How to benefit from the conversion bonus when buying a new vehicle

6 min read

Is your car on its last legs? Looking to buy a greener model? Well, you’re in luck—starting from July 1, 2021, you can lower the cost thanks to France's new conversion and ecological bonuses. Read on to learn how to benefit!

How can I get government aid to buy a low-emissions car?

Thanks to new laws put in place to reduce emissions in France, there are now two government bonuses available to help individuals and businesses acquire greener vehicles—the conversion bonus and the environmental bonus. 

The conversion bonus—how does it work?

Formerly known as the prime à la casse, or the ‘scrapping bonus’, the conversion bonus—prime à la conversion in French—is a form of financial assistance granted to any individual or professional who buys an electric, hybrid, or internal combustion engine vehicle that meets certain criteria (see below) and sends their old vehicle to be scrapped.

A payment credit of up to €3,000 is available upon purchase of an internal-combustion-engine car, and €5,000 for an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.

The environmental bonus

For those buying a new eco-friendly vehicle, there’s more good news. The conversion bonus can be combined with another form of assistance called ‘the environmental bonus’! This premium is designed for those buying one of the following:

  • A new electric car with a maximum purchase price of €45,000. In this case, you’ll get a bonus of 27% of the purchase price, with a ceiling of €6,000 for an individual and €4,000 for a legal entity. However, starting on January 1, 2022, these amounts will decrease to €5,000 and €3,000, respectively.

  • A new electric car purchased for over €45,000. In this case, the bonus increases by €2,000!

  • A new plug-in hybrid car with emissions of between 21 and 50g/km of CO2 that costs no more than €50,000. A bonus of €1,000 is available for this purchase. Please note: this bonus will expire on January 1, 2022.

  • A used electric car with a maximum CO2 emission rate of 20g/km for a bonus of €1,000.

It’s worth noting that the vehicle must be registered in France and can’t be sold within 6 months of purchase, or before having clocked at least 6,000 km.

Local grants

In addition to federal car bonuses, you can also look into grants set up by regions, states (départements), and metropolitan areas. For example, the greater Paris area will reimburse you up to €6,000 for the purchase of a plug-in electric, hydrogen, or gasoline hybrid vehicle. Plus, there’s an extra bonus of €1,000 if you buy an electric or plug-in hybrid car while living in a Low Emission Zone.

For more information, check the full list of local grants here. Additionally, you may also be eligible for a grant when you install a charging station through the MaPrimeRénov’ program, and also a subsidy of up to €960 through the Advenir program. 

Who can benefit from the conversion bonus?

Happily, the conversion bonus is available to everyone residing in France. However, the amount you’ll get depends on your taxable income. There are three tiers:

  1. Your taxable income (per person, per household) is less than or equal to €6,300 net—or €13,489 net if you’re a “heavy vehicle user”, meaning your work is located more than 30 km from your home, and you use your vehicle to travel more than 12,000 km/year for professional reasons. In this case, you’ll be eligible for €5,000 when you purchase an electric or plug-in hybrid car (see criteria below) and €3,000 when you purchase an internal combustion engine car that meets the standards set out below.

  2. Your taxable income (per person, per household) is less than or equal to €13,489 net. In this case, you can receive €1,500 in assistance when you purchase an internal combustion engine vehicle that meets the standards below, and €2,500 for an electric or plug-in hybrid car that meets the standards below.

  3. Your taxable income (per person, per household) is more than €13,489 net. In this case, you’ll get a bonus of €2,500 if you buy an electric or plug-in hybrid car that meets the criteria below. However, you won’t be eligible for a grant to buy an internal combustion engine vehicle.

Want to know how much money you can get back for your purchase? Find out using the online calculator.

How do you know if a vehicle is eligible for a conversion bonus?

To benefit from this electric car bonus, both your new and old vehicle will need to meet certain criteria.

Bonus criteria for your new eco-friendly vehicle

Cars eligible for the conversion bonus must be:

  • An electric car with maximum 20g/km of CO2 emissions, with a purchase price that’s less than or equal to €60,000

  • A plug-in hybrid car with maximum 50g/km of CO2 emissions with a purchase price that’s less than or equal to €60,000, and with a battery life of more than 50km

  • A used internal combustion engine car emitting maximum 137g of CO2 within the WLTP standard

  • A new internal combustion engine car with maximum 132g of CO2 emissions within the WLTP standard

Note that new electric two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and quadricycles can be eligible for a conversion bonus of up to €1,100—and an environmental bonus of up to €900.

Bonus criteria for your old vehicle

In order to collect your bonus, you’ll also need to send your old vehicle to be scrapped.

The car you’re scrapping must be registered in France, be diesel powered and registered before 2011, or gasoline powered and registered before 2006. Additionally, you’ll need to have owned the vehicle for at least one year. It must have a clear car title and must not be considered damaged. The vehicle needs to have been insured for at least one year. Finally, you’ll need to send your vehicle to an approved VHU center, or an “end of life vehicle center”.

How to benefit from the conversion and environmental bonuses

To apply for these bonuses, you’ll have to complete the online process on the government’s conversion bonus website in most cases. 

For the conversion bonus, you’ll need the following documents: 

  • Copy of the car registration document for both the new and old vehicle

  • Your bank account details

Haven’t purchased your new vehicle yet? Read our article to learn everything you need to know about budgeting for buying a vehicle.

How long does it take to receive the conversion bonus?

When it comes to collecting your payment, allow about two months for your file to be processed once you’ve submitted it online. The Agence de Services et de Paiement (ASP) will then pay you the amount, which can also take several months depending on the funds available to the agency.

If you buy your vehicle from a dealer, they may be able to credit the conversion bonus amount during your purchase. In this case, the ASP will then pay the amount directly to the dealer, so don’t hesitate to ask the car dealership if it's possible. Are you an environmentalist at heart? While you’re waiting for your bonus, why not check out our article to find out how to get an electric bike bonus as well? Happy driving!

N26—supporting you in your eco-friendly investments

With N26’s 100% mobile bank accounts, your finances are always at your fingertips. Get instant push notifications for all your purchases and payments, and easily save money with N26 Spaces sub-accounts! These virtual piggy banks help you save money for your future expenses like vacations, gifts, and—you guessed it—a car, too. With N26, investing in new projects is that simple. Why not sign up to our N26 Smart, N26 You or N26 Metal premium accounts today? 

Save up with Spaces

Use N26 Spaces sub-accounts to easily organize your money and save up for your goals.
Discover sub-accounts
Different N26 spaces to save money.

By N26

Related posts

These might also interest you
Phone screen with apps.

We’ve compiled a list of the best budgeting apps for iPhone and Android. Use these apps to build a budget that makes saving simpler and more rewarding.

Pie Chart.

The 50/30/20 budget is beautiful in its simplicity. It can help you divide your income into categories that make saving easy.

woman wearing a mask buying fruits in a supermarket.

The right grocery budget can save you thousands each year—without skimping on healthy eating. Here’s how to shop smarter at the grocery store.