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Low emission zone in Ghent

Since January 2020, there is a low emission zone in Ghent city centre (the area within the ring road). This is also known as an LEZ. Just like Ghent’s circulation plan, the goal is to improve the air quality for those who live, work and visit in our beautiful city. Only vehicles with low emissions are allowed in this area. Through this measure the city wants to considerably reduce air pollution, which has a major impact on every inhabitant, and certainly on risk groups such as children, seniors and people with lung diseases.

Focus on diesel cars

Cars under a certain European standard (expressed by ‘EURO’ followed by a number) are no longer allowed to freely enter the low emission zone. The European standard can be found on your vehicle registration certificate. The focus is mainly on old diesel cars because of their high level of emissions.

  • Diesel cars with a European standard of 3 or lower only have access to the low emission zone for a maximum of 8 days a year, by purchasing a ‘day pass’
  • Diesel cars with a European standard of 4 are still able to enter the area but subject to payment, and this is only a transitional measure until 2025.
  • Diesel cars with a European standard of 5 or more can continue to access the low emission zone without any change.

The regulations for petrol cars are less strict, because they have less fine emissions. They can still freely enter the low emission zone if they have a European standard of 2 or higher.


low emission zone in Ghent

Exemptions within the low emission zone in Ghent

A number of exemptions are in place for specific target groups, such as holders of a parking card for disabled people, or vintage cars older than 40 years. You can find out which vehicles are exempt here, and which vehicles are entitled to a temporary permit here.

Grants & refunds

Stad Gent also provides a number of subsidies and grants to help car owners leave their diesel cars behind: 

  • Residents of the low emission zone can receive a grant to pay for the scrapping of their old car (if it’s not allowed in the low emission zone.)
  • Every Ghent resident receives a bonus from Stad Gent when handing in their number plate, so that they can spend this on getting around Ghent in a more sustainable way.
  • Every Gentenaar is entitled to a refund of the car-sharing registration fee if they join a car-sharing organisation.
  • Finally, anyone living in Ghent can also claim a grant towards the purchase of an electric or CNG shared car.

For full information on the benefits Ghent locals are entitled to, see here.

What about foreign number plates in the low emission zone in Ghent?

If you or perhaps your visiting family and friends want to enter Ghent’s low emission zone with a foreign number plate, you’ll need to check if it’s allowed in advance here. And beware: even if your vehicle fulfils the conditions, you will still have to register the vehicle in advance. You can do this via and you will only have to do this once. The registration is free of charge and valid in all Flemish cities with a low emission zone until 31 December 2024. 

Need more info on the low emission zone in Ghent?

Would you like to know for yourself whether your car is still able to enter Ghent’s low emission zone? You should find all the answers here. But if you have any other questions you can also email or call the LEZ-line on 09 210 10 30. 

Author: Heather Sills

Guest author
Guest authors are expats and Gentenaars who enjoy spreading the word about Gent to the world. If you'd like to join us, contact us at

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