Heading to France? Be sure to get a clean air sticker

paris eiffel tower

Published on 23 February 2017 by Robert Drane

If you have plans to take your two wheels to France this year, it’s important to know that France has introduced ‘clean air’ windshield stickers as a legal requirement in some of its cities.

The system (called Crit’Air vignettes) is currently active in Paris, Lyon and Grenoble. It uses stickers of six different categories to identify to authorities the volume of the emissions each vehicle produces.


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Each category has a different colour to symbolise how heavily polluting the vehicle is, in accordance with the European Emissions Standard. The colours start with green – Crit’Air 1 – which is for electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles. The scale then ends at black or Crit’Air 6, which is mostly for older diesel vehicles.

Motorbikes and scooters registered before June 2000 are deemed to produce the most dangerous exhaust emissions. In fact, Paris has banned these from visiting the city outright – as part of FEMA, the BMF attended a demonstration against this in October 2016.

The badge itself costs as little as £3.20, but fines for not using it cost between €68 and €135 (about £59 and £117).

Since the scheme was introduced, 22 other French towns have expressed an interest in adopting the same measures within the next three years. Make sure to check whether you need to purchase a sticker before your travel.

Back in the UK, the Government has been given an eight-month deadline to come to an agreement on a plan of their own for dealing with harmful air pollution.


Main photo by Oselina, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link. Resized and colours ajusted.