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Fleet drivers urged to ensure European law compliance on summer holidays abroad

Fleet drivers urged to ensure European law compliance on summer holidays abroad

Thousands of fleet drivers could be falling foul of European legislation when driving across the English Channel this year for their summer holidays, according to LeasePlan.

The vehicle leasing and fleet management company has reminded drivers not to fall foul of individual European countries driving laws when travelling overseas.

Alongside brushing up on the rules and regulations of driving overseas, drivers are now required to display a Crit’ Air sticker on their windscreen when driving through the French capital, Paris, and other major cities. Without it, drivers could face fines of up to £117.

The French government rolled out The Air Quality Certificate, dubbed ‘Crit’Air’ last year, with stickers indicating how much NOx a vehicle produces and allowing officials to monitor the amount of pollution in major cities, giving them the ability to stop higher category cars from entering on high emission days.

There are six categories that vehicles are ranked by depending on their air pollutant emissions from the cleanest (100% electric and hydrogen vehicles) at 0, to the highest polluting pre-2006 diesel vehicles. However, not all diesel cars will be ranked in the high polluting categories; diesels registered since 2011 will rank at level 2, equal to Euro4 petrol cars (registered from 2006 to 2010).

The legislation means that not only must drivers of leased vehicles notify their leasing company, at least four weeks prior to travel, to obtain a Vehicle on Hire (VE103) certificate - in lieu of a vehicle registration certificate (V5C) - and a letter giving written permission needed to drive their car overseas, but they must know the European Emissions Standard of their vehicle in order to apply for a Crit’ Air sticker at: https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/

Matthew Walters, head of consultancy services at LeasePlan UK, said: “With the growing popularity of leasing in the UK, 49% of cars registered in 2017 for fleet, we believe thousands of motorists could be falling foul of European legislation when driving across the channel this year.

“We recommend that drivers, whether they lease or own their vehicle, apply for a Crit’ Air sticker well in advance of their date of travel so they don’t run the risk of driving without one.

“The difference between Euro6 and earlier diesels is one that’s rarely made. In many ways, proposed policies, such as this, will actually be good for diesel motorists. At the moment the UK is absolutely CO2 focused, it is encouraging to see more governments recognising the steps needed to tackle NOx emissions to improve the air quality and bring about the future of clean transport and responsible cities.”

LeasePlan suggests for those motorists planning a summer road trip to be advised of the checks and equipment they are required to carry under European Union laws, especially for those who lease cars where extra steps need to be considered before driving off into the sun.

LeasePlan’s eight-point checklist for British motorists driving in Europe this summer is:
  • Apply for a Crit’ Air sticker well in advance of date of travel to avoid running the risk of driving without one.
  • Notify the leasing provider about taking the vehicle abroad in advance to obtain a vehicle-on-hire certificate (VE103). All drivers who own their vehicle must be able to produce a V5 vehicle document (logbook).
  • Check European breakdown cover is in place.
  • Consider giving car a maintenance check before heading off to help improve fuel economy and avoid any preventable accidents.
  • Whether travelling for business or pleasure, fully comprehensive insurance is essential for all drivers.
  • Read up and ensure compliance with each country’s individual driving laws. For example, France has banned satellite navigation devices that are capable of detecting speed cameras and it’s compulsory for all cars to carry a warning triangle, a high-visibility safety vest, spare light bulbs, and display GB stickers or have a number plate with a European Union logo.
  • Ensure driving licence and passport are valid and up-to-date.
  • Travelling with children? Check the safety and compliance rules on car seats for each country before you set off.

More information is available from the AA at: http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/compulsory_equipment.html