How does Madrid Central work? The 15 most frequently asked questions


Published 23/01/2020
preguntas frecuentes cómo funciona madrid central

We answer the most frequently asked questions about Madrid Central, to clear up any doubts you may have about driving and parking in this area.

Madrid Central is an area of ​​the centre of the capital where restrictions apply to traffic in order to promote good air quality. Its objective is to reduce the level of emissions, improving the city’s air quality.

The 15 most frequently asked questions about Madrid Central

Keep in mind that since January 1st 2020 there have been some modifications regarding prohibitions and restricted streets. Pay attention to the following most important aspects before driving into Madrid Central.

1. Which streets define the extent of Madrid Central?

Since January 1st 2020, the boundary of the western zone of Madrid Central has been reduced. Calle Mártires de Alcalá and Calle Seminario de Nobles, a section of 100 metres, are now unrestricted streets.

The perimeter of Madrid Central is marked by the following streets: Alberto Aguilera, Glorieta de Ruiz Jiménez, Carranza, Glorieta de Bilbao, Sagasta, Plaza de Alonso Martínez, Génova, Plaza de Colón, Paseo de Recoletos, Plaza de Cibeles, Paseo del Prado, Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo, Plaza del Emperador Carlos V, Ronda de Atocha, Ronda de Valencia, Glorieta de Embajadores, Ronda de Toledo, Glorieta de la Puerta de Toledo, Ronda de Segovia, Cuesta de la Vega, Calle Mayor, Calle Bailén, Plaza de España, Calle Princesa, Calle Seminario de Nobles and Calle Mártires de Alcalá.

2. Which sections within Madrid Central are unrestricted?

There are no unrestricted streets within Madrid Central, except for some roads to allow certain incorporations, such as Calle Santa Cruz de Marcenado (from Calle Serrano Jover to Called Mártires de Alcalá), Calle Mártires de Alcalá, Calle Seminario de Nobles, Avenida Gran Vía de San Francisco, Calle Bailén, Calle Algeciras, Cuesta Ramón, Calle Ventura Rodríguez (from Calle Princesa to Calle Duque de Liria) and Calle Duque de Liria (from Calle Ventura Rodríguez to Calle Princesa).

3. How will I know if I am entering the Madrid Central Residential Priority Area?

A double red line on the road indicates that you are entering the Madrid Central Residential Priority Area (RPA). These are supplemented by white pictograms labelled “Madrid Central”.

4. How can I find out the environmental classification of my vehicle?

There are three ways that you can find out the classification of your vehicle; from the DGT website, by calling 060, or by visiting the Traffic Department by prior appointment. In all cases, you will need to know your vehicle registration.

5. Which vehicles can drive in Madrid Central?

Cars and motorcycles that have one of the distinctive features that allow them to drive in the zone: a Zero Emissions Badge, an Eco Badge, a C-Badge or a B-Badge. Non-resident holders of a C-Badge or B-Badge can only drive to a garage or a car park within the zone. Unbadged vehicles may only drive in the area if they are residents, and only until 2025.

6. Which vehicles can park in Madrid Central?

Registered residents vehicles can be parked in the neighbourhood of that resident, in addition to those vehicles authorised by residents (a maximum of 20 per month). Zero badged and Eco badged vehicles can also park in the zone, as well as cehicles belonging to people with reduced mobility, holders of parking spaces or essential services vehicles.

7. What if I am a resident of any SER neighborhood but my vehicle has no badge?

Remember that green areas are parking for residents of the neighbourhood, so you can only park within your own neighbourhood and not in other SER areas.
 You can park as long as you are registered in the Central District and have authorisation in the corresponding neighbourhood.

8. If I work at night and I have an unbadged vehicle, can I drive in Madrid Central?

Yes, if you have no alternative, you can drive in Madrid Central if your working hours are between 00:00 and 06:30.

9. If my vehicle is unbadged and I want to access the car park of a hotel inside Madrid Central, can I enter the area?

If your vehicle does not have an environmental badge, you will require an invitation from the hotel. Hotels are responsible for managing up to 20 access permits per month for each partner located in Madrid Central. Invitations are valid from 00:00 to 23:59 on the day of issue. Vehicles can access with these authorisations until December 31st 2020. Invitations can be requested up to 3 calendar months before the day of access until 5 calendar days after the day of access to Madrid Central.

If your vehicle has an environmental badge, you can park at the hotel car park if the car park has a drop off zone and manages the registrations of visitors or if it is associated with the Madrid Central system. If the hotel does not have any of the two resources, it must provide one of the 20 one-day invitations available to it every month.

10. What are the other exceptions of unbadged vehicles for parking in the SER zone?

These vehicles may park in the SER zone, regardless of their badge:

  • Vehicles that are resident in their respective Regulated Parking Area.
  • Commercial and industrial vehicles with SER parking authorisation.
  • Two-wheeled and three-wheeled vehicles.
  • Public transport support vehicles.
  • Vehicles providing essential services.
  • Vehicles that transport people with reduced mobility.

11. If I have an invitation from a resident and my vehicle has an A-badge, can I enter Madrid Central?

No, since January 1st 2020 this is not possible. The zone can only be accessed in an unbadged vehicle if the driver is registered in the Central district or is a person with reduced mobility. Unbadged vehicles are prohibited from driving and any type of public parking and in private garages in Central Madrid even if they have an invitation from a resident. In the rest of the SER area, however, unbadged vehicles may drive and park in car parks.

12. I am a resident of Madrid Central, how can I get invitations for other vehicles?

Residents of the area are entitled to 20 one-day invitations each month. To manage them, you can call the telephone number 010, access through your Madrid Central profile (you will need to register), at the Municipal Electronic Office or via the Twitter account of Línea Madrid.

13. If my child goes to a school in the Madrid Central area, can I enter the zone?

Yes, as long as you notify the school of your vehicle registration and the days on which you will drive into the zone. Until December 31st 2020, you can do so even if you have an unbadged vehicle.

14. How do the restrictions of Madrid Central affect motorcycles?

Residents of the area are not subject to restrictions. Non-residents can drive and park in Madrid Central with a B-badge or C-badge between 07:00 and 22:00. If you do not have a badge and are not a resident of the area, you cannot drive or park within Madrid Central.

15. Can home delivery and courier company motorcycles and mopeds drive in Madrid Central after 22:00?

Home delivery and courier company motorcycles, mopeds and tricycles may drive and park in Madrid Central from 07:00h to 23:59 until December 31st 2020 (The limit was previously until 22:00).

Madrid Central has been introduced to reduce emissions in the city centre. It is important to know the rules of the scheme, as non-compliance with the badge requirements, driving and parking without the corresponding permit will be subject to a fixed penalty of €90.00.

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