Frequently asked questions about the Ghent low-emission zone
Frequently asked questions about the Ghent low-emission zone
Do you often have to drive in the LEZ for your work? Or are you an entrepreneur or a company? Take a look at these specific questions.
The Ghent low-emission zone is limited to the area within the city's ring road (R40). Use the zoomable map to check whether your destination is located inside the low-emission zone.
The following roads fall outside the scope of the low-emission zone:
- R40 ring road
- N430, Nieuwewandeling - Blaisantvest axis
- B401, E17 slip roads - N422
- Gent-Zuid car park (P3) approach and entry roads (Gent-Zuid car park is accessible without entering the LEZ)
- AZ Sint-Lucas car park approach road (AZ Sint-Lucas car park is accessible without entering the LEZ)
To be allowed to enter the LEZ, a vehicle has to meet a number of requirements. Your vehicle's Euro standard and fuel type determine whether your vehicle is allowed to enter.
Check your vehicle by means of the online tool.
- If you drive a diesel-powered vehicle that at least meets the Euro 5 standard, you can freely enter and leave the low-emission zone.
- If you drive a petrol, CNG, LPG or LNG-powered vehicle that at least meets the Euro 2 standard, you can freely enter and leave the low-emission zone.
- If you drive a Euro 4 standard diesel-powered vehicle, you need to buy a permit in order to be granted access to the low-emission zone.
- If you drive a Euro 3, 2, 1 or 0 standard diesel-powered vehicle, you are not allowed to enter the low-emission zone.
- If you drive a Euro 1 or 0 standard petrol, CNG, LPG or LNP-powered vehicle, you are not allowed to enter the low-emission zone.
Have a look at the table with the different Euro standards to check whether you are allowed to enter with your vehicle.
Please note: the entry requirements will become more stringent as of 2025.
No, there isn't. Such a sticker does not exist.
Please note: some commercial companies offer a paid service to prepare your vehicle for the Ghent low-emission zone and present a sticker to their customers. The City of Ghent has nothing to do with this service. You can register your vehicle or buy a permit with the online tool.
You do not have to present any physical document to be granted access to the Ghent low-emission zone. The enforcement process relies on number plate recognition and is fully automated. A company that sells so-called environmental stickers that show that your car meets the entry requirements does so at its own initiative. These stickers do not have any legal value.
The Flemish entry requirements determine when you can enter a low-emission zone with your car. Old vehicles emit rather high levels of pollutants, which is why they do not qualify as vehicles allowed to enter the low-emission zone. The Flemish regulations nevertheless allow local authorities to issue paid permits to vehicles that are over 40 years old.
The City of Ghent makes use of this possibility to grant vehicles that are over 40 years old access to the low-emission zone. It is not required to have been issued a special number plate denoting the vehicle as a historical vehicle; only the vehicle's age is taken into account.
Old cars that are between 25 and 40 years old are not covered by this exception. You can buy a LEZ day pass if you want to enter the zone with such cars. You can do this up to eight times a year.
Not all vehicles qualify for a paid permit:
- Diesel-powered vehicles that at least meet the Euro 5 standard are granted free access; diesel-powered vehicles that fail to meet the Euro 4 standard are not allowed to access the LEZ.
- Petrol, CNG, LPG and CNG-powered vehicles that at least meet the Euro 2 standard are granted free access; petrol, CNG, LPG and CNG-powered vehicles that fail to meet the Euro 2 standard are not allowed to access the LEZ.
- Only Euro 4 standard diesel-powered vehicles and some specific vehicles can buy a permit.
On the website you can find an overview of the prices of a permit. The price you pay depends on three criteria: the vehicle category, the validity of the permit, the price level. You can check your vehicle using the online tool.
You qualify for a scrapping premium if you live in the low-emission zone and your vehicle is not allowed to enter the low-emission zone (= diesel-powered vehicle that fails to meet the Euro 4 standard or petrol, CNG, LNG or LPG-powered vehicle that fails to meet the Euro 2 standard). This premium amounts to € 1000 for an old diesel-powered car and to € 750 for an old petrol-powered car.
The Euro standard is a European environmental standard for vehicles and is indicated with a number. A higher Euro standard means that a vehicle is less polluting to the environment. Your vehicle's Euro standard and fuel type determine whether your vehicle is allowed to enter the LEZ. The Euro standard for trucks and buses is indicated with a Roman numeral.
