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Paris votes to impose higher parking fees on SUVs

The Local France
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Paris votes to impose higher parking fees on SUVs
Cars parked near the Place de la Concorde in Paris. AFP PHOTO ANA AREVALO (Photo by ANA AREVALO / AFP)

Paris will follow Lyon’s lead by introducing a sliding scale of parking fees based on a vehicle’s weight - meaning that parking for SUVs will become more expensive than for smaller cars.

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The city council has voted in favour of the “progressive pricing of parking according to the duration, the motorisation, the size and the weight of the cars.”

The south-eastern city of Lyon adopted a similar weight-related parking fees policy in May, which is set to come into force in January 2024.

The voted text in Paris undertakes to “put in place on January 1st, 2024, a progressive pricing of parking according to duration, motorisation, size and weight of the cars”.

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No details are yet available on the exact fees or the weight scales that will be used.

The council voted unanimously in favour of the motion first proposed by the Green party, with councillor Frédéric Badina-Serpette, clarifying that the aim was "to focus on an absurdity: auto-besity … the inexorable growth in the weight and size of vehicles circulating in our cities, and particularly in Paris".

Officials say the number of SUVs in the city has increased by 60 percent over the last four years and they now make up 15 percent of the 1.15 million private vehicles parked in Paris every evening.

David Belliard, deputy mayor responsible for public space and mobility policy, said SUVs were incongruous in an urban environment; "There are no dirt paths, no mountain roads, SUVs are absolutely useless in Paris. Worse, they are dangerous, cumbersome and use too many resources to manufacture."

The adopted proposals, however, do contain a recommendation for a “solidarity tariff for families on the lowest incomes as well as for large families”. 

Environmentalists on the council welcomed the move, pointing to the increasing size of vehicles - between 1960 and 2017, the weight of vehicles increased by 62 percent

Larger vehicles, including SUVs, use more fuel and emit more fine particles, while a study by insurer Axa found that large 4x4s are involved in 25 percent more accidents than any other type of vehicle.

Another study reports that pedestrians are twice as likely to be killed in a collision with an SUV compared to a sedan.

In Lyon, the council has decided that, from next year, residential rates will range from €15 to €45 per month, based on the weight of their vehicle as opposed to the current €20 per month flat-fee for an on-street parking permit.

Under pending rules in the south-eastern city, owners of an internal combustion car that weighs less than one tonne, or an electric car weighing less than 2.2 tonnes, will pay €15; for an internal combustion car weighing more than 1.725 tonnes, a plug-in hybrid weighing more than 1.9 tonnes or an electric car weighing more than 2.2 tonnes the price will be €45. 

For vehicles in the middle range for weight, the monthly price for permits will be €30.

France already imposes a weight surcharge on vehicle purchases of large cars such as SUVs. 

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