British drivers heading into Paris could be fined for not displaying an anti-pollution sticker as the French capital launches a new scheme to improve air quality.
British drivers heading to Paris on or after 1 April will have to order a sticker online and put it in their car’s windscreen. Any car caught without a relevant sticker will face a €68 (£59) fine.
Called “Crit’Air", the stickers are separated into six categories ranging from zero emissions vehicles to diesel-powered cars, vans and trucks.
A spokesman for the AA said: ‘All British drivers heading to Paris will have to make sure they have the Crit’Air sticker arranged before heading over the Channel. There are no exceptions, so it’s another item to add to your pre-travel checks.’
Any car registered before 1997 is now banned from central Paris between 8am and 8pm on weekdays, which is a softening of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s original position. After opposition from classic car owners, this restricted access has been agreed. The same applies to scooters and motorcycles made before 2000 and trucks and buses built prior to 2001.
This means the whole of Paris inside the Périphérique ring road is now a Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) similar to that within the M25 for London.
A spokesman for the Mayor of London’s office said: ‘Air pollution in large cities is a serious health issue and must be dealt with in a variety of ways. LEZs are an effective way of managing this, though there are no plans to introduce a Parisian-style sticker scheme in London.’
RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “UK motorists travelling to Paris need to be aware of the new anti-pollution sticker system, as it also applies to foreign vehicles. Anyone caught without a sticker risks a fine of between €68-135, although police may be lenient in the early days.
“Stickers only cost around £3.50 to buy, but the website is currently only in French which could mean that stickers will not be sent to UK addresses. We believe an English-language site will be in operation next month, but in the meantime UK car visitors to France may well be left in motoring limbo.
For anyone travelling to Paris or other parts of Europe where driving carnets are required, you can check what’s needed to stay legal here.