A colour-coded badge of honour or shame for every car under new French regulations. UK MoT certificates won’t do for city visitors.
UK drivers planning to go to France in the coming months are going to require new ‘clean air’ stickers or face on-the-spot fines for failing to display them, as CLM reports.
Paris, Lyon and Grenoble introduced the new Crit’Air scheme in January to tackle vehicle pollution in their city centres, with another 22 towns and cities said to be planning to follow suit over the next few years.
The scheme requires all vehicles to clearly display an air quality certificate windscreen sticker, or vignette, according to how much they pollute.
How does the Crit’Air scheme work?
The new Crit’Air system is used on high pollution days to prevent the worst polluting vehicles from driving in the affected cities. In future, however, vehicles may be banned from driving in Crit’Air areas on certain days based on which emissions sticker they have.
Air quality certificate stickers, which cost £3.60 (€4.18) each, including postage, come in six categories and cover the very cleanest electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, which is designated by a Crit’Air green sticker, to the dirtiest, which is a Crit’Air 5 grey sticker.
These relate to the six European Union emission standards for cars, dating back to 1992 when the Euro 1 emission standard was introduced.
The scheme applies to every road vehicle, including two- or three-wheeled vehicles, quadricycles, private vehicles, commercial vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches.
The penalty for failure to display a sticker is an on-the-spot fine of between €68-135 (£58 to £117).
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Another important point to be aware of is the requirement to upload an image of the vehicle’s V5C [log book]. However, the maximum file size allowed is only 400kb which isn’t very big at all, and drivers should ensure that they don’t save the file in too large a format.