Healthier air in Rotterdam

In some areas of Rotterdam the air quality is inadequate. In order to change that, Rotterdam is keeping old, polluting vehicles out of the city and encouraging the use of cleaner alternatives, such as biking, public transportation and electric cars. One of the measures being taken is the so-called ‘milieuzone’, or environmental zone. There are no older, high-emission vehicles allowed in this zone. The environmental zone applies to everyone: residents, entrepreneurs and visitors. Driving or parking in the environmental zone with a vehicle that is not allowed? You risk a fine of EUR 90.

Where is the environmental zone?

Click here to view a map of the environmental zone.

Which vehicles are prohibited in the environmental zone?

The following vehicles are not allowed in the environmental zone:
  • Trucks with a diesel engine that fall under stages Euro-I, Euro-II and Euro-III of the EU emission standards.
  • Delivery vans and passenger cars with a diesel engine with a Date First Registration before 1 January 2001.
  • Delivery vans and passenger cars running on petrol/LPG with a Date First Registration before 1 July 1992.
Date First Registration (‘Datum Eerste Toelating’ or DET) is the date on which a vehicle was first assigned a licence plate. The Date First Registration can be found in your registration certificate (‘kentekenbewijs’). You can also find out with the licence plate check (‘kentekencheck’) on this website to see if your vehicle is allowed into the environmental zone.

In some cases, old vehicles can enter the environmental zone

The exception applies to old timers that are 40 years or older, and to petrol-engine vehicles that have been registered at the RDW (the Dutch National Vehicle and Driving Licence Registration Authority) with an E2, K6 (with regulated catalytic converter) or U9 designation. On the rdw.nl website, you can find out if your vehicle has been registered with any of these designations. Is your vehicle not registered in this way with the RDW? Then you must be able to show that your vehicle has the E2, K6 (with regulated catalytic converter) or U9 designation. Sometimes this is included in your registration certification. If so, then you are allowed to enter the environmental zone with your vehicle. Is the designation not stated in your registration certification, but you do have sufficient evidence showing that your vehicle is cleaner than expected? You can request a long-term exemption. The municipality will assess your application to determine whether or not you qualify.

Applying for exemption

Is your vehicle prohibited in the environmental zone, but do you still want to drive or park there? Here is how to request an exemption:

  • One-day exemption: you can request a one-day exemption 12 times per year. You do not need to meet any additional requirements. A one-day exemption costs EUR 24.90 each time and is valid during 24 hours. You can submit your request digitally on rotterdam.nl. Payment for the one-day exemption is done here via iDEAL or credit card and you will receive it within a few minutes by e-mail.
  • Long-term exemption: a long-term exemption can be requested in the following cases:
    • For a vehicle adapted for medical reasons. You are eligible under these conditions:
      • you possess a European disability parking card; and
      • your vehicle was modified for a minimum of EUR 500; and
      • you have a permanent residence, office or study address in Rotterdam.
    • For a business old timer. This is a vehicle between 25 and 40 years old that is the business. For example an old wedding car or a food truck, which are used to generate an income.
    • For entrepreneurs that live and/or work in Rotterdam and are at risk of bankruptcy due to the environmental zone.
    • For vehicles that are cleaner than expected, based on their Date First Registration or registration certification (‘Right to Challenge’).
    • On the ground of the so-called ‘hardship clause’. If you can prove that your circumstances are unique and that you are disproportionately affected by the requirements of the environmental zone.
    • If you have to be in the environmental zone for more than 7 times a year for medical treatments (hospital visits for example).
    • For events. This exemption can be used for vehicles with a permit used for filming and events, for example the 'Koningskermis' and 'De Parade'.
    • For camper vans. For camper van owners living in the environmental zone. This exemption is valid during 72 hours so you are able to pack or unpack your camper van in the environmental zone if necessary.

In order to qualify for the long-term exemption, your vehicle must have been registered under your name and in your possession before 1 June 2015. You pay EUR 178.20 for each application. Note: your payment will cover the investigation and the application procedure and not the exemption itself. Your payment will therefore not be refunded if your application for exemption is declined.

Take advantage of the scrapping subsidy

A scrapping subsidy (‘Sloopregeling’) has been introduced for vehicles that are too old for Rotterdam. The city of Rotterdam encourages its citizens to scrap their old vehicles by means of a subsidy. Anyone registered in Rotterdam is eligible for the scrapping subsidy. The scrapping scheme runs until 30 June 2017, or until the subsidy has been fully granted.

What’s in it for you?

The city of Rotterdam will issue a minimum of EUR 1,000 and a maximum of EUR 2,500 in scrapping subsidy for your old vehicle. Are you planning to purchase a 100% electric car or a car that runs on green gas (CNG installation)? Then you can get an additional subsidy. Click here to see how much money you can get back.

When do you qualify for the scrapping subsidy?

Do you want to take advantage of the scrapping subsidy? Your vehicle is eligible for a subsidy under the following conditions:
  • your vehicle is not allowed in the environmental zone from 1 January 2016 onwards;
  • you came to live in Rotterdam and registered with the Rotterdam Municipality before 1 June 2015. Also as a company or ‘zzp-er’ (sole trader or self-employed without employees) registered with the Chamber of Commerce before 1 June 2015;
  • the vehicle was registered in your name before 1 June 2015 and is currently still in your name;
  • the vehicle was registered before 1 June 2015 with the RDW as passenger vehicle (M1) or delivery vehicle (N1);
  • your vehicle has had a general periodic inspection (‘Algemene Periodieke Keuring’ or APK) that is valid up to at least one month after the subsidy application;
  • your vehicle has a valid registration certification and has not been revoked by the police.
Note: only the owner of the vehicle can apply for a subsidy.


Would you like to receive a subsidy for the purchase of a newer, cleaner vehicle? Then please send an e-mail message to gezonderelucht@rotterdam.nl to ask about the requirements.

Choose for cleaner transportation

Are you not willing or able to make use of the scrapping subsidy? Or do you hardly use your vehicle and prefer to keep it? You can also choose to leave your car outside of the environmental zone and travel within the zone by public transportation or bicycle. Or you can park your car at a P+R (park and ride) at the edge of the city and continue on by public transportation. Rotterdam has more than 15 P+R lots. Furthermore, there are 17 P+R lots in the neighbouring municipalities, such as Schiedam and Capelle aan den IJssel. Additionally, you can apply for a one-day exemption up to 12 times per year for those times that you cannot avoid entering the environmental zone with your vehicle.

Public transportation in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is easily accessible by train. From Central Station or Rotterdam Blaak, you are just a short walk away from the city centre. Also, public transportation in Rotterdam is well organised: trams, buses and the metro are well coordinated. You can also choose to travel by water as a fun way to discover Rotterdam, for example with the water taxi or the water bus. You can make use of all of the modes of public transportation with a so-called ov-chip card.

engelsthumb.jpg