Driving Articles

Euro 1 to Euro 6 Guide Your Vehicle’s Emissions Standard

Understanding your vehicle’s emissions standard is essential for compliance with environmental regulations and contributing to cleaner air. The Euro emissions standards, from Euro 1 to Euro 6, have progressively tightened the limits on pollutants emitted by vehicles. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of each standard, helping you determine your vehicle’s classification and its environmental impact.

What are Euro Emissions Standards?

The Euro emissions standards are regulations established by the European Union to limit the amount of harmful pollutants released by vehicles. These pollutants include nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM). Each subsequent Euro standard introduces stricter limits to reduce air pollution and promote public health.

Euro 1: The Beginning of Emission Control (1992)

Introduced in 1992, Euro 1 was the first stage in the EU’s emissions standards, requiring all new cars to be equipped with a catalytic converter to reduce CO, HC, and NOx emissions. Key requirements include:

  • CO: 2.72 g/km
  • HC + NOx: 0.97 g/km

Euro 2: Stricter Limits (1996)

Implemented in 1996, Euro 2 further reduced permissible emissions and introduced separate limits for petrol and diesel vehicles:

  • Petrol CO: 2.2 g/km
  • Diesel CO: 1.0 g/km
  • Diesel NOx: 0.7 g/km

Euro 3: Enhanced NOx and PM Limits (2000)

Euro 3, which came into effect in 2000, set more stringent standards, particularly for NOx and PM emissions from diesel engines:

  • Petrol CO: 2.3 g/km
  • Diesel NOx: 0.5 g/km
  • Diesel PM: 0.05 g/km

Euro 4: Focus on Diesel Particulates (2005)

In 2005, Euro 4 introduced significant reductions in diesel particulate emissions and tightened NOx limits for both petrol and diesel vehicles:

  • Petrol CO: 1.0 g/km
  • Diesel NOx: 0.25 g/km
  • Diesel PM: 0.025 g/km

Euro 5: Introduction of Particulate Filters (2009)

Euro 5, implemented in 2009, marked a significant step by mandating diesel particulate filters (DPFs) to reduce PM emissions drastically:

  • Petrol CO: 1.0 g/km
  • Diesel NOx: 0.18 g/km
  • Diesel PM: 0.005 g/km

Euro 6: Stricter NOx and Real-World Testing (2014)

Euro 6, introduced in stages from 2014, imposed the toughest limits yet, particularly on NOx emissions from diesel vehicles, and included real driving emissions (RDE) testing:

  • Petrol CO: 1.0 g/km
  • Diesel NOx: 0.08 g/km
  • Diesel PM: 0.0045 g/km

How to Find Your Vehicle’s Emissions Standard

Car newly registered from:Emissions standard
31 December 1992Euro 1
1 January 1997Euro 2
1 January 2001Euro 3
1 January 2006Euro 4
1 January 2011Euro 5
1 September 2015 – Euro 6

To determine your vehicle’s Euro emissions standard, you can check:

  1. Vehicle Registration Document (V5C): The Euro standard is often listed under the vehicle details.
  2. Owner’s Manual: The emissions standard might be mentioned in the technical specifications.
  3. Manufacturer’s Website: Most manufacturers provide emissions data for their vehicles online.
  4. VIN (Vehicle Identification Number): Some databases allow you to look up your vehicle’s emissions standard using its VIN.

Why Knowing Your Emissions Standard Matters

  • Compliance: Understanding your vehicle’s emissions standard helps ensure compliance with low emission zones (LEZs) and ultra-low emission zones (ULEZs) in various cities.
  • Environmental Impact: Vehicles meeting higher Euro standards emit fewer pollutants, contributing to better air quality and public health.
  • Resale Value: Cars with lower emissions often have higher resale values due to growing environmental awareness and regulatory incentives.


From Euro 1 to Euro 6, the EU’s emissions standards have progressively reduced harmful vehicle emissions, promoting cleaner air and healthier communities. Knowing your vehicle’s emissions standard not only helps you comply with regulations but also plays a part in protecting the environment. Use the available resources to identify your vehicle’s standard and contribute to a cleaner, greener future.

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