The National Plan for Air Quality and Atmospheric Protection 2013-2016 states that both particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide present in road traffic are the main source of pollution in large cities, so as a result of this national plan, a classification of cars according to their emissions is proposed. In this way, the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) has created four environmental badges (ECO, Zero Emissions, C and B) that classify 50% of the most efficient vehicles, since the main objective of this classification is to positively discriminate the most environmentally friendly cars and to be an instrument at the service of municipal policies.
Although the existence of these environmental labels and their main characteristics are well known, most of the society does not know what type of sticker corresponds to their vehicle or what is necessary for a model to benefit from the Eco sticker. Below we will explain everything you need to know about the DGT’s environmental badges.
Vehicle environmental certification
The labels allow easy identification of cars that can access certain urban centers, such as Madrid Central, or low-emission zones such as the ZBE Rondas de Barcelona, which have restricted access on a regular basis or during high pollution days.
At both national and local level, there are economic incentives for the purchase of electric or hybrid cars and greener vehicles in general. There are also some municipalities that grant discounts on parking fees or only allow access to certain areas to electric cars (those with the 0 emissions sticker).
First of all, you have to check if your car is entitled to one of the DGT stickers. You can do this easily through the official website of the Dirección Nacional de Tráfico, at this link: check your vehicle’s environmental sticker.
Barcelona excludes access to its low emission zone only to type A cars, i.e. those without a DGT sticker. Therefore, all cars with environmental badge 0, ECO, B and C can circulate in the area.
How to know which label is on my car
0 emissions label, Blue: Identifies the most efficient vehicles. They will be entitled to this label battery electric (BEV), extended range electric (REEV), plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) with a range of 40 km or fuel cell vehicles.
Eco label: Next on the efficiency scale, these are mostly hybrid vehicles, gas or both. They will qualify for this label: plug-in electric vehicles with a range of less than 40 km, non-plug-in hybrids (HEV), vehicles powered by natural gas and gas (CNG and LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). They must meet the criteria of the C label.
The DGT is very clear about where to place the environmental sticker. It must be placed in the lower right corner of the windshield. The reason? It is a place where the driver’s visibility is not impeded and, therefore, does not affect driving.
Placing the sticker elsewhere is not only not recommended, but could be punishable if it is placed in a place that impedes visibility to any degree. To give you an idea, the penalties related to the windshield are as follows
Environmental label c
The classification of vehicles by means of the environmental label aims to positively discriminate the most environmentally friendly vehicles and to be an effective instrument at the service of municipal policies, both restricting traffic in high pollution episodes and promoting new technologies through tax benefits or those related to mobility and the environment. In some cities, this environmental badge is already being used to restrict traffic on high pollution days, prohibiting the circulation of vehicles that do not have it.
Although obtaining and affixing the badge is voluntary, the sticker must be affixed to the lower right-hand corner of the front windshield, if available. Otherwise (in the case of motorcycles), in any visible place on the vehicle.
There are four environmental badges created according to the environmental impact of the vehicles and they will classify and grade the 50% of the most efficient fleet. From the most to the least efficient, they are as follows: