Driving to France this summer? A little sticker could save you from a hefty fine
I hope you have a pen and piece of paper to hand because important information is incoming. Well, important if you plan to take your car/motorbike to the continent.
If you are planning to travel to France (or further) in your car on holiday, you now need a Crit’Air sticker. You have, in fact, since the start of the year but there was approximately no publicity to tell UK drivers about it. Many large towns and most cities (plus the alpine tunnels and some motorways) in France have Low Emission Zones and all vehicles now need clean air certification to enter them. Without the correct vignette displayed in your windscreen, you could be fined by the authorities and, knowing our neighbours, you probably will be.
The marvellous news is that it is simple to apply for and will arrive in a matter of days (though some people say they had to wait for six weeks). Go to www.certificat-air.gouv.fr to apply for your clean air vignette… do not apply for it through a third party website that charges you a large amount of money for the privilege of them filling in the form for you – don’t worry, you can chose English as your language – then pay the three or four euros and wait for the postman to deliver your sticker.
If you have left it too late for the vignette to arrive before you leave, do not panic. Once your application is approved (maybe a day, no more) you will be sent an invoice by email which will prove you have applied and are exempt from any fines. I’d suggest printing this out so you can show any interested parties should the occasion arise.
Congratulations, you may now travel to Europe in your car safe in the knowledge that you have the correct paperwork to beat the system and annoy the police who stop you to ask for your Crit’Air certification.
The DS is a plug-in hybrid so is granted purple status (the second cleanest after 100 per cent electric or hydrogen vehicles) with stickers available for all vehicles right down to any Euro 2 certified diesels.
This public information statement is now over. Enjoy your holidays!