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Dutch Low Emission Zones explained

In the Netherlands, there are 15 low emission zones in 12 cities. The three largest cities Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam even have two zones. Most zones only prohibit the entry of diesel trucks with Euronorm 3 and below. But there are exceptions and special rules.

In the four environmental zones Amsterdam A10, Arnhem, The Hague Centre and Utrecht, not only trucks are banned, but also passenger cars and light commercial vehicles that are powered by diesel and do not have at least Euronorm 4. In Eindhoven, on the other hand, it is not cars and light commercial vehicles that are banned, but diesel buses of all kinds.

Special rules for motorbikes apply in Amsterdam City and The Hague City: In Amsterdam City, only motorbikes registered before 1 January 2011 are allowed to enter. In The Hague, two-stroke motorcycles registered before 2011 are banned from entering. Four-strokes are only allowed in The Hague if they are checked and confirmed by an authorised dealer. With the confirmation, an exemption permit can then be obtained from the city for a fee.

In Groningen, on the other hand, only electric vehicles are allowed in the city centre. However, the environmental zone really only covers the historic old town around the Grote Markt.

The Maasvlakte environmental zone in Rotterdam is 40 kilometres west of the city centre and extends far into the North Sea. The Maasvlakte port area is an experimental field where attempts are being made to combine sustainability and industry. On the one hand, the trucks that come here must have at least Euro 6.  Secondly, they have to register with the municipality of Rotterdam, otherwise they will be fined 2250 euros.

A general tightening of all rules is due in 2025. Then a zero-emission zone will be established in at least 30 cities, where only zero-emission trucks and vans will be allowed to enter. In Amsterdam, this will also apply to motorbikes (L1-L5), which in principle means that only electric ones will be allowed. Five years later, from 2030, this will apply everywhere to passenger cars. In Amsterdam, this rule will even be extended to passenger ships and ferries.

Anyone driving through Holland and the other provinces of the Netherlands must pay attention to whether they are allowed to drive their vehicle in the city centres. Registration is not necessary, except for the Maasvlakte low emission zone. If you drive into the low emission zones with an unauthorised vehicle, you can expect a fine of between 65 and 250 euros, depending on the city.

You can easily see what the rules of the individual zones are and where you are still allowed to enter with your vehicle in the Green-Zones app. There you will also be informed of any changes in good time.