Málaga and Estepona’s Low Emission Zones (LEZ)
🚗 Hey drivers! 🚗 Did you know about the upcoming changes in Málaga? 🌿 Starting in 2024, the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is set to roll out. Have you checked if your vehicle meets the criteria to drive in Málaga hassle-free?
Málaga City Council is finalizing details for the launch of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in the capital. It aims to be operational in Q1 2024 without restrictions initially, with limitations introduced from the second year for cars and motorcycles, and from the fifth year for vans.
Sustainable Mobility Ordinance
To initiate the LEZ, the Council has crafted a Sustainable Mobility Ordinance, simplifying regulations. The ordinance, specifying allowed and restricted vehicles, will be made public this Wednesday, allowing a 30-day period for citizen objections.
LEZ Limitation and Street Coverage
The LEZ spans 437 hectares, encompassing specific streets in Málaga, detailed in a comprehensive list provided. Vehicles will be monitored by license plate without the need for environmental stickers.
Penalties and Phased Access
Penalties of £200 apply from the second year for non-Málaga domiciled cars and motorcycles with the B label, and from the third year for those without a label. Phased access is proposed for different vehicles over the first three years.
Van Access and Exemptions
Vans with environmental labels CERO, ECO, C, and B or without labels can circulate for the first four years. From the fifth year, access is granted based on specific criteria and Málaga domicile. Public transport, taxis, historic vehicles, and trucks, along with certain emergency vehicles, will have unrestricted access or controlled access upon prior communication.
Traffic Management and Future Plans
The LEZ aims to alleviate traffic congestion, with plans for dissuasive parking lots. Future considerations include areas like La Araña in the east.
Vehicle Environmental Classification
Citizens can check their vehicle’s environmental classification through the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT), including labels for zero emissions, hybrids, and compliance with EURO emissions standards.
Helmet Requirement for Electric Scooters
The upcoming Sustainable Mobility ordinance mandates helmet use for personal mobility vehicles, including electric scooters, enhancing safety for individuals and rental companies. This measure, along with the requirement for a circulation certificate, extends to both individuals and rental businesses.
Estepona’s ZBE (Low Emission Zone)
Estepona is one of the many towns across Andalucia that is introducing ZBEs.
The Estepona Town Hall approved this ordinance on 19 January 2023, and it is expected to be introduced in October 2023.
In Estepona the Low Emission Zone covers the ‘old town centre’, an area of 0.6 square km. This is the area bounded by the inner ring road – Avenida de Andalucía and Calle Tajo, Calle Pilar de Farinós, Avenida de San Lorenzo (alongside Avenida Juan Carlos II) and Avenida España, the pedestrianised seafront. These roads are not inside the zone themselves, but they mark its limit. Most of this area of Estepona is already pedestrianised.
The Low Emission Zone (ZBE) in Estepona will be introduced in three phases:
Phase 1: 2023 This phase is focused on initial implementation: vehicles without one of the environmental labels mentioned above will not be allowed access between 8.00 and 21.00.
Phase 2: 2024 Those vehicles with environmental Label B will be restricted between 8.00 and 21.00, while vehicles without an environmental label will be totally restricted.
Phase 3: 2025 Vehicles with environmental Label C will also be totally restricted.
Vehicles registered in Estepona, loading and unloading vehicles, all vehicles accessing public car parks, and all those going to hotels will be exempt from the restrictions.
According to the town hall analysis, after full implementation, the reduction of traffic in the zone will reach 65%. However we believe it will be much less, since the exceptions are wide-ranging, and few non-local non-deliveries currently access this mainly pedestrianised area.
Vehicle Emission stickers
Although no law requires the sticker to be placed on the car windscreen, the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) recommends that it be placed on the lower right-hand side of the front windscreen. It will be required to be displayed by local town halls if you want to drive into their Low Emission Zones.
The different categories of labels, according to EU regulations, are:
- 0/Zero (blue) – electric cars, extended range electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids (PHEV) with a range of more than 40 km, and fuel cell vehicles (battery-powered BEV and REEV class vehicles).
- Eco (blue and green) – plug-in and non-plug-in (HEV) hybrid cars, 8-seater and goods delivery vans with maximum range of 40km, and natural gas vehicles (CNG, LNG and LPG class vehicles).
- C (green) – petrol cars registered since 2006, diesel cars and light vans registered since 2014, and petrol or diesel 8-seaters and goods delivery vans registered since September 2015.
- B (yellow) – petrol cars which meet Euro 3 standards and diesel cars which meet Euro 4 and 5 standards. Petrol cars and light vans registered from January 2001 up to and including 2005; diesel cars and light vans registered from 2006 to August 2015; and petrol and diesel 8-seaters and goods delivery vans registered since 2005.
No Label / Label A: Vehicles that are not able to obtain any label (also known as Label A) are petrol passenger cars and vans registered before 2000, and diesel passenger cars and vans registered before 2006.
Approximately 30% of Spanish cars (10 million vehicles) are without an environmental sticker.
For more information see the DGT website. Clasificación de la DGT de Vehículos por Emisiones | ITV
Other towns and cities in Andalucia
Currently Seville and Cordoba are the only cities in Andalucía that have a Low Emission Zone (ZBE) in operation.
SEVILLE LOW EMISSION ZONE (ZBE)
Seville’s first ZBE was introduced on 1January 2023 in La Cartuja (the former Expo 92 site) across the river from the city centre.