Special environmental emissions stickers are required to be displayed on the windshield/windscreen of automobiles driven in certain specified “Green Zones” of about 40 German cities. As time goes on, the number of cities requiring the stickers will increase. They are not required on any Autobahn, even those that go through cities with Green Zones, and are required only in the designated zones, not elsewhere in those cities. The fine for failure to display the sticker is €40.
Currently we are aware of Green Zones in Augsburg, Berlin, Bochum, Bonn, Bottrop, Bremen, Dortmund, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Freiburg, Gelsenkirchen, Hanover, Heidelberg, Herrenberg, Ilsfeld, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Leipzig, Leonberg, Ludwigsburg, Mannheim, Mühlacker, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Munich, Münster, Neu-Ulm, Neuss, Nürnberg, Oberhausen, Osnabrück, Pfinztal, Pforzheim, Pleidelsheim, Recklinghausen, Reutlingen, Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Stuttgart, Tübingen, Ulm, and Wuppertal. For current list and a map go to umwelt-plakette.de/en/store.html
All cars rented in Germany are equipped with the stickers though cars rented in other countries are likely not. Green Zone emission stickers cost 5-12 euros and are available at many locations including car dealers, auto parts stores, emissions testing stations, and government vehicle licensing offices.
Signs indicating Green Zones are identified by the word “Umwelt” in the center of a red circle with the word “Zone” directly below the circle (see upper right). A smaller sign below displays the word “Frei” and the three different sticker colors; red, yellow, and green. Since rental cars are almost always current-year models, your German rental car is almost certain to display a green sticker, identifying the least polluting car group.
For more information, visit: Low emission zone / emissions-control sticker
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