2010s / French / News

News: Paris to ban all pre-1997 cars starting on July 1

After months of negotiations, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced plans to ban every car built before 1997 from entering the city limits starting on July 1. The controversial measure is presented as a way to curb the city’s air pollution problem.

Parisian drivers will be given stickers (officially called “air quality certificates”) that correspond to their car’s level of emissions, according to French newspaper Le Figaro. Affixed to the windshield of every car registered in the French capital, these stickers will help law enforcement officials tell whether or not a car is allowed to drive in Paris. Ignoring the ban will initially cost motorists €35, but the fine will quickly go up to €68.

The ban applies to both gasoline- and diesel-powered cars. However, pre-1997 models only need to stay out of Paris between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and only during the week. In other words, it will still be possible to drive an older car in Paris at night, or on the weekend.

The city hall projects that the ban will affect about 500,000 cars, a figure that lumps together top-dollar classics like a 1962 Porsche 356 with aging econoboxes such as a 1994 Peugeot 205. Unsurprisingly, a class-action lawsuit has already been filed against the government by motorists who believe the government should help them buy a car manufactured after 1997. Motorcycle owners and classic car owners are both planning to stage various protests in the coming weeks.

Parisians who invest in a late-model car might not be allowed to drive it for very long. The ban will gradually become stricter in the coming years, and only cars built after 2010 will be allowed on the city’s streets in 2020.



14 thoughts on “News: Paris to ban all pre-1997 cars starting on July 1

  1. What about the diesel powered cars whose particle filter has been knowingly desactivated (a national sport in France)? Hidalgo is naive.

  2. This madness has to stop. I mean, is OK to ban cars with pre-catalytic emissions, but do it ONCE! Then stop! Between EURO 0 and EURO 1 standards the poisonous emissions are cut by 97%… so you’re gonna have a very heavy drop in pollution now. But in 2020, if you ban pre-2010 cars, the drop in pollution it’s gonna be barely detectable.
    As years go by older cars are dismissed for new, very clean ones. So it’s a natural process… let it go, don’t make me buy a new car thinking that I’ll have to throw it away in 10 years! No way I’m gonna spend my money in a new, fancy and expensive one if this is its destiny!

  3. Unless there is some kind of exemption this will mean the end for the companies offering 2cv trips around Paris. Quite sad, done that numerous times and it’s alot of fun!

  4. if this works then i think other cities/countries will try the ban also. i am not sure what the answer is but i think this will be very had to enforce..

    • Milan has a similar ban, as does London if memory serves. And yeah, other French cities — notably Bordeaux and Grenoble — are looking at implementing a similar ban.

  5. If it’s any consolation, I don’t think Madrid has such a ban yet and I believe there are many pre-1997 Citroens, Peugeots, Renaults, SEATs, Talbots, etc. like those found in Paris still plying the streets of Madrid so that’s good…

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  8. Oh, it’s going to happen in the US too, unless “car people” get unified and organized along the lines of the pro-RTKBA lobby. But I’m not hopeful because lately the tack has been “Let SEMA and Jay Leno fight it.” But that ain’t going to cut it. SEMA affiliates love selling new stuff to comply with new legislation (CARB-approved LS drivetrain anybody?), rather than drawing lines in the sand. This fight will be one of those lines in the sand. Just like riding your horse through town is now illegal. We’re about to get shafted big time. Gasoline itself will be the next target. Can’t ban guns? Then ban the bullets! Just watch. Because that’s what most “car people” are best at: watching.

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