Some important dates with regard to the Euro standard:
- The Euro 6 standard for passenger cars came into effect in late 2015.
- New trucks also have to meet the Euro 6 standard.
- Passenger cars manufactured between 2011 and 2015 meet the Euro 5 standard.
- The Euro 4 standard was introduced in 2006.
- The Euro 3 standard took effect in 2001.
The applicable Euro standard is mentioned on your vehicle's registration document or on its ‘Certificate of Conformity’ under section V9 'environmental class'. If the applicable Euro standard is not mentioned on your registration document, the date of first registration can be used to determine whether your vehicle is allowed to enter the LEZ.
If you enter the LEZ by accident, it is best to immediately check what you can do in your situation.
Do you have a Belgian number plate?
If this is the case, please use the online tool to determine whether you can enter the zone with your car. Don't have Internet access at the moment? Then you should know that you are not allowed to enter the LEZ just like that with a diesel-powered vehicle that fails to meet the Euro 5 standard or with a petrol-powered vehicle that fails to meet the Euro 2 standard. You can find the applicable Euro standard on your registration certificate under box J. If no Euro standard is mentioned under this box, you can use the date of first registration to determine the applicable standard.
- If you are allowed to enter the LEZ with your car, you do not have to do anything.
- If you are not allowed to enter the LEZ and have entered the LEZ anyway, you can buy a temporary permit or a LEZ day pass unil 11.59pm on the date of entry.
- In some cases you can register your car free of charge (e.g. if you have a disability and meet certain conditions). You have until the day after your entry into the zone to make the necessary arrangements.
Do you have a foreigh number plate?
Check your car using the online tool. Don't have Internet access at the moment? Then you should know that you are not allowed to enter the LEZ just like that with a diesel-powered vehicle that fails to meet the Euro 5 standard or with a petrol-powered vehicle that fails to meet the Euro 2 standard.
- You can enter the LEZ with your car with a foreign number plate
Do you have a diesel-powered car that at least meets the Euro 5 standard, a petrol, CNG, LNG or LPG-powered car that at least meets the Euro 2 standard or an electrical car? Then register your car free of charge so as to avoid a fine. You can do this with the online tool until one day after entering the LEZ. Even if this time period has already expired, we still advise you to register your vehicle as soon as possible. The registration remains valid in all Flemish low-emission zones until 31 December 2024.
- You are not allowed to enter the LEZ with your car with a foreign number plate
Do you have a diesel-powered vehicle that does not meet the Euro 5 standard or a petrol, CNG, LNG or LPG-powered car that does not meet the Euro 2 standard? If you have entered the LEZ anyway, you can buy a temporary permit or a LEZ day pass unil 11.59pm on the day of entry.
The entry requirements for the low-emission zone (LEZ) also apply to vehicles with a foreign number plate.
First check your vehicle by means of the online check tool:
- Do you drive a vehicle with a foreign number plate that meets the entry requirements? Then you need to register this vehicle. You have to do this only once. The registration is free of charge and valid in all Flemish cities with a low-emission zone from 1 January 2020 until 31 December 2024.
- Do you drive a vehicle with a foreign number plate that does not meet the entry requirements? Then you can buy a permit if it concerns a Euro 4 standard diesel-powered vehicle. If you cannot buy a permit, you can buy a LEZ day pass up to 8 times a year.
Of course you can. All destinations in the centre of Ghent not located within the pedestrian zone can be reached by car. However, you have to take into account a number of guidelines:
The City of Ghent has introduced a mobility and circulation plan with a large pedestrian zone, which means that cars can no longer cross the centre of the city. Check out the online map of the circulation plan or use one of the following route planners to map out your itinerary. All underground car parks can be reached. Less through traffic results in more space and better accessibility!
In addition, the area within the ring road (R40) becomes a low-emissionzone on 1 January 2020. This means that the most polluting vehicles will be barred from entering the city. So always check your car before entering the low-emission zone. This will ensure that the city of Ghent is a more pleasant and healthier place to visit, live, study, work and play.
