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Do you need a Crit'Air Sticker to drive in France?

Written By Phil Hall

Do you need a Crit'Air Sticker to drive in France?

With 11 major cities across France now introducing Low Emissions Zones, you might need a Crit'Air Sticker in your car to avoid a potential hefty fine.

Just as we've seen in the UK where a growing number of towns and cities have brought in ultra-low emission zones (the most notable one being London's ULEZ), France is doing a similar thing in an effort to improve air quality in urban areas.

However, things are being done a little differently across the channel and if you're travelling to France it's something you need to be aware of.  

That's because any car entering these low mobility emission zones (which you'll see referred to as ZFE-m) - regardless if it's registered in France or elsewhere - need to display a clean air sticker, which you'll see referred to as a Crit'Air Vignette. Failure to display a Crit'Air means you could be faced with a fine of €68 (or around £58).

There are six categories of certificates which classifies vehicles according to their level of polluting emissions.

Whether you'll need a Clean Air Sticker when travelling in France depends on where you'll be heading (and passing through). However, a number of popular cities with UK tourists now have low mobility emission zones, including Paris, Rouen, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Lyon, Reims, Nice and Grenoble, with more being added.

Do you need a Crit'Air Sticker to drive in France?
When you're entering a low mobility emission zone, you'll be able to see what categories of are accepted and when.

How do I get a Crit'Air Sticker?

If you're worried about getting a Clean Air Sticker for France, don't be as it should be a pretty painless process (and you don't need to dust off your GCSE French either). 

For UK residents, those travelling to France should log on to the official website where you'll be able to view and english version of the page. 

You'll then be able to navigate your way through the online ordering process, but you will need to have your car's V5C logbook to hand as you're asked to enter details from this, as well as upload a photograph of the V5C as part of the application. 

How much does a Crit'Air Sticker cost?

A single application will cost €4.61, and that includes postage as well. Once ordered, it should take about five working days to get to you. It's a one-off payment for the car, so once you've placed it in the car windscreen it is valid for the lifetime of the car.  

A word of caution though - there are a number of unofficial sites that will try and sell you a Crit'Air Sticker, but these will charge you more and it might not necessarily be valid either. 

If you're worried your clean air sticker won't arrive in time, have your confirmation email to hand (or print out a hard copy). 

No, if you're driving to France from the UK in a UK-registered car. You need to order your clean air sticker before you leave from the official France government website.

No. If your car is registered before January 1997, you won't be able to drive into these restricted zones. 

All cars entering one of France's low emissions zones needs a Crit'Air Sticker, with EVs classed as Crit'Air 0/E.