These are the thing you must pay when you drive a car in Germany. If you are thinking of buying a car in Germany, this guide can be useful.

Car insurance

If you drive a car, it must be insured. The cost of insurance depends on the type of car, the value of the car, your driving experience, and many other things. In general, you will pay 100€ to 1000€ per year. There are many ways to pay less for car insurance. Car insurance payments come directly from your bank account.

Vehicle tax

You must pay a vehicle tax (Kraftfahrzeugsteuer) every year. For most cars, it costs around 100€ per year. For motorcycles, it costs around 50€ per year. The maximum amount is around 375€ per year1. The vehicle tax is taken directly from your bank account.

Fuel

Fuel prices in Germany are similar to the rest of Europe. They are much higher than in Russia, Central Asia, North America and South America. They are higher than most of Asia. Since Germans have high incomes, fuel is still very affordable.

Vehicle inspections

Every 2 years, your car must be inspected at a TÜV or Dekra test centre (Prüfstelle). This is called the Hauptuntersuchung or HU. The inspection costs around 100€ every 2 years1, 2. If your car does not pass the inspection, you will need to fix the problems before you can drive again.

Maintenance and repairs

You must keep your car in good condition. You must repair it when it breaks, but also do regular maintenance like oil changes, tire changes, etc.

In Germany, if there is snow or ice on the ground, you must have winter tires1. There are no specific dates for changing to winter tires. It only depends on the road conditions. If you have an accident with summer tires in winter conditions, your insurance might not cover you1.

Toll roads

In Germany, all roads are free for vehicles under 7.5 tons1. There are no tolls for vehicles under 7.5 tons.

Parking

If you live in a big city, you might need to pay for parking. Most central neighbourhoods have parking meters. Parking there can get expensive.

In Berlin, you need a permit (Bewohnerparkausweis) to park in your neighbourhood. You can apply for a parking permit online. It costs 20.40€, and it's valid for 2 years1. If you don't have a parking permit, you must usually pay at the parking meter. Parking is usually free outside the Ringbahn.

If you have seasonal plates, you must find a garage or a private parking to store your vehicle. You can't leave it on the street out of season.