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European low emission zones

Find out whether you’ll need to pay in towns and cities abroad

LEZ rules could mean access restrictions or charges

Air quality in urban areas is an important issue and more than 200 cities in 10 countries across Europe are now operating Low Emission Zones where the most polluting vehicles are either banned or charged an access fee.

If you're planning a road trip you’ll want to know where these LEZ are, what types of vehicle they affect, what emissions standards are required, and whether registration is required or not.

Most of the LEZ only affect vans and lorries but some, like those in Germany and Italy, affect cars too.

Low Emission Zones, also known as environment zones have many different names: 

  • Umweltzonen (Germany)
  • Milieuzones (Netherlands)
  • Lavutslippssone (Norway)
  • Miljozone (Denmark)
  • Miljözon (Sweden)
City-by-city advice

You'll find all the information you need, online, in English, for every European country - via Urban Access Regulations in Europe.

Our own touring tips for Germany explain how to get a windscreen sticker or 'plakette', which is required in some German cities.

Other driving restrictions

As well as LEZ areas, there are other access restrictions in European towns and cities. Pollution isn't the only issue caused by heavy traffic - other restrictions are in place to control noise or protect historic buildings. 

Get the lowdown.

18 January 2017

European breakdown cover

Peace of mind when you drive abroad, with access to over 40,000 trusted garages in 44 countries