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Locations of Low Emission Zones While Travelling Abroad

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 28 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Emission Travelling Abroad Co2

Low Emission Zones (LEZs) are becoming more prominent throughout Europe as we continually strive to remove some of the most polluting vehicles from entering certain areas. Certain vehicles are banned from driving in LEZs if their emissions are over a certain limit and if you’re planning to drive through Europe, it’s essential that you’re aware of where these areas are. An LEZ can also be known throughout Europe as a Milieuzone, Lavutslippssone, Environment Zone, Miljozone, Umweltzonen or Miljozon.

Before travelling, you should aim to find out the emissions standard of your car as this information will let you know whether you’re able to enter into LEZs throughout Europe and can save a lot of hassle on your trip. They're basically set up to cut down on emissions and protect the environment. Removing CO2 can make living and breathing in a city far more enjoyable and both the UK and countries abroad are seeing this as an essential move forward to helping protect the environment.

Entering an LEZ

All LEZs are in effect 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, other than Italy at the moment. In order to drive into an LEZ, you may have to register your car first. In Italy, Sweden and Germany you need to have a sticker on your car before entering. In most other countries, cameras monitor cars entering the LEZ and your registration plate will be recorded.

Locations of LEZs Throughout Europe

  • UK – London is currently the only city in the UK with a low emission zone in place. It affects Greater London and is enforced with fixed mobile cameras that read your number plate. It generally affects larger vans, minibuses and lorries, but check before going
  • Netherlands – There are currently around 19 LEZs in the Netherlands, some already in place and others due to start soon. They are located in the following areas: Zaanstad, Amsterdam, Leiden, Utrecht, Leidschendam, Voorburg, Den Haag, Delft, Schiedam, Rotterdam, Breda, Tilburg, ‘s Hertogenbosch, Nijmegen, Helmond, Eindhoven, Sittard-Geleen, Maastricht and Heerleen
  • Germany – There are a high concentration of LEZs in Germany. Most of the big cities have a low emission zone and many of the smaller cities are following suit. The locations at present are: Augsburg, Berlin, Bochum, Botrop, Bremen, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Gelsenkirchen, Grullbad, Hannover, Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Ilsfeld, Karlsruhe, Koln, Leonberg, Ludwigsburg, Mannheim, Muhlacker, Munich, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Neu-Ulm, Oberhausen, Pforzheim, Pleidelsheim, Rechlinghausen, Regensburg, Reutlingen, Schwacisch-Gmund, Stuttgart, Tubingen and Ulm
  • Italy – Italy has a number of LEZs in place and most are in place for a certain period of time during the winter. Current LEZs are: Piemonte, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Lombardia, Bolzano, A22 Motorway
  • Austria – Austria currently doesn’t have any regular LEZs at present, but they do have a motorway LEZ in place in Tyrol
  • Czech Republic – Prague is currently the only place with an LEZ in place, but it only affects vehicles over 3.5 tonnes
  • Denmark – Denmark started operating LEZs at the end of 2008. They ban heavy goods vehicles and any vehicle over 3.5 tonnes.
  • Norway – There are currently three major cities in Norway that are affected by LEZs. Bergen, Oslo and Trondheim have them in place and you should check before entering these cities whether you’re able to
  • Sweden – At present there are four LEZs in operation in Sweden: Gothenburg, Lund, Malmo and Stockholm. Their current standards are no lorries over 6 years old other than those that meet the Euro emissions standard

How to Comply with LEZs

There are a number of ways to comply with low emission zone standards. The easiest, but most expensive is to buy a newer vehicle. If this isn’t possible, you can consider a retrofit or simply rearrange your journey to avoid LEZs. Planning ahead is crucial for anyone driving through Europe so consider this as the best alternative to avoid LEZs

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