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.
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.
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.