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British drivers facing new emissions rules in French cities

Posted on 21 Apr 2017

2 min read

British motorists heading to France this summer will need to plan ahead if they are heading to one of three major cities, as the new measures have been introduced to reduce pollution in line with European emissions regulations. 

All vehicles travelling to Paris, Lyon or Grenoble will now require a clean air sticker, called a Crit’Air vignette, to be displayed. The colour of the sticker indicates the level of emissions produced by the vehicle and drivers without one could face an on the spot fine of up to £ 117.

The scheme aims to reduce the emissions output in some of France’s major cities, by restricting access to some vehicles during times of particularly high pollution.

Stickers cost as little as £3.20 for foreign motorists, but drivers are advised to buy as soon as possible, with delivery talking up to 6 weeks. 

The sticker assigned to a vehicle is based on its European Emissions Standard, ranging from green, the cleanest electric and hybrid vehicles, to black, those with the highest levels of emissions. Older vehicles or those with particularly high emissions will not be able to apply for a sticker and will not be permitted access when restrictions are in force.

The RAC has warned of some unofficial third party sites that are selling the stickers for up to seven times the official rate. Drivers should only buy through the official Crit’Air website here. 

If you are travelling to Europe this summer, you can find a full breakdown of local driving laws and regulations on the RAC’s driving abroad pages, including checklists for Europe’s most popular driving destinations. 

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