Travel Advice: Getting a clean air certificate for France

Paris, Grenoble and Lyon are to introduce emissions stickers for all vehicles

Motorists driving without the Crit’Air certificate will be fined on the spot, from €68 up to €135. Photograph: Getty

Motorists driving without the Crit’Air certificate will be fined on the spot, from €68 up to €135. Photograph: Getty

 

If you are planning on taking your car to France this year there is a new vignette/sticker you will need for Paris, Grenoble and Lyon. These three cities are the first to introduce emissions stickers for all vehicles.

The vignette, or sticker system, has been introduced to reduce the emissions output in larger cities, so on days where certain cities are at risk of reaching their Euro emissions limit, heavily polluting vehicles can be refused entrance based on the Crit’Air sticker they are displaying on the windscreen.

You will have to apply online to get the required sticker which will cost €4.80 for foreign registered vehicles. Payment can be made online and the sticker will be posted. Classifications are based on the age of your vehicle.

This new system applies to all vehicles, cars, motorbikes and trucks. If your vehicle is too old to have a rated emissions level you will not be able to get a vignette and cannot enter these cities on high emissions days. There are six categories of emissions levels and you can find the emissions levels on the VRT certificate or the French Government website.

Motorists driving without the Crit’Air certificate will be fined on the spot, from €68 up to €135. There may be some leeway for foreign drivers in the first year.

Be careful to only use the official site, like the ESTA fake sites have begun to spring up and are charging a lot more for a certificate that does not necessarily turn up; 22 other cities in France are planning on introducing the Crit’Air sticker.

The RAC in the UK has a good explanation on its website about the Crit’Air. jscales@irishtimes.com

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