California 6.1 Update and Photos

Hanover, 2 August 2019.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will be giving the new California 6.1 its world première at the end of August at the Caravan Salon show in Düsseldorf. Featuring a new front grill, enhanced kitchen units and beds and digitalised multi-function control panel in the overhead console.

Other new features inside the camper van include optional digital instruments and the next generation infotainment systems with integrated online connectivity.

The top part of the Ocean’s chrome-plated radiator grille forms a single unit with the new LED daytime running lights. Below has a larger air intake for the efficient engines.

On the California Ocean 6.1 a chrome strip also adorns the new bumper. While the chrome elements on the Ocean version differentiates itself externally from the Beach and Coast models, in all cases the sharper design emphasises the width of the California 6.1 and makes every version of the camper look even more serene on the road.

In the case of the Coast and Ocean the redesigned kitchen has now been enhanced and equipped with new details such as an additional double USB socket, new aluminium handles on all doors, and push buttons for opening up the kitchen surface (sink, cooker, fridge).

The shutters in the rear cupboard have been replaced by designed sliding doors with the aluminium handles in keeping with the automotive camper’s style and matching those on the kitchen units. All of the cupboards’ wood grains has also been redesigned: the lighter Bright Oak and darker Graphite Grey.

The beds will provide even greater comfort; the top bed will be equipped with a sprung base and the double rear bench seat folds out to create a bed that can also be transformed into a lounge. Increased protection from incoming light is now provided by darker grey canvas sides.

There is also a new ‘sunrise’ function that uses individually selectable LEDs in the roof and living area to dim up the lights to the desired level of brightness slowly over a user-selectable length of time.

This, like all main camper settings in the California 6.1, can be controlled by the newly developed digital overhead console, as the previous monochrome display has been replaced here by a large, full colour touchscreen with considerably more functions.

For the first time, the dashboard instruments are optionally digital – the new ‘Digital Cockpit’. The infotainment range has also been reconfigured. It begins with the Composition Audio (line display) and Composition Colour (6.5-inch touchscreen). A further new feature of the California 6.1 is the use of two navigation systems, Discover Media (8-inch touchscreen) and Discover Pro (9.2-inch), from the third generation of the Modular Infotainment Matrix (MIB3). The most important new feature of all systems is an integrated eSIM (optional for Composition Audio). It forms the interface to Volkswagen We and thus to numerous online functions and services. Over and above this the MIB3 systems provide features such as integration of the Apple Music and TIDAL streaming services, natural voice control and App Connect Wireless. Thanks to this new version of App Connect, iPhone apps such as the Media Library and Google Maps can for the first time be incorporated wirelessly into the infotainment system via Bluetooth.

The key technical change in terms of handling is the switch from hydraulic to electro-mechanical power steering. As a result the steering system can be actively controlled with numerous new driver assistance systems. This extended range of systems includes Lane Assist, Park Assist, a side protection function (warns of obstacles when manoeuvring) and Trailer Assist (simplifies manoeuvring with a trailer). Also included as standard will be Cross Wind Assist; it automatically stabilises the camper van in the event of strong winds.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has also reconfigured the range of drive systems. The California 6.1, which as standard is front and optionally all- wheel drive, will launch with highly efficient 2-litre turbo diesel engines (2.0 TDI), which all fulfil the Euro 6d Temp Evap emissions standard.

The world première of the new California Beach, Coast and Ocean will take place at the end of August at the Caravan Salon show in Düsseldorf.


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The Digital Volkswagen Campervan!

The Digital Volkswagen Campervan!

Get ready to step into the future with the innovative new digitalised Volkswagen California!

Updated 2nd July 2019; original article posted 22nd February 2019

Hanover, 2 July 2019 — Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has revealed the first sketches and details of the new California 6.1. This Campervan update covers many aspects: the multifunctional camper control unit in the roof console has been redesigned and digitalised, new assistance systems enhance safety and comfort; a new generation of infotainment with integrated ‘eSIM’ opens up the world of mobile online services, and digital cockpit instruments are available for the first time.

Striking: the completely redesigned front end of the California 6.1.

More than 18,000 Californias are sold per year making it the number 1 campervan and a true all-rounder, ideal for big trips and daily journeys. Now Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has further refined the top seller.

California 6.1 Interior.

