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Driving in Holland & Germany

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Hi All,

Does anyone have recent experience of driving / staying in Rotterdam and Cologne ?

From what I understand they now (2019) have strict emission laws and our older cars might be banned from both these cities. You’d think there would be lots of details about this online (there probably is) but most of what I’ve found is not in English.

As part of our next road trip through Europe, we are arriving at Hook of Holland and planned to stay some nights in Rotterdam and then Cologne. We are leaving in a couple of weeks time but are only just booking the final hotels now.

I did read somewhere ‘historic vehicles’ were excluded from the new scheme but I couldn’t find out what they classed as ‘historic’ ? 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

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There has been plenty of advise on this forum.

I have recently driven through Rotterdam and Northern Germany with no issues. However, the general principle is that across the EU, all historic vehicles from all EU states are exempt from low emission zones throughout the EU. When it gets into the details it can get harder but the overall advise is that any car over 30 years old is exempt so do not try to buy a sticker or permit etc. Take some evidence that your car is more than 30 years old and bluff your way through if in the very unlikely event you get challenged. The police in the UK do not understand such exemptions so I doubt any policeman in the rest of Europe does either. If you are in Germany just keep saying the phrase "Oldtimer" which is the phrase for a historic vehicle.

You still have to pay any congestion or road/bridge tolls.

Mick

 

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Rotterdam has environmental zones, but cars dating before 1-7-1992 are allowed there. So your TR(?) can drive in Rotterdam. I would not park my car there overnight, unless guarded, but maybe that’s just me. Applies for any city for this country boy:)

Note: Every city in Holland makes their own rules.

Be careful in German cities, they have automated detection systems, and a sticker is required. For Koln, cars older than 30 years are allowed in without a sticker.

Disclaimer:

Info comes from internet, check yourselves if you want to be sure.

Regards,

Waldi

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Hi Mick,

indeed this is an EU agreement - as long as GB is in the EU....

I've been told with a hard Brexit all EU contracts with GB are gone.

It could even be possible driving licenses and car insurances will not be valid in both directions across the canal.

As I want to visit the Euro Meeting next year I give this sometimes a thought.

Until this I would be relaxed as an english visitor at Germany with his "Oldtimer".

Ciao, Marco

 

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My car is a USA import and the registration document therefore dates from date of import although somewhere it does state it is historic. To avoid any misunderstandings I got it FIVA registered so no arguments. Just wish I hadn't fixed the FIVA sticker to the windscreen though in case it ever gets broken. Would have been better to fix onto some perspex and fitted it into a licence holder fixed to the screen.

However any policeman or official should be able to distinguish between an old TR and a modern Eurobox. In the past I have found that the police in France are more interested in looking the car and engine bay over and discussing horsepower and how much petrol it uses than booking you (always assuming you are not drunk or been driving dangerously beforehand - which I hadn't before you ask!).

Friends I know who live in Germany and France don't have stickers for their cars.

The exemptions for classic cars are not very well publicised.

Keith

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Thank you guys for the very informative replies.

i will also do some forum searching for any further info in previous threads on this subject.

Andy 

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Hello Andy,

 

within Germany the so called "historic" cars are excempt from any ban in environmental zones. There may be automated detection systems, but for a german car, the necessary Thing is the "H" as last character on the number plate (e.g. GG-TR 358 H is a car from the County "Gross Gerau" = GG and the idndividual letter/ number combination TR358 with the Addition of "H" for a historic vehicle).

A german car without this may be fined, if entering an environmental zone even if it is older than 30 years. Reason: Not every car older than 30 years may get the "H"  - it has to be "original" or close to original.

How foreign cars are handled may be different, but as far as I know any UK car older than a certain age is seen as "historic"  - so this would apply here as well: So an UK- historic car is treated similar to a german historic car.

 

Regards, Johannes

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If you are not driving on the autobahn, beware of the speed cameras on the entry to a lot of the small towns. They are forward facing and there are no warnings. 

Rgds Ian

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…. but speeding is much cheaper in Germany than it is in the Netherlands or France. 

Sometimes there are warning signs "Radarkontrolle" (controlled by radar) but there is not neccessarily a speed camera. Some towns to own a camera with more than one housings to install them - so you never know, which of them is "loaded"

Regards, Johannes

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In Holland there is no warning ahead of a camera. And as Johannes says: fines are expensive and start already if drive just a couple of km/hr above the limit.

 You are warned now.

Waldi

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