ZE zones: Exemptions, dispensation and subsidies

From 2025, 29 municipalities will set up zero-emission zones: vans and trucks will only be allowed to enter these areas if they are emission-free. Certain (private individuals and) passenger cars will also be subject to restrictions in the ZE zones and other vehicles will be eligible for exemptions and exemptions from the new restrictions. In this article, you can read whether you are eligible for an exemption or exemption. And if you do need (or want) to switch to electric: we conclude with an overview of subsidy schemes to which you may be entitled.

ZE zones

Conditions for exemption (vrijstelling)

If your vehicle meets certain conditions, it is exempt from restrictions in the ZE zones. You will receive this exemption automatically, you do not have to arrange anything (unlike with an exemption) and you can also enter the ZE zone after 2025.

Conditions for exemption for passenger cars and vans

The vehicle is:- 40 years of age or older;- wheelchair accessible;- a motorhome with body code SA: if you live in an environmental zone, you have an exemption for (only) this environmental zone. Please note: your municipality will check whether the owner of the motorhome actually lives in the area in question.

Conditions for exemption for trucks

The truck:- is 40 years or older;- falls under the category 'special vehicle' (body code 15, 16, 19, 23, 26, 27, 31, SB or SF) and is younger than 13 years.

Do you want to check whether your (van) car or truck meets the requirements for exemption? Do the Environmental Zone Check on milieuzones.nl. (In Dutch)

Conditions for dispensation (ontheffing) from ZE zones

In contrast to an exemption, you have to apply for a dispensation for restrictions in the environmental zones themselves. Do you already have a dispensation? Current dispensations remain valid until the vehicle is 13 years old.

Dispensation for passenger cars or vans

You are eligible for a dispensation if you have a passenger car or delivery van that you have converted to make wheelchair accessible. You must be able to prove that at least € 500.00 has been encrypted on the car for the transport of a wheelchair.

Dispensation truck

Are you in possession of a fairground or circus vehicle, a company car with a heavy loading crane, a moving van or a tractor with 4 or more axles and is it younger than 13 years old? Even then you may be eligible for dispensation. You only have to arrange this dispensation yourself if the vehicle is a moving van or company car with a heavy loading crane. You then submit an application to the RVO. This can be done here via milieuzones.nl. On this page you can also do the license plate check to see if a vehicle has a dispensation (in Dutch).

Switching to Electric: Subsidies

In many cases, especially as an entrepreneur who has company cars driving in ZE zones, you will sooner or later be forced to switch to electric. The government has created various schemes to make this (more) fiscally attractive. If you want to purchase a more environmentally friendly vehicle (or fleet), these are the most important schemes that can give you tax benefits:

Passenger cars: Tax, addition and subsidy

Until 2025, if you drive an emission-free car, you will be exempt from Passenger Car and Motor Vehicle Tax (BPM) and you will not have to pay Motor Vehicle Tax. If you drive this company car, you will receive a discount on the addition.

In addition, private individuals who purchase an electric car can make use of the Electric Passenger Cars Subsidy Scheme (SEPP). In 2024, you can get up to 2,550 subsidy on your purchase with this scheme. You can also claim the SEPP when leasing an electric car.

Delivery vans: SEBA, MIA and VAMIL

For entrepreneurs who purchase an electric delivery van, the Subsidy Scheme for Emission-free Commercial Vehicles (SEBA) has been created until 2026. This subsidy can amount to 12% of the purchase price of the van (up to a maximum of € 5,000).

The MIA and VAMIL schemes make it possible to have a tax advantage with your purchase, due to the increased deductibility (MIA: up to 45% deduction) and depreciation (VAMIL: this allows you to determine the moment when you depreciate up to 75% of the purchase). Because tax arrangements around business investments can be complex and entail various conditions and administrative burdens, we recommend that you read up on RVO.nl.

Other commercial vehicles: SSEB, MIA, AanZET

If you, as an entrepreneur, want to purchase a truck with zero emissions, you can make use of the Zero Emission Trucks Purchase Subsidy. This can amount to more than a hundred thousand euros and can be requested from the RVO (in Dutch).

Please note: the budget for this scheme is oversubscribed at the time of writing (October 2023). You can still submit an application, but there is a chance that you will not be selected by lottery, even if you meet the conditions.

For emission-free construction vehicles, there is the Clean and Emission-Free Construction Site Subsidy (SSEB). This subsidy meets the needs of making the construction sector more sustainable and can be applied for both for new tools and for the conversion of existing tools.

Please note: the application period for SSEB has been shortened from December 31 to October 31, 2023!

Just like for business vans, the MIA regulation also applies to construction equipment. You can check here whether the investment is eligible.


Suggested Reading

For more information for entrepreneurs about ZE zones and city logistics in English, check the website business.gov.nl. On this webpage you can check which cities will get a ZE-zone. Would you like personal advice and support with the (tax) changes you are facing? Or do you need support with navigating the Dutch websites? Lexlupa is happy to help you! Feel free to contact us!