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Monday, 16 September

City Stickers

The RAC is urging UK motorists driving to Paris, Lyon and Grenoble this Easter to order recently introduced vehicle emissions stickers as soon as possible after it took six weeks for one to reach the UK.

The Crit’Air scheme, which was brought into force in January by the French authorities to tackle pollution, requires all vehicles – cars, lorries, motorbikes and buses – to display a windscreen sticker or vignette, according to how much they pollute.

Stickers, which cost £3.60 (€4.18) each including postage, come in six categories and cover the very cleanest electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles (Crit’Air green sticker) to the dirtiest (Crit’Air 5 grey sticker). These relate to the six European Union emission standards for cars – dating back to 1992 when Euro 1 was introduced. The penalty for failure to display a sticker is an on-the-spot fine of between €68-135 (£58 to £117).

 

Six week wait

In order to test the efficiency of the system the RAC ordered a vignette from the official Crit’Air website –www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/ – on 6 February and it arrived six weeks later on 16 March, despite the letter being dated 2 March. The website states that stickers should be delivered within 30 days.

RAC European breakdown spokesman Simon Williams said: “We ordered an ‘anti-pollution’ sticker as a test shortly after the English language site went live and worryingly it took a full six weeks to turn up. 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.

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

To apply for a sticker online drivers must know their vehicle’s European Emissions Standard. Information on working this out can be found on the RAC’s website

Article written by Robin Snow

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