Paris bans classic cars as of July 2016

As of 1st July 2016, all other vehicles registered before 1997 will be banned from driving in Paris

The metropolitan powers in Paris have decided to ban all cars registered before 1997 from driving in the city, to help curb the cities chronic smog problem.

Paris pollution levels are high. So high in fact that in March 2015 the cities air quality dropped lower than that of Beijing, China. With this problem in mind, the French government have chosen to ban older cars in Paris throughout the week. The announcement follows a decision to finalize a nation-wide scheme of ranking vehicles by their emission levels. However this ban is based on the age of the vehicle, even though relatively modern diesel cars still produce more pollution than petrol cars which are being banned from the capital.

The conditions of the scheme have been rooted around the European emissions standards. From July 1st 2016, car owners will have to register and obtain the correct window sticker for their vehicle. If your car is too old, or your driving in the restricted area and do not have a sticker on your vehicle you can expect a fine (between €35-€450).

Many feel that this ban seems to target people on lower incomes who may not be able to afford a newer car. The French government have said this is only the start of these restrictions and it won’t be long before the ban is extended to cars registered before 2011. This also targets anyone owning and driving a classic car which seems unfair, as most enthusiasts tend do a very low annual mileage in their cars and have restrictions on their insurance to prove this. So how much difference will banning these cars really make?

Let’s face it the worst offenders are diesel cars, even modern ones and commercial vehicles such as lorries and buses. Also as many classic petrol cars are actually cleaner than modern cars, these restrictions will not achieve much from an environmental point of view. Daniel Quero, president of 40 millions d’automobilistes has said:

“the only reason that Paris Major Anne Hidalgo has announced these restrictions is to push cars outside of the capital, without concern for the economic and social consequences”.

The Mayor has also moved to create more pedestrian zones at major traffic circles and along the river Seine which could suggest she’s looking to get rid of all cars in the French capital.

So as Paris bans classic cars, the next question on everyone’s lips…will London follow suit? With one of Europe’s highest levels of air pollution, London is struggling to lower its emissions. The Government has been fighting legal action for four years over its failure to meet EU nitrogen dioxide levels.

So is it only a matter of time for our capital to enforce the same restrictions? Either way, everyone agrees that something definitely has to be done about air pollution but banning the least significant and smallest sector of drivers from using their classic cars? Is that really the answer?.

Of course here at Heritage Classic Car Insurance we will keep you informed with any new developments.

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