Crit air sticker

Save money and avoid scams! Learn why you should never buy Crit Air stickers from unofficial websites. Get the real deal from an official source. Read more now!

The real price of these stickers is approximately £4.25 but unofficial websites are charging £24 or more for them and you get literally nothing extra in return.*

On this page we show you why you need a Crit Air sticker, where to get it from at the official price, how long it takes to get it, and where to put the Crit Air sticker on your car. We'll also show you how to recognise when you've entered a Low Emission Zone. (LEZ)

We give you a direct link to the Crit Air official website. Don't get them any where else!
Crit Air Stickers France

Main Points

• Crit Air stickers are required in certain areas of France: The Crit Air scheme is a vehicle emissions control system designed to reduce air pollution in France’s most polluted areas. It requires all vehicles, including those visiting from other countries such as the UK, to have a Crit Air sticker displayed on their windshields when entering certain low-emission zones.

• Crit Air stickers come in six categories: The clean air sticker system ranks vehicles from the most polluting (Crit Air 5) to the least polluting (Crit Air 0). The sticker’s colour and number indicate the vehicle’s emissions level and determine whether or not it’s allowed to enter the low-emission zones.

• Crit Air stickers can be purchased online: Crit Air stickers cost approximately €4.80 each and can be purchased online from the official Crit Air website (Link to website below) or from authorized third-party vendors. I would get mine direct from the official website to be safe. It’s essential to purchase the correct sticker for your vehicle, as displaying the incorrect one could result in a fine.

•The number of Low Emission Zones, are on the increase in France and throughout Europe, we can show you an up to date list for France below.
Luckily for you here at Drive-France we delve into how to get a Crit’Air Sticker if you’re visiting France. Plus, you’ll know the regulations that govern it.

Get set to discover France’s emissions standards! Because if you are planning to drive in France, or any other European country outside the UK then, it’s important to learn about it!

Low emission zones France

Here we keep you as up to date as possible regarding which Cities have Low Emission Zones (LEZ) in France.

We can point you in the right direction if you need accurate information about any other European city. 

We have a business arrangement with the Urban Access Regulations* website, so our information comes directly from them. (*See details of their service and a link directly to their search facility below)

Now that global warming is being taken more seriously, wherever you travel in France you will not be far away from a town or city that wants to know your vehicles air pollutant emissions.

Current French Cities with an LEZ

Which cities in France require an air quality certificate?

Annecy / Haute-Savoie - Emergency Scheme
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes - Emergency Scheme
Bourgogne-Franche-Comté - Emergency Scheme
Bretagne - Emergency Scheme
Centre-Val de Loire - Emergency Scheme
Chambery / Savoie - Emergency Scheme
Grand Est - Emergency Scheme
Greater Grenoble
Greater Lyon
Greater Nancy
Greater Paris
Greater Saint-Etienne
Grenoble - Emergency Scheme
Hauts-de-France - Emergency Scheme
Île-de-France - Emergency Scheme
La Rochelle - AR
Lyon - Villeurbanne - Emergency Scheme
Marseille - Emergency Scheme
Montpellier Mediterranee Metropole
Nantes - Limited Traffic Zone
Normandie - Emergency Scheme
Nouvelle-Aquitaine - Emergency Scheme
Occitane - Emergency Scheme
Pays de la Loire - Emergency Scheme
Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur - Emergency Scheme
Strasbourg - Delivery
So if visiting any of the above via motorcycle, car, motorhome or van you will certainly need a Crit Air displayed.

Introduction to Crit Air stickers

Crit Air stickers are a part of the vehicle emissions control program introduced by the French government to reduce air pollution in the country. France has been facing severe air quality issues due to harmful air pollutant emissions, especially from vehicles.

To combat this problem, the government has mandated the use of crit air stickers, also known as the Crit Air vignette, a vehicle emissions sticker system that designates the level of air pollutant emissions for each vehicle.

The Crit Air is a colour-coded sticker placed on the windscreen of a vehicle, which identifies its Euro emissions standard category. It determines if a vehicle can enter restricted traffic zones and low-emissions zones in France’s major cities.

The system aims to improve air quality by restricting the entry of high-polluting vehicles into urban areas with high pollution levels. The Crit Air vignette is mandatory for all vehicles, including trucks, motorcycles, buses, and commercial vehicles entering France’s urban access regulations.

