French pollution sticker took six weeks to arrive

French pollution sticker took six weeks to arrive
UK motorists heading to Paris in the coming weeks are being encouraged to order a vehicle emissions sticker immediately, so as not to miss out.

The RAC issued the reminder after ordering a sticker – also required for driving in Lyon and Grenoble under the new Crit’Air scheme – which arrived over 2 weeks late.

Since January it has become a legal requirement for cars, lorries, buses and motorbikes driving in the cities to display a windscreen sticker showing how much pollution they emit.

READ MORE: Crit’Air clean air stickers – what you need to know if you’re driving in France

It is hoped the stickers, which cost £3.60 (€4.18) inc. postage, will prove a masterstroke by the French authorities in the fight against dirty air. On high pollution days, the worst polluting vehicles will be prevented from driving in the affected cities.

However, as the RAC experiment proved, there may be teething problems in getting foreign drivers on board with the new system.

The organisation ordered an official ‘vignette’ online on February 6 with the promise of delivery within 30 days. The item was received on March 16 – a full six weeks later – despite the accompanying letter being dated March 2.

RAC European breakdown spokesman Simon Williams said: “As a result we are now concerned that anyone who orders one now for a trip that will take them into the centre of Paris, Lyon or Grenoble this Easter will not receive it in time and may be at risk of an unwanted encounter with the French authorities.

“We strongly urge people planning to drive to these cities at May half-term to order their stickers now to avoid any issues.

“We would hope the French police would not fine anyone that has ordered a sticker and has email proof of that. However, those motorists who don’t order stickers are in danger of being fined up to £117, although we understand the police will be lenient in the early days, particularly with foreign drivers.

“People concerned about the progress of their stickers can track their orders on the Government’s official Crit’Air website.”

IN OTHER NEWS: 10 tips for driving in France

The vignettes come in six categories, accounting for the very cleanest electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles (Crit’Air green sticker) to the dirtiest (Crit’Air 5 grey sticker).

Drivers will need to know their vehicle’s European Emissions Standard, which can be found using our European Emissions Standard table.

Simon Williams added: “Another important point to be aware of is around the requirement to upload an image of your vehicle’s V5C registered keeper form as the file size can only be a maximum of 400kb which isn’t very big at all.

“You may therefore have to change your scanner settings or reduce the file size after you’ve scanned it.”

Across France a total of 22 other towns – including Bordeaux, Cannes, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse – are considering implementing the same scheme by 2020.

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.