A new one-off €100 fuel aid is to be made available to millions of drivers next year, French President Emmanuel Macron has announced as part of plans to deal with the fuel crisis.
“I asked the government to continue to support French people who work and need to drive in the forthcoming budget,” said the president.
That support will come in the form of a new €100 fuel aid for those who use their car to travel to, or for, work.
Whilst the exact criteria for the aid will be announced as part of the government’s 2024 budget (set to be revealed tomorrow September 27), it is expected it will follow the same rules as this year’s fuel aid, and could reach up to five million drivers across the country.
The aid is expected to be available from January 2024.
Who will be able to apply for it?
Initially, the government had estimated that around 10 million people would be eligible for the €100 2023 fuel aid offered at the beginning of this year.
However, this figure was later revised to around five million.
“Ten million households were theoretically eligible on the basis of activity and income alone [for the fuel aid]. However, there was a third cumulative criterion: ownership of a vehicle, which we didn't know about,” said an official at the Ministry of Finance to French newspaper Libération.
“Now we have greater visibility, and we can estimate (on the basis of payments made at the start of the year) that this measure is aimed at around five million households,” he added.
The 2023 fuel aid was in fact paid out to around 4.3 million drivers.
Those eligible for the upcoming fuel aid will again be people who use their car to commute to work or as part of the job itself (i.e a gardener who drives to several homes as part of their daily job).
They also have to belong to a “modest income bracket… the bottom 50% of French households,” explained the president.
This was calculated using a household’s revenu fiscal de référence (RFR) number (taxable income per adult per household) from 2021.
To benefit from the 2023 aid you needed an RFR in 2021 of €14,700 or less.
For the upcoming fuel aid, the amounts needed to be eligible for the aid will correspond to your 2022 RFR, and will be announced in the budget. It is likely the RFR ceiling for those applying for the aid will increase.
One point to note is that, if following the same rules as last year, the aid will apply per vehicle belonging to a household and not per person.
For example, two people in the lower tax bands living together driving their own cars can claim €100 each (€200 total for the household) but if they share the same car only one person can claim the aid.
How will I be able to claim it?
For the 2023 fuel aid, an online portal on the French tax site was created for applications.
To apply, you had to submit information including your vehicle licence plate number and registration, your numéro fiscal, bank account details (to receive the payment) and a sworn statement that you use your car for professional activities or commuting.
It is expected that the 2024 fuel aid will follow the same format.