Failure to display a sticker can result in fines, between €68 to €135 euros. The size will vary depending on the situation. While driving, make sure you keep the Crit Air vignette in clear view on the vehicle’s windscreen to avoid fines. If you're old enough to remember "Tax Discs" you'd place it in the corner of the windscreen like that.

If you plan to travel to France in your vehicle, it is important to purchase and display the appropriate Crit Air on your car. If hiring a car whilst in Europe make sure the car has one before you leave the car rental office.

You can buy the Crit Air online, and it is advisable to order it well in advance of your trip. They are supposed to arrive in about 2 weeks but you should allow three to four weeks for it to arrive.

During summer months (peak demand) and postage strikes it may certainly stretch the official 2 weeks timescale. 

If you are cutting it fine to order one, read the "What should I do if it doesn't arrive in time" section below. 

With a little preparation and adherence to these regulations, you can enjoy a hassle-free and eco-friendly trip to France.

The scheme was originally implemented in 2016 to combat the high levels of pollutants in the air, particularly in major cities like Paris. The scheme assigns a colour-coded sticker to vehicles based on their Euro emissions standards and other factors.

Critair sticker where to buy

Apparently it is possible to buy the stickers from certain shops in person whilst in France. Though it would be best to get one before you travel, because physically driving into town to buy a sticker, whilst not displaying one would mean you're breaking the rules!

Where to buy crit air sticker in France in person?

I can't actually tell you in which shops and where they are available to buy in person as I've never actually done it. Though I'm told that shops such as car dealerships and auto parts centres have them. 

Best option is buy a Crit Air sticker online. (See Below)

I strongly recommend you buy them in advance so you have it on your vehicle when you emerge from the Eurotunnel or roll off the ferry. That way you can enjoy your trip and not worry about it.

Crit air sticker application process

Online purchase method

If you are planning ahead for your trip to drive in France or any other European country, the best way to apply for the sticker is to use the crit air sticker official website

Although it is a French website it is available in English and if you follow the link below it should detect you're in England and automatically show you the info in English. (If it doesn't at the top of the page there is the option to choose what language you want)

The official website  is “” and it has recently been updated to include most European languages to make ordering as easy as possible. 

They cost around £4.25 for British users via the official site. (Inc postage to the UK)

*Do not buy from unofficial websites, some of which are adding £20 extra onto the price. I could put a link to the websites doing it to show you, but I don't want to appear to be promoting them in anyway. Use the link to the official website below. 
Link to Official Websites
It is far better to use the official website above. Beware of 3rd party sites that charge extra and offer no extra value. Some websites are downright fraudulent. 
crit air sticker application

How long before your Crit Air Sticker arrives?

I'm not going to talk you through the process of actually buying it as the official site is fairly intuitive but here is what t expect once you've clicked the pay button.

You should get a confirmation email almost straight away but it could take up to 4 hours. 

The invoice will arrive in a second email within 24 hours (again probably less). In this email there will be a tracking code so you can see where your sticker is in the postal system.

The Air Quality Certificate (Crit'Air) will normally take about 2 weeks to arrive by post, though it can take longer at high demand periods. (Summer Holidays etc)

However and here is an important tip. The invoice email shows an image of your Crit'Air so in the event it  doesn't arrive before you leave for your trip, you can take it with you as proof of purchase.

Just make sure you've given your full address and postcode (and added UK) and be very careful to give them your correct email address. 

What should I do if it doesn't arrive in time

Here is an important tip. The invoice email you receive, shows an image of your Crit'Air so in the event it doesn't arrive before you leave for your trip, you can take it with you as proof of purchase.

It will show the classification of your vehicle and the fact that you've bought one. I can't guarantee you will not get a fine, (for failure to display) but it shows willingness on your part to comply with the law so you should be ok.

Just make sure you've given your full address and postcode (and added UK) and be very careful to give them your correct email address.

Current Rules

Under this new system, lorries that meet certain Euro emissions standards will now be eligible for a Crit Air sticker. In addition, the classification of vehicles based on their Euro emissions standards will now be based on real-world emissions instead of solely on their date of registration.

Temporary zones (known as ZCR) which used to not require any stickers will now follow suit with permanent zones and they will require vehicles to have Crit air stickers.

It is important to note that some petrol and diesel cars may become ineligible for a Crit Air sticker under this new regime if they do not meet certain Euro emission standards.