The entry requirements for the LEZ will take effect on 1 January 2020. They will apply 24/7 to all diesel, petrol, LPG, CNG or LNG-powered vehicles that fall into categories M, N or T. Your vehicle's category is mentioned on your registration document in section J.
Passenger transport with passenger vehicles, motor caravans, buses and coaches (CATEGORY M)
- M1 (passenger car / motor caravan): vehicles for up to 8 passengers + driver
- M2 (minibus): vehicles for more than 8 passengers + driver with a mass < 5 tonnes
- M3 (bus/coach): vehicles for more than 8 passengers + driver and with a mass > 5 tonnes
Freight transport with vans and trucks (CATEGORY N)
- N1 (van): vehicles with a mass < 3.5 tonnes (weight classes I, II and III)
- N2 (light truck): vehicles with a mass > 3.5 tonnes and < 12 tonnes
- N3 (heavy truck): vehicles with a mass > 12 tonnes
Wheeled agricultural or forestry tractors (CATEGORY T)
Follow the steps below to find out if you are allowed to enter the LEZ.
Step 1: Check your car using the online check tool.
- Is your car allowed? Then you don't have to do anything. You can enter and leave the low-emission zone freely.
- Is your car not allowed? Then check whether your situation or your vehicle is eligible to register for free.
Step 2: When can you register your vehicle once for free?
If your situation or your vehicle meets one of the conditions below:
- the owner of the vehicle (or a person officially registered at the same address) is entitled to an increased reimbursement of healthcare expenditure and has a parking card for people with disabilities
- the vehicle has been adjusted for transporting people with disabilities and the owner of the vehicle (or a person officially registered at the same address) has a parking card for people with disabilities
- the vehicle is fitted with a wheelchair lift
- the vehicle has been adjusted for transporting people with disabilities and the vehicle is used for 'special transport services for people with disabilities' within the scope of the Flemish Parliament Act of 21 December 2012.
If your vehicle or your situation meets the requirements, you need to register the vehicle. You have to do this only once. The registration is free of charge and valid in all Flemish cities with a low-emission zone until 31 December 2024. You can apply for an extension for the next time period as of the end of 2024.
There can be several reasons why your vehicle is not allowed to enter the LEZ. Depending on your situation, you can be granted access under certain conditions:
- Some vehicles can be registered free of charge (= vehicles with a foreign number that are allowed to enter and vehicles that are not allowed to enter but are intended for people with disabilities provided that these vehicles meet certain requirements). Registration is required only once.
- Some vehicles qualify for a paid permit (Euro 4 standard diesel-powered vehicles or certain specific vehicles)
- If your vehicle is not allowed to enter, you can buy a LEZ day pass. You can do this a limited number of 8 times a year.
- You can park your car at a park and ride site and then complete the rest of your journey by public transport or bike.
By 2020, the most recent Euro 4 standard diesel-powered cars will be between 9 and 12 years old at that time, an age at which many people have not yet depreciated the car. In Ghent, it is not the intention to resolutely ban these cars from 2020 onwards. There will be a transitional measure, which will allow the owners of Euro 4 diesel-powered cars to still enter the low-emission zone if they buy a permit. In the meantime, drivers will be able to prepare for 2025, as the conditions will then become more stringent.
Are you considering the purchase of a new vehicle? Keep in mind the following tips, in particular if you want to buy a used car:
- Always do the online test before completing the purchase.
- Always check a vehicle's Euro standard before buying.
- A petrol-powered car emits less soot and particulate matter than a diesel-powered car.
- Take into account the more stringent entry requirements for the low-emission zone that will apply as of 2025
- Check whether you qualify for a premium or subsidy.
- If you have already registered your vehicle in Antwerp since 2017, you may have to re-register your vehicle for the period from 2020. This is because the admission requirements in Antwerp will become more stringent from 2020. On the website of the City of Antwerp you can clearly find the cases in which you have to re-register your vehicle.
- If you register your vehicle in Antwerp for the period from 2020, this registration also applies to Ghent, and vice versa. You no longer need to do anything until 31 December 2024.
