New polling shows that Parisians support higher parking charges for SUVs

January 17, 2024
On February 4th 2024, Parisians will vote on whether to introduce higher parking charges for large SUVs. We asked them what they thought...

More than 6 out of 10 Parisians are in favour of increasing parking charges for large, heavy and more polluting vehicles.

A new poll released today by Clean Cities and Respire, and carried out by OpinionWay shows that 61% of Parisians support the idea of introducing parking charges based on the weight of vehicles, a figure which climbs to 70% if a number of conditions are met (ensuring the money is reinvested in improving mobility in Paris, exemption of residents’ parking etc).

A majority of Parisians (56%) have a bad opinion of SUVs. The principal reasons given for this view are: the fact that they take too much space (75% of respondents with a negative opinion of SUVs), their role in causing toxic air pollution (61%) and their negative impact on the climate (58%).

The new polling conveys an urgent message about the dangers of SUVs. These large cars use more than 20% more fuel than an average smaller car (1), and if they are involved in a collision with a pedestrian or cyclist, the risk of fatalities increases by 30% (2). They also contribute more to emissions of dangerous particles (59% more PM10 and 45% more PM2.5), because they are heavier increasing tyre wear (3). Parisians are less aware of the increased road danger posed by SUVs, only 4 out of 10 people thought that SUVs were involved in more serious collisions in cities (44%) or more frequent collisions (38%).

Nevertheless, the capital’s residents support plans to regulate car use, in particular heavier vehicles. 40% of Parisians think there are too many SUVs in Paris, and 59% want to restrict car dominance in their city.

  • 61% support a specific parking price for heavy, large or more polluting vehicles
  • 68% of those people support revising the Crit’Air labelling system (used to regulate low-emission zones) to include the weight of both new and second-hand cars
  • 67% support measures to force car manufacturers to increase the proportion of smaller cars they produce.


Tony Renucci, Director of Respire, says: “The results of this polling and the initiative taken by the city of Paris are important signals to automobile manufacturers that they should stop this trend of making ever bigger cars, and to invest more in producing smaller electric vehicles. The introduction of new parking charges for heavy, polluting vehicles, will be a victory for public health and clean air”.

Policy recommendations

Respire and Clean Cities are calling on the government to study the recommendations suggested in the White Paper on Low-emission zones which they published in July 2023. This paper proposes:

  • revising the Crit’Air system to include the weight of the vehicle,
  • devising a national industrial strategy to produce smaller cars.


These measures, accompanied by local initiatives, such as increasing parking charges (already adopted in Lyon (4)), will provide levers for policy makers to take real action on public health and to re-boot national industrial strategy.

Jens Mueller, Deputy Director of the Clean Cities Campaign, adds: “Parisians have the opportunity to put a brake on the never-ending growth in the size of cars and send a strong signal to cities across Europe. SUVs are much larger, heavier, more polluting and more dangerous than regular cars, and simply aren’t made for our cities. All eyes are now on Parisians to lead the way towards a city that is centered around people, not cars.”If we can free up space from these huge vehicles, this will make more space for residents and improve road safety. The French capital can prove an example to other big cities and show how to put people at the heart of our urban areas, and not cars”.

*The poll was carried out by OpinionWay with a representative sample of 1019 people aged 18 or over. The interviews were conducted from January 2 to 9, 2024 using a self-administered questionnaire on the CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interview) system.

1. IEA. (2023). As their sales continue to rise, SUVs’ global CO2 emissions are nearing 1 billion tonnes : Analyse
2. Institut VIAS. (2023). Des voitures plus lourdes, plus hautes et plus puissantes pour une sécurité routière à deux vitesses ?
3. Ademe (2019) : study 
4.  Ville de Lyon. (2023). Stationnement : une nouvelle tarification plus juste et plus progressive. Site internet de la ville de Lyon.


Tony Renucci (Respire) – – +33 7 86 94 59 27

Jens Müller (Clean Cities) – – +32 488 367 353

Celeste Hicks (Clean Cities Campaign) | +44 7957 915 696

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