British drivers travelling to France will be hit with fines of up to £116 if they fail to display an emissions sticker detailing how much their car pollutes.
Under the Crit’Air scheme, all vehicles driving in Paris and other major French cities will be required to grade their emissions on a scale of one to six.
The measures were introduced after Paris recorded several severe smog spikes over the past two months, prompting traffic restrictions and free public transport. A rise in pollution on Monday meant all vehicles with a level five sticker were banned from travelling within the city’s second ring road.
The anti-pollution stickers were launched on January 15 and will be mandatory for all vehicles registered abroad from March 31. Lyons and Grenoble are also operating the scheme, which could be introduced in a further 22 towns and cities such as Bordeaux, Le Havre and Toulouse by 2020.
stickers cost the equivalent of about £3.20 each and the categories
correspond to the six European Union emission standards for cars, dating
back to 1992 when Euro-1 was introduced.
Drivers who fail to display a sticker in Paris face an on-the-spot fine of €68 to €135, the equivalent of £58 to £116. However, French police have reportedly been instructed to be lenient in the early days while the scheme is still being implemented.
Some vehicles have not been assigned a category and are therefore unable to drive in Paris between 8am and 8pm on weekdays. These are typically older models, such as cars registered before 1997, motorbikes and scooters from before June 2000, as well as lorries and buses from before 2001.
Classic car enthusiasts have protested against the rules, which were introduced after several smog alerts in recent months.
Simon Williams, RAC European breakdown spokesman, said: “While the stickers only cost around £3.20, the website is currently only in French. An English-language site is, however, due to be in operation as of February 1.”British drivers can order the Crit’Air stickers online from February 1 at www.certificat-air.gouv.fr and will need to send a scan or photograph of their registration document.
Added: 31st January 2017.