The Green-Zones portal has identified the European environmental zones where infringements are most severely punished and unexpectedly denting holiday budgets.
Belgium is ranked 10th and 9th among the environmental zones with the highest fines, whose permanent Low-Emission-Zones (LEZ) are located in Antwerp and Brussels. All vehicles, which are not registered in Belgium or the Netherlands, must register before entering the environmental zone and comply with the LEZ regulations.
Vehicles must also register if they comply with the EURO standard. Otherwise, a fine between 150 and 350 euros may be imposed, depending on the type and frequency of the infringement.
Austria and Great Britain are ranked in the middle, where fines up to 2,000 euros are imposed in case of violation of the rules, graded according to EURO standard, type and weight of the vehicle.
Denmark is ranked 1st and therefore leader in the amount of fines. Since 2008, certain vehicle types must meet at least EURO 4 standard or EURO 3 standard with an approved particulate filter (retrofitted) before they can enter the environmental zones in Copenhagen, Aalborg and other cities.
The fine for driving into a Danish environmental zone without the required environmental badge can amount to up to DKK 20,000 (approx. 2,700 euros) for a truck driver and his freight forwarding company, for example. Furthermore, the vehicle may be seized until the fine has been paid.