At first glance, the interior sketch above looks very similar to the current model, but there are a few subtle changes, like the addition of levers on the seats instead of the adjustable knob, plus a slight redesign of the unit, handles and sink tap. How these will translate to a production model is yet to be seen, but Volkswagen tell us that the living and sleeping areas have been carefully enhanced and optimised — we hold our breath in anticipation!

Furthermore, the driver and front passenger experience includes a redesigned dashboard that houses completely redesigned instruments (with optional digital dashboard for the first time) and new online infotainment systems.

Like the Multivan 6.1 revealed earlier this year, the California 6.1 features electromechanical power steering and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is also giving the camper numerous new assistance systems. for example “Lane Assist”, Side Protection and “Trailer Assist”, which makes light work of manoeuvring with a trailer. In addition, a side-wind compensation system makes travelling in the California 6.1 even safer.

The new California T6.1 will be launched with highly efficient 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines1 with output of up to 146 kW /199 PS. The new camper generation will celebrate its world premiere at the end of August at the Caravan-Salon in Düsseldorf. Other engine variants will be available for the commercial vans, but a little more about this later.

The latest edition of an icon

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has continually reinvented, further developed, sharpened and improved the blueprint for European transporters, large vans and caravans. This update is no exception. In integrating a new range of assistance and infotainment systems, the development team has delved deep into the technology. Dr Thomas Sedran, Chairman of the Management Board, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: “The new T6.1 is the car for the here and now. We have taken a proven vehicle and updated its assistance and infotainment systems and connectivity to the state-of-the-art today.”

New Cross Wind Assist included in the T6.1 as standard

“The hydraulic power steering of the T6 has given way to an electromechanical system in the T6.1 which enables active intervention into steering control. This changes everything, because it opens up access to new assistance systems”, according to Alexander Hitzinger, Board Member responsible for Technical Development. Hitzinger continues: “In the T6.1 we wanted to set new standards in vehicle safety, convenience and comfort. Especially important to us was driving stability. We have made significant progress here.” The new assistance systems include Cross Wind Assist – a standard system in all T6.1 models. When there are cross winds, it automatically stabilises the Bulli in case of strong wind gusts. This makes a noticeable contribution to safety.

New assistance systems steer and brake automatically

Also on-board thanks to electromechanical power steering: the Lane Assist lane-keeping system. It detects road lane markings by camera and automatically keeps the T6.1 in its lane. From now on, Park Assist will simplify parking and reversing from parking spaces. When it is activated, the system automatically guides the vehicle in and out; all the driver needs to do is operate the accelerator and brake pedals. To ensure that everything goes right in manual manoeuvring, the side protection system from the Crafter was adapted for use in the T6.1. It utilises distributed ultrasonic sensors around the vehicle to reduce the risk of collision damage. Meanwhile, Rear Traffic Alert protects against accidents while reversing; the system warns the driver of vehicles approaching at a 90-degree angle behind the car. If the driver does not react, the system actively intervenes with braking.

Trailer Assist simplifies manoeuvring with a trailer

All models of the product line are ideal towing vehicles. Depending on the engine, the maximum trailer weight can range up to 2,500 kg. Now, Trailer Assist, familiar from the Crafter, makes it easier to manoeuvre with a trailer. It takes care of all the complicated rethinking when a driver manoeuvres in reverse with a trailer, i.e., having to turn the steering wheel to the left to get the trailer to turn right. The driver simply sets the desired reversing angle for the trailer using the rotary knob of the electric exterior mirror adjuster – which becomes a joystick – together with a display in the cockpit. Then the T6.1 takes over steering. Trailer Assist represents a fusion of Park Assist, electromechanical power steering and the Rear View reversing camera (which detects the articulation angle of the trailer draw bar). The range of new systems is supplemented by road sign display via the front camera.

Digitalised interior features new dash panel

The dash panel of the T6.1 has been redesigned. Albert Kirzinger, Head of Design, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: “We have systematically tailored the driver’s workplace requirements to the digital world in the vehicle.” The team led by Kirzinger implemented the conditions needed to integrate the Digital Cockpit (fully digital instruments) and the third generation of the modular infotainment matrix (MIB3) in the T6.1. The fusion of the Digital Cockpit and the MIB3 creates a new digital landscape of displays and controls that is aligned along one visual axis.

