Paris Is About to Triple the Parking Rates for Large SUVs

You might want to think twice before taking your hulking SUV into Paris.

Residents of the City of Light have voted to triple the fee for parking excessively large and heavy vehicles, according to Bloomberg. The city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, hopes that the substantial price hike will help reduce pollution in the city.

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The increase in price is the result of a referendum held on Sunday. Nearly 55 percent of voters agreed to increase the price for parking what Hidalgo has called “heavy, bulky, and polluting cars” in the city center to €18 ($19.35 by today’s exchange rate) per hour and €12 ($12.91) per hour in the surrounding areas. That’s triple what it costs to park a smaller, less imposing vehicle on the city’s streets (the rates used to be the same).

Rolls-Royce Spectre — $440,000
Drivers of the Rolls-Royce Spectre will have to pay the new, increase parking rate

Although some have said the referendum was targeting crossovers and SUV, the new fee is triggered by weight not class, according to Autoblog. The new rate doesn’t kick in unless your diesel-, gas-, or hybrid-powered vehicle weighs over 1,600 kilos, or roughly 3,500 pounds. So, if you were planning to drive around Paris in the BMW X7, Land Rover Defender, or Mercedes-Benz G-Class—all of which weigh over 5,000 pounds—you should expect to pay a not-insignificant chunk of change if you want to stop.

There’s a little more leeway for EVs. They’ll be forced to pay the higher parking fee if they tip the scales at more than 2,000 kilos, or about 4,400 pounds. That means that anyone driving the GMC Hummer EV and or both Rivian EVs, the R1T truck and R1S SUV, would be hit by the hike. None of those vehicles are currently available in Europe—although that could change sooner than later—but another affected EV, the Rolls-Royce Spectre, is. The British marque’s first battery-powered super coupé has a curb weight of over 6,500 pounds.

It’s easy to think of the giant SUV as a distinctly American phenomenon but they’re popular all over the world, including in France. Sales of the class have risen seven-fold over the last decade and now account for 40 percent of new vehicles sold in the country, according to Bloomberg. If more of them had turned out to vote against the referendum, they might not be facing higher parking rates now. Only 78,000 of the city’s 1.3 million residents showed up to vote on Sunday.

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