UK Holidaymakers Driving To France Urged To Bring This One Thing

Otherwise you can face between £58 and £116 in fines.
Smiling woman and man packing their travel bags into car trunk
Milko via Getty Images
Smiling woman and man packing their travel bags into car trunk

If you are treating yourself to a road trip to France in the near future, it’s essential that you do one simple thing or you could be at risk of a fine.

Before heading off, leading motoring services company RAC have urged all drivers to purchase a windscreen emissions sticker called a Crit’Air sticker as it’s been reported that the number of areas across the country requiring this sticker has risen to 12 with popular tourist spots such as Bordeaux and Clermont-Ferrand included on the list.

RAC said, “fines of between €68 and €135 (around £58 and £116 as of summer 2023) are in place for vehicles that don’t display an appropriate sticker and/or are driven in restricted zones when they shouldn’t.”

Additionally, the company urges that the French government warns of third-party scam websites that significantly overcharge unsuspecting motorists looking to buy a vignette, so be vigilant and only use the official Crit’Air website when purchasing.

These stickers identify which kind of emissions your vehicle produces and are organised into the following categories:

  • Crit’Air 0/E - for zero emission electric and hydrogen vehicles - green sticker
  • Crit’Air 1 - for plug-in hybrid vehicles - purple sticker
  • Crit’Air 2 - for vehicles that conform to the Euro 5 and Euro 6 emission standards - yellow sticker
  • Crit’Air 3 - for vehicles that conform to the Euro 4 emission standard - orange sticker
  • Crit’Air 4 - for vehicles that conform to the Euro 3 emission standard - burgundy sticker
  • Crit’Air 5 - for vehicles that conform to the Euro 2 emission standard - dark grey sticker

How do I get a Crit’Air sticker?

According to the RAC:

  • You should apply online for a Crit’Air vignette on the official French government website.
  • In order to apply, research your car’s European Emissions Standard using our helpful table but if you’re still unsure contact your vehicle manufacturer.
  • You’ll also need to upload an image or scan of your vehicle’s V5C registration form. This must be uploaded in JPEG, PNG or PDF format and the file size must be under 400KB.

They add that the ordering process can take up to six weeks so make sure you factor this in before you travel and plan accordingly ahead of time.

These stickers are valid for as long as they’re legible.