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Your Vehicle & Anti-pollution Taxes in 2010

Your Vehicle & Anti-pollution Taxes in 2010

If you are living in France and own a vehicle, or are planning to buy one, read on to find out the anti-pollution measures adopted by the government and their financial repercussions for you in the year 2010.



As a general rule, the more environment friendly the car, in terms of pollution, the more the incentive and vice versa. Some of these measures are also applicable for renting the vehicle under certain conditions.


Ecologic Bonus ('Bonus écologique')

In order to promote the use of vehicles with pollution level under control, the bonus can vary depending on the amount of emitted Carbon dioxide per kilometer (CO²/km). Any one residing in France can avail of this 'bonus' at the time of the 1st registration (1ère immatriculation) while buying a new vehicle or renting it (under conditions) provided its carbon dioxide level does not exceed 125 g/km en 2010.

Bonus for Non-Polluting Vehicles in 2010:

  • 0 euro (against 200 euros in 2009) for vehicles emitting between 126-130 grams of CO²/km
  • 100 euro (against 200 euros in 2009) for vehicles emitting between 121-125 grams of CO²/km
  • 100 euro (against 700 euros in 2009) for vehicles emitting between 116-120 grams of CO²/km
  • 500 euro (against 700 euros in 2009) for vehicles emitting between 101-115 grams of CO²/km
  • 500 euro (against 1000 euros in 2009) for vehicles emitting between 96-100 grams of CO²/km

For vehicles with an emission of 61-95 grams of CO²/km, the bonus remains unchanged at 1,000 euros and for vehicles with emission less than 61 grams, the amount of bonus remains at 5 000 euros.

This bonus is applicable to all new vehicles (and/or their transformation thereof, eg. changing to a GPL source) provided they have been bought in 2010 and the demand for this bonus is made not later than 6 months after buying the new vehicle. 


Premium on Polluting Vehicles (Malus pour les véhicules polluants) 

Since 2008, buying, renting a new or second-hand vehicle (read 'polluting'), attracts a premium or taxes. This premium needs to be paid at the time of applying for the registration ('première immatriculation') of the new vehicle for 'certificat d'immatriculation' (ex- carte grise) or at the time of applying for re-registration for the second-hand vehicles. As with the bonus, the taxes are relative to the level of CO²/km emitted by the vehicle.

Premium (Malus) in 2010 for new cars:

  • 200 euro for vehicles emitting between 156-160 grams of CO²/km
  • 750 euro for vehicles emitting between 161-195 grams of CO²/km
  • 1600 euro for vehicles emitting between 196-245 grams of CO²/km
  • 2600 euro for vehicles emitting between 246-250 grams of CO²/km
  • 2600 euro for vehicles emitting above 250 grams of CO²/km

Premium (Malus) in 2010 for second-hand cars:

This premium is not applicable in case of the issue of first certificate (of immatriculation) particularly when there is a change in civil state, shifting the residence etc. The tax is calculated relative to per gram of CO²/km for two tiers:

  • 2 € per gram CO²/km for level of Carbon dioxide (CO²) higher than 200 g CO²/km and lower than or equal to 250 g CO²/km
  • 4 € per gram CO²/km for level of CO² higher than 250 g CO²/km.

Annual tax on keeping a polluting vehicle

This tax is applicable for all new vehicles registered in France from January 1st, 2009 and is payable by the owner of the vehicle from the year of obtention of the first certificat d'immatriculation (registration certificate). The tax may be payable by those that are renting such vehicles when the rental contract has an option to buy-back or the contract is for a duration of 2 years.

Keeping a new polluting car can attract an annual tax of 160 € if its level of CO²/ km exceeds the following limits: 

  • For vehicles with 1st registration in 2009 (1ère immatriculation) : 250 g CO²/km
  • For vehicles with 1st registration in 2010: 245 g CO²/km
  • For vehicles with 1st registration in 2011: 245 g CO²/km
  • For vehicles with 1st registration in 2012: 240 g CO²/km


Exemptions/ reductions

Family with several members (familles nombreuses):

The premium (malus) to be calculated on the taxes to be paid by owners of new, polluting vehicles is reduced by 20 g/km per child, starting from 3rd child onwards and for 1 single vehicle of 5 seats or more per household. 

One must make the 'demande' before the 31st December of the 2nd year following the obtention of registration certificate of the car. This demand has to be submitted to the corresponding treasury (trésorie) on providing proofs such as 'livret de famille', tax certificates, copy of 'carte-grise' etc.

Handicapped persons:

From 1st July, 2009 onwards, the premium (malus) is not applicable to vehicles that are:

  • Registered as 'véhicule automoteur spécialisé' or "voiture particulière carrosserie "Handicap"
  • Acquired by a person holding a 'carte d'invalidité' or a person who has a minor or other dependent holding such card, in the same household, counting only one vehicle per beneficiary. 

Carbon Calculator

One can consult the site of ADEME- ’Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie'- the Agency for Environment and the Mastery of Energy, in order to find the amount of CO² emission for vehicles. This is calculated based on the type of vehicle, its age*, type of engine, horse-power, average mileage, type of use etc. Use the Carbon Calculator. Among other things, one can use this site to find out the environmental impact of one's daily living by taking different type of analysis in addition to transport (Cars, 4 wheelers, 2 wheelers, Aeroplane, common public transport); consumption, food and habitat. Consult the site. The site is in French. 


Top 10 of non-polluting cars (Top-10 des voitures plus propres)

As per a communiqué published by WWF-France and CCLV (Consommation, Logement et Cadre de Vie)- a consumer association- several top car-makers make it to the list of cars with least environmental impact. In various categories, the list is headed by Toyota Aygo 1.0, Citroën C1.A, Peugeot 107 1.0, Daihatsu Sirion 1.0, Honda Civic IMA Hybrid, Renault Modus 1.5 dCi, Peugeot 307 SW 1.6 HDI, Toyota Prius 1.5 Hybrid, Volvo V50 1.6D DRIVe, Ford Focus C-Max 1.6i TDCi FAP, Opel Zafira 1.6 GNV etc. to name a few.

If you are planning to buy a car, you might like to consult the Guide Top-Ten- a top ten online guide, by WWF-France and CCLV, to find the products available in the market that have minimum impact on the environment. This guide is available in French (only) for various commodities including Cars in various categories- long distance, small, urban cars etc., Light bulbs, Dish-washers, Washing Machines, Refrigerators, Televisions, Deep-freezers and computer screens. Consult Guide-Topten



*Age of the vehicle is calculated from the 1st registration date mentioned on the registration certificate, irrespective of whether the vehicle is new or second-hand. 


Editor's note:

Much care has been taken to offer precise details in this article. However, readers must consider this only for information sake. It is recommended to check with your car dealer or other competent private or government body to ascertain the taxes for individual cases. We recommend reading public service website of the French Government. The website available in French language only. Consult.