I’m going to France. What is a Crit’Air sticker and why does my motorhome need one?
The French Government love applying rules to motorists; think about carrying your own breathalysers, speed trap notifications on your sat-nav (turn them off!) and that useless, awful, Angles Mort sticker that defaces every motorhome over 3½ tons
In January 2017, with the worthy aim of reducing pollution in their cities; they introduced ‘clean air’ windscreen stickers. They were a legal requirement in Paris and some of France’s larger cities.
Known as The Crit’Air sticker (air quality certificate) it classifies vehicles according to the fine particles and levels of nitrogen oxide that they emit. The dirtier your vehicle, the more restrictions in where and when you can travel. Crit’Air stickers are mandatory for driving in low-emissions zones.
Now cities such as Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Toulouse, Nice, Montpellier, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Rouen, Reims and Saint-Étienne all require you to display a Crit’Air vignette in your windscreen.
It is spreading, the French plan is that from 2025, all cities with over 150,000 inhabitants will be required to introduce a Low Emission Zone. So we’ll need a sticker to travel pretty much anywhere.
Very often with such plans, deadlines are missed and it might not happen by then. However, like many green initiatives, they also make money, so the incentives are high and it will happen.
What will a Crit’Air Sticker for my Motorhome Cost me?
The sticker will cost you less than a fiver and once purchased does not need to be renewed. So unless you are changing your van every 10 minutes, it will not break the bank.
Should I bother?
Don’t think that just because you don’t plan to travel to the big cities, you won’t need a Crit’Air sticker. You wouldn’t be the first person to be diverted, because of an accident or road closure, right into the cameras of a low emissions area and receive a large fine. (Yes, the fines follow you home)
That, coupled with the fact that the schemes keep multiplying across the country, and the fines can be steep, a low-cost sticker, offers some peace of mind that if your carefree wandering takes you into a zone, it won’t cost you dear.
Where can I buy a Crit’Air Sticker for my motorhome
You can buy the Crit’Air stickers from the French government here, note the warning on the front page. Don’t buy from anywhere else. There are lots of scam sites which will charge you many times more than you need to pay.
When you get to the site, it will all be in French, but there is an English version. Look top right and you’ll see an EN for the English language. Click that and follow your nose.
Don’t visit the site to buy your sticker without your motorhome’s logbook in your hand, because you’ll need plenty of information from it, such as the VIN number and the emissions information. You’ll need to pay a few Euros with a card. The entire process takes just a couple of minutes.
How long does it take to get a Crit’Air sticker?
They say the sticker can take six weeks to arrive, but many people on our forum. Have received it in 10 days or less. However don’t leave it till the last minute. You know what the French are like for strikes, delays can happen and Sods says it will happen just six weeks before your trip.
I’m still not convinced
It’s a simple decision really. If you are keeping your motorhome, and you plan to visit France, anytime soon, you may as well get one now and it’s done. It’s not expensive. It only costs around the same as a McDonalds quarter pounder with cheese, and probably tastes the same. When the sticker arrives, there will be instructions about where they want it positioned in the windscreen, stick it there and forget it.
While this article is about the French Low Emission sticker. Lots of countries and cities throughout Europe are introducing low emission zones and issuing their own stickers and regulations. I sometimes wonder if we’ll have enough room on the windscreen for all the stickers we’ll eventually need.
Before you travel to Europe, it’s a good idea to check out this website which keeps all of Europe, slow emissions areas and requirements up-to-date. Urban Access Regulations