If some older, less efficient cars are not totally banned then they may not be allowed to drive in the city centre during peak hours. Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm.

These rules aim to continue the efforts of ensuring clean air and reducing pollutants in major cities by only allowing the least polluting vehicles on the roads. Drivers are advised to adhere to these new rules and obtain the appropriate Crit Air sticker for their vehicle to avoid any penalties.

So, if you plan on driving in France post-pandemic, be sure to familiarize yourself with the updated Crit Air scheme and ensure that your vehicle adheres to the Euro emissions standards required for your car’s category.

Crit Air Categories

Crit Air Stickers France

Does my car need a Crit Air sticker?

Almost certainly yes, if you are going into any LEZ, and it's worth remembering that the number of these areas are being increased year on year. So much so that I get updates on the list of cities every six months to try and keep track of them all.

The implementation of these categories is relatively new in France. Introduced in January 2016 in Paris because of high levels of air pollution, they have now been adopted by several other French cities.

Initially the scheme was voluntary, but the Crit’Air stickers became mandatory from June 2021, meaning that all drivers must display a valid sticker on their vehicle when driving through certain areas in French cities. 

Drivers must ensure they have the correct Crit'Air sticker for their vehicle type. No excuses.

Low emission zones France map

Here is a low emission zones map for France showing the current locations, so you will know "where are the low emission zones in France?" For the "Live Version" visit the Urban Access Regulations website.
crit air zones france map

How do I know I'm in a LEZ

Shown here is what the road sign for a LEZ looks like and if you visit our French Road Signs page you will see many other French road signs that you should be aware of.
Clean Air Zone France

LEZ's in other European Countries

OK so here's the bad news, the Crit Air sticker used in France isn't valid in other European countries, apart from Switzerland I believe. So if you're travelling through other countries on your trip then you may well need to get a different sticker for them.

If I buy a sticker how long does it last?

Assuming the Crit Air sticker is still legible, then it's valid for the lifetime of the vehicle. 

My daughter bought a second hand Toyota Yaris about two years ago, and it had one in it already because the previous owner had driven to Switzerland!


In a bid to reduce air pollution many cities in France have introduced a Low Emission Zone scheme whereby all vehicles (even scooters and motorcycles) must display a Crit Air Sticker determining its carbon emissions. Failure to do so will result in a fine currently ranging from €68 to €135 euros.

In this article we covered which vehicles need them, where to buy them from at the best price, where to place on your vehicle and how long the process takes from start to finish.

The scheme started some years ago and only covered Paris, but now as the number of cities insisting on them is growing rapidly, so only now it seems are UK drivers starting to realise they need them.

For our guide for driving in France see our driving in France see our checklist.

Police were originally advised to show leniency with the policy in its infancy but those days are long gone.

There are also complete bans in Paris from 0800 – 2000hrs on weekdays for the following

• Cars registered prior to 1997

• Motorbikes & Scooters registered prior to June 1st 2000

• Lorries, trucks and buses registered prior to 2001

The policy hopes to combat the rising cost of urban air pollution to public health which claims an estimated 48,000 lives per annum. As the pollution levels of the city are monitored the plan is to restrict the higher polluting vehicles at times when the air quality is at its worst. 

Paris has suffered with increasing smog levels and this move is seen to be more effective than previous short term measures of allowing free public transport and general vehicle restrictions.

Such measures are commonplace across Europe with around 200 towns and cities using similar schemes to control their air quality as best they can.

As those of you who have visited Paris before will know, the centre is very compact and rammed with cars and scooters, so there is a general weary consensus in the capital that this plan is necessary although some motoring groups aren’t best pleased and would like some amendments; in particular the scope for modified vehicles registered before 1997 to be allowed into the city.

British visitors should pay heed to the requirements if they wish to avoid the fines. As previously mentioned, the police have been instructed to show leniency as the measures were only announced in late 2016 but it shouldn’t be taken as a given that all you’ll end up with is a little slap on the wrist if you fail to comply with the regulations.

Hopefully most visitors will agree that an attempt to clean up the air of our major cities is worth the minor inconvenience of ordering a £4.25 sticker online and displaying it while you are abroad. After all, it’s really no different than displaying a UK sticker on your vehicle or carrying the other items required as we drive through France.

Whether this policy works or not remains to be seen but data from Berlin, which began a similar programme in 2008 has seen a rise in air quality and an increase in cleaner vehicles, so the outlook is a positive one.


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