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New Paris Clean Air Rules Ban UK’s Older Diesels

How new rules will affect Britons, even if they're only passing through to see the sites.

New clean air rules from July 1st 2017

The Paris Air Quality Certificate prevents the most polluting cars entering the city at certain times and – since July 1st 2017 – more, relatively modern, diesels have been banned. The purpose of the certificate is to cut pollution and improve air quality. Its rules apply to your car even if passing through briefly to see the sites. 

How Air Quality Certificate works

Your car is classified based on whether it is fairly harmless environmentally, very polluting or in the middle. Its Euro X standard, in other words. The certificate resembles a paper tax disc and its colour confirms the classification. Your certificate must be displayed on (say) the windscreen. The classifications are:

ColourQualifying Cars
Green(Level 0)
  • Fully electric
  • hydrogen
Purple(Level 1)
  • Plug-in hybrid
  • Euro 5 petrol registered from 1/1/2011
  • Euro 6 petrol registered from 1/1/2011
Yellow(Level 2)
  • Euro 4 petrol registered 1/1/06 to 31/12/2010
  • Euro 5 diesel registered from 1/1/2011
  • Euro 6 diesel registered from 1/1/2011
Orange(Level 3)
  • Euro 2 petrol registered 1/1/1997 to 31/12/2005
  • Euro 3 petrol registered 1/1/1997 to 31/12/2005
  • Euro 4 diesel registered 1/1/2006 to 31/12/2010
Dark Red(Level 4)
  • Euro 3 diesel registered 1/1/2001 to 31/12/2005
Dark Blue(Level 5)
  • Euro 2 diesel registered 1/1/1997 to 31/12/2000

The Air Quality Certificate is known locally as “Crit'Air” and launched 16/1/2017. Between launch and 30/6/2017, petrol and diesel cars registered prior to 1/1/1997 were banned from the city Monday to Friday between 8:00am and 8:00pm. However, since 1/7/2017 diesels registered before 1/1/2001 have also been banned (level 5).

How to purchase Air Quality Certificate

Your Air Quality Certificate can be ordered online for €4.80. The price includes postage to The United Kingdom. Sign-up a few weeks before your cruise through the capital city to allow the authorities time to process the application. Purchase from the official website to avoid further fees/scams. The process includes:

  • Visit https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en
  • Click “applying for your certificate”
  • Click “vehicles registered abroad”
  • Agree to the terms and conditions and click “next”
  • Click “add a vehicle”
  • Complete the form
  • Attach a scan of the vehicle’s V5C log book
  • Enter a postal address and pay

There are further points to consider:

  • If your car has not been categorised in the table above it cannot be certified. It is too old, too polluting and therefore cannot be driven in the city at any specified times. 
  • Failure to purchase a car certificate leads to a €68 fine
  • Other vehicles have to be certified, too. These include: 2-wheeled, 3-wheeled, quadricycle, commercial, heavy goods, bus and coach. The table above shows the standards for cars only. See the Air Quality Certificate site for more classifications.