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MAP: Which French cities have vehicle bans or restrictions?

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
MAP: Which French cities have vehicle bans or restrictions?
A French Gendarme uses a tablet to control the "Crit'Air" sticker on a car (Photo by JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT / AFP)

If you're driving in a French city, the chances are high that there will be low-emission zones or other restrictions for vehicles, and you may also need a Crit'Air sticker.


In order to control pollution levels in France, cities across the country are bringing in 'low-emission zones,' called "Zone à faible émissions mobilité" (ZFE).

Some places have complete vehicle bans, while others have bans on certain types of vehicles or restrictions at certain times, while others only implement restrictions if the pollution level is high. In all cases, the system is based on the Crit'Air sticker.


These stickers show police the emissions level of your vehicle and range from Crit'Air E (zero emissions vehicles) to Crit'Air 5 for the most polluting.

The sticker should go on the right-hand side of your car’s windshield and should be visible at all times when you are driving in the city. The sticker includes your vehicle's registration plate so cannot be swapped or borrowed.


It applies to both French and foreign registered vehicles, so if you're planning a trip to France and intend to drive in cities, you need to order the sticker in advance and have it sent to you by post. 

Find out how HERE

Failing to respect the applicable rules for low-emissions zones can lead to fines.


As of September 1st, three cities - Lyon, Rouen and Marseille - have expanded their low-emission zones, while several other cities are planning to introduce them by 2025.

The below map shows cities that already have them (blue) and cities that intend to introduce them by 2025 (yellow).

Photo credit: The French ecological transition ministry

Paris and the greater Paris region

The city of Paris is a ZFE. Unclassified vehicles and those in the Crit'Air 4 and Crit'Air 5 categories were no longer authorised to drive within the perimeter of the A86 périphérique as of June 1st, 2021.

These include "Euro 3 vehicles, diesels manufactured before 2006 and motorcycles manufactured before July 2004," according to French government website Service-Public.

Vehicles in the Crit'Air 3 category (diesel engines before 2010, petrol/gasoline engines before 2006) are still allowed to drive in the Greater Paris area until July 1, 2023.

For Paris, these rules apply during the hours of 8am until 8pm on weekdays, excepting public holidays. For 'light vehicles' (private cars, light commercial vehicles, two-wheelers, motor tricycles and quadricycles), these rules apply on weekdays (excluding public holidays). For buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles these rules apply seven days a week.

Thus, the only vehicles authorised to drive within the city of Paris between these hours, seven days a week are zero emissions cars or those with Crit'Air stickers 1-3.


For Reims, the low-emission zone applies to "light vehicles, light commercial vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches." As of January 1st, 2022 Crit'Air 5 vehicles were banned. 

This ban is set to be extended to Crit'Air 4 vehicles on January 1st, 2023. Later in 2024, Crit'Air 3 vehicles will also restricted. 


These rules do not concern two-wheel vehicles, motor tricycles and quadricycles, motorcycles and mopeds, or agricultural tractors.


In Toulouse, the Low Emission Zone came into effect on March 1st, 2022.

As of September 1st, 2022, non-classified vehicles, vans and heavy goods vehicles with the Crit'Air 5 label, as well as commercial vehicles and heavy goods vehicles with Crit'Air 4 stickers were not allowed to drive in the low-emissions zone.

This is set to be gradually extended to others. From January 1st, 2023: all motor vehicles with Crit'air 4, 5 and non-classified labels will be restricted. Eventually, in 2024 only zero emissions vehicles and those with Crit'Air 1 and 2 stickers be authorised to circulate within the zone.


Montpellier introduced its low-emissions zone on July 1st, 2022. Until December 31st, 2022, no fines will be imposed as it is to be considered an educational period. 

The city also allows an exception for "small drivers" - those who own a vehicle but drive under 8,000 km per year. To qualify you must fill out THIS form. 

As of July 1st 2022 in Montpellier, vehicles without a Crit'Air sticker are prohibited in the low emissions zone. This includes cars that were put into circulation before January 1, 1997, light commercial vehicles dating from before October 1997 or heavy goods vehicles, buses or coaches registered before October 1, 2001.

This means that 'light vehicles' that are either low emission or fall into categories one through five are permitted, as of July 1st.

The rules are applicable all days of the week and at all times.


As of January 2022, heavy goods vehicles (more than 3.5 tons) and coaches with a Crit'Air 5 sticker (vehicles considered to be the most polluting) were banned from the streets of the city centre and the Promenade des anglais.


Other vehicles remain authorised to circulate in this zone.

From January 1st, 2023, heavy vehicles with a Crit'Air 4 sticker and light vehicles with a Crit'Air 5 sticker will be subject to this ban. By 2024, this restriction will be extended to heavy goods vehicles with a Crit'Air 3 sticker and light vehicles with a Crit'Air 4.


For the Grenoble-Alpes urban area known as the metropole, as of July 1st, 2022 vehicles with Crit'Air 3, 4, and 5 stickers were banned from circulation. 

From 2025, this will extend to Crit'Air 2 vehicles. You can read more HERE


In Saint-Etienne, only heavy goods vehicles and light commercial vehicles (vans) transporting goods are affected by restrictions. Two-wheelers and private vehicles are not. 

As of January 31st, 2022, the restrictions concerned 'non-classified' heavy goods vehicles (freight transport), i.e. put into circulation before October 1, 2001, as well as light commercial vehicles, also 'non-classified' (put into circulation before October 1, 1997). They were prohibited from circulating within the Saint-Etienne low emissions zone.

By January 1, 2025, the ban will be extended to all heavy goods vehicles, vans and small vans with Crit'air 4 and 5 stickers. Eventually, by 2027, it will also concern heavy goods vehicles, vans and small trucks with a Crit'air 3 stickers.


In Strasbourg, all motorised vehicles (cars, trucks, light commercial vehicles, 2 or 3 motorised wheels) with Crit'Air 5 stickers are banned. Other vehicles - those that are zero-emissions or have Crit'Air 1, 2, 3, or 4 stickers are authorised 7 days a week and at all times. 


After January 1st, 2023, sanctions will begin for Crit'Air 5 vehicles operating within the zone. After that, the other Crit'Air stickers will be progressively banned one by one until 2028, when only zero emissions vehicles, Crit'Air 1 and 2 will be allowed.


Marseille updated its regulations for Crit'Air stickers as of September 1st, 2022, banning Crit'Air 5 vehicles.

The ban will only concern 2 percent of personal vehicles, 4.4 percent of trucks and 1 percent of commercial vehicles.

In September 2023, this restriction will be extended to vehicles with Crit'Air 4 and earlier stickers. In September 2024, the restriction will be extended to vehicles with Crit'Air 3 stickers.

The low emissions zone applies to all categories of motorised vehicles (heavy goods vehicles, commercial vehicles, cars, two-wheelers, tricycles and quadricycles) and is permanent (7 days a week and 24 hours a day).


As of Thursday, September 1st, Lyon banned Crit'Air 5 vehicles and those without a Crit'Air sticker. Previously, this did not apply to private vehicles, but as of the start of September those were included as well.

Fines will begin starting January 2023.

Eventually, the city will seek to also progressively restrict Crit'Air 4, 3 and 2 vehicles in coming years. The greater Lyon urban area hopes to ban all diesel vehicles by 2026.


In Rouen, as of September 1st 2022, all motorists with Crit'Air 4 and 5 stickers were banned from driving in the low emissions zone. 

While Rouen had already established a low-emission zone in January 2022, it only concerned light commercial vehicles and heavy goods vehicles.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
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Anonymous 2022/09/01 18:00
How will this work with rental/hire cars?

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