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HomeRoad TripLow Emission Zones in Europe- READ THIS earlier than you go!

Low Emission Zones in Europe- READ THIS earlier than you go!


Involved about getting into a low emission zone in Europe? Confused about learn how to pay the charge or purchase a sticker? Here is the whole lot it’s good to find out about low emissions zones in France and elsewhere in Europe, so you possibly can plan your street journey accordingly.

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Low Emission Zones in Europe- what are they?

Many international locations throughout Europe, together with the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal, have launched restricted zones to attempt to fight car air pollution. They have a tendency to have an effect on older and/ or bigger autos that are typically larger polluting.

Most of those zones are round a metropolis, corresponding to Paris or London, however some are round a protected space too.

There are a number of several types of Low Emission zones:

  • Some are closed to all autos of a sure emission class (extra on that shortly)
  • Some can solely be entered with a Crit’air or related sticker and must be registered prematurely or pay a charge inside a brief interval of getting into (normally 24 hours)
  • Others can solely be entered at sure occasions of the day/ week.

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Is it a Crit’Air, a toll cross or a vignette?

Okay, this bit is essential.

A toll cross is NOT the identical as a low emission zone sticker

A vignette (utilized in Switzerland or Austria) is NOT the identical as a low emission zone sticker.

A crit’air IS a type of low emission sticker, however solely legitimate in France. You want completely different ones for various international locations and normally they take 4-6 weeks to reach so it’s good to get them organized manner earlier than you set of in your Europe street journey.

NOTE: It’s only one sticker per COUNTRY, not per metropolis, so it is best to solely want one for France, one for Germany and so on.

And, do not forget, when you do not plan to enter any zones, you do not want a sticker in any respect (see under.)


Watch the video about Low Emission zones in Europe and the UK

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Low Emission Zones in Europe

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How do you discover these zones?

Fortunately, there are a number of methods to search out these zones so you possibly can both keep away from them or get the suitable answer.

One of the best ways we have discovered is the City Entry Laws web site, which has a map of all of the zones and their sort. You need to use this to plot your route and plan your street journey.

motorhoming in Germany- your complete guide to motorhome and campervan touring in Germany
Motorhoming in Germany

Do you HAVE to get a low emission zone sticker?

If you wish to enter a low emission zone together with your car, and it is allowed beneath that zone’s circumstances, then sure, you should get and show a sticker.

HOWEVER, we have been touring Europe in a motorhome for years and we have by no means as soon as purchased a sticker for any zone.

To be sincere, we not often go to cities, particularly now we journey with our canine, however on the uncommon events we do need to, we desire to park up in an aire or campsite (the place we will depart the motorhome safely) after which use our motorbikes or public transport to go to the town.

Undecided what an ‘aire’ is or learn how to discover them? Here is the whole lot it’s good to find out about aires in France and Europe


Do low emission zones apply to bikes?

Yep, a lot of them do, particularly in France. In Germany, a lot of them don’t appear to use, however please to verify rigorously. Clearly, if you’re travelling with a number of bikes, like we do, you want a sticker for every bike.


Europe low emission zones- how do you adjust to the necessities?

These are the steps it’s good to take to adjust to the low emission zone necessities across the UK and Europe:

  • Examine if the town you need to go to has a Low Emission zone utilizing this map or the town search operate
  • Take a look at your car logbook (V5) to see what class your motorhome, campervan or automotive is.
  • Buy the suitable sticker(s) from the federal government web sites.

TOP TIP: These stickers do not price an enormous amount of cash. If you happen to’re unsure, otherwise you wish to keep versatile, it is price shopping for one for every nation you want to go to.


Low Emission Zones in France

Okay, let’s take a look at the principles for France.

France has two varieties of low emission zones; ones that are in drive ALL the time referred to as ZFE ( These embody Paris, Lille, Lyon and Strasbourg), and ones which come into drive when air high quality is especially unhealthy.

For ZFEs, you MUST show a legitimate Crit’Air sticker (make certain it is within the appropriate place in your windscreen- directions are despatched with it) and there might ALSO be time restrictions when you possibly can/ can’t enter, relying in your sticker color.

In France, there are 6 completely different ranges/ classes; your car will fall into considered one of them. (0 (inexperienced), 1 (purple), 2 (yellow), 3 (orange), 4 (pink) and 5 (gray) – worst polluting) Confusingly, they do not match as much as the Euro emissions.

To this point, solely the large cities of Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, Lille and Strasbourg have been added however round 22 different cities and cities throughout France have expressed an eager about becoming a member of the scheme over the subsequent couple of years.

NOTE: The emission zone in Paris is barely from the Boulevard de la Périphérique to the centre of Paris. The outer suburbs of Paris aren’t affected by this scheme. HOWEVER, it could be clever to buy one anyway, in case the principle street is closed and also you get diverted into the zone.

france motorhome travel planner
Travelling to France? Plan your journey the straightforward manner. Click on to study extra about our full France street journey journey planner

Who wants a Crit Air Sticker?

