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‘Watch out for scams with low emission zone stickers’

Buying stickers for Low Emission Zones on a commercial website might cost you more than you need to spend.

Although motorcycles are allowed to enter the environmental or Low Emission Zones (LEZ’s) in most European cities without any problem, you might be confronted with them when you travel by car.

Website warns that private suppliers sell LEZ stickers for places where these are not required. They also sell stickers at a much higher price than is required. The information on commercial websites is not always correct and serves only to let you pay money you do not need to spend. Our advice is to check the official city or country websites and follow the procedure (buy a sticker or register online) that is outlined there.

Examples of a city where a sticker is not required: Antwerp – The enforcement of the LEZ in Antwerp is done with registration plate recognition. You do not need a sticker and the stickers that are being sold have no official status. People who do not live in Belgium or the Netherlands can register on a special website for free and, when necessary, buy a permit or pass. With a motorcycle you are always allowed to enter the LEZ, with most petrol cars as well (except pre-Euro standard models), but when your car does not have a Belgian or Dutch licence plate you have to register before or at the latest one day after you enter the LEZ. When you have a diesel car you might be able to enter the LEZ without problems, or you have to buy a permit, or you have only limited access (8 days per year after buying a pass) to enter the LEZ. Check the website before you go to Antwerp. A similar system you will find in Brussels (registration possible and mandatory for foreign vehicles from 1 October 2018) and in the future in other Belgian cities. Nowhere in Belgium do you need a sticker! Another example is London: here too you do not need a sticker, but you have to register online before you enter the LEZ.

An example of possible overpaying is the LEZ sticker (Crit’ Air Vignette) for Paris and other French cities – Here, the only European city we are aware of, you need to have a LEZ sticker on your motorcycle. The official price is €3.11 plus postage. On commercial websites prices around €30 are asked for the same vignette. The prices for the German LEZ sticker (Umweltplakette, not applicable to motorcycles) range from €6 (some cities) to around €32. The official price of the Strassenverkehrsamt is €16.90 plus €0.70 postage. Organisations like TÜV and DEKRA charge compatible prices. The city of Prague and other Czech cities are still considering the implementation of a LEZ sticker. This was planned for Prague in 2017, but discussions are still going on. A Czech LEZ sticker will also be applicable to motorcycles. To our knowledge no stickers are being sold yet.

Above is not a full overview of LEZ’s and where you do or do not need a LEZ sticker or have to register. For a full overview of emission zones and the requirements to enter them, you can check

The one shortcoming of this website is that it is not very clear about motorcycles. We already discussed this with them. In general: when motorcycles are not explicitly mentioned, a certain measure or regulation is not applicable to them.

Written by Dolf Willigers