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Ecological vignettes in Germany and Czech Republic

If you are going to travel to Germany and are planning to drive into Berlin or any other large city, you will need an Eco vignette. Soon the vignette will be in force also in the capital of the Czech Republic.

People travelling across Europe; even sporadically have mostly heard that in Berlin a green zone exists. Only cars that fulfil certain norms on fume emission. A legal entrance needs a valid vignette, therefore a plaque stuck to the car’s windshield.

Not everyone knows that the vignette is in force in more than 50 German cities. If you are planning to drive through the centre of a large city or an agglomeration in Germany, you can be almost certain, that you will encounter the need for a vignette.

Which vignette in Germany?

In the case of cars with petrol run engines the case is quite simple. All cars produced on 01.01.1993 or later, should have a green vignette with the number 4. Older petrol run cars have a complete ban on entering ecological areas of Germany.

It’s more complicated for the users of cars with diesel run engines. Cars produced before 1997 will not get any of the plaques. Passenger cars produced between 1997 and 2000, that fulfil the norm of fumes emission Euro 2 (or Euro 1 with a filter) can be marked with a red plaque, but now it doesn’t entitle entrance to any of the green zones.

This is allowed only by the green vignette, but only in some of the cities. Now, a foreigner with a yellow plaque can enter for example the centre of Berlin, but when it comes particularly to the capital it will be so only until the end of the 2014! The yellow sticker is meant for passenger cars produced in between 2001 and 2005, eventually also other cars that fulfil the norm of fumes emission Euro 3 (or Euro 2 with a filter).

In the case of cars with high-spring engines, only cars produced after 2006 can enter the ecological areas without pillages, as long as they have a green vignette. Such right can be claimed by older cars also, but only if they fulfil the norm of fumes emission Euro 4 or Euro 5. In such case, before purchasing the vignette appropriate documents need to be shown.

It is important to mention, that with the utility vehicles with the allowed gross weight exciding 3, 5 tonnes these rules are a little different. For example the green vignette can be used by the owners of cars produced on or after 01.10.2006.

Vignette is assigned to a specific vehicle (on the sticker the registration number is written) and can be used indefinitely in the whole of Germany. In Germany the green vignette costs 6 Euros and it can be downloaded through the internet: https://www.berlin.de/labo/kfz/dienstleistungen/feinstaubplakette.shop.en.php If we buy it at a broker’s (and there are many companies, even in Poland that see them), the price can exceed 100 zł.

Prague as Berlin

As stated lately on the portal “Auto Świat” (Car World), vignettes will soon be in force in the Czech Prague. The limits will most probably be introduced on the 1st of January 2016.

In the first stage of the project realization the limits include 12 % of the Prague area. The price of the plaque will be 80 krones (about 12 zł). At first, to enter the capital of Czech, a car will have to fulfil the Euro 3 norms (petrol run cars produced in or after 1999, while high-spring in or after 2001).

What’s interesting, the Czechs are discussing with the Germans, for the plaques issued in one the countries to be valid in the other as well. This should make it cheaper, and for the car owners to have one less plaque on the windshield.

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