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Car Tax and Environmental Badges

Find out about Germany's annual car tax and the environmental emissions badges required for driving in the country's Environmental Green Zones...

VehicleTax (Kraftfahrzeugsteuer)

Vehicle tax (Kraftfahrzeugsteuer) is compulsory. It is payable for a year in advance at the request of the local tax office (Finanzamt), but larger sums may be paid in instalments subject to a surcharge. The registered keeper of a vehicle is liable for the tax in Germany which is based on engine size and CO2 emissions.

There are two components to the calculation of road tax on new cars registered after the 1st January 2012 .

  • Engine size – the tax is € 2 per 100ccm for gasoline engines and € 9 per 100ccm for diesel engines.
  • CO2 emissions – engines emitting less than 110 gms/km are exempt and the tax above that level is € 20 per 10 gms/km.

In line with many other EU countries Germany's car tax system favours "greener" vehicles which produce lower emissions.

  • For an overview of vehicles and emission classes: Click here (in German)
  • For information on the latest changes to car taxes in Germany: Click here (in German)
  • To find rates and charges: Click here and then select vehicle type from the links at the top (petrol, diesel etc. in German)

Germany does not have a road tax; this is covered instead by a tax on fuel.

Environmental Green Zones

To reduce air pollution, many cities in Germany have established Environmental Green Zones (Umweltzonen). To drive in such a zone, a vehicle must meet certain exhaust emission standards. A coloured windscreen sticker - the environmental badge - identifies the pollution class a vehicle belongs to: green (class 4), yellow (class 3) and red (class 2).

  • For detailed information on the Environmental badge map of the Environmental Zones in Germany: Click here
  • Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V. (ADAC) provides detailed information about the zones: Click here

Stickers (valid in all of Germany) can be obtained by presenting the vehicle registration documents at the vehicle registration authority (Landesamt für Bürger und Ordnungsangelegenheithen, LABO), technical certification organisations or authorised repair workshops; or buy online.

The environmental badge scheme also applies to foreign-registered vehicles; the badge must be bought before arriving in Germany.

  • To apply for an environmental badge for German-registered car: Click here (in German)
  • To apply for an environmental badge for a foreign-registered car: Click here
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