Taking Your Car to France? Don't Forget Your Crit'Air Sticker!
In France, Crit'Air certificates are used to categorise vehicles based on the level of emissions produced. To reduce air pollution, these categories can be used to restrict access in certain areas for the most polluting vehicles. Every vehicle must display a Crit'Air certificate whether they are residents or visitors to the area.
What is the Crit'Air Certificate?
The Crit'Air certificate is a sticker which is placed in the windscreen of your vehicle to provide a visible way to identify the level of emissions produced. These stickers are split up into 6 categories depending on emission levels as follows;
Crit'Air Sticker Categories
- Crit’Air - Green Sticker, green and white sticker will apply only to cars that are 100% electric or hydrogen and so therefore have zero emissions.
- Crit’Air 1 – Purple Sticker, this category is for plug in and hybrid cars along with Euro 5 and 6 petrol models.
- Crit’Air 2 –Yellow Sticker, these stickers will be awarded to Euro 4 petrol cars and Euro 5 and 6 diesel vehicles.
- Crit'Air 3 - Orange Sticker, Euro 2 and 3 petrol vehicles and Euro 4 diesel vehicles will be included in this category.
- Crit’Air 4 – Dark red Sticker, for Euro 3 diesel cars.
- Crit'Air 5 - Dark Blue Sticker, this is the most polluting group for Euro 2 diesel vehicles only.
The Crit'Air system means authorities can quickly react to pollution levels, when pollution levels are high ‘bands’ of vehicles will be banned, starting with Crit’Air 5 and increasing as French authorities feel necessary. This flexible nature means you will need to check before you travel to see whether any restrictions will apply to you.
Which Areas and Times Will Be Affected?
Currently the Crit'Air stickers will be needed if you are travelling in Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, Lille, Strasbourg and Toulouse. These areas are expected increase before 2020, as 25 other areas join the scheme. Time restrictions may also apply when the Crit'Air sticker system is in use, from 8am to 8pm Monday-Friday. Signs will be displayed around the Crit'Air zones to make it clear to drivers when they are entering these areas.
Who Needs to Display a Crit'Air Sticker?
The scheme applies to every vehicle in these areas regardless of whether they are residents, tourists or just passing through and no matter where your vehicle was registered. The scheme also applies to disability vehicle owners, motorcycles and lorries.
What Happens if my Vehicle does not Fall into any of the 6 Categories?
For some vehicles, there will be no category to fall into, so they will therefore not be awarded a sticker. This situation will apply to all vehicles registered before 1997 and trucks and buses which were registered before 2001. Drivers of these vehicles, deemed to be the most polluting, will not be allowed to drive into the capital at all between 8am-8pm Monday – Friday. The RAC estimated that around 9% of French vehicles will be too old to qualify for a sticker. Many believe this is penalising those who can least afford a newer, less polluting car.
Where Can I get a Crit'Air Sticker and how much does it Cost?
You can order your sticker from the official Crit'Air Website. To do this you will need your registration certificate available as a .pdf, .png or .jpeg format and it must not exceed 400kB. The cost is €3.11 + postage. Please apply early for your Crit'Air sticker - there are reports of stickers taking up to 6 weeks to arrive.
What Happens if I do not correctly display my Crit'Air Sticker?
Anyone, resident or tourist, not displaying the correct sticker or driving in a zone they shouldn't be in, can be fined between €68 - €135.
What do you think of the Crit'Air scheme?
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