Low Emission Zones

Increasingly, cities and countries throughout Europe are introducing Low Emission Zones (LEZs). While the number and variety of schemes may seem daunting, in fact many apply only to city centres and so will not affect the majority of campers.

www.urbanaccessregulations.eu provides a useful guide to LEZs, and there is also a mobile app available here.

We also provide some specific information for some of the more popular destinations for UK visitors, below.

London

The operators of some 75,000 HGVs, buses and coaches and 72,000 larger vans, motorcaravans and minibuses will have to take action to meet tougher Low Emission Zone standards.

Since 2008 the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) has been in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year across Greater London and has been really successful in cutting air pollution. The most individually polluting vehicles driving in London are encouraged to clean up but now more needs to be done.

The LEZ currently applies to lorries, buses and coaches and from January 2012 there will be higher emission standards set for these vehicles. Also in January 2012 the scheme will be extended to include larger vans, motorcaravans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles for the first time.

Vehicles that do not meet the required standards must pay a daily charge of £100 (larger vans, motorcaravans and minibuses) to drive in London or risk penalties of up to £500 per day.

Members have several options including:

  • Fitting approved filters to existing vehicles
  • Replacing vehicles with newer models
  • Paying the daily charge
  • Not entering the LEZ

All Club Sites and Camping in the Forest Sites are currently outside the LEZ, but a number of Event Sites, Certificated Sites and Listed Sites are within the zone. To check out whether the particular campsite you wish to stay is within the LEZ visit the TFL website or to find out more about the LEZ click here.


Low-emission-zones

France

Low Emission Zones, or LEZs, now apply to many cities and areas of France, and up to date information is available here. Please note that this link is for information purposes only and should not be used to apply for your sticker as a surcharge may be applicable.

Where LEZs operate, some vehicles may be able to drive only with an Air Quality Certificate sticker displayed on the windscreen. The application can only be made online (beware unofficial websites that may try to charge you more), costs only a few euros, and is valid for the life of your vehicle. Apply in ample time to allow delivery of the sticker.

To apply for your sticker, with instructions in English, click here. You can select the simulation tab to find out your vehicle's Air Quality Certificate classification, or just go straight to the Applying for your certificate tab and follow the procedure from there.

You need to upload a copy of your registration document to apply, but the maximum file size you can upload is 400kb. There are several free photo editing websites available which can help to reduce your file size if necessary. Your computer may already have the Microsoft Paint program, which can be used to resize images, or you can save the image as a PDF file type instead.

People with a disability still require an Air Quality Certificate sticker. However, according to the French government website, if the owner of the vehicle is registered disabled and is travelling in the vehicle, they can be exempt from emission restrictions.

To avoid any complications we recommend that you apply for the sticker as soon as possible, which is a cheap, simple, one-off process, and will cover the lifetime of your vehicle, whenever you visit any part of France.


Germany

Many German cities have Low Emission Zones, where vehicles not displaying a Pollution Badge (Umwelt Plakette) may be fined. Full information on the badge and how to apply are available online. The badge is also available from many outlets including repair centres, car dealers, MOT (TÜV) stations and vehicle licensing offices (a V5 vehicle registration document is needed, as well as the vehicle itself).

For more information about driving in Germany, take a look at our Germany travel advice.


Spain

Temporary restrictions may apply in some cities or areas, and details should be checked here 

For more information about driving in Spain, take a look at our Spain travel advice.