Displaying a Crit’Air sticker IS obligatory for all street autos wishing to enter restricted zones, together with bikes and international registered autos (corresponding to UK motorhomes). Agricultural and building equipment aren’t included.

Individuals with a European disabled badge can enter an environmental zone at any time, however you should show each an environmental sticker AND a European disabled badge.

If in case you have a car older than 1 January 1997 (1 June 2000 for motorbikes), you can be unable to get a sticker and should stay outdoors the zones. Beware when you have a car with class N on the logbook, as a result of the strictest guidelines will apply to you!

In case you are hiring a motorhome/ campervan, please make certain it has the suitable sticker on the windscreen earlier than you’re taking it right into a zone, or you’re going to get the tremendous.

NOTE: It is typically referred to as a Crit’Air vignette. Don’t confuse this with a toll cross. France would not use vignettes for tolls, so you continue to have to pay these are you journey. Discover out extra about motorhoming in France right here.


The place to purchase Crit’Air stickers

You purchase the Crit’Air Stickers from HERE– Do NOT use some other web site as there are many spam websites about (this is not an affiliate web site in any manner. It is the federal government one.) It is in French, however could be translated into English.

It prices lower than 5€, together with postage. Do not pay any extra.

Click on the ‘Order your vignette’ tab, then ‘international registered car’ (assuming it is a UK registered motorhome/ camper), then full the applying. You will want the next:

  • Car Registration Quantity
  • Date of first registration
  • Car class (discovered on logbook)
  • Gas supply (ie- petrol/ diesel and so on)
  • VIN quantity
  • Make of the car
  • Euro Normal Emission (discovered on Logbook)
  • Co2 emission
  • You may additionally have to add a duplicate of the car V5C Log guide in PDF or PNG

NOTE: For a ‘regular’ motorhome/ campervan, you’re a PRIVATE CAR. The individuals within the Crit Air division will see the kind of car on the V5C logbook you add and can ship the proper emissions sticker.


How lengthy does it take to obtain the Crit’Air sticker?

It is best to obtain the Crit d’Air inside 2-3 weeks of your software, though they do say to permit as much as 6 weeks, so order in loads of time earlier than your journey.

There’s a strategy to monitor the progress of your software on the Crit d’Air web site (be sure you’ve entered your e mail tackle appropriately once you order.)

What occurs if you don’t buy a Crit Air vignette?

Driving a street car in a city or metropolis with a low emission zone in place with out appropriately displaying a Crit Air vignette can result in you being fined as much as €135. These could be digital fines delivered by mail or on-the-spot fines issued by Police.

How typically do it’s good to renew the Crit’Air vignette?

By no means. So long as you retain the car the identical (no catalytic converters and so on) and so long as it stays correctly affixed and legible in your windscreen, you need not order one other one for so long as you personal that car.

Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?

Europe Motorhome travel checklist- FREE

Low Emission Zones in Germany

In Germany, many of the bigger cities have  ‘Umweltzonen’, which suggests you possibly can solely enter with an ‘Umweltplakette’ (environmental sticker). There are three colors of stickers (inexperienced, yellow and pink) which is predicated upon emission ranges of the car and applies to all autos besides bikes.

In 2022, solely autos with a inexperienced sticker can enter the Umweltzones. Automobiles with the pink or yellow sticker are banned from getting into and should stay outdoors the zones.

They might introduce a blue sticker for very clear, inexperienced and electrical autos however they are not obtainable but.

Study extra about motorhoming in Germany


The place to purchase a low emission zone sticker for Germany

There are two methods to get a low emission zone sticker for Germany:

  • Buy it prematurely on the federal government web site HERE (you will have to add a duplicate of your V5 logbook
  • Purchase it an any service station with a TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein, or Technical Inspection Affiliation) station connected. You will want to current your REAL V5C logbook on the TÜV station.

Discover your nearest TÜV station in northern Germany and southern Germany.

Motorists with a European Disabled Parking Badge (positioned in clear view behind the windscreen) don’t at present have to buy an environmental sticker (however that will change, so please do verify earlier than you journey.)

You do not want an environmental sticker simply to drive on motorways or native roads- provided that you intend to enter one of many zones. See the map of low emission zones in Germany right here.

It prices €5 to €10 to request the sticker. If you don’t visibly show the sticker, you danger a tremendous starting from €80 to €100.

Diesel Transit bans

In addition to the low emission zones, some cities in Germany even have transit bans on diesel autos which are not as much as the minimal of Euro 6. Please do verify prematurely when you plan to drive right into a German metropolis and have an older car or a really giant one, as you’ll have no alternative however to park outdoors and use public transport to go to the town.

How typically do it’s good to renew your environmental sticker for Germany?

You do not. So long as you do not change the registration plate, the environmental sticker will stay legitimate with the car .


For all different international locations in Europe, try the superb recommendation on this web site.

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