In order to secure better air in the cities where many people live, it was decided in 2022 to tighten the requirements for particle filters to also include diesel passenger cars. The control in the environmental zones is based on the automatic reading of number plates together with information from the Vehicle Register (DMR). The police can also control the environmental zones.
The environmental zone requirements in the larger cities include older diesel vehicles. The vehicles can be used in the environmental zones if a particle filter is retrofitted. The requirements apply to both Danish and foreign diesel cars.
The environmental zones have been established in Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Odense, Aarhus and Aalborg. There is the Environmental Zone sign at the start of these environmental zones and termination signs at the end of the environmental zones. The control is also carried out inside the environmental zones by both fixed surveillance cameras and mobile control units in the form of cars with mounted cameras with number plate recognition technology.
It is your own responsibility to check whether your vehicle complies with the environmental zone requirements. If a vehicle does not comply with the rules in the environmental zones and is seen at a checkpoint, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency issues an administrative fine.
A fine for a passenger car is DKK 1,500. Or if you drive a month to and from work Monday to Friday in the environmental zone with an older car that does not meet the requirements, it could cost DKK 33,000. There is no "volume discount". It is the owner of the car who receives the administrative fine. If someone other than the owner drove the vehicle, it is possible for the driver to pay the fine.
It is also possible to use the so-called transit routes in the environmental zones if a vehicle does not meet the environmental zone requirements:
In Copenhagen, a special transit route can be used to drive to and from Nordhavnen, including to the ferry terminal for Oslobåden. The route runs from Copenhagen's municipal border via Lyngbyvej to Nordhavnsvej and hits Kalkbrænderihavnsgade.
In Aarhus, it is possible to follow ring 1 from the junction Randersvej/Nordre Ringvej via Nørrebrogade towards the old ferry terminal for the Molslinjen on Aarhus Ø. Please note that this transit route will be closed from 1 March 2024.
In Aalborg, Vesterbro and Strandvejen are transit routes from the western city to Limfjordsbroen. The transit route has been designated to ensure the possibility of passing through the Limfjord Bridge if the Limfjord Tunnel is blocked. Special transports that are not allowed to drive through the Limfjord Tunnel can also use the transit route.
No motorways are located in the environmental zones, be aware that some exits may border an environmental zone.
Vintage cars are allowed to drive in the environmental zone. It is also possible to apply for a grant to have a particle filter fitted. You can also apply for exemption for a shorter period. You can check whether your car is environmentally approved by entering your license plate at https://miljoezoner.dk/regler-og-koretezer/regler-for-personbiler/