Paris delays ban on diesel cars

The Local France
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Paris delays ban on diesel cars
Traffic on the Alexandre III bridge in Paris. Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP

The city of Paris has announced that its ban on diesel and older models of petrol cars, due to come into effect this summer, will be delayed until the start of 2025.


Paris has already banned vehicles with a 4 or 5 rating under the Crit'Air scheme - largely older models of diesel vehicles which are the most polluting.

It had planned to expand this category in the summer of 2023 to vehicles with a Crit'Air 3 rating - diesel vehicles made before 2011 and petrol/gasoline vehicles registered before 2006.

However, city authorities have announced that the necessary infrastructure for enforcement is not ready, so they intend to delay the ban until January 1st 2025.


This is the date that a national ban on Crit'Air 3 vehicles will come into effect in all urban areas designated as high-emissions zones or ZFE (zone à faibles émissions). The government has set out a three year-time timetable for gradually restricting the most polluting vehicles from city centres, but had allowed local authorities to accelerate the timetable if they want to.

This is what the city of Paris had intended to do. City authorities blamed a national government delay in plans for automated enforcement of the rules, saying "a low emissions-zone without sanctions does not work".

Instead, for the next 18 months vehicles with Crit'Air 4 and 5 stickers will remain banned from the city.

The city of Paris also regularly brings in temporary bans on Crit'Air 3 vehicles on days when the level of air pollution spike, usually in the summer.

France's Crit'Air scheme is being gradually expanded to towns and cities across the country in an attempt to improve the air quality in built-up areas.

READ ALSO Crit'Air: How France's vehicle emissions stickers work

Every vehicle - including foreign-registered cars - entering a Crit'Air zone must have a sticker displayed in the windscreen showing its Crit'Air rating. The rating ranks vehicles from 0 to 5 based on how polluting they are. 

Driving a vehicle in a Crit'Air zone without a sticker can net you a €68 fine.

Local authorities can then enact restrictions or total bans on certain classifications of vehicles.

If you are visiting France from another country, you will need to order your sticker in advance, and they can only be sent by mail. Full details on how to order can be found here

Authorities in Paris have longer term plans for a car-free zone in the four central arrondissements of the city, and have recently voted in favour of weight-based parking charges that will make it more expensive to park an SUV.

READ ALSO How French cities are getting people out of their cars



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