If you’re planning to drive to France and go through Paris, Lyon or Grenoble, beware. New rules mean you’re likely to need to display a vehicle emissions sticker on your windscreen, while older cars could be banned altogether at certain times.
The three French cities have introduced the ‘Crit’Air’ scheme, which is designed to curb pollution and requires most vehicles driving within designated ‘environmental zones’ to display a window sticker (known as a vignette).
The stickers cost €4.80 (around £4.17), including postage to the UK. There are six categories of sticker, which are colour-coded according to how much vehicles pollute and range from the cleanest (Crit’Air 1), for electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, to the most polluting (Crit’Air 6).
While the vignettes only cost a few pounds, if you’re caught driving without one in an environmental zone you could be hit with a hefty on-the-spot fine of up to €135 (about £117).
Be careful when buying one though. MoneySavingExpert.com has identified at least one non-official site selling the vignettes at more than six times the price on the official website. Don’t be fooled – always buy through the French environment ministry (see full help on how to get a sticker below).