A recent study estimates that more than 220,000 older vehicles would not be allowed access to ZBE zones in Malaga city centre
The implementation of Low Emission Zones (ZBE) in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, a European initiative that came into force on January 1 but which still has a certain period of time to be implemented effectively, worries the automotive sector.
This is due to the possible negative economic impact that it can generate in the field of workshops and after-sales services.
The LEZs will restrict road traffic to older vehicles in their areas based on their degree of contamination, and the fear in the automotive field is that this regulation will encourage the owners of these older cars to choose to ‘retire’ them, thus eliminating fleets of vehicles whose repairs represent a significant part of the income of many small workshops.
Solera, a technology company specializing in the automotive industry, conducted a study whose findings will be presented at an upcoming automotive event hosted by the Faconauto employer association in Malaga.
The study reveals that 8 million vehicles in Spain will be unable to obtain a certifying label required to enter Low Emission Zones (LEZs) due to their characteristics. More than half of these vehicles, which total 4.1 million, are located in over 150 Spanish municipalities that are mandated to implement vehicle access controls to LEZs in the near future.
In Malaga, there are approximately 323,000 vehicles without stickers, with 220,000 of them situated in one of the eight municipalities that will have a ZBE based on their population (Málaga capital, Marbella, Mijas, Vélez-Málaga, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, and Estepona). The total number of vehicles in the province of Malaga exceeds one million.
According to the report titled ‘Sustainable After-Sales’, the 220,000 vehicles situated in the eight locations mentioned earlier, and ineligible for accessing the LEZs, contribute approximately 52 million euros in annual revenue for workshops in Malaga. The report cautions that even if half of these vehicles were to end up in scrapyards, the loss to these businesses would be substantial, totalling approximately 26 million euros, which represents about 5.4% of their annual income.
The damage would be comparable in Spain, where the annual turnover would decrease by approximately 568 million euros, equivalent to 4% of the total annual revenue. Solera also points out the potential risk posed to workshops, particularly those that service older vehicles.
“In Spain, most workshops are small businesses that have thrived on the ageing vehicle fleet. However, the ZBE, essentially a ‘Renewal Plan’, will impact them directly, as the vehicles they currently service have only three possible outcomes, none of which favour them: relocation to a different area, ending up in a scrapyard, or being parked indefinitely without being roadworthy.
Therefore, the question is whether the ZBE will also function as a Renewal Plan for workshops?” asked José Luis Gata, head of Development at Solera.
Green Zones app
For anyone not familiar with the low-emission zones of a city in Malaga, there is an app called
Green Zones. It is a free app with European coverage, marking restricted areas and is available for iOS and Android.