Drivers pay significantly more taxes because of new tests

The road tax for new cars has risen by almost 40 percent. The reason: The test procedure for the CO2 values ​​has been changed.

A look into the car tower in the Autostadt in Wolfsburg

ACar drivers have to pay significantly more vehicle tax because of a stricter emissions test introduced two years ago. Because of the more realistic CO2 test values, new vehicles are usually exposed to an average of almost 40 percent higher, according to a report by the Federal Ministry of Finance to the Bundestag Finance Committee, as the editorial network Germany (RND) wrote on Tuesday. The report was also available to the German Press Agency.

In September 2018, the new European WLTP emissions standard was introduced for newly registered cars. The measurement process ensures more realistic values ​​for pollutant emissions and consumption.

According to the ministry report, 98 percent of the new registrations measured nominally higher emissions than the old method. Car manufacturers were previously massively criticized for the fact that their vehicles consume and exhaust much more on the road than on the test bench.

Federal government plans tax reform

According to the report, the average vehicle tax levied on vehicles registered for the first time a year before the changeover in September 2017 was 150 euros. After the introduction of WLTP, it rose to 210 euros. The total income from vehicle tax rose from 8.9 billion euros in 2017 to 9.4 billion euros in 2019. That is an increase of five percent. The amount of the vehicle tax is linked to the CO2 emissions.

According to the report, the average vehicle tax paid has fallen again since the beginning of 2020 – to 201 euros by June. The ministry attributes this primarily to the fact that the proportion of cars with alternative, more climate-friendly types of drive has increased. The demand for electric cars has recently increased due to higher government premiums.

The federal government is planning to reform the vehicle tax. In order to protect the climate, new cars with high fuel consumption will have to pay higher vehicle taxes from 2021 onwards. According to the report, the submitted government draft takes into account the higher exposure to the WLTP test. The draft provides for a “moderate increase” with progressively staggered tax rates – in order to make climate protection as well as affordable and socially just mobility compatible.