Cars weighing more than 1.6 tonnes will now have to pay €18 (RM 92) an hour to park in inner Paris.
While city cars was often used as the term to describe the cheapest and most compact offering by an automaker, there was no doubt that the true city car however was to be the SUV. Though this might soon not be the case any more at least in Paris, as in a move to reduce the number of these behemoths clogging up its narrow streets, the residents in the city of lights has recently voted to nearly triple the parking fees for large cars within its borders.
Parisians have voted in favour of effectively tripling hourly parking fees to €18 (RM 92) in the city centre and €12 (RM 62) in the rest of Paris for regular cars weighing over 1,600 kg, as well as EVs that weight over 2,000 kg. This vote was called by Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and the proposal was passed with 54.55% approval from its voters.
It is worth highlighting however that of the 1.3 million residents of central Paris were eligible to vote, only a measly 78,000 of them (about 5.7%) actually cast a ballot. Said residents of the city are interestingly also not be affected by the new parking charge when it comes into effect in September 2024, with a similar exemption in place for the disabled, taxi drivers, health workers, and tradespeople.
Instead, this new parking charge is to be mainly aimed at motorists from the suburbs who drive into the centre of the capital for the day. In fact, the city’s deputy mayor in charge of transport has stated for this newly increased levy to only affect about 10% of the vehicles in the city of lights.
Worth pointing out too here is that thanks to the current ‘autobesity’ trend in cars these days, even the more modest cars from out of town will also be on the hook for these steeper parking charges. A Mercedes-Benz C-Class for instance already tips the scales at 1,675 kg, with the higher-end dual-motored Polestar 2s similarly breaching the 2,000 kg EV parking cut-off.
In any case, the Mayor of Paris stated after the vote: “We’re proud of having posed an eminently environmental question at a time the environment is presented as the source of all evil. “It’s a form of resistance here in Paris to this very concerning movement,” she added, before signalling that the outcome of this vote may influence other capitals to take similar action.
Though even if there is admittedly similar automotive trend happening right now on the roads of major Malaysian cities, the chances such a referendum passing over here is minute to say the least. Such is because we will probably have to start with actually educating the local populous on how to actually park in the first place…