As the UK embarks on more stringent air pollution restrictions which some say will strangle the classic car sector, we take a look at how one major European city is ensuring classic cars stay on the road.

The ‘Crit Air’ rules launched on the 1 June 2021 will make it more difficult for diesel vehicles and older cars to enter Paris and other large cities in France, including classic cars.

The new rules aim to decrease air pollution in the capital. No bad thing. Similar measures will be introduced in other cities in France this year. The new Crit Air rating is a mark out of five indicating how much pollution a vehicle produces. Older and more polluting vehicles have a higher number. Cars rated Crit Air 4/5 will be severely restricted only being allowed to enter the zone in the evenings and at weekends.

The plan is by the end of 2021, 11 areas in France will be under the similar regulations. These areas combined account for over six million vehicles and nearly one fifth of all road traffic in France. The potential for classic car owners could be devastating.

However, the French Govt, does not appear to have done as the UK Govt have and turned a deaf ear to the plea’s of classic car owners. In March this year the Senate passed a motion to exempt vehicles over 30 years old from the regulations. The motion is now moving through the French parliament.

One of the classic car association in France, la Fédération Française des véhicules d’époque has also applied directly to authorities in Paris, Lyon and Grenoble to obtain authorisations for older vehicles they are reported to be working with govt and hopeful of a positive response.

We’ll be keeping an eye as things develop and will keep you updated.

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