Greener cars will pay less than old diesels.
The lower house of the German parliament, the so-called Bundestag, has approved last week the introduction of road toll for vehicles registered outside the country. According to the new law, prices will be based on the length of the trip and the Euro sticker of the car. Simply said, if you have a greener car and plan to stay only for a couple of days you’ll pay significantly less than if you’ll visit the country for a month with your, say, old diesel Volkswagen…
First discussions about a road tax in Germany were held back in the summer of 2014. Then, the German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt revealed plans to tax foreign drivers beginning in 2016, but the project was delayed after the European Commission complained it would be discriminatory and against the EU rules, as Reuters reports. Shortly after, some changes of the new text were proposed, including benefits for greener cars and shorter trips, answering the Commission's requests.
But the new law is facing another hurdle. Dobrindt has refused requests to make exceptions to the toll for border areas in the country and some of the states are protesting against this decision. Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate have already said they will contact a mediation committee that liaises between the two parliamentary chambers. According to Reuters, that could delay the final approval of the law so that it is not implemented before the federal election on September 24.
If approved, the toll could generate around $540 million each year according to preliminary calculations by the government. No exact pricing details are available at this moment, but most likely the maximum annual cost for a car with a foreign registration will be roughly $140.