Parking in Paris: the models affected by the SUV rate are not those you think

The Peugeot 2008, which was the best-selling SUV in France in 2023, will not be affected by this measure.

© Peugeot

The Paris town hall has used a citizen vote to apply a parking rate multiplied by three to certain vehicles, for non-residents. 54.55% of voters, for a participation of only 5.68%, voted for “fewer SUVs in Paris”. At least, this is what the Paris town hall is communicating about.

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In reality, there is no official criterion determining whether models belong to the SUV category. Even the automotive world struggles to precisely define these vehicles, between “real” SUVs, crossovers and raised sedans. So to make the distinction, the town hall based itself on a single element: mass.

Thus, the models affected by the “SUV rate” are thermal and hybrid vehicles (including rechargeable) weighing more than 1,600 kg empty and electric cars weighing more than 2,000 kg. The town hall in fact started from the postulate that SUVs are very heavy vehicles, which weigh “200 kg more than a standard vehicle”. This assertion, however, is greatly exaggerated.

SUV or not, that is ultimately not the question

As a result, all SUVs are far from being affected by this future measure, while many sedans, for example, will have to pay a triple parking rate, as will certain station wagons and minivans.

For example, the best-selling SUV in France in 2023 was the Peugeot 2008; a B segment model whose empty mass reaches 1270 kg in the diesel version, with the heaviest thermal engine, and 1550 kg in the e-2008 electric version. We are therefore well below the trigger thresholds for “SUV pricing” and that is not bad, because the 2008 is far from the portrait of SUVs painted by the Paris town hall. It is in fact a model which is not exceptionally imposing, polluting, or dangerous for pedestrians.

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On the other hand, a plug-in hybrid Mercedes Class A compact sedan, which nevertheless allows electric driving in town when correctly recharged, will be subject to the “SUV rate”. Indeed, plug-in hybrid models are inevitably heavier and said A 250 e weighs no less than 1695 kg empty. Where the situation becomes ludicrous is that the same car in the sports A 35 AMG petrol version, which emits up to 196 g of CO2 per km and receives the maximum penalty of €60,000, is not affected by the “SUV price”, since it weighs 1570 kg empty.

Mercedes Class A 250 e rechargeable hybrid

Among the models concerned, many sedans are present, a fortiori in plug-in hybrids.

© Mercedes-Benz Cars

Finally, certain 100% electric vehicles which currently benefit from the ecological bonus will fall within the criteria of the “SUV tariff”. This is particularly the case for the Peugeot e-3008 compact SUV, which is admittedly particularly heavy, with more than 2.1 t on the scale.

Most seven-seater cars, SUV or not, will also be affected by this new pricing. This will notably be the case for the diesel and plug-in hybrid versions of the current Peugeot 5008, but also for all versions of the Renault Espace 4 minivan and the current generation Renault Grand Kangoo MPV.

Ultimately, this new pricing will not apply much more to SUVs than to other body types, even if it will be the largest cars which will pay more for their parking. This is perhaps not worse, but we can regret that, unlike the city of Lyon, the Paris town hall has not provided any additional tolerance for plug-in hybrid vehicles and large families.

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