British drivers taking their car across the Channel to France this summer will need to display a Clean Air sticker if they plan to enter one of several cities, or face a fine of up to €180 (£154), the Guardian reminds us.

In a similar move to the clean air Ultra Low Emission Zones that are proving very unpopular in the UK, France has more than 12 zones, including Paris and several others cities popular with UK tourists, including Nice.

The RAC has warned all cars and motorbikes entering such zones across the Channel need to display a sticker, down locally as a Crit’Air Vignette, denoting their vehicle’s emissions.

Drivers need to apply via the official French government website before they leave home, as the stickers are not available locally, the motoring group warned.

The RAC said travellers also need to be aware that they may face restrictions on when they can drive into cities, depending upon their car’s emissions.

There are six categories in the Crit’Air vignette system, from green for the cleanest vehicles to dark grey for the dirtiest. The certificate you receive relates to the vehicle’s Euro emissions standards. Even those with a 100-percent electric car need to display the sticker.

Drivers driving to Paris, Rouen, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Montpellier, Lyon, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Nice and several other cities risk the fine if they don’t display one.

Those heading across the Channel but staying away from the affected cities are not required to display one, at least for the time being.

The plan is to eventually have a low emission zone in every urban area with a population greater than 150,000 people. They cost €4.61 including postage, for each vehicle, but drivers should allow several days for delivery, the RAC said.

Plans are afoot, or schemes already in place, in Spain, Italy and Switzerland.

FILE PHOTO: Pollution in Paris Reuters