MADRID – Spain is also subject to European standards and is in the process of installing low-emission zones (LEZ) in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. These must come into effect on January 1 in 150 municipalities in the country.
These zones must be fully operational by January 1, 2024. The implementation of these zones means that the most polluting vehicles cannot enter 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.
Spanish cities with LEZs
The cities in Spain that already have these LEZs operational are as follows:
- A Coruña
- San Cugat del Vallés
- Sant Joan Despí.
Most municipalities are still in the process of publishing their LEZ, albeit too late, as the requirement was to install these special areas before 2023. Click here for an overview of all 150 municipalities in Spain that must install a LEZ.
These are the Eco labels
The eco-labels or environmental stickers are issued in Spain by the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT). You can buy the DGT environmental label at Spanish post offices (Coreos) and via the website. The online purchasing process of the Spanish environmental sticker is very simple. The buyer only needs to send an image of his registration certificate and his proof of identity. The post office will then send the badge to the desired address for €5.
In addition, the sticker can be purchased directly from Tráfico (DGT) offices in each province for €5. They are also available in the network of workshops of the Spanish Confederation of Workshops (CETRAA) and other networks of authorized workshops, the Institute of Automotive Studies (IDEAUTO). In the case of fleets, the badges can be obtained through the Ganvam association. The sticker must be attached to the bottom right of the windshield.
Although no law makes it mandatory to attach the label to the car, the municipal regulations of the relevant municipalities will require this. If these municipalities have a Low Emission Zone, access control via these labels will be necessary. That is why it is ultimately mandatory to have the DGT environmental vignette visible on your car if it has to enter a Low Emission Zone. Municipalities can also give you a fine if they find you in a Zona de Baja Emision (ZBE) without a sticker. Based on the Spanish Traffic Act, the fine is €200.
The labels that allow you to gain access to a Low Emission Zone are:
- Zero Label (blue): This is for electric cars (BEV), extended range electric cars (REEV), plug-in hybrids with a range of 40 km and fuel cell vehicles.
- Eco Label (green and blue): can be awarded to plug-in hybrid vehicles that cannot travel more than 40 km in electric mode, non-rechargeable hybrids and natural gas vehicles (CNG, LNG and LPG).
- Label C (green): is placed on the window of petrol cars and light vans registered from 2006, and diesel cars and vans registered from September 2015.
- Label B (yellow): is for petrol cars and vans from January 2001 to 2005, and for diesel vans and cars from 2006 to August 2015. The access and restrictions of each LEZ depend on the municipality, but in general, cars with labels C and B are allowed to enter these zones as long as they do not park on the street, but in a public parking garage, as is the case in Madrid for example. There are no restrictions for ECO and Zero.
You can check here which sticker applies to your vehicle.
Cities that do not impose a fine for label B
Two cities have indicated that, due to a lack of time to have their emission-free zones ready, they will not impose a fine in 2024 if you enter their LEZ with label B on your vehicle. These are Gijón (Asturias) and Badalona (Barcelona).
Other cities that are not on time, such as Málaga, have requested a postponement to get their affairs in order.