The spectra and relaxation of the pyridine cation and of several of its fluorinated derivatives are studied in low temperature Ne matrices. The ions are generated by direct photoionization of the parent compounds. Of the compounds studied, laser induced → and → fluorescence is observed only for the 2, 6‐difluoropyridine cation. The analysis of the spectrum indicates that the ion is planar both in the and states. The large variety in the spectroscopic and relaxation behavior of fluoropyridine radical cations is explained in terms of their electronic structure and of the differential shifts of the individual electronic states caused by the fluorine substitution.