Crossing the border into France could now cost you £117

British Tourists who drive to France face a hefty £117 fine if they don’t display a 'green' car sticker showing the cars emissionsfrench flag

British Tourists planning a driving holiday to France this summer could face a £117 fine if they don’t show a sticker giving their car’s emissions. As of 31st March 2017, drivers who plan to holiday in Paris, Lyon and Grenoble must show the green sticker on their windscreen, stating the car’s age, the size of its engine and the level of Co2 emissions it gives off. This new environmental push also targets vehicles over 20 years old by banning them from driving through Paris, Lyon and Grenoble on specific days.

It’s called the ‘Crit’Air’ initiative and issues stickers in six different colours, starting with a green sticker for hydrogen-powered vehicles along the scale to a grey sticker for the worst performing cars. There are another 22 cities that are thinking of rolling out the initiative over the next year, including Lille, Cannes and Dunkirk. For now ultra-green scheme only affects drivers travelling to Paris, Lyon and Grenoble. If you don’t plan on visiting these three cities you don’t need any sort of sticker or declaration about your car’s age or emissions. The RAC has come out and said it has been very busy with calls from desperate travelers planning to head over to France who are finding it hard to get their hands on a green sticker – This seems to be down to the French government’s website and paperwork delays.

Brits say the website is a struggle to navigate and asks for every shred of info about their car. Tourists can only apply on the French government’s website, and are prompted to provide the vehicle’s insurance policy number, identification number, and the vehicle title and V5 registration document. Green stickers can be bought only from the French government website (certificat-air.gouv.fr), and cost £4.10 each including postage to the recipient. Even after you apply for the stickers, you stand to face a wait of up to six weeks for it to land on your doorstep; this is because of the massive amount of applications submitted in the last few days.road sign displayiing cities

French officials say that anyone who has applied for a sticker and it doesn’t arrive before they leave for their holiday should print off a copy of the confirmation email they received after applying.   If they’re stopped by the police for not displaying the sticker, they can show the order confirmation and avoid the £117 on the spot fine.

If your car is seen to be a pollution machine – this includes all petrol and diesel cars built before 1st January 1997 – they will not be allowed in certain cities between the times of 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday. There are also specific days set out by cities which you won’t be able to enter and that is because these are high pollution days.