Objectives of the Revised German Federal Trunk Road Toll Act
The 2023 and 2024 truck toll changes, resulting from the Toll Amendment Act by the German government, include new toll rates, the introduction of a CO2 emissions toll, the removal of toll exemptions for natural gas vehicles, and the extension of toll coverage to vehicles over 3.5 tons.
The goal is to promote eco-efficient road freight and incentivize transport providers investing in sustainable, lower-emission vehicles.
Increase in Truck Toll from January 1, 2023
Effective January 1, 2023, truck tolls in Germany rose, driven by a rate redefinition aligned with the most recent five-year report on infrastructure costs. Three pivotal factors impact these adjustments:
- axle count
- emission category
- permissible total weight of the vehicle combination
Hence, the toll increase varies depending on the specific transportation needs.
Revised Emission Categories by December 2023
Starting December 1, 2023, the truck toll restructuring introduces CO2 emission categories, with a 200 euros per ton surcharge for vehicles exceeding 7.5 tons. The surcharge varies across five emission class levels, in addition to the existing toll.
A Brief Overview of the 5 New Emission Categories
- Class 1: Highest CO2 emissions, resulting in the maximum surcharge. It’s important to highlight that TollCollect, the entity overseeing truck toll collection in Germany, initially assigns all registered vehicles with combustion engines to this emission category. Vehicle operators must proactively seek reclassification if applicable.
- Classes 2 and 3: Assigned when inputting vehicle data in the TollCollect portal, based on specific CO2 emissions, requiring the upload of relevant vehicle documents.
- Class 4: Encompasses low-emission trucks, including natural gas vehicles.
- Class 5: Reserved for zero-emission trucks, specifically battery- or hydrogen-powered electric vehicles, eligible for complete toll exemption until December 31, 2025.
German Truck Toll 2024: Natural Gas Vehicle Exemption Ends
Another significant truck toll alteration is slated for January 1, 2024, marking the end of toll exemptions for commercial vehicles powered by natural gas (CNG/LNG). Instead, they will be subject to emission class categorization, mirroring the aforementioned regulation.
Truck Toll 2024: Applies from 3.5 Tons and Above
July 1, 2024, marks a substantial shift in the German truck toll system. Starting on this date, tolls will be imposed on all vehicles with a technically permissible total weight exceeding 3.5 tons traveling on German federal trunk roads. This encompasses both individual vehicles and vehicle combinations, provided the tractor unit weighs more than 3.5 tons.
Toll Exemptions for Vehicles Over 3.5 Tons
Toll payment is mandatory for vehicles weighing 3.5 tons or more, particularly those engaged in road haulage and transport. Nonetheless, beginning in mid-2024, the following will be exempt from this toll obligation:
- Emission-free vehicles with a technically permissible total weight of up to 4.25 tons enjoy a permanent toll exemption.
- Toll exemption for emission-free heavy commercial vehicles remains in effect until December 31, 2025.
- Vehicles used by craftsmen and technicians weighing less than 7.5 tons are toll-exempt.
In Summary: Fundamental Changes to the German Truck Toll
Since the launch of the German truck toll in 2005, it has become a pivotal government control mechanism. The goals include co-financing the expansion and maintenance of the federal trunk road network based on actual usage, with both German and foreign road users sharing toll responsibilities. Additionally, the government aims to promote sustainability in road freight and reduce emissions. The upcoming changes, occurring in multiple phases, aim to significantly contribute to these objectives.
Ensuring our customers are well-informed about truck tolls is a top priority. Therefore, Logfret ensures proactive and early communication with customers regarding changes and rate adjustments related to the German truck toll.