top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

What penalties are given for driving in Nice’s low emission zone?

We look at the restrictions currently imposed in the south of France city’s zone à faibles émissions

We look at how Nice’s low emission zone works Pic: Elena19 / Shutterstock

Reader Question: I am aware that Nice has a Crit’Air system in place but could you tell me which cars are currently banned from driving in the zone? I don’t want to be caught out next time I go there.

Since January 1, individuals driving a car which has a Crit’Air 5 rating, and professionals driving a work vehicle such as a lorry or large van with a Crit’Air rating of 4 or below have not been permitted to drive within Nice’s low emission zone (zone à faibles émissions or ZFE). 

Read more: A guide to Crit’Air stickers in France

With regard to cars, Crit’Air 5 refers to diesel cars registered after January 1, 1997, but before January 1, 2001. 

Vehicles registered before 1997 do not qualify for a Crit’Air rating and are automatically banned from all ZFEs, with the exception of classic cars (with a special registration document to prove this status) which are not concerned by the Crit’Air system.

Read more: How do I get a Crit’Air sticker for a foreign classic car?

Crit’Air 4 vehicles include diesel vans registered between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2005.

You can find out more about the categories in this table

In theory, people driving banned vehicles, or circulating without a Crit’Air sticker on their windscreen, face a fine of up to €450, though the standard penalty would usually be €68. 

However, councillor Gaël Nofri previously told regional newspaper Nice Matin: “We will not deploy municipal police officers to inspect cars for rule breaches while the state – which came up with this system – does not mobilise its own national police officers to do it.” 

Crit’Air checks are set to be automated in the course of next year, so penalties are likely to be issued on a more routine basis from then on. 

Read more: France to automate low-emission zone checks and fines by 2024

You can find out your car’s Crit’Air rating using this government search tool.

You can find out more about the areas covered by Nice’s ZFE here. Drivers should be warned by signs when they are entering and exiting the zone.

Related articles 

Six changes for drivers in France in 2023

Car pollution sticker fraud rising in France: avoid getting caught out

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Visa and residency cards for France*
Featured Help Guide
- Visas and residency cards (cartes de séjour) for France help guide - Understand when visas and residency cards are required to move to France or come for an extended stay - Applies to Britons (post-Brexit) and to all other non-EU/non-EEA/Swiss nationalities - Useful to anyone considering a move to France, whether for work or otherwise, or wanting to spend more than three months at their French second home
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now