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Spain Environmental Zones

Environmental zones

What about environmental zones in Spain, and in which cities do you need an environmental sticker? Below it is explained in detail!

Environmental zones Spain

  • Spain has also introduced environmental zones in line with other European countries.
  • Madrid and Barcelona have an environmental zone (zona de bajas emisiones; low-emission zone) that is only accessible for vehicles with a valid environmental sticker.

APR: zone only for permit holders

  • Environmental zones are being set up in some Spanish cities to improve air quality and create more space for local residents. These car-free zones are indicated by signs with the inscription Area de prioridad residencial (APR, zone only accessible to permit holders).
  • Running into an APR can result in hefty fines and it is important to pay close attention to the signs and not to ignore them. Cameras check.
  • When booking a hotel room within an APR, it is advisable to contact the hotel owner in advance to ask if an exemption has been requested.
  • Disabled people must comply with strict, locally determined rules to be allowed to enter an APR. More information is available from the local authorities.

Environmental sticker

  • There are four environmental stickers (distintivos ambientales):
    1. Blue – 0: no emissions.
    2. Green-blue – eco: hybrid and gas-powered vehicles that meet the criteria of the green sticker.
    3. Green – C: petrol cars registered in 2006 or later; diesel cars registered in 2014 or later; vehicles with more than 8 seats and heavy vehicles, both gasoline and diesel, registered in 2014 or later. Petrol vehicles must comply with Euro standard 4, 5 or 6 and diesel vehicles with Euro standard 6.
    4. Yellow – B: petrol cars registered in 2000-2013; diesel cars registered in 2006-2013; vehicles with more than 8 seats and heavy vehicles, both petrol and diesel, registered in 2005-2013. Gasoline vehicles must comply with Euro standard 3 Euro 3 standard and diesel vehicles with Euro standard 4 or 5.
  • There is no sticker for other vehicles.
  • The stickers are available at the Spanish post offices and cost € 5.
  • For more information, see the website of the Spanish government (only in Spanish).


  • Madrid has a permanent environmental zone that covers almost the entire center and the M40. The zone bears the name Madrid Central.
  • Only vehicles belonging to residents and vehicles with a valid blue or green-blue environmental sticker may drive in the permanent environmental zone. With a green-blue sticker, the parking time is limited to 2 hours.
  • The zone is indicated by signs with the inscription Atención – Trafico Restringido.
  • For more information about Madrid’s environmental zone, see (search for Madrid Central – Zona de Bajas Emisiones, for a ticket click on ¿Cuál es el perímetro?).


  • Barcelona and its surroundings have a temporary environmental zone that is set in the event of extreme air pollution.
  • If the environmental zone is set, you can only enter it from Monday to Friday from 7 am to 8 pm with a valid environmental sticker.
  • Extensive and up-to-date information on Barcelona’s environmental zone can be found at (Catalan, English and Spanish).