Crit’air is France’s contribution to European measures to reduce carbon emissions from motorised transport in its cities. The scheme was developed by the French Ministry of the Environment in collaboration with the French Ministry of the Interior and came into force in January 2017.
Where does the Crit’Air system apply?
To drive within one of six French cities, you need to display your CRIT-air sticker.
However, since the scheme may be expanded to other French cities and towns in the near future, it is advisable to obtain the sticker, regardless of where you plan to drive.
I´m not driving to one of those cities. Do I still need a sticker?
There are several reasons why you should buy a Crit’air sticker, regardless of where in France you’re planning to drive. These include:
- The Crit-air sticker costs just €3.11 at the moment, plus postage
- Crit’air certification lasts throughout the lifetime of your vehicle, making it economical to obtain certification while its cost is still low.
- The scheme may be expanded beyond the cities listed above.
- On the spot fines for non-compliance can range from €85 to €135, making this a very sensible investment!
Cars registered outside France are not exempt, so if you’re planning on driving in France, you’ll need to pick one up. They cost just €3.11 plus postage. Do allow plenty of time for this, as well – there have been reports of certificates taking up to six weeks to arrive.
The certificates come in the form of circular, colour-coded windscreen stickers (vignettes) that designate the level of emissions your vehicle produces.
I have a vintage car – what do I do?
Vehicles classed as Euro 1 (manufactured prior to 1st January 1997) cannot be certified, since they fall into the most polluting class. This is particularly bad news for vintage car owners, who are not permitted to drive into the city centre between 8am and 8pm.