British Motorists Facing Fines When Travelling Abroad

LeasePlan warns British motorists driving abroad they could be fined £117 if they don’t have air quality certificate (Crit Air).


What is the scheme?

The scheme CritAir was introduced by the French Government on January 22nd. It entails that all vehicles which drive into Paris and other major cities are now legally required to have sticker in their car. The sticker will present the information of the amount of NOx the car emits. This resulting in being able to monitor the pollution levels but also the ability to prohibit entry of higher category cars, on high emission days.

Vehicles are ranked into one of six groups depending on air pollutant emission levels. With the cleanest cars being 100% electric and hydrogen vehicles at 0 with the highest polluting vehicles being ranked 6 which are pre-2006 diesel vehicles. However, consideration needs to be taken for the fact not all diesel cars will not be ranked in high polluting categories. Diesels registered since 2011 will be ranked at level 2, equal to Euro 4 petrol cars (registered from 2006 to 2010).

How does this impact travelling?

This new legislation will add much further complications for when travelling abroad and make spontaneous trips much harder and less realistic. When leasing a vehicle, drivers much notify their leasing company, at least four weeks prior to travelling. This is to allow time to obtain a Vehicle on Hire certificate- in lieu of a vehicle registration certificate but also a letter giving written permission needed to drive their car overseas. Without the knowledge of the vehicles European Emissions Standards of their vehicle they are unable to apply for a Crit Air sticker.

Experts explanation

Matthew Walters LeasePlan UK’s head of consultancy says “With the growing popularity of leasing in the UK, 49% of cars registered in 2017 for fleet, we believe thousands of motorists could be falling foul of European legislation when driving across the channel this year.”

“We recommend that drivers, whether they lease or own their vehicle, apply for a Crit Air sticker well in advance of their date of travel so they don’t run the risk of driving without one.”

“The difference between Euro 6 and earlier diesels is one that’s rarely made. In many ways, proposed policies, such as this, will actually be good for diesel motorists. At the moment, the UK is absolutely CO2 focused, it is encouraging to see more governments recognising the steps needed to tackle NOx emissions to improve the air quality and bring about the future of clean transport and responsible cities.”

By Lucy Murdoch

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