On January 1, 2023, several French cities will become ZFEs, meaning certain cars will no longer be able to drive there. Malus, benefits, affected vehicles, we explain everything you need to know about this government measure.
2023 is already shaping up to be a busy year for French drivers. In fact, the government is preparing a series of measures, all with the same goal: to put an end to traditional thermal cars by 2035. Among these measures we find the famous ZFE that appeared in the Hexagon in 2015.
Since then, the government has continued to strengthen the protocol. From January 1, 2023, many more cities will become ZFE and will de facto ban certain vehicles from driving. What is an EPC? Which cars are affected by the regulations? How do I get a Crit’Air decal? Here’s everything you need to know about it.
What is a ZFE?
ZFE stands for “Low Emission Zones”. As the name suggests, these zones aim to reduce air pollution and in particular CO2 emissions from the most polluting vehicles. If the latter have existed in the greater Paris area since 2015, the system has really picked up speed in France, especially in 2021.
The principle is relatively simple: the most polluting vehicles are not allowed to drive within the FEZ. In order to determine the amount of pollution emitted by a vehicle, it is assigned a Crit’Air sticker that indicates the category in which it is located.
These vignettes are classified from 1 to 6, from Crit’Air 1 to Crit’Air 6, the latter corresponding to the most polluting vehicles. When classifying a vehicle, three criteria are taken into account: energy consumption, vehicle type and the EURO emissions standard. This last point corresponds to the vehicle’s first registration date:
- Euro 1: between January 1, 1993 and July 1, 1996
- Euro 2: between July 1, 1996 and January 1, 2001
- Euro 3: between January 1, 2001 and January 1, 2006
- Euro 4: between January 1, 2006 and January 1, 2011
- 5 euro: between January 1, 2011 and September 1, 2015
- Euro 6b: between September 1, 2015 and September 1, 2018
- Euro 6c: between September 1, 2018 and September 1, 2019
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What are the upcoming ZFE restrictions on January 1, 2023?
There are currently 11 FEZs in France:
- The agglomeration Parisians (40 communes including Paris);
- The metropolis of Grenoble (27 communes including Grenoble);
- The metropolis of Lyons
- Nice Cote d’Azur
- Toulon Provence Mediterranean Sea
- Montpellier Mediterranean Sea
- Metropolis of Greater Nancy
The last additions were in 2021 and further restrictions are therefore to be expected in the coming months. Therefore, by January 1, 2024, the government intends to impose these measures:
- Marseilles : Crit’Air 3 ban
- Greater Paris : Crit’Air 2 banned
- Grenoble : Crit’Air 3 and 4 banned
- Montpellier : Crit’Air 4 ban
- toulouse : Ban on Crit’Air 3 vignettes
- reims : Ban on Crit’Air 3 vignettes
- Strasbourg : Ban on Crit’Air 4 vignettes
- kind : Ban on Crit’Air 4 vignettes
Effective January 1st, all Crit’Air 5 vehicles will no longer be permitted to travel in ZFEs. In all, the authorities hope to set up EPZs in 43 French cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants. The government also plans to install special anti-pollution radars in the affected areas by 2024.
How to know and get the Crit’Air vignette for your vehicle
Although implemented in 2016, you may not have received your Crit’Air vignette yet, especially if you have never had to ride in a ZFE. However, with the many measures motorists await in the coming months, it’s probably about time you looked into the matter. The first thing to do is to know the category of your vehicle.
To do this, just go to This page government officials and fill out the questionnaire contained therein. Enter all your vehicle information, license plate number and date to receive a quote from Crit’Air. Once this is done, a request must be made to obtain the latter. Go to This page and fill out the questionnaire again. Note that the procedure costs €3.70.