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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article12 February 20242 min read

Paris introduces triple parking fees for SUVs

Residents of Paris have voted to introduce a new parking tariff for SUVs, with drivers now paying three times more than smaller passenger cars. With a turnout of 6% of registered voters, 54.5% voted to introduce the new measures aimed at curbing the number of SUVs used in the city.

The increase in parking rates will affect cars weighing more than 1,600 kg (or 2,000 kg in the case of electric cars). An hour of parking for SUVs in the city centre now costs €18 instead of the usual €6, whilst in the outskirts the cost is €12 instead of €4. For six hours of parking in the city centre, SUVs will be charged €225 instead of the previous €75. However, the new tariff only applies to visitors of Paris, with local residents and professionals exempt.

Whilst the amount of private cars in Paris has declined over the past decade, average vehicle size and weight has increased, driven by SUVs making up 40% of total new car sales. Interventions on the exponential growth of SUVs is needed due to “the problems they pose in terms of the additional energy demand, the public space taken up and the additional danger to pedestrians”, stated Fatih Birol, Director of the International Energy Agency.

New cars are getting 1cm wider every two years in Europe, driven by the rise in SUV sales. Over 50% of average vehicles sold are now larger than the 180cm width of typical on-street parking spaces found in major cities such as Paris, with large SUVs (at 200cm wide) no longer fitting. Larger vehicles restrict the fair use of public space in urban areas and contribute to greater road congestion.

Due to their larger size and weight, SUVs also pose a greater risk to vulnerable road user safety. A collision with a heavier car increases the risk of death for vulnerable road users by 30% compared to a car 300kg lighter, whilst the risk of fatal injury increases by 30% for a pedestrian or cyclist hit by a car with a bonnet 10 cm higher than average.

Moreover, SUVs require more raw materials and have a heavier overall mass, leading to greater pollution than lighter cars. Petrol SUVs produce around 40 times more lifetime emissions than light passenger cars, with electric SUVs producing around 10 times more than lighter electric cars.

With SUVs increasing to over 50% of new car sales in Europe in 2023, regulations and tariffs on larger car ownership in urban areas are an important step to reduce air pollution, ensure fair use of public spaces and improve safety for pedestrians and other road users.

 

Article first published on 4 February 2024 by news.ORF

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Details

Publication date
12 February 2024
Topic
  • Safety and urban mobility
  • Traffic and demand management
Country
  • France