Switzerland’s Stick’AIR stickers – what you need to know

Switzerland’s Stick’AIR stickers – what you need to know
Switzerland has followed France’s example by introducing a sticker-based system to help clean the air of one of its major cities, Geneva. 

Planning on driving in the area? You’ll need to know what sticker you need, which parts of Geneva are affected, and what the potential penalties are.

We’ve gathered all the answers to make your Swiss road trip as stress-free as possible.

Stick’Air stickers

Stick’AIR stickers, or vignettes, are part of Geneva’s differentiated traffic scheme – a new measure in Switzerland designed to improve air quality. 

As of 15 January 2020, the most polluting vehicles are banned from driving through the centre of the state during pollution peaks.

Coloured stickers are used to identify the polluting potential of a car and divide vehicles into six different emissions-based categories.

The Stick’AIR categories

switzerland skitckair

Passenger cars should display the following stickers:

Electric and hydrogenGas and rechargeable hybridPetrolDiesel
1 - PurpleEuro 5 and 6
2 - YellowEuro 4Euro 5 and 6
3 - OrangeEuro 2 and 3Euro 4
4 - BurgundyEuro 3
5 - GreyEuro 2
UncategorisedEuro 1 and beforeEuro 1 and before

Do I need a Stick’AIR sticker?

Foreign cars must display the correct Stick’AIR vignette, including those registered in the UK.

However, disabled drivers and vehicles displaying blue badges will not be subject to the new rules. 

If you already have a French Crit’Air sticker there’s no need to buy another – they are also recognised in the Geneva differentiated traffic zone.

Where is the Stick’AIR sticker zone?

The differentiated traffic zone covers most of the City of Geneva and the surrounding towns of Carouge, Cologny, Lancy and Vernier.

switzerland stickair

Image: tcsgeneve.blog


Look out for the below signs when entering the clean air zone

stick'air geneva sign

Image: ge.ch


When does the Stick’AIR scheme apply?

The differentiated traffic zone is enforced between 6am and 10pm, and the need for displaying a sticker only applies once recorded or forecast pollution levels reach a high level. 

No restrictions are enforced while pollution levels sit below the threshold limit.

Getting a Stick’AIR sticker

Stick’Air stickers or vignettes can be purchased for five Swiss Francs (just over £4) from the Office cantonal des véhicules. New points of sale will be added in the future.

Remember, if you already have a French Crit’Air sticker there’s no need to buy another – they are also recognised in the Geneva differentiated traffic zone.1

A vehicle that doesn’t display a correct Stick’AIR vignette is prohibited to travel through the differentiated traffic zone during enforcement hours.

Plans to fine drivers 500 Swiss Francs (roughly £400) for driving through the zone without the correct sticker are temporarily suspended because of a legal appeal.2

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Switzerland pollution peaks

The differentiated traffic zone splits pollution levels into four categories:

  • no pollution peak
  • activation level
  • warning level
  • emergency level

These categories determine speed limits and bans on the types of vehicles that can enter the clean air zone. The table below shows the thresholds that determine the different pollution levels.


Image: ge.ch

How are the different stickers used?

Categorising the emissions of vehicles allows the Geneva authorities to regulate entry into the differentiated traffic zone dependant on pollution level.

The table below shows which cars can travel through the zone during varying pollution levels:

No pollution peakActivation levelWarning levelEmergency level
1 - Purple
2 - Yellow
3 - Orange
4 - Burgundy
5 - Grey

Public transport is free across all lines when pollution reaches the ‘warning level’.


1 https://www.ge.ch/en/stick-air-and-differentiated-traffic-scheme/my-stick-air-sticker
2 https://www.ge.ch/en/stick-air-and-differentiated-traffic-scheme/my-stick-air-sticker

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