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 .
In line with many other EU countries Germany's car tax system favours "greener" vehicles which produce lower emissions.
Germany does not have a road tax; this is covered instead by a tax on fuel.
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).
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.
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