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After Lyon, Paris is also on the hunt for SUVs

Are ‘big cars’ in the sights of local authorities? It would appear so… Paris seems to be following the trend that came into force in Lyon a few weeks ago… In fact, from 1ᵉʳ January 2024, SUVs will find themselves more heavily impacted by the price of city parking. A political choice that is already causing controversy, but which is being defended on the grounds of greater safety and less pollution… Zoom in on the reasons behind this political vow and the divisions generated around…

Paris follows Lyon’s example

After the decision taken by the ecologist mayor of Lyon concerning parking charges for heavy vehicles, it is now the turn of the Paris city council. Last June, the elected members of the Paris City Council voted in favour of a motion to increase parking charges for SUVs. Put forward by the ecologists and supported by the executive.

We would like the City of Paris to change the pricing of paid parking to make it progressive according to the weight and size of vehicles. We need to focus on an absurdity: “auto-besity”… The inexorable growth in the weight and size of vehicles circulating in our cities, and particularly in Paris.


The party’s leaders reveal that in four years, the number of SUVs in the capital has increased by 60%. They also insist that they now account for 15% of the 1.15 million private vehicles parked in Paris every evening. So, in their view, it makes perfect sense to charge owners of large cars more for parking in paid spaces, in proportion to the size and weight of the car.

But why exactly? Well, Anne Hidalgo has reaffirmed her desire to reduce the number of cars in the city. In particular, that given to the largest vehicles. With a view to “reducing dangerous driving behaviour”, she wants to “encourage the ownership of light vehicles”. This would also have a positive impact on pollution… To justify this choice, the Mayor of Paris relies on data from AAA Data, which states that “SUVs cause 55% more bodily injuries than other cars”.

A few exceptions to the rule

In order not to penalize Parisians who have no choice but to travel by SUV, it is planned that an “adapted solidarity rate” will be applied “to families on the lowest incomes” as well as “to large families who sometimes need a larger vehicle to get around”. A “common sense measure” according to the ecologists, who believe that SUVs are a danger to pedestrians. But also take up too much space and damage the road. On the executive side, David Belliard, the deputy mayor of Paris, said he was “very much in favor” of the motion. He also said he was “already working on it”, describing SUVs as “an ecological aberration”. However, it also seems clear to him that families on modest incomes will not be affected by these regulations.

Pricing will have to take into account the size of households so as not to penalise large families, particularly those on low incomes


Opinions differ

Unsurprisingly, on the other side of the political spectrum, elected representatives from the Parisian right voted against the measure, without commenting. Questioned on the subject, the mayor of the 7th arrondissement, Rachida Dati, simply regretted that the measure “only targets Parisian residents, as in Lyon”. And “once again shows that Paris City Hall is taking Parisians for a cash drawer”.

As far as users are concerned, while some are in favour of the scheme, others have made no secret of their dissatisfaction. Some motorists interviewed by Le Parisien complained that parking in the city was “already too expensive”. While others said they were indifferent to the measure, which would not deter them from parking their SUVs in the city centre. However, the ‘polluter pays’ principle for heavy vehicles is attracting more and more interest from towns and cities… Such as Grenoble, which is due to introduce the scheme in the very near future…