Digital Cockpit has a 10.25-inch display

The 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit of the T6.1 sets new standards. It is included as standard in the Multivan Highline. The display’s high-contrast graphics have been designed for clarity and sophistication. The driver can choose between different screen configurations. They are switched by pressing the View button on the multifunction steering wheel. Configuration 1: a rev counter and speedometer are displayed interactively in the round instruments. An individually selectable content level is shown in the middle of the screen – such as the phone book of the smartphone. With the top infotainment system, the navigation map can also be opened in the middle between the two instrument dials. Configuration 2: available here is a digital view without dials that offers various information fields. Also integrated centrally here is a user-selectable display – e.g. the media library. The conventional analogue instruments were also redesigned; they feature a multifunction display located in the middle.

MIB3 offers displays up to 9.2 inches in size

Another highlight in the T6.1 are the new navigation systems of the MIB3: the Discover Media (8.0-inch) and the Discover Pro (9.2-inch). The graphic layouts of these touchscreen systems have been redesigned. Functions can be individually configured, like the apps on a smartphone, from a home screen that can be personalised. The display of the Discover Pro also features a full glass overlay. The infotainment programme is rounded out by MIB2 systems: the Composition Audio (with line display, standard from base model) and the Composition Colour (6.5-inch touchscreen, standard from Caravelle Highline, Multivan Comfortline and California Coast).

Infotainment systems with integrated SIM card

The most important new equipment feature of all infotainment systems is an integrated SIM card (eSIM). It is included as standard from the Composition Colour and is available as an option for the Composition Audio. The eSIM opens up a new range of online-based functions and services. An example is the eCall function. When an accident occurs, this system automatically sends the vehicle’s location to an emergency response centre and establishes a voice connection. If no response is received from the car, emergency services are informed. In addition, the eSIM represents the interface to “Volkswagen We” – a new world of online services. The 8.0-inch and 9.2-inch systems of the MIB3 also offer features such as internet radio and music streaming services.

Natural language control simplifies operation

Thanks to the eSIM, user control is even more intuitive and thereby easier. That is because the new 8-inch and 9.2-inch infotainment systems in the T6.1 can now react to natural language commands. The voice input is compared to an online database and is automatically translated into digital commands. As with other smart devices, all it takes to get the T6.1 to listen is a brief wakeup command. In this case: “Hey Bulli”. Then the conversation might continue like this: “I would like to go to the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin.” And the navigation system quickly suggests the precise address as a new destination.

Apple CarPlay now operates wirelessly too

Another important interface is being perfected by MIB3: App Connect. Using this function, smartphone apps like Google Maps, the Media Library or Spotify can be used directly via the infotainment system’s display. Until now, a cable connection was needed between the smartphone and the vehicle. For iPhone users, this cable is now “history” in conjunction with the 8.0-inch and 9.2-inch systems.

Once an iPhone has been coupled, it will automatically connect with the infotainment system via Bluetooth and the wireless Apple CarPlay. Compatible smartphones of all brands can now also be charged wirelessly – via an inductive charging station in the new dash panel.

New front-end design of the product line

If there is any van whose design can be considered “perfect” just as it is, then it is the T6. Even more: for many fans of the versatile vehicle, the design has long acquired a huge fan base. The team led by the Head of Design, Albert Kirzinger, has therefore intentionally sharpened just the front end. Kirzinger: “The T6.1 has even greater presence on the road. We now have a very large air intake – which is something we really need technically with today’s engines. At the same time, we were able to emphasise the vehicle’s width and develop an even sharper look.” The crossbar formed by the more compact design of the headlights and the upper part of the radiator grille is narrower than in the previous model. “In this area, we have designed a new double chrome bar which extends across the entire width and into the headlights as LED strips for the daytime running lights. The car expresses a very special charisma and can be recognised as a T6.1 from a long distance.” The front end may also be personalised with more chrome details depending on the model and equipment. The ranges of colours and wheels have also been remixed.

