Many of our drivers use their company or car to drive aboard for business trips and holidays. For those setting off for France, you may need to display a Crit’Air sticker.
What is Crit’Air?
Crit’Air, meaning ‘clean air’, is a new emission-based system in France to categorise a vehicle’s pollution level. There are six colour categories, ranging from green to black, based on the European Emission Standards. From February 1, 2017, each vehicle must now display a sticker, or ‘vignette’, to denote its level of pollution.
According the guide released by the RAC, the stickers apply to all vehicles including cars, motorbikes and lorries and affect both French residents and foreign drivers.
For foreign drivers however, there is increased leniency, giving drivers until March 31 to fully comply with the Crit’Air initiative.
Are all areas of France affected?
There are now 27 different environmental zones in force across France including Paris, Strasbourg, Grenoble and Lyon. In these zones, traffic can be permanently or temporarily restricted. The zones with permanent restrictions are called “zones à circulation restreinte” and abbreviated to ZCR. Travelling through these zones requires a Crit’Air sticker, and depending on the category, traffic may be restricted to certain days and times, or refused entirely..
For more advice, visit on the which areas of France are affected, visit crit-air.fr/en
How to obtain a Crit’Air sticker?
You can apply online at the official Crit’Air website.
For foreign-registered vehicles, stickers are €4.80 each. Before you apply you need to know your vehcile’s European Emissions Standard. Visit the RAC’s website to find out how.
It has also been reported that the process can take up to six weeks; be sure to order your sticker in good time before you are due to travel.
If you do not have the correct sticker displayed, you could face a fine up to £117.00.
Important: The RAC is aware of non-official, third party websites selling Crit’Air vignettes for more than seven times more than the rate set by the French government – motorists should ensure they only buy a sticker through the official Crit’Air website.
Are there any other requirements?
You will also be required to carry the following items, failure to do so may incur fines from the French authorities;
- 2x breathalyser kits (compulsory)
- Warning Triangle (compulsory)
- High Viz Jackets for every passenger in the car (compulsory)
- Spare bulb kit (recommended)
- Headlight stickers (compulsory)
- First Aid Kit (recommended)
Don’t forget to complete your VE103B
If you are taking your company car or van overseas, to France or anywhere in Europe, visit out Travelling Abroad page to apply for your VE103B.