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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 coming into a low emission zone in Europe? Confused about how one can pay the price or purchase a sticker? This is every part it’s good to learn about low emissions zones in France and elsewhere in Europe, so you may plan your highway 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 automobile air pollution. They have an inclination to have an effect on older and/ or bigger automobiles that are usually increased polluting.

Most of those zones are round a metropolis, reminiscent of 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 automobiles of a sure emission class (extra on that shortly)
  • Some can solely be entered with a Crit’air or comparable sticker and must be registered prematurely or pay a price inside a brief interval of coming 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 necessary.

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 organize them means earlier than you set of in your Europe highway journey.

NOTE: It’s only one sticker per COUNTRY, not per metropolis, so you must solely want one for France, one for Germany and so on.

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


How do you discover these zones?

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

The easiest way we have discovered is the City Entry Rules web site, which has a map of all of the zones and their kind. You should utilize this to plot your route and plan your highway 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 automobile, and it is allowed underneath that zone’s circumstances, then sure, you need to 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 trustworthy, we not often go to cities, particularly now we journey with our canine, however on the uncommon events we do need to, we choose to park up in an aire or campsite (the place we are able to depart the motorhome safely) after which use our motorbikes or public transport to go to the town.

Unsure what an ‘aire’ is or how one can discover them? This is every part it’s good to learn about aires in France and Europe


Do low emission zones apply to bikes?

Yep, lots of them do, particularly in France. In Germany, lots of them don’t appear to use, however please to test fastidiously. 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:

  • Test 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 automobile 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 value an enormous amount of cash. If you happen to’re unsure, otherwise you want 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 sorts of low emission zones; ones that are in power ALL the time known as ZFE ( These embrace Paris, Lille, Lyon and Strasbourg), and ones which come into power when air high quality is especially dangerous.

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

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

To date, solely the massive cities of Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, Lille and Strasbourg have been added however round 22 different cities and cities throughout France have expressed an involved in 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 highway is closed and also you get diverted into the zone.

france motorhome travel planner
Travelling to France? Plan your journey the simple means. Click on to study extra about our full France highway journey journey planner

Who wants a Crit Air Sticker?

Displaying a Crit’Air sticker IS obligatory for all highway automobiles wishing to enter restricted zones, together with bikes and international registered automobiles (reminiscent of UK motorhomes). Agricultural and development equipment aren’t included.

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

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

If you’re hiring a motorhome/ campervan, please be sure that 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 effective.

NOTE: It is typically known as a Crit’Air vignette. Don’t confuse this with a toll cross. France would not use vignettes for tolls, so you continue to must 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 another web site as there are many spam websites about (this is not an affiliate website in any means. 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 automobile’ (assuming it is a UK registered motorhome/ camper), then full the applying. You have to the next:

  • Automobile Registration Quantity
  • Date of first registration
  • Automobile class (discovered on logbook)
  • Gas supply (ie- petrol/ diesel and so on)
  • VIN quantity
  • Make of the automobile
  • Euro Customary Emission (discovered on Logbook)
  • Co2 emission
  • You may additionally must add a duplicate of the automobile V5C Log e book in PDF or PNG

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


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

You must 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 approach to observe the progress of your software on the Crit d’Air web site (be sure you’ve entered your e mail deal with appropriately if you order.)

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

Driving a highway automobile 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 usually do it’s good to renew the Crit’Air vignette?

By no means. So long as you retain the automobile 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 automobile.

Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?

Europe Motorhome travel checklist- FREE

Low Emission Zones in Germany

In Germany, a lot of the bigger cities have  ‘Umweltzonen’, which suggests you may solely enter with an ‘Umweltplakette’ (environmental sticker). There are three colors of stickers (inexperienced, yellow and purple) which is predicated upon emission ranges of the automobile and applies to all automobiles besides bikes.

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

They could introduce a blue sticker for very clear, inexperienced and electrical automobiles however they don’t seem to be obtainable but.

Be taught 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 must add a duplicate of your V5 logbook
  • Purchase it an any service station with a TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein, or Technical Inspection Affiliation) station hooked up. You have to 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 the moment must buy an environmental sticker (however that will change, so please do test earlier than you journey.)

You don’t 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 threat a effective 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 automobiles which are not as much as the minimal of Euro 6. Please do test prematurely if you happen to plan to drive right into a German metropolis and have an older automobile or a really massive one, as you will have no selection however to park outdoors and use public transport to go to the town.

How usually 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 automobile .


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

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