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PARKING

Parking fines to skyrocket in Paris and other cities across France

Anyone who relies on their car in France should brace themselves for some bad news...from January 1st towns and cities in will have the power to fix the price of parking metres and fines. And in most places, those fees are set to double, including Paris.

Parking fines to skyrocket in Paris and other cities across France
Photo: Mokapest/Flickr
For example in Paris, fines for cars not displaying a ticket will rise to €50 in the central arrondissements and €35 elsewhere. In Lyon, fines will rise to as high as €60.
 
Indeed the move will see fines nearly double in most towns and cities across the country, with prices going up to between €30 and €35 in Bordeaux, €33 in Versailles, €30 in Aubervilliers and to between €24 and €34 in Rennes.
 
In Marseille and Lille, fines will go up to €17, while in Nice they will increase to €16, in Nancy to between €10 and €15 and in Calais to €11. 
 
According to French drivers' organisation 40 Millions d'automobilistes, authorities will use the new freedom to raise the price of parking, Le Parisien reports.
 
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Photo: AFP 

And people who use their cars to get in around the French capital look set to suffer the most, with the price of parking in Paris going up from €24 for six hours to €50, representing a massive increase of 108 percent. 
 
City authorities are justifying the increase in prices in the French capital, which has 150,000 parking spots, by claiming losses of  €300 million every year, as a result of fraud at the pay and displays machines. 
 
According to their calculation, 80,000 cars park in Paris every day without paying a penny and local authorities are seeing their new power as a chance to dissuade those who want to dodge parking fees.
 
On top of that, controls on parking are also set to be toughened up, with private companies taking over the monitoring of the parking situation in Paris.
 
 
“Less than 10 percent of motorists pay for parking in Paris because the fine, at €17, is not a sufficient deterrent,” said a spokesman from transport authority, Gart. 
 
And it seems that elsewhere in Europe increased fines have done the trick, with countries raising prices seeing compliance rates double. 
 
But not everyone agrees that a price hike is the way forward. 
 
Authorities in Calais, in an attempt to encourage motorists to come to the centre of town, have decided that drivers will only pay for 1,500 parking spots out of 50,000, and even then the first 15 minutes will be free. 
 

PARKING

Beach parking rates soar at tourist hotspots across France

The cost of a simple trip to the beach is rising fast in some of France's tourist hotspots, with holidaymakers having to dig deeper to cover the cost of parking.

Beach parking rates soar at tourist hotspots across France
Photo: AFP

Tourists in many coastal parts of France are having to cough up higher amounts than ever for parking penalties and leaving their cars parked on public roads for extended periods of time. 

The price hike has become much more obvious this summer, the first long-term holiday period since deregulation by France’s central government put the parking power in municipal hands on January 1st 2018.

Town halls now have the right to decide how much they charge drivers for parking on public space, so many of the 400 municipalities involved have increased their rates, extended the payment times and introduced stiffer penalties for unpaid parking tickets.

According to French daily Les Echos, the first hour of parking remains roughly the same at €1 across most of l’Héxagone, but the price soars quickly the longer they stay.

As the reform does prevent town halls from setting the price of fines (the post-parking or non-payment fee, FPS as it is called in France) in excess of the cost of a full day's parking rate, they have instead extended payment periods and bumped up rates for long-term parking.

In the seaside Côte d'Azur town of Cavalaire-sur-Mer, the parking price has almost quadrupled from €6 to €23 for the day.

Upmarket neighbour Saint-Tropez now charges drivers €30 to park on a street close to the beach and in Brittany in the northwest of France, authorities in the coastal town of Concarneau have set the daily amount at €35.

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Saint Tropez. Photo: Krzysztof Belczyński/Flickr

But whereas some coastal municipalities are seeing deregulation and an increase in tourist numbers as a chance to fill public coffers, other smaller tourist spots are more apprehensive about dissuading visitors with sky-high rates.

The seaside town of Sainte-Maxime on the French Riviera for example has decided to make its beachside public car park completely free of charge to visitors.

Authorities in France's biggest cities have however taken to putting up parking rates, much the same as town halls in some of the country's most popular coastal spots.

In Paris the rate for not displaying a parking ticket is now €50 and in Lyon it's as high as €60.

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