Fleet operators warned over new emissions sticker system in France

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European fleets with drivers travelling to France are being warned of a new vehicle emissions sticker system introduced in Paris, Lyon and Grenoble to tackle pollution.

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The Crit’Air scheme requires all vehicles to display a windscreen sticker according to how much they pollute.

The CritAir scheme requires all vehicles cars, lorries, motorbikes and buses to display a windscreen sticker, or vignette, according to how much they pollute. The scheme came into force in Grenoble and Lyon on 1 January followed by Paris on 22 January.

Vehicles registered abroad will be allowed to drive in central Paris without the CritAir vignette until 31 March. From this point, the penalty for failure to display a sticker while driving in Paris is an on-the-spot fine of between 68-135, in line with the six European Union emission standards for cars.

RAC European breakdown spokesman Simon Williams said: Anyone driving into France from anywhere in Europe who gets caught without a sticker risks a fine of between 68 and 135, although we understand the French police are likely to be lenient in the early days. In order to apply for a sticker online drivers will need to know the European Emissions Standard of their vehicle this can be quickly checked on the RACs website.

Stickers cost around 3.70 or 4.18 including postage, and come in six categories ranging from the very cleanest (CritAir 1) electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles to the dirtiest (CritAir 6).

Motorists can purchase stickers online, but the website is currently only in French. An English-language site is, however, due to be in operation as of 1 February.

Ultimately, those vehicles with the highest emissions face not being allowed to drive in the city on days where pollution is particularly high. In the future vehicles may be banned from driving in CritAir areas on certain days based on which sticker have, or which emissions category they fall into.

In total, 22 other towns may decide to implement a similar scheme by 2020, including Lille, Bordeaux, Cannes and Strasbourg.

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