It's no secret that air quality in our cities is a growing concern. In light of this challenge, several European countries have taken measures to reduce air pollution and protect the health of their inhabitants. One of these measures is the introduction of environmental stickers, which come in different forms and variants, but all serve the same purpose: to reduce harmful emissions in urban areas.
Environmental stickers are basically labels affixed to vehicles to indicate how polluting they are. They are divided into different categories, usually indicated by colors, that reflect a vehicle's environmental performance. In countries such as Germany, France and the Netherlands, access to certain areas, known as Low Emission Zones, is restricted based on the environmental sticker a vehicle has.
Environmental stickers are necessary for various reasons. First, they help reduce air pollution in urban areas. Vehicles are a major source of air pollution, in particular emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are harmful to human health. By only allowing cleaner vehicles in low-emission zones, we can significantly improve air quality and protect the health of city dwellers.
Secondly, environmental stickers stimulate the transition to cleaner transport. They encourage motorists to think about the impact of their vehicle on the environment and can be an incentive to switch to a cleaner car, such as a hybrid or electric vehicle. In addition, it can influence public opinion and increase demand for cleaner transport options, encouraging car manufacturers to invest more in green technologies.
Finally, environmental stickers also promote compliance with environmental regulations. By making the environmental performance of vehicles visible, it becomes easier to check whether vehicles meet the emission standards. This can help improve compliance and punish offenders.
If you regularly travel by car in Europe and you expect to visit the larger cities, it can be useful to order an environmental sticker in advance.
The environmental sticker in France is valid for years, so you only need to order it once. The Ecovignette Crit'Air is mandatory if you want to enter environmental zones in France with a motor vehicle. This applies to motorhomes, motorcycles, trucks and also to passenger vehicles. Electric cars also need an eco sticker France. The Ecovignette France stems from the Crit'Air law enacted in 2016 by the French government. The Crit'Air law is necessary to regulate air quality in cities in France. There are different types of environmental zones, but all zones require a France sticker to enter the environmental zone. The decal can you online to order. It is not possible to collect the environmental sticker from the ANWB, GWK branch, petrol station or toll road office.
Like France, Germany also has so-called Umweltzonen (environmental zones). So if you enter the center of cities such as Aachen, Cologne, Dortmund or Munich by car, motorcycle or camper, you are obliged to have an environmental sticker. The German environmental sticker comes in three different colours, green, yellow and red. The type of sticker you receive depends on the type of vehicle in addition to the European exhaust gas standard. A motorcycle emits less harmful particulate matter than a truck. The age of the vehicle sometimes also plays a role. To be able to get your environmental sticker quickly order, have the following information to hand: your address details, the registration certificate parts 1a and 1b of your vehicle, or your registration card and finally the reporting code of your vehicle (stated on the registration certificate).
Having an Autobahn vignette Switzerland is mandatory for all cars and motorcycles up to 3500 kg. Are you traveling with a caravan or folding trailer? Then you need 2 vignettes, one for the car and one for the trailer. A trailer behind a motorcycle is exempt from this. The purple Vignette Switzerland window sticker is easy to purchase and can only be purchased for a whole year. You must therefore purchase a new vignette every year. With the purchase of a valid motorway vignette, you are well prepared for your journey and you avoid hassle at the border.
A vignette Austria is mandatory for all motor vehicles up to 3500 kg. In Austria you do not need an extra vignette for a trailer or caravan. A vignette Austria is available with different validity periods. Order a toll vignette Austria for 10 days, 2 months or one year. Austria Vignette 10 days is ideal for a short trip, such as a winter sports holiday. If you are going on holiday for more than 3 weeks, then a 2-month vignette Austria is the right choice. If you come to Austria more often, go for an annual vignette.
More and more cities are establishing an environmental zone. You are only welcome in the environmental zone with your car, moped or scooter if it produces little air pollution. If you drive into the city with a vehicle that is too polluting, you run the risk of a hefty fine. So make sure you know which vehicle you are welcome in which city. The current rules for environmental zones can be found at www.environmentalzones.nl.
In Belgium, there are several cities that have set low-emission zones (LEZ) where you need a specific sticker or registration to be allowed to enter, depending on your vehicle's emissions. In cities such as Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent, it is advisable to check in advance what the requirements are for entering the LEZ. Make sure your vehicle meets the requirements, or that you have a valid entry permit or registration, to avoid fines.
In Spain there are four types of environmental stickers: B, C, ECO and ZERO. These stickers are used to regulate access to certain parts of cities such as Madrid and Barcelona during periods of high air pollution.
It is clear that environmental stickers play an important role in tackling air pollution in our cities. Not only do they help to improve air quality, but they also encourage the transition to cleaner vehicles and help to comply with environmental regulations. Although environmental stickers are not the only solution, they are an essential part of a wider package of measures to tackle the problem of air pollution.