Power outputs of Euro-6d-TEMP engines range from 90 to 199 PS

While many of the T6.1 engines will not be available on the California, it is still worth mentioning that the engine programme has been reconfigured across the Transporter range, including the introduction of a zero-emission vehicle based on a partnership with ABT. With an output of 82 kW / 112 PS and a battery capacity of either 38.8 kWh or 77.6 kWh, driving ranges of more than 400 km (NEDC) will be possible — whether this will eventually make it to the California lineup is yet to be seen, but for now a 400km range will not be useful to those of us who enjoy those epic California road trips.

The California 6.1 in a nutshell…

  • New and more comfortable: enhanced interior and new display for the camper functions
  • New and connected: digital cockpit and online infotainment systems with integrated eSIM for the first time
  • New and sharper: front end with charismatic design transports the DNA of the California to the future
  • New and safe: side-wind compensation system, “Lane Assist” and Side Protection for extra safety


Stay tuned for more details as they are announced!


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Selling a VW California Campervan

Selling a VW California Campervan

No matter how much we love our Volkswagen Californias, one day it will be time to say goodbye.

Yes, it’s true and nothing lasts forever — but before you rush to place that ad and move on to greater adventures (and maybe newer campervans), please take time to read our handy guide to selling your beloved California.

Remember, Volkswagen Californias are premium vehicles — they still fetch top money on the pre-loved market, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect the basics as this could make a signifiant difference to how much you fetch for your van and how fast it will sell.

You may also wish to check out our comprehensive buyers guide to see the recommendations we make for anyone purchasing a van. If you familiarise yourself with what people look for it will prepare you for any questions prospective buyers have, and give you a chance to correct or account for any problems before you and your vehicle part ways.

Please toggle through the sections below to view our recommendations:

1. The Big Clean

The first thing to do is to get your Volkswagen California into the best condition possible, and that means cleaning it both inside and out; maybe to a level not seen since you first bought it. While this seems an obvious step, it’s amazing how much we can miss when we get accustomed to day to day ownership.

  • Firstly, consider having a full professional valet as this will really do an amazing job on a vehicle. If you are intending to do it yourself then get some good quality vehicle shampoo and polish, and concentrate on the windows and wheels, and then the rest of the bodywork including the bumpers.
  • Look for tar spots, bugs and if there are any small scratches consider getting some T-cut (or similar compound) and applying some serious elbow grease. 
  • Drain off any waste water by turning the lever under the sink. Make sure there are no smells coming from the sink or cooking area.
  • Make sure the van is free from stains or other smells — including air-freshener smells as well as cooking, smoking and pet smells.
  • Check the seats, upper bed mattress, the shelf below the elevating bed, the space behind the rear seats, the blinds etc. and wash anything that isn’t clean. If you travel with pets take extra care to remove any dog hair etc.
  • Sweep out, vacuum and wipe inside all the drawers, cupboards and any other nooks and crannies. The compact nature of the California means a lot of places that may not get the same attention for general cleaning — use something like a paintbrush to sweep inside the seat rails, around the handbrake housing, under the seats, around the window frames, around the sink tap and so on.
  • Clear out any rubbish, clean the top loading fridge and remove any personal items that may still be inside. This can be difficult if you want to use your van while it’s for sale, but it will definitely make the van look more spacious.
  • Wipe and polish the dashboard, paying special attention to any ashtrays and cup holders as these are notorious for collecting dust.

2. Check Accessories and Extras

Do not assume any your personal modifications will add to your van’s appeal. Take a look at any extra hooks, towel holders, shelves, mirrors etc. and consider returning the California as close to its original specifications as possible.

  • Test everything electrical, the gas, the fridge and the hobs. Make sure everything is working properly and consider professional gas and electrical checks to be on the safe side.
  • It may be worth including a full gas bottle and filling the water tank in order to demonstrate the van’s camping functionality.
  • Update the software on the built in navigation system (if applicable).
  • Go through all the drawers, cupboards, tables, blinds and pockets and make sure the hinges and mechanisms work.
  • Check that you haven’t left anything behind. For example, sunglasses in the compartment above the mirror or personal items in the back of the seats.
  • Don’t forget to tighten the screws and bolts holding the deckchairs together.

3. Check the Paperwork

Before you sell your Volkswagen California you should really have a valid MOT Certificate — obviously this only applies to vehicles over three years old, but any older vehicles without a valid MOT will certainly raise eyebrows and drastically reduce the chance of a sale. This will also potentially limit your market to dealers who will take advantage of the unverifiable state of repair.

