Going abroad with a rental car? Don’t forget the emissions sticker!

Because there are more cars on the road with every passing year, environmental pollution is only increasing. The city centres, especially, are becoming a source of exhaust fumes that are harmful to our health. In order to limit the amount of exhaust fumes and improve the air quality in the big cities, so-called environmental zones have been introduced. These environmental zones are being initiated in an increasing number of European cities and are currently effective in Germany, Austria and France. An emissions sticker indicates how much emission pollution your car causes and it is mandatory in many European cities. If your car does not have a valid emissions sticker, you risk receiving fines of up to € 2,180! Here, we would like to give you more information about the emissions stickers per country.

Emissions sticker Germany

If you happen to be going to Germany with your rental car, you will be well-advised to know in advance which cities require an emissions sticker. The ‘Umweltplakette’ is the name of the emissions sticker in Germany and it applies to the following cities: Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne and Hannover. This list is growing as we speak. On this ‘Umweltplakette’, you will find information about the amount of pollution caused by the passenger car or bus concerned. The amount of emission pollution is indicated by 4 colour-coded bars.

Emissions sticker France

Are you driving your rental car to France? In the centre of Paris and in other larger cities, you must have a ‘Crit’Air’ sticker. This is the French emissions sticker that is required by law when you enter its cities. In some cities, the use of an emissions sticker is only required between 08:00 and 20:00 hours. The vignette features 6 colours; each colour indicates a certain emission pollution level of your car or bus. The ‘Crit’Air’ sticker has been mandatory for foreign passenger cars and lorries since 1 February 2017.

Emissions sticker Austria

If you are planning on taking your rental car to Austria, you will need a ‘Pickerl’. This emissions sticker is available in 6 different colours; each colour indicates the level of emission pollution. It is mandatory to have a ‘Pickerl’ in the following regions in Austria: Vienna, Upper Austria and Styria. More and more regions are being added to this all the time, and the only problem here is that the corresponding signage on the road is often lacking. So, if you’re going to drive through Austria, it would wise to do a route check on a low-emissions map prior to your departure. At this time, the vignette is only mandatory for vehicles in category N (including N1).
Placement of your emissions sticker
If you possess an emissions sticker or vignette, you should place it on the inside of your front windshield. You can place it either on the left or right, as long as it is clearly visible from the outside. Did you forget to place your sticker? As we mentioned earlier, the penalties for not having an emissions sticker are high. So don’t forget to put your sticker on your windshield!