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The differences between a car with a ZERO label and an ECO within a LEZ

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The differences between a car with a ZERO label and an ECO within a LEZ

The vehicles that benefit the most in the LEZ are those that display the ECO and CERO environmental badge: electric, hybrid and gas.

2023 has brought an important novelty for drivers, in terms of driving through cities, with the entry into force of the Low Emission Zones (ZBE) in those municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. Let’s see the differences between a car with a ZERO label and another with an ECO within a LEZ.

As we have already mentioned, the ZBE is a measure that is part of the Climate Change Law approved in May 2021, which obliges all municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants to enable restricted traffic areas for the most polluting vehicles, with the goal of reducing pollution levels.

The obligation also extends to those municipalities that exceed 20,000 inhabitants, but that register levels of contamination higher than those allowed. In total, the implementation of ZBE affects almost 150 localities, according to the National Institute of Statistics.

The municipalities decide

The DGT announces where the ZBE will prevent you from using the car in your city

At the end of last year, the Government approved the Royal Decree that regulates these emission-free areas and in which it sets out some general guidelines that serve as a guide for the territories that have to implement them, in order to establish clean and sustainable transport in cities for 2030 and, subsequently, for 2050.

However, it is the municipalities that manage its operation and establish the criteria to determine which cars can access or not, using the DGT labels.

The Executive does not establish in law which vehicles are restricted, but it has published guidelines as a guide for local entities to design their models and which follow the trend of Madrid and Barcelona, ​​where these areas have already existed for years.

Logically, the vehicles that benefit the most in the LEZs are those that display the ECO and ZERO environmental badge, that is, pure electric cars, extended-range electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids conventional and CNG and LPG.

Differences between a car with a ZERO label and an ECO within an LEZ

The four types of DGT Label that can enter the ZBE area of ​​Madrid

What can a car with a ZERO label and another with an ECO label do in an LEZ? We are going to focus on the two main Spanish capitals, Madrid and Barcelona. However, remember that each city council establishes its criteria.

In the capital of Spain there are two Special Protection Low Emission Zones (ZBEEP): Madrid Centro and Plaza Elíptica.

In the first, cars with a ZERO label do not have any type of restriction: they can access and park on the surface without paying in the SER area. However, cars with an ECO sticker can access and park, but for a maximum of two hours.

In Plaza Elíptica, the same thing happens: electric vehicles can circulate and park without any type of restriction, while those with an ECO label can only park for a maximum of two hours and must pay.

In the LEZs of Barcelona

The ZBE of Barcelona includes the metropolitan area of ​​the city, which covers 95 square kilometres, and regulates access based on environmental labels, but also according to the days and hours. In this case, both ECO and ZERO cars do not have any type of restriction.

What happens if I access an area without having a DGT label?

All cars that even without a DGT label can enter the new ZBE

It is important to remember that, to access an ZBE, you must display the corresponding DGT label on your windshield. If the cameras that regulate access detect a vehicle that cannot enter, a sanction will be imposed on its owner.

For example, in Madrid, access to the ZBE will be considered a serious offense and will entail a fine of 200 euros (100 if promptly paid), as indicated on the website of the City Council of the capital.

To avoid these sanctions, it is essential to have the environmental label, know the permitted access times or make use of a car park within the delimited area and keep the payment receipt.

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