Beware of a fine if you enter Madrid without an emission sticker

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emission sticker

MADRID – Madrid is taking a big step in the fight against air pollution. Starting this week, drivers of vehicles without an environmentally friendly classification, thus emission sticker, that enter or are in the M-30 area will face strict fines.

This initiative is part of the capital’s efforts to establish Zonas de Bajas Emisiones (ZBEs, Low Emission Zones) and improve air quality.

200 euro fine for offenders

Vehicles with an environmental classification A, which are not registered in Madrid and do not pay Motor Vehicle Tax, now risk a fine of €200 if they enter the M-30. To halve the fine to €100, you must pay it within the first 20 days of receipt. This measure follows a four-month warning period during which approximately 4,000 potential violators were informed about the new rules.

Cameras for monitoring

With the deployment of 257 surveillance cameras, the city has started closely monitoring the entrances to the M-30. Thanks to these measures, the number of unauthorised accesses has already decreased. In September 2022, 2,039 potential violations were still registered, while in December this number had dropped to 1,883. This represents just 0.1% of the more than 3 million daily entries into the city.

Funding by the European Union

The implementation of this advanced control and penalty system was made possible by financial support from the European Union. With a grant of €5.7 million from the Recovery and Resilience Plan, Madrid has taken a significant step towards a more sustainable urban environment.

Future expansion of regulations

The regulations will be further tightened from January 1, 2025. Not only vehicles with an A label that are not registered in Madrid, but also those that are registered, will then be banned on the M-30. The restrictions are also extended to all non-passenger cars with an A label, including trucks, vans, motorcycles and mopeds.

A sustainable vision for Madrid

In this way, Madrid is slowly transforming its centre into a comprehensive Low Emission Zone. The implementation of these policy measures is not only aimed at improving air quality but also at aligning the city with European and global sustainability and environmental protection goals.

Foreign vehicles

The implementation of low emission zones in Spain means that the most polluting vehicles cannot access the centre of cities. These restrictions of course also apply to foreign vehicles. So if you are on holiday in Spain by car, keep that in mind.

The environmental labels issued by the Spanish traffic service DGT are only valid on vehicles with a Spanish license plate. These labels classify vehicles based on the extent to which they are polluting. The information about this comes directly from the manufacturer and is not based on the current condition of the vehicle in question.

The labels can be purchased at any post office in Spain. They can also be purchased from garages affiliated with Cetraa and the network of administrators. The stickers cost €5 each. They are available upon presentation of the vehicle owner’s valid driver’s license, registration certificate, and valid ID.

Which sticker will my car get?

To see which sticker you need for your car, DGT has a database on its website. Here you can search by license plate, make, and year which sticker belongs to your car.

No Spanish license plate?

Foreign car owners cannot buy a DGT sticker, but Spain also accepts the environmental stickers of other countries. If you have a Danish, German, Austrian, or French environmental sticker, it is also valid in Spain (except for Madrid and Barcelona). If you want to drive into a low emission zone (ZBE) in Spain with your British license plate, you will need one of the aforementioned environmental stickers. Because most British cars travel through France to get to Spain, the most logical thing to do is to apply for a French environmental sticker, the so-called Crit’Air.

Read more: How to get the emission sticker for your car?

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