Germany plans car toll for foreign drivers

8 Jul, 2014 11:00am Joe Finnerty

Non-German registered cars would need to buy a permit to drive on all roads

UK drivers travelling to Germany could have to pay a car toll from 2016 under new Government plans.

Foreign drivers would have to purchase a permit – costing €10 (£7.90) for 10 days – which would then be displayed on a windscreen. Alternatively drivers could buy a year-long permit for around €100 depending on emissions.

German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt said native drivers will also pay the toll but it will be offset by a tax cut elsewhere. Dobrindt expects the proposals to raise around €2.5 billion over four years.

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UK drivers would pay to use all German roads

The toll stickers would mean foreign drivers – including those from the UK – would be paying to use every road in Germany and not just highways. And German roads are extremely popular with drivers across the continent because of their delimited Autobahns.

It's important to note that Germany has had a toll system for trucks for years, but is one of a few European countries that doesn't charge cars - yet. Most of its neighbours, including France, Austria and Switzerland do have toll systems for private cars but unlike the German plans, don't distinguish between foreigners and nationals.

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The idea for a new German toll started last year but it’s unknown as to whether the EU would support the latest plans which clearly makes a distinction between foreign drivers and German drivers.

A spokeswoman for EU's transportation commissioner, Siim Kallas told the Wall Street Journal: “Changes to Germany's existing car taxation scheme are a German responsibility. They should not be directly aimed at discriminating [against] foreign drivers."

What do you think of the German car toll proposals? Should the British Government introduce something similar?