Munich introduces diesel driving ban in city centre

A diesel driving ban comes into effect in Munich’s city centre on February 1st. Here’s how it works.

A car drives past the price board at a gas station in Munich on September 1st after the end of the fuel tax discount.
A car drives past the price board at a gas station in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Lennart Preiss

As part of a drive to clean up the Bavarian capital’s air quality, Munich is banning diesel vehicles from its downtown.

All vehicles with emissions standards of Diesel Euro 5/V or worse will eventually be affected. The ban is, however, being phased in over three stages – so some vehicles will fall under the ban later than others.

Vehicles with emissions standards of Euro 4/IV or worse will fall under the ban immediately.

Stage two of the ban starts on October 1st of this year and will affect all vehicles with Euro 5/V or worse, except if the driver has obtained a legal exception.

Starting on April 1st, 2024, most ban exceptions given out until then will expire – and the ban will cover all diesel vehicles with Euro 5/V or worse.

Where in Munich is affected?

Everywhere inside Munich’s main ring road, the B2R, falls under the ban. This includes Munich’s entire city centre. Diesel vehicles can still operate outside this zone.

Who gets an exception?

Craftsmen, delivery services, emergency vehicles, people with disabilities, residents of the neighbourhood, and nursing homes can all apply for exceptions to the ban. However, exceptions for both residents and delivery services will expire on April 1st, 2024.

A special permit proving an exception costs about €50 a year.

What’s the penalty?

Breaking the ban likely comes with a combined fine of around €128, including administration costs and the actual ticket.

Where can I find my car’s classification?

You can find your vehicle’s emission classification in Part I of your registration certificate, under point 14.1.

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A new German subsidy scheme to help industrial producers decarbonize their processes may bring broader benefits for the German economy, such as keeping key-players in Germany and adding jobs.

Can a green energy transition plan help revitalise the German economy?

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Decarbonizing these sectors is especially difficult because production of these materials has been powered by fossil fuels, and switching to renewable power requires the development of new and expensive production methods.

According to a summary by Clean Energy Wire, projects supported under the scheme could include the construction of melting tanks for electricity powered glass production or hydrogen-powered direct reduction plants for steel production.

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