Roundabout Portugal

Old cars illegal to drive in Lisbon downtown

Lisbon bans cars produced before year 2000 in the historic city centre of the Portuguese capital

In recent years, Lisbon municipality has gotten increasingly tough on pollution.

It has had the desired effect. Lisbon downtown is a much cleaner place to be than just 5 years ago. In the height of summer, however, you can still feel the smog on particular days when no wind is blowing.

Lisbon tightening the noose on old bangers
In order to make Lisbon in Portugal an even nicer spot for inhabitants and tourists alike, the council has introduced its third limit and yet toughest restrictions on vehicles driving in Lisbon historic city centre.

At first, all cars from before 1991 (those with no mandatory catalytic converters) were banned from the inner streets of Lisbon. A couple of years ago, the age requirement was changed to no older than 1996 year of production.

As from January 15th, 2015, new restrictions are in place prohibiting all cars produced prior to year 2000 to enter certain parts of old Lisbon. Taxi drivers will have a few months extra to comply, but then that is it.

You can still get permission to drive your historic vehicle, and since Lisbon emergency services has a few older vehicles, those vehicles are exempt too. Anyone with a LPG vehicle or motorcycle can still drive into Lisbon as they please.

The ban on cars older than production year 2000 is in force from 7 am in the morning to 21 pm in the evening and covers the famous Avenida da Liberdade street and main entry into Lisbon and the old downtown ‘Baixa’ area.

At the same time, Lisbon introduces a limit of 1996 year of production for cars in a larger area of Lisbon covering for instance Avenida de Ceuta, Eixo Norte-Sul, Marechal António Spínola, Santo Condestável and Infante D. Henrique avenues.

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