Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Germany plans toll system for foreign drivers


UK motorists may have to pay to use German roads should new plans get the green light.

Currently, foreign car drivers – including the UK – pay nothing to use the country's road network, but that could all change in 2016 if German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt gets his own way, Auto Express reports.

Under the plans, foreign drivers would have to buy a permit costing 10 euros (£7.90) for 10 days or around 100 euros for 12 months. Both would have to be attached to a car's windscreen and they would cover the cost of every single road in Germany – including the de-restricted autobahns, which are a major attraction for motorists across the continent.

The move would raise around 2.5bn euros a year and would bring Germany in line with most other European countries in charging drivers to use its roads. However, unlike neighbouring France and Switzerland, German nationals would not have to pay the toll fees.

As such, the plans could be in doubt as they clearly make a distinction between German and foreign drivers in the eyes of EU law.

A spokesperson for the EU's transportation commissioner 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 foreign drivers."

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