Crit’Air – France Pollution Stickers

CritAir sticker france air pollution clean paris

Crit’air france pollution stickers. Drivers are required to display the appropriate “Crit’Air” sticker when driving through Paris and certain other major French cities, including Lyon, Lille, and Grenoble. It is likely that more cities will implement similar schemes in the future.

Crit'Air France pollution stickers in 2023

The French clean air stickers, known as Crit’Air vignettes, are used to identify a vehicle’s air pollutant emissions. 

All drivers traveling to France should be aware that if they do not have a French “clean air” sticker, known as a Crit’Air vignette, they may be subject to an on-the-spot fine of up to €180 and € 375 for heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches.

The Crit’Air vignette costs €4.61 (including postage) per vehicle and is valid for the lifetime of the vehicle.

The Crit’Air vignette system consists of six categories, ranging from green for the cleanest to dark grey for the dirtiest, based on Euro emissions standards. 

Vehicles with the least pollution are given preferential parking and traffic conditions, and the sticker is valid for the lifetime of the vehicle.E

Crit’Air categories 

  • Green – Crit’Air E (zero emissions – electric and hydrogen vehicles)
  • Purple – Crit’Air 1 (gas and rechargeable hybrid vehicles)
  • Yellow – Crit’Air 2 (Euro 5 and Euro 6 vehicles)
  • Orange – Crit’Air 3 (Euro 4 vehicles)
  • Burgundy – Crit’Air 4 (Euro 3 vehicles)
  • Dark Grey – Crit’Air 5 (Euro 2 vehicles)

Do I have to use Crit'Air sticker ?

Having an Air Quality Certificate affixed is mandatory, even for vehicles and purposes that are exempt from the restrictions that apply in restricted traffic zones or on a temporary basis.

Crit’Air stickers should be affixed on the right-hand side of the car’s windscreen and should be clearly visible at all times. 

Not all vehicles are eligible for the vignettes. Cars registered before January 1997 and motorbikes and scooters registered before June 2000 are ineligible, and cannot be driven at all where restrictions apply. 

Additionally:  If you are renting a car, this is an issue to be agreed with the rental company and the car lessee who pay for Crit’Air Sticker. Any penalty applies to the person driving the vehicle.

As of June 2021, Crit’Air 4 category vehicles (burgundy colored sticker) are no longer authorized to drive within the perimeter of the A86 motorway and no longer only in intramural Paris. These are Euro 3 standard vehicles, diesels from before 2006 and motorcycles from before July 2004. Crit’Air 3 category vehicles (diesel engines from before 2011, gasoline from before 2006) are still authorized to drive in the Metropolis of Greater Paris until 1st July, 2023 according to a deliberation of the Metropolis.

Crit'Air 4 vehicles banned

Vehicles now covered by this ban are:

  • two-wheeled, tricycles and quadricycles with motor put into circulation before 1st July 2004
  • diesel cars put into circulation before 1st January 2006;
  • diesel light commercial vehicles put into service before 1st January 2006;
  • diesel heavy goods vehicles put into service before 1st October 2009.

What areas does it affect?

There are currently two different types of government-defined low emissions zones in France:

  • Permanent low-emission zones (known as ZCR – Zone à Circulation Restreinte)
  • Temporary emergency low-emissions zones (known as ZPA – Zone de la Protection de l’Air)

Crit’Air 3 vehicles (pre-2010 diesel engines, pre-2006 petrol), the Metropole du Grand Paris has moved back to 1st July 2023 the prohibition of driving in the Low Emision Zone delimited by the A86. It was initially to take place on 1st July 2022, it was postponed for the first time until the beginning of 2023, it is postponed again. In 2024, this ban will be extended to the Crit’Air 2 category (all diesels, including newer ones, and pre-2011 species). The target is 100% clean vehicles by 2030.

The above signs indicate where a ZCR starts and finishes

Low emission zones in France (ZCR)

Low-emission zones, known as ZCRs, are permanently in place in certain areas and restrict the access of certain vehicles based on their Crit’Air vignette.

Only vehicles with a certain vignette category are allowed to enter these areas, either for driving or parking. All vehicles must display a sticker indicating their vignette category in order to enter the ZCR, or they may be fined.

ZCRs are currently in effect in Grenoble, Paris, and Strasbourg.

Grenoble low emissions zone

As from January 2017 The Grenoble ZCR covers the vast majority of the Alpine city and is imposed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

In April 2019, only certain types of vehicles were permitted to enter the city: light commercial vehicles and trucks with Crit’Air vignettes E, 1, 2, 3, or 4. Private cars are currently not subject to these restrictions, but it is possible that this may change in the future.

Paris low emission zone

Paris has two permanent low-emissions zones: the Central Paris ZCR (within the Boulevard Périphérique ring road) and the Greater Paris ZCR (within the city’s A86 outer ring road).

  • The Central Paris ZCR has had stricter rules since July 2019, allowing only vehicles with Crit’Air vignettes E, 1, 2, and 3 within the zone from 8am to 8pm on weekdays.
  • The Greater Paris ZCR allows only vignettes E, 1, 2, 3, and 4 within the zone during the same time period.

Strasbourg low emission zone

Strasbourg’s ZCR applies to commercial vehicles only and restricts the entry of certain trucks and light duty vehicles into the city center at certain times.

France ZPA low-emissions zones

  • Paris
  • Annecy
  • Chambery
  • Arve Valley
  • Côte d’Or/Dijon
  • Creuse/Guéret 
  • Deux-Sèvres/Niort
  • Drôme/Valence
  • Eure-et-Loir/Chartres
  • Gers/Auch
  • Gironde/Bordeaux
  • Grenoble
  • Haute-Savoie/Annecy
  • Hérault/Montpelier
  • Isère/Grenoble
  • Lille
  • Loiret/Orléans
  • Lyon
  • Maine-et-Loire
  • Marseille
  • Puy-de-Dome/Clermont Ferrand
  • Pyrénées-Atlantiques
  • Rennes
  • Savoie/Chambery
  • Strasbourg
  • Toulouse
  • Vendée/La Rouche-sur-Yon
  • Vienne/Poitiers

It is possible that this situation may change quickly as more cities and departments implement low-emission zones due to weather conditions. To stay informed, be sure to check the Urban Access Regulations website before starting your trip

Where do I buy a Crit'Air france pollution stickers?

Apply online for a Crit’Air vignette on the official French government website

Avoid third party websites offering this sticker with a higher price.

It should arrive within 10 working days. 

It is hoped that the majority of visitors will recognize that the effort to improve the air quality in our major cities is worth the minor inconvenience of purchasing a €4,61 (£4.10) sticker online and displaying it while traveling. This is no different than displaying a UK sticker on a vehicle while driving through France.

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