Truck toll on German federal roads from 2018 onwards Trucks with more than 7.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight have to pay toll fees in Germany on some 15,000 kilometres of motorways. But that will soon change, as the Federal Cabinet has decided to significantly expand the toll fee obligation from 1 July 2018 onwards. That is when driving on the 40,000 kilometres of federal roads will also be subject to paying a toll fee. The expected additional revenue of two billion Euros per year will supposedly be used solely for infrastructure expansion.
For Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, this is another logical step of his transport policy: “By expanding the truck toll to all federal roads, we are seeing through the system change of our traffic infrastructure from tax financing to user financing.” The Minister also sees the amendment as a contribution towards covering the 40% increase in expenditure for infrastructure to approximately 14 billion Euros as initiated by him.
The new regulation will add a further 130,000 vehicles to the 1.6 million vehicles that have to pay toll fees, as these so far avoided using motorways. A further expansion of tolls for vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes will be decided by the end of 2017. However, this is already being widely rejected, as it would also affect many smaller businesses. The Federal Association for SMEs (Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft – BVMW), for example, has criticised the decision and rejects new tolls without simultaneous relief. “The state now already takes more than 50 billion Euros from drivers every year. Only a fraction of that goes into construction and maintenance of the transport infrastructure. Given such blatant misallocation, all plans for further burdens are out of the question”, explains BVMW President Mario Ohoven.
The decision of the Cabinet has put an end to the long tug-of-war regarding the plans of the Ministry of Transport. The SPD was in favour, in order to pump more money into road construction. Parts of the Union warned of additional burdens on the economy. So far, all revenues have gone to the federal government alone, but in future the federal states will also get a share. About eight percent of the network is not within federal jurisdiction. This includes, for example, main through-roads. The revenues earned there will be passed on to the respective federal states, after deduction of system costs.