10

I will need to drive to Berlin soon (July 2020) and I'm trying to figure out if Germany requires a Vignette to use their motorways, like neighbouring Switzerland and Austria do.

This article seems to imply that this will soon be the case, but I can't tell if this has already been put in place.

From what I read here, it seems like I won't need it, but as this seems to be an open issue I would prefer some form of official confirmation. Is there any official German site that describes the current situation?

  • There have been plans about introducing tolls but the whole project crashed with a big bang as politicians tried to find a way that would not cost Germans more money (as promised before the election) while still charging foreigners in accordance to EU roles (keyword: non-discrimination). – Manziel Jul 8 at 14:00
14

No, you do not need a vignette but might need a environmental sticker in some cities:

Numerous cities have set up or decreed environment zones to reduce pollution in their city centres. Vehicles with particularly bad exhaust values such as old diesel vehicles without particle filter systems and vehicles with petrol engine and an insufficient exhaust cleansing (regulated catalyser) are not allowed to drive in the environment zones.

The zones polluted by emissions are designated with the sign “Umweltzone”. A supplementary sign shows which vehicles with which sticker are allowed to drive in the environment zone. Initially, the driving ban only applied to vehicles without a sticker or with a red sticker. In the meantime, only low-emission vehicles or motor vehicles with special rights may drive into the designated zones.

(source)

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    It's worth noting that the environmental sticker requirement also applies to stretches of autobahn that pass through cities. – Jacob Horbulyk Jul 7 at 11:30
  • It should also be noted that an Umweltzone is typically declared visibly enough before you take the exit from the Autobahn, for example. But yeah, stretches of Autobahn going though a city can be declared Umweltzone as well, good point. – 0xC0000022L Jul 7 at 13:54
  • 1
    you can also set Waze to create routes that avoid Umweltzonen by activating the "Avoid toll roads" option while in Germany. This will also warn you if your destination is in an Umweltzone – viorel Jul 8 at 9:33
  • @JacobHorbulyk: can you give examples where this is the case? The Umweltzonen I'm familiar either end directly before (but not on) the Autobahn, or even say "excluding the Autobahnen" in their definition), but that are mostly Autobahnen that go on, i.e. have traffic transiting the Umweltzone. Of course, there's no point in excluding an Autobahn only has exits into Umweltzonen. – cbeleites unhappy with SX Jul 8 at 13:28
5

Unless you're driving a truck you are free to use the motorway without a vignette.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Do you have any source/reference for this? – Xnero Jul 6 at 22:44
  • 3
    Just me taking the highway every day :) – Coxer Jul 6 at 22:45
  • 2
    @Daniil Why doubt the obvious? All vehicles with a permissible gross weight above 7500 kg are subject to road taxes on German motorways. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jul 7 at 10:00
  • 8
    The government had the idea to introduce a vignette for foreigners. This had meant a German native may not know what a foreigner has to take care of. However it turned out differently. A car needs no vignette. – Bernhard Döbler Jul 7 at 10:55
  • 4
    @BernhardDöbler actually the plan was to require a vignette for everyone but refund the cost to people living in Germany through reduced taxes. – Josef says Reinstate Monica Jul 7 at 13:07
5

You don't need a vignette in Germany. But for most of the cities you will need an environmental sticker.

This sticker is also needed for foreigners! You can order one before going on your trip and don't get fined entering the first German city on your trip.

official environmental sticker source

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Not sure if you need the sticker for most of the cities. The website lists 58 towns: gis.uba.de/website/umweltzonen/index.php?tab=uwz that have zones. A single one in Rheinland-Pfalz, one in Sachsen, one in Thüringen - not many. – Bernhard Döbler Jul 7 at 17:05
  • We have the same in France, but the other way round (1=best, 5=worst). It is a shame it was not coordinated EU-wise – WoJ Jul 22 at 21:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.