Always use the online check tool to see whether your vehicle is admitted to the Low Emission Zone (LEZ).The database relies on the data of DIV (Belgian vehicle registration service). When registering an imported vehicle in Belgium, the DIV will, among others, use the international registration certificate and the certificate of conformity. You must submit the original documents to the DIV. Make sure you keep a copy of the originals.Things you should pay attention to when entering the LEZ with an imported vehicle:
- Always check whether the vehicle’s Belgian registration certificate lists a Euro emission standard
- If yes, then this is the official Euro emission standard for the LEZ;
- If no, then the date when your vehicle was first registered applies. You can then use the online check tool to check whether your vehicle may enter the LEZ.
- If you suspect that the Euro emission standard of your Belgian registration certificate does not correspond with its effective Euro emission standard, then you must contact the DIV to have this information changed. In anticipation of this, you can already request a correction in our system, by providing the required documents.
If you sell your vehicle and/or change the number plate, the vehicle needs to be re-registered with the new number plate or you need to buy a new permit. As set out in in Article 4 of the Municipal Regulations for the low-emission zone of Ghent, permits, registrations or exemptions are non-transferable.
Approved applications of 6 months or 1 year that are not yet at the halfway point will be refunded for 50% in the following cases:
- Your vehicle has been declared a total loss.
- Your vehicle’s number plate has been deleted.
- You are selling your car in the current period and buying a new vehicle that meets the general entry requirements valid as from 1 January 2020, i.e. a Euro 5 diesel car or a Euro 2 petrol car. The new vehicle must be registered through your name at the moment of the application.
As set out in article 4 of the Municipal Rules and Regulations for the Ghent Low-Emission Zone, it is not possible to transfer permits, registrations or exemptions. If you sell your vehicle and/or change the number plate, you need to re-register the vehicle with the new number plate or buy a new permit.
How to submit this application?
Email your application to email@example.com
- The application has to be submitted by the person who originally applied for the Low-Emission Zone permit or the owner of the number plate or their legal successor(s).
- Don’t forget to state the permit application number and the number plate in your email.
- Also clearly state the reason why you request a refund and attach the following documents:
- in case of total loss: certificate from the insurance company
- in case of deletion of the number plate: certificate of deletion from the Federal Public Service for Mobility and Transport
- in case of sale of the vehicle: new registration certificate
When adapting a vehicle, you must first request the agreement of the manufacturer (certificate for the replacement of an engine). Then a homologation procedure must be started through the vehicle inspection department (certificate of conformity for engine emissions). The data on the certificate of conformity will then be copied to the registration documents.
If changes are made to the engine, then both the certificate of conformity and the registration documents will be adapted to reflect this. Based on this, your vehicle may be admitted to the LEZ.
Only buses for the transport of persons with disabilities are exempted from the access criteria. School buses, De Lijn and other institutions will have to comply with the general standards.
The LEZ does not yet apply to mopeds. The use of old mopeds should nevertheless be avoided for health reasons. Especially two-stroke mopeds emit a lot of particulate matter. Vehicles entering the LEZ are checked on the basis of their number plate, and moped owners had until 10 December 2017 to buy a number plate for their vehicle. Further investigation is required to determine whether the registered data suffice to be able to prevent the oldest, most polluting mopeds from entering the LEZ.
The LEZ does not yet apply to motorcycles. This will be the case until the Flemish authorities refine the framework. Only passenger cars (category M1), buses and coaches (category M2 or M3), motor caravans (category M1, M2 or M3), vans (category N1), trucks (category N2 or N3) and agricultural or forestry vehicles (category T) are currently subject to entry requirements.
- Euro 3 standard diesel-powered vehicles afterwards equipped with a soot filter are not allowed to enter the Ghent LEZ. Such vehicles are allowed to enter the Antwerp LEZ, but only until 1 January 2020. When the LEZ takes effect in Ghent on 1 January 2020, the entry requirements in Antwerp will become more stringent, ensuring that the same requirements will apply in both cities.
- Even if you have a Euro 4 standard diesel-powered vehicle equipped with a soot filter, you are not automatically allowed to enter the LEZ.
Your situation only qualifies for reconsideration if a correction of the Euro standard is possible. A correction of the Euro standard is possible if your vehicle meets a higher Euro standard than the one included in the LEZ database.
- If you register a vehicle for the Ghent LEZ, this registration applies in all Flemish low-emission zones (so also in Antwerp but not in Brussels).
- If you buy a permit, this permit is only valid in Ghent. The permit prices can differ from city to city.
