Parisians with cars built before 1997 are going to need to head to the nearest car dealership if they want to keep driving in the city after July 1.
The French capital has experienced quite horrific air pollution in the last few years, and there was a massive spike in March 2015 that saw the city’s air quality drop lower than that of Beijing, China. After trying out temporary restrictions to vehicle traffic, Les Echos reports that the city has decided to implement new rules that will ban older and more polluting vehicles from its streets on weekdays. Those restrictions will also tighten over time; in 2020, only cars built since 2011 will be allowed.
This announcement follows a decision by the French government to finalize a nation-wide scheme of ranking vehicle emissions (the system is based on the European emissions standards). Any vehicle made on or before December 31, 1996 was built to conform with Euro 1, the weakest of these standards, and it’s these cars that are no longer allowed in the capital. Pre-2000 motorbikes and other two-wheeled vehicles are also on the hit list.
Parisian drivers will need to register and get a window sticker. If you’re caught in the city during the week with one of the banned cars, expect a fine of between $39 and $504 (€35-€450). The new rules follow a move last year that banned trucks registered before October 2001 from city streets during weekdays.
It’s estimated that about 30,000 diesel and gasoline cars will be affected by the new rules. While the change will no doubt help Parisian air quality, the impact will most likely be felt by the city’s least-well off drivers (as well as people with classic cars).