If you purchased your Volkswagen California brand new, then a stamped Service History book will show a well cared for vehicle and will make it a lot more desirable. From 2018 the service record is kept on a database with Volkswagen and they no longer issue vehicles with service books.

Of course, you will also need to have your vehicle registration document (V5C) to show details of the registered keeper. It is not a legal document of ownership, and as such it is also recommended to also have the original sales invoice if you can find it — this is not vital, but a good way of demonstrating authenticity.

As with selling any vehicle, you will need to complete the details of the new keeper and post this to the DVLA as soon as you can. The DVLA recommends not to buy any vehicle if the V5C isn’t available, so if you have lost it, it is important to apply for a replacement rather than expecting the new owner to do so.

If there is any Road Tax left on your vehicle, you can apply to the DVLA for a refund. As the old tax disc system is now obsolete, it is the responsibility of the purchaser to organise vehicle tax before driving away.

Along with legal documentation, also try to gather as much of the other paperwork you can find, including the Transporter Handbook and California Supplement — along with any instructions for accessories including trackers, bike racks and navigation equipment.

4. Value Your Van

Our Classified Ads section may give a rough guide to what you can expect your van to be worth, but we advise you to check out other sources too such as the motoring press, auction sites and franchised dealerships.

Be aware that some commercial sellers will list their price exclusive of VAT, something that may not apply to you.

While the Volkswagen California typically holds onto its value extremely well, a fully loaded van with every conceivable extra will not necessarily be as easy to sell at a significantly higher price. It will certainly be more desirable, but may fall outside of some people’s budgets who may not understand the reasons for the difference.

The same applies to customisations and additions that you may love but not necessarily to everyone else’s taste. For example, you might love your chrome trim, but it won’t sell so easily to anyone who prefers a more low key look.

This is a personal judgement call that only you can make, but some people will drop the price of their van in order to make a quicker sale; If you are prepared to be patient then go for a higher price at first and lower it gradually, bearing in mind that it’s impossible to negotiate a higher price once listed.

5. Decide where to sell

The quickest and most hassle free way to sell a Campervan is to part-exchange with a dealer in return for buying a newer vehicle. You are unlikely to get the same price as you would by selling privately, but because the sale and new vehicle purchase are completed simultaneously it will save you a great deal of time and energy, and if your California is under three years old you will find dealers much happier to do business with you.

While it can be tempting to accept the first offer, is always worth searching around different dealerships to ensure the best trade-in price as they often vary in their criteria.

An alternative to this is to sell your motorhome to a dealer only, without any part exchange. You will not get the best price unless your California is exceptionally low mileage and almost new, and as such it is even more important to get quotes from as many places as you can.

Selling privately requires investment, including your time and costs related to preparing it for sale. But the rewards can be the greatest, and not only will you get a higher price, you will still be able to use it while teaching for a buyer.

You can place an advert in your local paper or shop window but you may get fewer enquiries, so our recommendation is to use a specialist magazine or website offering classified ads services. If you place an advert in our own Classifieds Section we will also promote your advert via social media (Facebook and Twitter) in order to ensure maximum exposure.

Placing an advert on a popular auction or classifieds website can be cheaper or even free, but your van may end up lost in a crowd and you will potentially be inundated with questions from non-serious buyers.

Of course, it goes without saying to always be careful when selling privately and don’t part with any keys for any reason until the money is safely in your account.

6. Showing Your Van

Treat with extreme caution any offer to buy the van without seeing it first or anyone who asks you to meet them in an unusual location or wants to have a courier collect it. These are common signs of a scam and not worth the risks involved.

Therefore we suggest that you never agree to meet anyone in an unknown or potentially unsafe location; always meet at your home or place of work, preferably when other people are around. Also, never hand over any keys, instead unlock the doors and start the engine for them, If someone wants to take it out for a test drive, ensure they have insurance to cover them, and also go along for the ride. Make sure that you have your mobile phone with you.

Take time to show that everything is in working order and to explain the operation of the van — if it’s a cold day we recommend putting the heating on before any potential purchaser arrives for their viewing.

There is a lot to learn with these vehicles and our recommendation is to start with the cockpit, elevate the roof and then move to the rear, explaining all the functions a concisely as you go. Explain the importance of opening the windows when lowering the roof and the position of the seats when rotating them to face the rear.

