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?


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They could do, but who cares. No matter how much money the government gets, they never spend it on fixing the horrendous state of our roads.

For years European drives have come over here and used our roads entirely funded by UK citizens.... I don't have an issue with this - I already pay to use roads in France and Spain when I'm over there, but to level the playing field a bit, the UK government should consider a similar scheme for overseas vehicles on our roads.

Apparently you should blame Winston Churchill for this. He was the first to redirect Road Fund Licence fees to areas other than roads.

The gestapo are back!

Then the UK should charge Germans to drive on our roads, too. I'm all for equality, so if they do it, so should we. If they want to drive here without paying, then so should we be able to drive there without costs.

I didn't have a problem with the Swiss motorway permit which everyone has to have, local and foreign alike, at a cost of 40 Swiss francs for up to 13 months. And that, as it turned out, was just for one journey. The German idea seems more expensive but I don't object in principle. We ought indeed to implement a similar charge for foreign-registered vehicles on our motorways at least, if not all roads.

I wrote to my local MP, then Bob Blizzard (Lab), some seven or eight years ago suggesting a scheme identicle to this and was told that, under EU law, it would be illegal as it was discriminatory to visitors. I then wrote suggesting we British pay as well but could be repaid by some tax return only to be told "No No can't do that. It wouldn't be legal". Now it seems Germany can do it. Further proof that the Founding Fathers of the EU make their own rules while we have to follow.

It doesn't matter, as Brits rarely travel through Germany, but if the French followed suit then that really would be an issue!

And so damn well should we!!!!!!!!

Not all autobahn roads are delimited as the editorial states.

Further evidence of someone that didn't know what they were talking about more like! If there's one thing the Germans do its play by the rules.

Since 2005 German trucks have been charged for using the autobahnen at the rate of approximately 31 pence per mile.

Of course they play by the rules - their own rules.

The EU has been manouvered and configured to work in favour of the nations at its geographical core, and in particular Deutschland.

It doesn't state that.

the French and Italian tolls are not going into the Governments' pockets as they finance privately funded and maintained autoroutes and autostrade - the Germans just want to skim money off foreigners and that's discrimination big time!
The Swiss system applies to all without exception and the CHF40 fee applies for up to 14 months i.e. valid from 1 December to 31 January the year after next...the Austrian system has various options depending on length of time etc...
All systems are rip-offs as in Europe we already pay some of the highest fuel taxes anywhere on the planet and Governments should be able to finance all road infrastructure from those taxes - on top, we all also pay annual road tax for each vehicle...enoughs enough...

p.s. not all French autoroutes require tolls! Only the privately funded ones.

It would certainly be a good idea to charge foreign lorries a road toll and also look into the benefits that they gain in fuel costs over local hauliers, maybe a surcharge on imported fuel. I wouldn't want to discourage visitors coming by car simply because of the money spent while they are here.