to establish the age and type of engine.
Q.- What do the colour categories represent?
A.- The four colour categories are directly linked to the European emission standards,
these are sets of requirements defining the acceptable limits for exhaust emissions
of new vehicles sold in EU member states. Euro 2 is Red, Euro 3 Orange and Euro
4 Green. Petrol vehicles with a catalytic converter are always Euro 4 and will automatically
be entitled to a green badge.
Q.- Which vehicles will not be able to claim a badge?
A.- Vehicles without a catalytic converter or a particulate filter.
Q.- What can I do if a badge is refused?
A.- Failed, red or orange badge holders should upgrade their vehicles with a
catalytic converter, or for diesel engines a particulate filter. Most upgraded vehicles
will be able to claim a green badge which is necessary for entering a green zone
Q.- How is the scheme enforced?
A.- Anyone caught with out a valid Emission Badge within a Low Emission Zone, either
on the move or parking, will be fined €40. Enforcement will be managed by the police,
local authorities and traffic wardens.
All information on this page is provided as a service
to our clients. It is intended as a guide to the more important rules for the different
countries to which we offer driving holidays. It is not meant to be a comprehensive
document. We try and keep the information on this page up-to-date, but we cannot
be held responsible in any way for any consequences arising from any inaccuracies.
If you find a mistake or would like to send us some additional information, please
email us. Your co-operation is appreciated.