When it comes to payment, the safest method is for the buyer to pay using a direct bank transfer. When the money arrives in your bank account, you can release the camper but do not do this before you are sure. Do not accept cheques, money services or the offer to pay via PayPal, unless the van was actually sold through eBay.

If you do choose to sell through eBay, then PayPal will offer buyer protection, but ensure this is done directly and not by ending the bidding early.

Even in this age of advanced technology, cash is still popular with many people. If you decide to take this option make sure you check each note before accepting them.

7. Legal Bits

As mentioned previously, any prospective customer is unlikely to want to buy your California without being able to take it for a test drive first. It is the responsibility of the keeper to check that the potential buyer has the correct insurance cover and licence beforehand:

  • The potential buyer can only drive a Campervan on your policy if it is covered for ‘any driver’, or if the potential purchaser has been added as a named driver.
  • The buyer may be able to drive your California on their own insurance policy, but this is likely to be 3rd party cover only.

We have also prepared a printable Van Preparation Checklist which you can download from here to use as a template when getting your van ready for sale.


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European Low Emission Zones

While this may not affect the latest Euro 6 version of the Volkswagen California, it certainly will affect anyone with a diesel powered vehicle registered prior to 2015. This article aims to forewarn our readers of any congestion / low emission zones you may encounter on your travels, including those where the age of the vehicle is irrelevent.

Over 220 cities and towns around Europe operate or are preparing to operate low-emission zones to help meet EU health-based air quality limit values. This means that vehicles may be banned from a zone, or in some cases charged if they enter when their emissions are over a set level.

Different vehicles may be regulated depending on local conditions. All restrictions apply to heavy vehicles, some to diesel vans, others also to diesel and petrol cars; while our website is geared towards Volkswagen California owners, it may be worth nothing that Italy and the UK have restrictions on motor cycles and three-wheelers in some areas.

A PUBLICLY FUNDED WEBSITE run by a network of cities and ministries that operate (or are preparing) Low Emission Zones gives up-to-date information on LEZs, such as which cities have LEZs, the vehicle types affected, the required emissions standards and their application dates. There is also some more concise information on THIS WEBSITE.

Click on the tabs below for a short overview of the restrictions that may affect anyone planning a European adventure. Please check back regularly as we will update this article as new information becomes available.


There are several cities that have restrictions in Belgium, but  you will need to pay particular attention if visiting Antwerp and Brussels.

  • In Antwerp, the entire city centre is designated as an environmental zone. You can read more about the admission requirements by visiting THIS WEBSITE.
  • If you are a restricted vehicle you can request a temporary exemption which allows you to enter for a period of time.
  • Another option is to purchase a LEZ day pass for €35 per day; available from parking meters in the zone.
  • There is a restriction however that means you can only use one for eight days per year.
  • If you plan to visit Brussels be aware that the capital has been a low emission zone since 1st January 2019 — and also requires a day pass to enter. Some vehicles fall outside of this rule and the restrictions are detailed on THIS WEBSITE.
  • Ghent is now operating completely car-free zones; you can find out more by visiting THIS WEBSITE.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic will be introducing restrictions in 2020/21.

  • The Emission Badge “Emisni-Plaketa” will be mandatory for cars, trucks, buses and motorbikes.
  • We will give you more details of these zones when they become compulsory. Meanwhile you may wish to bookmark THIS WEBSITE for future reference.


There are several rules for heavy diesel vehicles that drive through a few larger cities in Denmark.

  • If you are travelling to Aalborg, Aarhus, Copenhagen, Frederiksberg or Odense in a motorhome weighing more than 3.5 tonnes, or vehicles with over eight seats, then you will need to display an ECOSTICKER to enter the environmental zones within the city centres. 


France has many different environmental zones and regulations where drivers need to display stickers in their vehicles to prove compliance to their emissions standards.

