Since 2018 – The Spanish Distintivo-Ambiental

On 27.07.2018, a system of environmental badges with 4 categories of different colours was officially introduced in Spain. These categories are based on the quantity of emissions and the year of registration or the EURO class of the vehicle.
The environmental badges introduced and issued by the Spanish National Traffic Authority (Dirección General de Tráfico /DGT) aim at distinguishing environmentally friendly vehicles from polluting ones. With this system and the Spanish environmental zones introduced at the same time, the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter will be reduced in Spanish cities.

The environmental badges printed by the National Printing House and issued by the DGT, are officially called Distintivo Ambiental and are divided into the 4 different categories 0, ECO, C and B. Category A, for which there is no badge, includes all vehicles and EURO classes that have not been classified in any of the other 4 categories.
The Spanish environmental badge Distintivo Ambiental is required in order to enter Spanish cities during air pollution peaks or to access specially protected zones at all.

The environmental zones created for this purpose, known in Spain as Zona de Bajas Emisiones (ZBE) and Area Central Cero Emissions (ACCE), aim at reducing air pollutants in Spanish cities quickly and permanently.
The different environmental zones can be divided into several types. In particular, these are so-called temporary or permanent low emission zones (LEZ) in which temporary traffic restrictions come into force during an air pollution peak, resulting in speed limits or a badge requirement at the entrance. Furthermore, in case of rapid air quality deterioration, certain badges may also be temporarily excluded from traffic.
The Zero Emission Zones should also be mentioned, where no fossil fuel powered vehicles are authorised to enter in the medium and long term until 2025. In the initial phase of the establishment of such ZEZ, vehicles with very clean EURO classes are still allowed to enter.