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Rules for cars

Rules for cars

As of 1st October 2023, diesel-powered cars must have a particulate filter or at least Euro standard 5 in order to be able to drive legally in the low emission zones. 

Non-Danish vehicles

Owners of non-Danish vehicles that were first registered before the applicable current requirements must register the vehicle with documentation for a retrofitted diesel particulate filter or Euro standard in order to drive legally in the low emission zones.

You must register your vehicle no later than on the same day that you drive into the low emission zone.

If you fail to register your non-Danish vehicle and submit relevant documentation, you may risk an administrative fine of DKK 1,000.


Cleaner air in cities

The new environmental requirements for diesel-powered cars are to help ensure cleaner air in the major cities.

As of 1st October 2023, it will no longer be legal for diesel-powered cars without a particulate filter to drive in the low emission zones in Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Aarhus, Aalborg, and Odense. Map of the low emission zones

The municipalities have decided to tighten the requirements after a legislative amendment in the Danish Parliament on 22nd March 2022 made it possible for the municipalities to include diesel-powered cars in the low emission zone regulations.

Does your vehicle meet the rules?

See here whether your vehicle complies with the low emission zone rules and can drive legally in the low emission zones now and after 1st October 2023

The particulate filter requirement is considered to be met for cars that are at least Euro V standard. You can check the Euro standard of your car in the Danish Vehicle Register

The rules apply to both Danish and foreign cars.


The fine for cars driving illegally in the Danish low emission zones is DKK 1,500.

Retrofitting a particulate filter in Danish passenger cars

You must contact a workshop if you want to retrofit a diesel particulate filter to your passenger car. Once the filter is fitted, it must be registered by an inspection centre. At the inspection centre, the filter is tested, and the inspection centre also ensures that the filter is registered with the Danish Vehicle Register (DMR).

There are no requirements for the type of particulate filter that must be fitted to a vehicle in order for it to meet the low emission zone requirements. However, the vehicle must be approved by way of an inspection of the particulate filter, and this must be updated in the vehicle register.

Passenger cars may be retrofitted with either an open or closed particle filter. Please note that not all particulate filters are approved for all car models, which is why some passenger cars may need to be retrofitted with a more expensive closed particulate filter if they want to drive in the low emission zones.

Open particle filters are cheaper than closed filters, but they do not filter as well. If approved for your vehicle, open particulate filters can usually be ordered and installed by a mechanic, while closed particulate filters must be ordered from specialist particulate filter fitters and can be installed on the vast majority of vehicles.

If your car gets a particulate filter, you will be able to save DKK 1,000 in taxes per year.

You can apply for a subsidy for a retrofitted particulate filter if your taxable income is less than DKK 300,000 annually. Find out more about subsidies

The detailed rules for retrofitting particulate filters for passenger cars are laid down in:

Incorrect registration

If your car has a factory-fitted or retrofitted particulate filter that is not properly registered, you can have it registered by taking it for an inspection. You can read more on the Danish Road Traffic Authority’s website.

If your car cannot get a particulate filter

If your car cannot get a particulate filter retrofitted, in special cases you can register an exemption or apply for a dispensation.


The rules in the low emission zones do not apply to:

  • Vehicles registered in Denmark as vintage. This must be stated in the Danish Vehicle Register (DMR).

  • Vehicles registered abroad, which are more than 30 years old.

  • Vehicles used by the military, police, emergency services or similar emergency services, if these vehicles don’t normally drive in a low-emission zone and there is an extraordinary need to use the vehicle in a low-emission zone, or the vehicle is used for training activities.

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