Paris removes another 10,000 parking spaces
SUV owners to pay $30 an hour to park in Paris

The people of Paris have voted in favour of creating special parking fees for SUVs.

The city council voted unanimously to introduce higher parking fees for larger vehicles in mid-2023 and put its plan for a parking rate for heavier, bulkier vehicles to a community referendum on 4 February.

More than 78,000 residents participated in the referendum and 54.55% voted in favour of the new fees, which are expected to take effect from 1 September.

The fees will triple the cost of parking for SUV owners, who will now pay €18 (AU$30) an hour for the privilege of parking in the city centre, and €12 (AU$20) in the rest of the city (up from €6 and €4). The fee will only apply to visitors – residents, taxi drivers and other professionals will not be affected.

Paris City Council has taken proactive steps to reduce the role of the car on its streets over the past decade and is building a climate-friendly city that prioritises sustainable modes of transport.

It has removed parking spaces and delivered a widely applauded bike plan that has increased the network of dedicated routes from 200km to more than 1000km since 2001.

Car trips within Paris declined by 60% between 2001 and 2018, and car crashes have reduced. 

Although the frequency of car use has decreased, the average size of cars in the capital has increased through skyrocketing sales of SUVs and 4x4s.

So, while fewer Parisians are relying on cars for daily travel, cars take up more public space, a phenomenon dubbed “auto-besity” by one Paris councillor last year.

The same situation is playing out in many cities around the globe. The sales trends towards larger vehicles can be seen in the US, other European countries and in Australia, where all of the top 10 selling cars in 2022 were twin-cab utes or large SUVs.

Transport experts in Australia are sounding the alarm over the proliferation of large and inefficient vehicles as the country’s transport emissions continue their explosive and uncontrolled growth.

Meanwhile, Standards Australia has recommended increasing the length of parking bays across the country to accommodate these larger vehicles.

And as part of its reimagination of Inkerman Street in St Kilda, the City of Port Phillip is exploring widening parking bays to make it easier to park SUVs.

Like our articles?

Become a Member and help fund our advocacy work.

Join Now

Or become our friend and subscribe to receive our fortnightly newsletter.