  • The most important places are in Lille, Lyon, Paris, Strasbourg and Toulouse.
  • Known as the “Ecovignet Crit’Air“, the stickers are available from THIS WEBSITE and cost just under €5 (including shipping within the European Union).
  • There are six types of stickers depending on the age of your vehicle and CO2 emissions — be aware that delivery can take up to six weeks.
  • There are currently two types of environmental zones — you can only drive into a permanent environmental zones with a valid sticker and are in force all year round. There are also temporary environmental zones that only need a valid sticker if there is long term or extreme pollution. There are occasional exceptions which are always signposted.
  • Anyone driving into the centre of Paris on weekdays between 08:00 and 20:00 has to display a sticker inside the bottom right of their windscreen. 
  • People with registered disabilities are allowed to enter restricted zones but will still need an emissions sticker.
  • Please note that cars and vans registered prior to the 1st January 1997 and motorbikes registered before 1st June 2000 are not allowed into any zone at all and stickers for these vehicles are not available.
  • In addition to the above, an all new low-emission zone will be introduced in Paris in July 2019. This is just for the capital and operates In addition to previously mentioned permanent and temporary zones. Other major cities, including Lyon, Reims, Strasbourg, Nice and Montpellier, will follow suit and the local authorities in those cities have until 31 December 2020 to set up them up.
  • You can find more information about the low emission zones on THIS WEBSITE (French).
  • In Lyon, including in the suburb of Villeurbanne, things are different as the zone only operates on days with extreme air pollution – these days are indicated on signs on the motorways and this is when a sticker is required.
  • The motorways through Lyon are exempt from the zone.
  • In Grenoble the use of an emissions sticker also depends on the degree of air pollution and applies to all roads and motorways.
  • Our recommendation is to get the sticker before traveling to France — driving in a restricted one without them carries a fine of at least €68
  • Over the next few years other cities will introduce environmental zones, thus far these are planned for Avignon, Bordeaux, Cannes, Clermont-Ferrand, Montpellier and Rouen.
  • News and updates are published on THIS WEBSITE.


Germany has environmental zones in many large cities. Known as ‘Umweltzones’ you can only access these zones with an emissions sticker known as an Umweltplakkette.

  • The sticker is valid so long as your number plate is recorded on the sticker.
  • You will need a separate emissions sticker for each vehicle issued at a cost of €6.
  • Vehicle owners who have a European Disability Parking Card (clearly visible behind the windscreen) are exempt from purchasing a sticker.
  • You can see a list of cities where you will need a sticker on the German Government Website. A few examples include Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Karlsruhe, Leipzig and Munich.
  • Very often you will find suburbs that also fall within the zones, so be mindful of this when entering or leaving the areas.
  • You will not need a sticker on motorways.
  • There is fine of €80 for not displaying the correct sticker.
  • Bonn, Hamburg and Stuttgart have recently banned older (Euro 5) diesel vehicles completely and and other cities will implement their own diesel ban this year including Berlin, Darmstadt, Essen, Gelsenkirchen and Mainz.
  • These plans may be subject to change and therefore it is advisable to check THIS WEBSITE before visiting.


Budapest and some other large cities a smog alarm will operate at certain times; at these times there is a ban on certain types of vehicles entering the cities.

  • Often this will include vehicles that do not meet Euro 6 standards
  • THIS WEBSITE has more information on which vehicles meet Euro 6 requirements. The smog alarm is often announced a couple of days in advance of restrictions.
  • In Budapest there are many streets in the historic centre where vehicles are always prohibited regardless. In this instance it is advisable to park outside the city and use public transport.


Environmental zones operate in quite a few Italian cities. Known as “Zona a Traffico Limitato” (ZTL) they include Florence, Palermo, Pisa, Rome and Verona. 

  • These environmental zones are closed to motor traffic at certain times; there are no fees, but if you drive in those zones when disallowed you risk a hefty fine.
  • There are indicator signs at the entrance to these zones that also signify the times traffic is banned.
  • There are also environmental zone in several tourist areas; for example it is no longer possible to drive a car or motorhome within the city walls of Lucca or Pisa.
  • In Milan you will need  what is called a “vignette” to drive into the city centre on work days between 07:30 and 19:30. This is a one day pass which you can purchase for €5 at newsagents and kiosks. You can find more information HERE.
  • In some areas you will need a temporary permit in order to make simple drop offs — for instance, if you have booked an apartment or hotel and need to drop off your luggage you can request a permit from the owner.

In the Netherlands Rotterdam and Utrecht have Low Emission Zones.

