A European Challenge in Road User Charging - The Introduction of a Passenger Car Vignette in Germany

A European Challenge in Road User Charging - The Introduction of a Passenger Car Vignette in Germany


Ludger Linnemann, AGES International


The introduction of a passenger car vignetten in Germany will be the biggest RUC-project in Europe in the near future.
An electronic vignette is a suitable system to realize such a big project.


In the past twenty years German road infrastructure has experienced a significant deteriora-tion. By now it even jeopardizes Germany´s and thereby European international competitive-ness. To counteract this development, Germany, like other EU countries, has picked up the concept of passenger car charging (called “Pkw-Maut”) in order to generate additional finan-cial means. The idea of introducing a vignette including foreign cars has become a major topic during the past election and the following coalition negotiations. This paper describes this development in Germany, discusses the major arguments in connection with this charge and provides a sound technical solution to implement such a scheme. In Frankfurt, an update will be given.

Scope of the project:
- This undertaking will be by far the largest road charging project in Europe for the coming years.
- Latest estimations of experts reach a volume of app. 4 Billion Euro per year
- App. 40 Million German passenger cars and app. more than 20 Million foreign passenger cars will be involved.
- The yearly kilometres driven on motorways by passenger cars are 175 Billion km.
- Many European countries will be affected: Germany has nine directly neighbouring coun-tries; also many cars from European countries come to or cross Germany.

The German government has planned an ambitious road charging project with lots of scepticism from different sides. Legal, fiscal and technical questions have to be solved on the way to the introduction of a Pkw-Maut on German motorways. The e-Vignette is a suitable tool to impose this charge. The project will lead with its revenue to a sustainable financing of the German road infrastructure which is the main hub for logistics in Europe. Thereby, it will contribute to the competitiveness of the European economy in the world competition.


Association for European Transport