British motorists warned over French pollution fines

23 August 2017

British motorists driving through France are being urged to check they have a valid emissions sticker or risk an on-the-spot fine of up to £123.

Moneywise reported earlier this year how motorists to Grenoble, Lyon, and Paris could be fined if they do not have Crit’Air emissions sticker displayed on their vehicle.

But motoring group the RAC says the scheme has now rolled out to further cities including Lille and other areas in the Haut-de-France region, which is the north eastern area of France that motorists crossing the channel will often drive through.

Both Bordeaux and Strasbourg also plan to adopt the scheme by the end of the year and around 25 French cities are expected to take part by 2020.

Drivers must display a valid Crit’Air sticker on their car to show the level of pollution emitted by the vehicle. Motorists can be fined up to €135 (around £123) if they don’t.

Nearly 50,000 UK drivers have applied for Crit’Air stickers since launch, but many drivers risk being caught out. The RAC suggests around a third of British motorists planning a trip through France are still unaware of the regulations.

RAC European breakdown spokesperson Rod Dennis says: “With Lille now joining the scheme, and plans afoot in popular tourist destinations including Strasbourg and Bordeaux, our message to drivers is simple – if there is even a small chance of you visiting any of the places which are affected then apply for a Crit’Air sticker now.

“Presuming you don’t change your car you only have to do it once as the sticker stays with the vehicle.”

How do I get a Crit-Air sticker?

Stickers are available on the English-language pages of the Crit’Air website. The stickers cost around £4.40 each (€4.80) 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.

A scan (or photo) of the car’s registration form will need to be uploaded. All vehicles – cars, lorries, motorbikes and buses – are required to display a sticker or face an on-the-spot fine.

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