UK drivers on the continent may soon find themselves having to fork out for the privilege of using German roads, should new plans put forward by the country’s transport minister come to fruition.
Alexander Dobrindt, of the ruling Christian Social Union of Bavaria, has tabled proposals that would see foreign drivers required to buy a €10 (£7.90) permit for ten day’s consecutive driving.
Regular visitors to Germany would be able to take advantage of a yearlong permit, which would cost €100 (£79.40). Both would require displaying in a vehicle’s windscreen and would cover every single class of highway in Germany’s road network, including the speed-limit free sections of Autobahn that prove a major draw for car enthusiasts in themselves.
The plan would raise an estimated €2.5billion each year for the German treasury, and would see Germany adopting a similar approach to most other European nations, which also charge drivers for use of roads, though normally only for major highways on a per use basis.
However, the German plan of specifically taxing foreign drivers is likely to fall foul of EU law, as it makes a clear distinction between German drivers and those of foreign nationalities.
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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