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French city hikes parking charges for SUVs

Genevieve Mansfield
Genevieve Mansfield - [email protected]
French city hikes parking charges for SUVs
People drive their sport utility vehicles (SUV) in France. (Photo by Nancy Wangue MOUSSISSA / AFP)

On Tuesday, the eastern French city of Lyon introduced its new 'progressive pricing' model for parking, which imposes higher charges for heavy vehicles such as SUVs.

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Residents in the south-eastern French city of Lyon face steeper parking prices if they own a heavier car as the city steps up an environmental battle against gas-guzzling SUVs.

The scheme, which was first announced in 2023, went into effect on Tuesday.

The deputy mayor of Lyon, Valentin Lungenstrass, told the French press that the plan is "a complete, fairer system, taking into account the weight of the vehicle".

Parking will now be charged at three different rates - reduced, standard and increased - depending on the vehicle's weight and other factors.

You can use the town hall's simulator HERE to see how much you would be charged.

Here's how it will work;

For Lyon residents

Instead of having paying for parking at the standard rate of €20 per month, there will be three different, means-tested, options depending on your car and family situation.

Most electric vehicles and internal-combustion engine cars weighing less than one tonne will pay a reduced rate of €15 a month, as well as low-income households and those with at least three dependent children.

According to local authorities, this rate will apply to at least 50 percent of households in Lyon.

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The second rate will be €30 per month. This will concern vehicles weighing between one tonne to 1.525 tonnes, as well as plug-in hybrids (up to 1.9 tonnes).

Finally, the third rate of €45 will be applied to those with vehicles weighing over 1.525 tonnes, as well as hybrids that weigh more than 1.9 tonnes and electric vehicles that weight more than 2.1 tonnes. 

READ MORE: Meet France's tiny cars that you don't need a licence to drive

For visitors

Visitors will also pay for parking at a progressive rate structure.

Ultimately, Franceinfo reported that the vast majority of visitors will see their rates increase.

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The same criteria as above will apply - vehicles under one tonne get the reduced rate, those between one tonne and 1.525 tonnes plus hybrids under 1.9 tonnes get the standard rate, and those above 1.525 tonnes and the heaviest hybrids and electric vehicles get the increased rate.

As such, a vehicle that meets the reduced rate requirement will pay €1 for one hour, €3 for two hours, and €18 to park for seven hours. The standard rate will be €2 for one hour, €6 for two hours, and €26 for seven hours, and the increased rate will be €3 for one hour, €9 for two hours and €39 for seven hours.

You can see the full table here.

According to estimates by the Lyon town hall, 20 percent of visitors will be affected by the reduced rate, 65 percent will pay the standard rate and 15 percent will pay the increased rate.

For tradespeople and workers

There will be a different scheme applied for workers. 

Annual subscriptions will be offered to those who work in 'urgent repair' professions, as well as those in construction.

"Several subscriptions will be possible for the same company", the town hall told 20 Minutes.

Store owners and shopkeepers will also be offered a different pricing plan, as well as healthcare professionals who go to appointments at people's homes. More information here.

Other steps in France to encourage greener vehicles

The French government previously introduced a purchase tax on new heavier, more polluting cars, amounting to a €10 payment per kilogramme above 1.8 tonnes.

In Paris, residents voted in favour of a similar weight-based parking scheme in February 2024, which would charge cars weighing 1.6 tonnes or more €18 per hour for parking in the city centre, or €12 further out.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, of Parti Socialiste, hailed a "clear choice of Parisians" in favour of a measure that is "good for our health and good for the planet".

Fully electric cars will have to top two tonnes to be affected, while people living or working in Paris, taxi drivers, tradespeople, health workers and people with disabilities will all be exempt.

The new parking charges will apply from September 1st. 

The French government also introduced a special leasing deal to help households access electric vehicles. 

Eligible French residents can rent a car without a deposit for three years and renew the subscription once, supported by a subsidy of up to €13,000 for each car.

READ MORE: How France's €100-per-month electric car lease scheme works

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Comments (1)

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Michael O'Neill 2024/06/13 18:23
Hi there , I am due to arrive on 26th in my= Renault Arkana crossover , I have a UK blue badge , will I still be able to park free
  • Emma Pearson 2024/06/13 18:32
    Hi, the situation on blue badges has been a bit of a grey area since Brexit, although it seems like most French local authorities are still accepting them as proof of disability https://www.thelocal.fr/20230421/reader-question-can-you-use-a-french-disabled-parking-badge-in-the-uk-and-vice-versa

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