On our website you can find an overview of the prices and entry requirements.
You can check your vehicle using the online tool.
Area of the LEZ
Special traffic signs will be installed at the border of the low-emission zone so as to indicate that you are about to enter the LEZ. Check our website to see the traffic signs.
Yes, you can. Take the Ghent ring road (R40) and Blaisantvest, then enter 'Terhagen', a street which leads you straight to the AZ Sint-Lucas hospital's car park. All these roads fall outside the low-emission zone, which means you can always reach AZ Sint-Lucas hospital.
Yes, you can, but your only option is Gent-Zuid car park (P3). Take the exit Gent Centrum on the E17 motorway and then continue your journey on the B401 motorway. Keep to the right lane to turn left towards Zuidparklaan/N422. You can now enter the Gent-Zuid car park (P3).
If you want to leave the Gent-Zuid car park (P3) without entering the low-emission zone, you have to leave the car park via Franklin Rooseveltlaan and then continue your journey towards Gustaaf Callierlaan until you reach the Ghent ring road (R40). All these roads fall outside the low-emission zone.
You can also opt for one of the other underground car parks in the centre of the city, but you have to take into account the entry requirements for the low-emission zone if you do so.
Yes, you can. As long as your garage or driveway is located on the Ghent ring road (R40), you can get there with a vehicle not allowed to enter the LEZ without risking a fine.
Note: if your garage or driveway is located on a side street of the Ghent ring road (R40) and this side street is located in the low-emission zone, you may get a fine.
Yes, you can. Park and ride sites at the edge of the city offer many parking possibilities. You can then continue your journey by tram, (shared) bike or bus.
Or you arrive by train. You can take the bus or tram to the city centre from Gent Sint-Pieters and Gent Dampoort railway stations. Or you can continue on foot or by bike: the railway stations are within walking distance of the city centre.
No, there is no difference. The low-emission zone applies to anyone who wants to drive a vehicle. There are only 2 exceptions to this rule:
- If you live in the low-emission zone and have a vehicle that does not meet the entry requirements, you are entitled to a scrapping premium to have the old vehicle scrapped (€ 1,000 for an old diesel-powered vehicle, € 750 for an old petrol-powered car).
- If you live in the LEZ, and you own a Euro 4 standard diesel-powered vehicle and you are entitled to increased health care reimbursements, than you are eligible for a permit against payment at the reduced tariff.
This is not possible at the moment. A resident parking permit only gives you the right to park your car for free in the neighbourhood where you live. You cannot park your car in your neighbourhood if you are not allowed to enter the LEZ with your car, unless your car qualifies for a temporary permit.
Did you buy a second resident parking permit for a car with which you are not allowed to enter the LEZ? In that case, you should contact the municipal parking authority by calling +32 (0)9 266 28 00 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Premiums and subsidies
If you are a Ghent resident or entrepreneur, you may qualify for one of the premiums or subsidies.
The introduction of a LEZ is one of the most effective measures to improve the air quality. A LEZ especially has a favourable impact on soot concentrations. In collaboration with the Environment, Nature and Energy Department of the Flemish Government, the City of Ghent's Environment and Climate Department has made a rough estimate of the impact of a LEZ in Ghent. The introduction of a LEZ in Ghent may decrease soot concentrations by an average of 10 to 24%. To achieve a similar root concentration decrease without introducing a LEZ, traffic would have to decrease by 63%.
Ghent strives for healthier air for all. There are different causes of air pollution in this city and port. One of these causes is traffic, but the air quality is also affected by industrial plants in the canal zone and wood stove heating. The City of Ghent has therefore combined a package of measures into an air action plan. This action plan was drawn up in collaboration with the Flemish authorities, the Ghent Port Authority and the municipalities of Zelzate and Evergem. This 2016-2020 Air Action Plan is intended to tackle air pollution across all sources.
This means it is not a matter of choice. It is exactly the total package of measures, which includes the introduction of a low-emission zone, that will result in healthier air. In addition, soot and particulate matter emissions are especially harmful in the nearby living and working environment. So the focus should be on reducing the emissions in the city itself.
You can contact the LEZ team via email@example.com or by calling the number 09 210 10 30. You can also make an appointment to speak to an employee of the LEZ team.