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What changes in France in July 2017

LanguedocLiving, Jun 30

A range of rules change on July 1, from eco-labels on cars to claiming French pensions or diagnostics for renting out flats 

People wanting to drive in Paris, Lille, Grenoble or Lyon (or nearby Villeurbanne) will need Crit’air stickers on their car by this weekend – just one of several changes set to come on Saturday July 1.

Other changes relate to matters like motorbike and scooter number plates, claiming French pensions and diagnostic check certificates for renting out property.


It will now be obligatory in certain cities to have one of the these labels on your vehicle, which indicates its environmental category according to a number and/or colour code from green (for non-polluting electric cars) to grey/5 (for diesel cars registered between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 2000).

The sticker categories may be used to restrict access to cities at certain times. In Paris, for example, cars labelled 5, and those too old to have a label, are banned from Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 20.00.

Not displaying a sticker can mean a €68 fine. You can order them here.  

Drivers in France be warned

From July there will be a new crackdown on the behaviour of drivers that is considered dangerous, with new offences created and fines raised for others that already exist.

According to motorist magazine L’Argus, those caught eating at the wheel, looking in the glove box, or putting on make-up, even when in stationary traffic, will be subject to €75 fines and a loss of three licence points.

Watching a screen, a mobile telephone or a DVD will set the driver back €1,500 and three license points. But don't worry, looking at the GPS system or the rear view guiding camera will still be legal!

Playing music too loudly can result in a €75 fine and smoking in the presence of a child can see the driver hit with a €68 fine.

Young drivers found with over O.2g/litre of alcohol in their blood can be hit with a €4,500 fine and a loss of six points on their license.

Unemployment benefits

Anyone who is claiming the “Chomage” (unemployment benefit) in France is going to benefit from an ever so slight rise in July.

The rate will rise by 0.65 percent – hardly enough to allow to go on a spending spree in the summer sales, but a rise none the less.

According to reports, some 94 percent of those who receive the chomage will benefit from the raise, or in other words some 2.5 million people.

New diagnostics

Owners of rental properties with gas and electrical systems over 15 years old in co-propriété buildings (ie. flats with shared communal areas) built before 1975 need to supply a diagnostic check certificate when signing new rental contracts with a tenant. The measure is to be extended to all rental contracts from January 2018.

Once issued, gas and electricity certificates will be valid for six years.

Number plates

All motorbikes, scooters and other two or three-wheeled vehicles or quad bikes are now meant be equipped with the same kind of number plate.

The plates are 210mm by 130mm, a size which formerly only applied to some larger scooters and to motorbikes.

Previously there were five different possible sizes of plate ranging from a small one used on mopeds to two large ones used on quads and trikes. Scooters (above 50cc) and motorbikes previously could use one of two kinds of intermediate size – if yours was registered since July 2015 it should already have the new regulation size.

It is possible to be fined €135 for having the wrong plate.

Acoustic insulation

Owners of homes in areas especially exposed to outside noise, such as from a road, railway or airport, now have to incorporate some sound insulation work if they are doing ‘major’ renovations such as a complete overhaul of the property’s energy efficiency, replacing the roof or renovating the façade.

The rule does not applied to listed historic buildings if the work would change their character or architectural quality.

French pensions

People who have paid into several French pension schemes, such as RSI, the régime agricole and the régime général may now benefit from a simplified procedure so as to claim their pensions in one go, as opposed to claiming via multiple bodies.

The correct procedure will, with a few exceptions, be to simply claim once via the body you last paid into or otherwise the one which provides your healthcare cover.

Price rise for specialist doctors

From July 1st the price of a basic consultation with a “médecin specialist” in France will rise to a minimum €30. To see a psychiatrist the minimum charge will now be €39 and for a cardiologist it will be €47.73.

Gas prices

As usual the start of a new month signals a slight change in gas prices in France. This time they are going down slightly. The prices for those supplied by provider Engie could fall by as much as 3.5 percent depending on how much gas households use (heating and water).

Source The Connexion, The Local, Midi Libre


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