UK motorists driving in France risk £117 pollution fine

26 January 2017

New anti-pollution rules in France mean UK motorists driving through the country risk an on-the-spot fine of up to £117 unless they display the correct vehicle emissions sticker, according to motoring group the RAC.

Under the new Crit’Air scheme, motorists in three French cities are required to display a sticker which indicates the level of pollution caused by the vehicle. Grenoble and Lyon introduced the scheme on 1 January while the new rules came into force in Paris on 22 January.

Vehicles registered abroad will be allowed to drive in central Paris without a sticker until 31 March, but those driving in Grenoble and Lyon could be fined if they do not have one. The RAC has advised UK drivers to purchase stickers ahead of their trip.


They are already on sale on the Crit’Air website. The stickers will cost around £3.20 each (€3.70) – or £3.60 (€4.18) including postage. Categories range from the cleanest vehicles (level 1) – which are electric or hydrogen-powered– to the dirtiest (level 6). Your band will depend on European emissions standard, which can be found on the RAC website.

All vehicles – cars, lorries, motorbikes and buses – are required to display a sticker or face an on-the-spot fine.

The fine for failing to display a window sticker ranges from €68-€135 (£58 to £117 at today’s exchange rate).

A further 22 French cities - including Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Toulouse – are considering proposals to implement the same rules by 2020.


RAC European breakdown spokesman Simon Williams says: “Anyone caught without a sticker risks a fine of up to £117, although we understand the French police are likely to be lenient in the early days. While the stickers only cost around £3.20 to buy, the website is currently only in French. An English-language site is, however, due to be in operation as of 1 February.”

In future, vehicles which produce a high level of emissions may be banned from entering French cities when pollution is at an unhealthy level. Paris, along with fellow European capitals Athens and Madrid, also has plans to ban all diesel vehicles from the city by 2025.

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