Blog: Dave LeggettAbout that driving holiday in Germany...

Dave Leggett | 11 June 2008

I like Germany and I like driving in Germany very much. The network of Autobahns is superb (there are still long tracts without speed limits) and the German countryside is much underrated. There are vibrant cities, historic towns, fairytale castles, the food's great and the weather in the summer is pretty good.

But if you are driving to Germany and visiting some cities or large towns, bear in mind that a new 'green' circulation tax applying to certain urban areas has recently been introduced. You need to pay for a display badge (29.80 euros minimum as far as I can see) or risk a fine (which at 40 euros is only 10 more than the badge, so it's maybe worth risking). Foreigners passing through briefly are not exempt.

At first glance it looks a little like fleecing the already hard-pressed motorist to me. A nice little earner? Is the explanation for this tax to the, ahem, happy 'customer' clear? Is this mainly about particulates? Congestion? CO2?

Whatever, if you live in Europe something like it will probably eventually come to a town near you.



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