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Vignette Crit’Air: A Guide to France’s Vehicle Emissions Labels

by | May 20, 2023

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France introduced the Vignette Crit’Air system in 2017 to tackle air pollution and protect the environment and public health. It’s a labeling system that categorises vehicles based on their pollution levels and determines their access to certain areas. In this article, we’ll explain what the Vignette Crit’Air is, how it works, and why it’s important for reducing air pollution.

What is the Vignette Crit’Air?

The Vignette Crit’Air, also known as the Crit’Air sticker or badge, is a system introduced by the French government in 2017.

Its purpose is to classify vehicles according to how much pollution they produce. Each vehicle is given a coloured sticker that represents its pollution level. The stickers are categorised by different colours. Each indicating a different emission standard.

How does it work?

To get a Crit’Air sticker, you need to apply to the French authorities and provide details about your vehicle.

Such as the license plate number, type of fuel it uses, and its Euro emission standard.

Once approved, you will receive a coloured sticker to display on your vehicle’s windshield or another visible spot. The sticker’s colour tells you how polluting the vehicle is, ranging from green (cleanest) to dark gray (most polluting).

The Crit’Air system has six categories. Labeled from Crit’Air 0 to Crit’Air 5. Categories are determined by the vehicle’s registration year and its Euro emission standard.

Crit’Air 0, actually it’s only a green label, represents electric and hydrogen vehicles that produce no emissions. Whereas Crit’Air 5 includes older vehicles that don’t meet the Euro emission standards or have no classification.

Different cities and regions in France may have specific rules and restrictions based on the Crit’Air classification. Such as low-emission zones and limits on vehicle access.

Why is it important?

The Vignette Crit’Air system is important for a few reasons. Firstly, it helps identify and discourage the use of highly polluting vehicles in cities, where air quality is a big concern. By limiting access to certain areas and imposing penalties, the Crit’Air system should encourage people to use cleaner and more environmentally friendly transportation options.

Secondly, the Crit’Air system promotes the adoption of greener technologies by providing benefits for low-emission vehicles. For example electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, labeled Crit’Air 0, enjoy advantages like priority parking, access to restricted areas and even some tax benefits.

Lastly, the Vignette Crit’Air raises awareness about vehicle emissions and their impact on air quality and public health. It reminds vehicle owners and the public about the importance of reducing pollution and using cleaner transportation options.

Conclusion

The Vignette Crit’Air system is an important tool in France’s efforts to fight air pollution and promote sustainable transportation.

By categorising vehicles based on their pollution levels and implementing specific rules and incentives, the Crit’Air system encourages the use of low-emission vehicles and contributes to improving air quality in cities.

It can serve as a model for other countries looking to implement effective vehicle emissions policies and create a cleaner and healthier environment for everyone.

Resources

Order your Vignette Crit’Air: https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/

More about conversion bonuses: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/actualites/A14391

Info about the bonus écologique: https://www.economie.gouv.fr/particuliers/bonus-ecologique

Low emission zones in Nice: https://www.nice.fr/fr/environnement/zone-a-faibles-emissions

Official government flyer about the program: https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/files/critair_flyertoutusager.pdf

Classification overview: https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/files/tableaux_classement.pdf

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