Petrol and diesel cars targeted in Europe as Britons warned of Low Emission Zone charges

Sadiq Khan criticised for extending Ultra Low Emission Zone

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Britons are more than used to Low Emission Zones and Clean Air Zones with a handful of schemes already in operation and more set to launch later this year. But, motorists of more polluting vehicles have been cautioned ahead of travelling this summer as they may face extra charges when driving around some of the most popular tourist areas in Europe.


There are currently five low emission zones in Spain in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia and Valladolid.

Fines can range from €45 (£38) in Madrid to a hefty €1,800 (£1,542) in Barcelona.

It is expected that in the next few years, the number of low emission zones in popular tourist destinations in Spain will increase enormously.

The Spanish Climate Change Bill will require all cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants to set up an environmental zone by 2023.

Nick Caunter, Managing Director of Airport Parking and Hotels ( said: “An increasing number of European countries are introducing low emission zones across cities and towns in a bid to reduce congestion and air pollution. 

“With more destinations joining the list, it’s important drivers are aware of the rules and regulations before arriving on holiday.

“We hope the APH research will help savvy drivers ensure they have the correct fees, certificate or sticker displayed for their vehicle.”

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British drivers travelling to France this summer are advised that driving without a French Crit’Air sticker can see them fined.

The “clean air” windscreen stickers are a legal requirement in some cities and identify a vehicle’s emissions levels and, in some cases, restrict access to improve air quality.

The vignettes cost just €4.51 (£3.87) including postage per vehicle and failure to have one can lead to an on-the-spot fine of up to €135 (£115) and operate in 11 major cities which include Paris, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse and Strasbourg.

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There is a national framework of low emission zones affecting all vehicles (except motorcycles), which operate 24 hours a day across Germany.

Cities include Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne, Hannover, Hamburg, Bremen and Leipzig, along with some cities which have a zonal driving ban requiring a minimum standard of diesel Euro 6 to enter.

A sticker must be purchased and displayed in the windscreen before driving into the zone, costing approximately €6 (£5).


Drivers are required to have a valid registration which is available free of charge for Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent.

However, if the vehicle does not meet the access requirements for entering the low emission zone, motorists must also purchase a LEZ Day Pass or pay an admission fee with costs depending on the city and type of vehicle.

For those visiting Antwerp by car, the fines increase for each offence including €150 (£128) for the first offence, €250 (£214) for the second offence and €350 (£299) for further offences within 12 months so having the correct paperwork is a must.

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