Exemptions from the rules for environmental zones in France
Some vehicles are exempt from driving bans within the established environmental zones. Especially vehicles of public services (police, fire brigade, emergency service, etc.) and other vehicles of public enterprises.
All vehicles eligible to receive a Crit'Air badge are also obliged to purchase it, including vehicles and drivers who are exempt from driving bans in the ZCR and ZPA environmental zones. Persons with reduced mobility who carry a parking permit for disabled persons also need a Crit'Air badge, even though they are exempt from the possible driving bans. Parking cards for disabled persons are the same all over Europe so that vehicles of handicapped persons are recognisable abroad, too.
Other private vehicles can also be liberated from the obligation to bear a Crit'Air Vignette. But this happens only by means of a special approval from the state or the community.
Here are particular opportunities for vintage cars, old tourist vehicles, breakdown services, etc.
Rules for Old-timers
The rules for old-timers are not settled at the national level, but are different for every environmental zone.
French drivers can prove that their car belongs to the “old-timers” category with the mention “véhicule de collection” under the letter “Z” on the registration certificate.
In the other European countries, this mention can be found under the line “specific”. The special remarks and specificities are written in this section.
The classification of the vehicle as “old-timer” must be proven with the registration certificate in any case. However, the capacity of the police to recognize the different designations for “old-timers” in different languages remains questionable.
Old-timers in Paris
Due to an exception,"oldtimers" are allowed to drive in the ZCR zone Paris. Thus, they will not be penalised for violating the driving prohibitions in force, if they can prove that they are an "oldtimer".
Old-timer in Grenoble and Lyon
Oldtimer in the metropolis Grenoble and Lyon
In Grenoble and Lyon, according to the local prefectures, there are no exceptions for vintage cars at present. It is even emphasised that vintage cars will also be punished if they enter the metropolitan areas of Grenoble and Lyon during air pollution peaks. This is particularly bitter, as in the case of Grenoble this also affects the main highway to the south.