By Vanessa Hackman
Crit’Air is the new scheme that is currently active in Paris, Lyon and Grenoble where all vehicles (including those registered overseas) must display an air quality certificate. The certificate details how much the vehicle pollutes, and is graded according to European Union vehicle emissions standards on a scale of 1-6.
The certificate is a round sticker which must be displayed in the windscreen of a vehicle, and corresponds to a vehicle class according to air pollutant emissions. For now, it is mandatory in Paris, Lyon and Grenoble between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday. It is thought that up to 22 other towns and cities in France will implement the system by 2020.
The new vignette system was launched on January 15th 2017, and will be mandatory for all vehicles, including those registered abroad, by March 31st 2017. Owners of vehicles not displaying the colour coded sticker will face an on the spot fine of up to €135. All motorised vehicles, including motorbikes, buses and lorries, will be graded from 1-6, 1 being the least polluting. Any car manufactured before 1996 will not be issued a certificate, and therefore is not permitted within any restricted zone.
The system has been rolled out by Mayor Anne Hidalgo in response to reported smog spikes in the French capital, which have in the past prompted temporary free public transport in order to combat dangerous air quality in the city. The colour coded sticker system makes it possible for the least polluting vehicles to be treated more favourably. This includes favourable parking spaces, low emissions lanes, and in times of peak pollution more polluting vehicles (for example level 3 or higher) may be restricted on the roads.
The certificate costs €4.80 (including postage) and can be bought online on the Crit’Air website, which is also available in English. To apply you need to attach your vehicle’s registration document to the online application form provided. The registration document shows the emissions level of the vehicle that will determine it’s rating and colour coded sticker.
It can take up to 30 days for the certificate to be issued, so don’t get caught out! If you are planning a trip that involves driving through Paris, Lyon or Grenoble make sure you order your Crit’Air windscreen sticker in time!