Categories: News

ZFE: how to ride legally?

In January 2023, diesels and Crit’Air 3 vehicles will be banned in Île-De-France and in many ZFEs. But exceptions exist.

A reprieve. In February, the mayor of Paris granted a additional time to new restrictions for driving in the capital. The measure was to come into force in July 2022. It will eventually be, as we know, January 2023. The most polluting vehicles, carrying a vignette Crit’Air 3 will no longer be allowed to drive in Paris. Nor even in Ile de France, in an area including the whole area inside the A86.

Since 2021, the Crit’Air 4 were already banned. In 2023, it will therefore be the turn of the Crit’Air 3. As for 2024, with the Olympic Gamesthere will no longer even be a need for a ban, except to register driving in the capital as an Olympic sport.

Who is concerned ?

Currently, diesels from before 2011 but also gasoline vehicles before 2006 are prohibited between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.. Not catastrophic yet. The average age of a car in Paris is 10,2 ans and cars over 16 years old are relatively rare in Greater Paris.

In 2023, this measure will also concern the Crit’Air 3. And this, whatever the time. That is 14.3 million vehicles in France, 41% of the car fleet. Only the pandemic made it possible to postpone the deadline. In 6 months, hell will begin for French motorists, Ile-de-France in particular.


They are many. Very many. To start with vehicles driven by disabled people. You need a map to do this. CMI (Mobility Inclusion Card). To get it, you must be with a disability that significantly and lastingly reduces your ability and autonomy to walk“. Or having to be accompanied by a third person on your travels. Also valid if you are classified in group 1 or 2 of the grid Aggir (Autonomy Gerontology Iso Resources Group). A bit barbaric jargon. You should contact your Primary Health Insurance Fund to find out if you are affected

Buses and other means of transport

More exotic and disturbing: ltransport buses. Those of the RATP are renewed regularly, low-polluting and safe, but taking this step means that in some municipalities, they are outdated, dilapidated and are in any case an incentive to walk home. And above all that they are one pollution factor important.

One might legitimately have thought that the public authorities would be the first to set an example. Obviously, that is not the case.

Priority vehicles of general interest

Same puzzlement. If they are of priority general interest, it is legitimate to think that they should be renewed regularly as a priority. Obviously not, since firefighters, ambulances, customs vehicles, police and gendarmerie cars are concerned.

Just like those used to transport prisoners. There are therefore among these vehicles old items over 16 years old, since we still can’t imagine the police running on diesel. Are also concerned Ministry of Defense cars. It is better that France is not attacked immediately.

vehicles of general interest

This category also has its share of surprises. This concerns the cars of electricity or gas infrastructure companies, the SNCFthe Banque de France’s fund carriers (at least the robbers are warned) and vehicles transporting blood or organs.


Here too, one could have imagined that these organizations benefited from reliable and low-polluting cars

Local particularities

Besides these national oddities, there are also small arrangements at the municipal scales. Thereby market supply vehicles. They will be able to continue to travel long distances with polluting vehicles daily.

Of course, this category of the population has a vital need to move, but this is true for many other categories. And these are far from being the least polluting. Especially since these exemptions are also valid for moving trucks, generally quite dilapidated. They also remain in force for tank or refrigerated vehicles which have the particularity of carrying out long distances. Lobbies are stronger than logic.

cinema and television

The best is yet to come. Vehicles used for film or television shoots will also have the right to drive without limitation. To show you frantic pursuits of gleaming cars, we can safely use old jew’s harps. Original and a little incongruous. The car park is not really the most crippling budget item in filming a movie.

Moreover, vintage cars used in certain films are also exempt. the Ministry of Culture can do wonders. When he wants.

The sport

Just like that of Sports. Transport vehicles for sporting events will also be exempt. For the big teams, everything is fine: the brand new coach is part of the panoply to impress the opponent. For amateurs, it is more doubtful and subjecting them to the common law could have made it possible to improve kids safety going to their Sunday game.

How to monitor?

Until 2023, the task of the national police will prove an insurmountable puzzle. Unless you spot a car that’s really all wreckage. The police cannot stop all the cars, check their Crit’Air vehicle and ask their drivers what fuels the vehicle.

It will therefore be random checks during the first 6 months of application of this new regulation. Beyond, it is Big Brother who will be in charge of supervising. Cameras will read your license plate and, knowing your Crit’Air classification, you will receive (or not) the fatal fine at your home.

If you do not have a Crit’Air sticker, you are the only one at fault and your vehicle may even be immobilized.

New deadlines?

Very unlikely. The decision is not taken at the level of the municipalities but of the State. And all the elections are over. There is therefore no longer any danger in putting these restrictions in place.

The next time we vote, it will be in 2026, for the municipal onesand the car fleet will then already be well renewed and widely electrified. France will then be a vast Low Emissions Zone.

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