Own a car in Barcelona? Chances are, you can’t drive it anymore

Petrol powered cars registered before 2000 and diesel cars registered before 2006 will no longer be allowed into the Catalan capital.

41w ago

4.1K

With busy streets and heavy congestion, Barcelona has struggled to remain within the European Union’s nitrogen oxide limits since 2002. The problem has got so bad that, from 2010 to 2017, over 400 deaths were put down to the poor air quality.

With that in mind, it’s very much a case of “new year, new me” in the Catalan capital as over 50,000 vehicles are set to be banned from driving in the city.

Since the first of January, all petrol-powered cars registered before the year two 2000 and all those powered by diesel registered before 2006 are banned from entering a low emission zone. The defined area covers 59.5 square kilometres defined by the B-10 and B-20 ring roads. This makes it the largest low-emission zone in Southern Europe.

Those that choose to ignore the ban will easily be caught thanks to a network of 150 cameras setup around the area. They will also be met with a hefty fine of between 100 and 500€ each time they enter the zone with a car that doesn’t meet the city’s criteria.

The city’s mayor office has said that this ban will affect more than 50,000 vehicles and is hoping for a 20% reduction in air pollution within the next 4 years.

Thankfully for those that do drive around Spain’s second largest city, the ban will be lifted on weekends and at night-time from 8pm to 7am. However, that still leaves a large portion of the city’s inhabitants with a car they can’t use. Therefore, fines won’t be enforced for the first three months of the year giving people the chance to find a more modern vehicle.

It has also been announced that delivery drivers and those that can prove they earn less than 8,000€ a year will be exempt from the ban for the first year.

It seems the new law will be very successful as the idea is inspired by Madrid’s total vehicle ban in the city centre that was introduced last year. Since then, the Spanish capital has seen a 48% decrease in nitrogen dioxide levels.

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Comments (32)

  • Maybe they need better emissions laws.

      9 months ago
    • Well, that's what this is! 😂

        9 months ago
    • That’s not answer. Forcing people to buy new cars, but making them pay for it is bullshit! Most people don’t drive older cars because that’s what they prefer to drive; it’s what they can afford. And I’m not talking about classics.

        9 months ago
  • According to Jeremy Clarkson this is a good thing as he stated in episode 5 of the first season of The Grand Tour. He said `You´ll not gonna be held up by poor people`.

      9 months ago
    • I think it's a good thing... Wouldn't put it into those terms though.

        9 months ago
    • No it´s not. The same kind of regulations were in my town, but since this year they quit the stupid rules. There was relatively not such a good progress made as expected. Other things worked way better.

        9 months ago
  • Hey Angus, Just a little sugestion, Barcelona is a part of spain just like the state of Catalonia, please correct that error as soon as possible.

    regarding the ban and the political bs going on, this is going to hit hard the economy of the city, they´re going to ruin businesses, schools... make conmuting harder for people... and they will likely blame it on the government because their utopia didnt work as well as they thought it would.

      9 months ago
    • I mention that it's the second largest city in Spain. I simply also write that it's the capital of the Catalan "Comunidad Autonoma". Is that not correct?

      When I was living there last year, I didn't think there were a huge amount of cars being...

      Read more
        9 months ago
    • Just with putting "spanish capital" will suffice, Mostly because lately there is a lot of political unrest on the state of Catalonia and anything that makes a slight reference to independence, self determination or that they´re...

      Read more
        9 months ago
  • What's wrong with that?

      9 months ago
    • There's nothing wrong with the ban itself. The trouble is how it will affect those that can't afford to get a newer car.

        9 months ago
    • bike and bus, simple

        9 months ago
  • Maybe you Europeans should have adopted out emissions standards. We dont have particulate issues here in the USA. Maybe the gasoline v8 is just better for environment than a I4 diesel :/

      9 months ago
    • Only because your government doesn't admit climate change and comes up with double standards to foreign vehicles.

        9 months ago
    • We decided a long time ago that smog was worse than carbon. We breathe clean air because of this.

        9 months ago

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