Owners of large cars will soon have to pay more to park in Paris. This Tuesday, the Paris council approved the tripling, from October, of parking rates in the capital for the heaviest vehicles. A decision justified by environmental arguments, and which should in particular be costly for SUV drivers traveling to the capital.

“In less than thirty years, cars have become heavier on average by nearly 250 kilos. The average weight of a vehicle represented 975 kilos in 1990, today it is 1233 kilos,” the city justifies itself in the explanatory statement of its draft deliberation. Highlighting the “issues of congestion in public space and safety”, as well as the “correlation between vehicle weight and pollution emitted”, the services call for “adapting parking pricing in Paris” for visitors, not the local residents. In detail, this “differentiated visitor parking fee” will target “heavy” vehicles, a name changing depending on the type of vehicle: two tonnes, for electric ones, penalized by the weight of their battery, and 1.6 tonnes for all others.

The announced rates are particularly high, even prohibitive: “for these vehicles, the parking fee will be progressive and set at €18 per hour for the first two hours in the central districts of the capital (central districts in the 11th), while it will be set at €12 per hour for the first two hours in the peripheral districts (12th to 20th districts, woods included),” details the deliberation. Parking for six hours in a row in a central district could cost up to 225 euros, compared to 150 euros in one of the other districts.

Please note, however, that people with reduced mobility will be able to continue to park for free and “all rates applied until now to professionals will remain unchanged, regardless of the weight of their vehicle”. Likewise, resident rates do not change.

This vote by the Paris council concludes a sequence opened last February. At the time, a citizen vote requested by the city hall questioned Parisians about tripling parking rates for tall and heavy cars. If a tiny portion of residents went to the polls to give their opinion, the new pricing was validated by a narrow majority, at 54.55%. Anne Hidalgo’s teams then anticipated implementation on September 1, and specified that Parisian residents were not concerned, as were many professionals, such as taxi drivers or craftsmen.

Several months after this vote, the debate around this question remains electric. “In accordance with the choice of Parisians during the citizens’ vote last February, the owners of these vehicles will have to pay a parking price three times higher than those of less heavy vehicles!”, welcomed this Tuesday Anne Hidalgo’s deputy in charge of the transformation of public space and mobility, David Belliard.

For its part, the right-wing opposition spoke out in council against a decision which risks penalizing families dependent on larger cars: “We cannot be moved, on the one hand, to see 12,000 inhabitants leave Paris every year, to see classes closed every year, […] and on the other hand, do everything so that families have an unbearable life in Paris,” said Inès de Raguenel, elected from the Changer group. Paris. His colleague, Franck Margain, for his part pointed out the “almost total indifference” of Parisians during the vote, and criticized the “ideology” and “demagoguery” of city hall. “Don’t be surprised if the flight of families increases further: you sacrifice well-being in Paris in the name of your ideology, without worrying that their ownership of a vehicle meets specific constraints and certainly depends on the number of ‘children,’ he snapped. Criticizing, in passing, the “filling of the coffers” by the town hall, weighed down by an “abysmal debt”.