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Ecological bonus and conversion premium: everything you need to know for 2022

The transport sector is an emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG), both in France and worldwide. It accounted for 31 % of GHG emissions in France in 2019.

The IPCC's 2022 report keeps reminding us of the climate danger we are facing. In this sense, France aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. In order to achieve this transition, all actors must contribute to thisThis is why governments are using levers to guide consumers towards cleaner attitudes. This is why public authorities are using levers to guide consumers towards cleaner attitudes.

In the case of transport, it is a question of directing road users towards cleaner vehicles, with the help of financial aid: the conversion premium and the ecological bonus. If you want to know everything about these two forms of aid, you've come to the right place. Fasten your seatbelt and drive (environmentally friendly, of course!)

Definition of the conversion premium and the ecological bonus

The conversion premium and the ecological bonus are two forms of financial aid provided by the State for any private individual or professional who wishes to acquire a new or second-hand vehicle. In return, the purchaser must scrap their old vehicle.

The two aids can be combined:

  • The conversion premium is valid for the purchase of one vehicle and the scrapping of another under certain conditions.
  • The ecological bonus is activated for the purchase of a used or new electric or hydrogen vehicle, or a new hybrid vehicle only.

Conversion premium and ecological bonus scales

Although both aids appeared a few years ago, they are evolving in their scales and eligibility conditions. From July 2021, the conditions and development of the bonus for the years 2021 and 2022 were to change as specified in decree 2020-1526, but the planned €1,000 reduction was swept aside by the Minister for Ecological Transition. Indeed, Barbara Pompili announced "the maintenance of the conversion premium and the ecological bonus at the same level until July 2022".

In a context of rising energy prices, the government has therefore opted to postpone the changes to the scales by one year. This will increase the number of loans by 900,000 and the bonuses and premiums issued during Emmanuel Macron's presidential term by 430,000.

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Moreover, while the amount does not change, the eligibility conditions for plug-in hybrids remain. The latter remain in the field of eligibility, whereas the decree had planned to remove them.

As you will have understood, the scales remain unchanged in terms of eligibility criteria and amounts. But what are the conditions and amounts in detail?

The conditions for claiming the conversion premium and the ecological bonus

You are probably wondering what the conditions are for being eligible for the conversion premium and the ecological bonus? These conditions can be summarised in three points for a thermal vehicle (passenger car).

On the one hand, there are conditions depending on the vehicle purchased:

  • This vehicle must emit a maximum of 127 g/km of CO2 if the vehicle is new or registered for less than 6 months, or 137 g/km of CO2 if the vehicle is second-hand. However, for a vehicle registered before March 2020 or a wheelchair accessible vehicle, the 127 g/km threshold is replaced by the 99 g/km threshold and the 137 g/km threshold is replaced by the 109 g/km threshold. Above these thresholds, it will be impossible to claim the conversion premium, regardless of the vehicle being scrapped.
  • To be eligible, the vehicle purchased must be Crit'Air 0 (green sticker), Crit'Air 1, or Crit'Air 2 and be registered after 1 September 2019. For the record, the government has introduced a sticker that defines an air quality certificate: the Crit'Air. This certificate classifies vehicles according to their GHG emissions and their age. The 100 % electric or hydrogen vehicles have a green sticker. Then, all vehicles have a Crit'Air 1 to 5, with increasing emissions of polluting particles.
  • For the ecological bonus: the vehicle purchased must be a new, second-hand or new hybrid electric vehicle.
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On the other hand, there are conditions depending on the vehicle being dumped concerning eligibility for the conversion premium :

  • The scrapped vehicle must be a diesel vehicle registered before 2011 or a petrol vehicle registered before 2006.
  • It must have been owned by the premium recipient for at least 1 year and must not be pledged.
  • The vehicle must be a passenger car (PC) or a light truck (LTV) and must have been subject to a 1re registration before January 2011.
  • The vehicle must be registered in France in a normal series or with a definitive registration number.
  • If the vehicle is considered damaged or financially irreparable by an expert, it must have been insured for at least 1 year at the date of its handover for destruction (or at the date of invoicing of the acquired or leased vehicle).
  • It must be handed over for destruction within the 3 months preceding or 6 months following the invoice for the new vehicle to an approved "end-of-life vehicle" (ELV) centre or to an approved ELV depollution and dismantling facility.

Finally, there is financial conditions in terms of income This is the "reference tax income". This will determine the amount, or even the eligibility for the two types of aid. This aid will vary if this income is less than, equal to or greater than €13,489. In addition, for low emission zones (LEZ), there is a maximum bonus of €1,000 if the beneficiary has benefited from similar aid granted by a local authority.

Finally, what are the amounts?

There are therefore many conditions for claiming the conversion premium and the ecological bonus. As these conditions vary, so do the amounts, which will vary according to the vehicle purchased, the vehicle rejected and the reference tax income.

The premium can vary from €1,500 to €3,000 for the purchase of either a new or used Crit'Air 1 thermal vehicle. The bonus can be up to €5,000 for the acquisition of an electric or hybrid vehicle. It is possible to consult all the scales on the government website. A personalised test is available to determine whether you are eligible for both types of aid and also the amount and the steps to be taken:

This is the end of the journey, and perhaps the beginning of a new, cleaner one...