  • In Rotterdam this applies to trucks with a diesel engine that fall under Euro 1, Euro 2 and Euro 3 of the EU emission standards; typically these are diesel engined delivery vans and passenger vehicles registered before 1st January 2001 and petrol engined delivery vans and passenger vehicles registered prior to 1st July 1992.
  • In Utrecht the rules only apply to diesel vehicles registered prior to 1st January 2001.


The only environmental zone in Norway is in Oslo.

During times of poor air quality the city centre is closed for all diesel vehicles. However, there are exemptions for vehicles carrying anyone registered as disabled.

Closures are usually announced on the radio in advance. If you aren’t ahead of local news then public transport will almost certainly be the best option.


Quite a few Spanish cities have environmental zones with many areas you can only enter with a sticker. Others zones forbid all vehicles completely.

  • These zones are indicated with signs reading “ëArea de prioridad residencialí”.
  • Cameras check the zones remain car-free.
  • In Madrid you risk a hefty fine if you drive into any of the central zones. Permit holders receive an exemption.
  • Barcelona is one large environmental zone.
  • Since 2017 traffic has become increasingly limited in the city. Every different type of vehicle needs to have a particular sticker to drive into the city.
  • You can find more information on THIS WEBSITE.
  • There are four types of emissions stickers: blue, green-blue, green, and yellow. You can buy these stickers at post offices for € 5 (2019).
  • You can find out which sticker you need for your vehicle by visiting THIS WEBSITE.


Car traffic is limited in Gothenburg and Stockholm city centres from Monday to Friday.

  • If you are visiting either of these cities with a car, campervan or motorhome you will need to pay a charge.
  • However, on public holidays and for the duration of July the charge is lifted and access is free.
  • The charge depends on which time you enter the area — prices are listed on entry and cameras will record your licence plate.
  • You will receive a bill at the address your vehicle is registered to.

United Kingdom

London is subject to three restricted areas, the Congestion Charge Zone, The Low Emissions Zone and The Ultra Low Emissions Zone.

  • You will need to pay the Daily Congestion Charge in order to drive into the centre of London. This is an charge that nearly all vehicles have to pay, including cars and motorhomes with foreign registration. 
  • The zone is indicated with signs at the entry points where cameras record your car registration plate.
  • You can only pay for the entire day at a cost of £11.50 (2019). The rule only applies on weekdays between 07:00 and 18:00.
  • On 8th April 2019 a new Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (or ULEZ) was introduced within the same boundary as the Congestion Charge. Vehicles that do not meet strict requirements can enter the zone on payment of £12.50 (2019) on top of the existing congestion charge.
  • The rules for the ULEZ are explained on THIS WEBSITE and affect most diesel vehicles that do not meet Euro 6 requirements and most petrol vehicles that do not meet Euro 4 requirements (including motorbikes). Historic vehicles registered prior to 1980 are exempt from ULEZ charges, with this date rolling forward every year.
  • In 2021 The ULEZ will be extended to cover a much larger area of London — we will update this article with new information nearer the time.
  • The last thing to be aware of is that there is another wider Low Emission Zones (LEZ) around the outskirts of London that may apply if you are entering with a motorhome or larger vehicle. Depending on the weight and age of your vehicle you may need to pay to enter this zone and foreign vehicles must register in advance. You should do this two weeks in advance of your visit by going to THIS WEBSITE.
  • You can find an overview of the most important LEZ rules HERE.


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Free Health Check for California Owners!

Free Health Check for California Owners!

Fantastic News for all California Owners! Volkswagen have just announced free health checks for your campers — just in time for an Easter adventure!

This amazing offer is running from now until Thursday the 18th April 2019 and promises to offer peace of mind before you motor off on your Spring Holliday!

With less than two per cent of campers heading away over the winter months, lots of campervans and motorhomes are left unused – as such, Volkswagen is urging motorists not to leave it until Easter weekend to get their campervans checked over.

The 29-point check involves inpsecting the tyres, wipers, lights and battery, along with a handful of other visual checks. Identifying any potential maintenance issues which might otherwise leave customers stranded over the Easter break.

This health check is based on the standard electronic vehicle health check (EVHC) and must be booked in by 18 April 2019. The offer does not include any work or parts that are identified as necessary following the health check.

If you want to take advantage of this offer, then please contact your local van centre to make an appointment.


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