The truck toll in Germany is a distance-based road user charge for heavy goods vehicles on the road. This was introduced in the Federal Republic of Germany on 1 January 2005 and was initially only on motorways and some busy highways. The related technical system is operated by Toll Collect.

The toll applies to motor vehicles or combinations of vehicles that are either designed exclusively for the carriage of goods by road or used for the carriage of goods by road and having a gross vehicle weight of 12 tonnes. The amount of the owed toll is determined by the distance traveled on the toll roads traveled and the number of axles of the vehicle or combination of vehicles (lorry with or without trailer, semi-trailer, with or without semi-trailer or lift axles in the lowered or raised state ) and after the emission class of the vehicle.

In the draft of the new Euro vignette directive all vehicles of freight should pay more than 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight of a toll charge from 2012 in all EU countries. Germany has established a derogation from the negotiations on the EU - directive, as in the German toll system, the system costs at a mandatory toll from 3.5 tonnes would be unreasonably high. Given the anticipated lower tolls for smaller toll vehicles which then costs would account for over 30 % of the toll revenue. As the proportion of smaller vehicles includes about four times as many vehicles, you want to do without in Germany on a mandatory toll for vans over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight.

  • 6.3.1 Automatic control
  • 6.3.2 Mobile Control
  • 6.3.3 Stationary control
  • 6.3.4 Operational Control


The German truck toll collection system is operated by the private company, Toll Collect GmbH on behalf of the Federal Office for Goods Transport. Partner of Toll Collect, the German Telekom AG and Daimler Financial Services AG with 45 % of the shares, and the French Cofiroute SA, with a share of 10%. Toll Collect, the system has also been developed and built.

One of the stated aims of the introduction of the toll was even more foreign trucks to participate in the financing of German transport infrastructure. Another was the internalisation of external costs up to that point (see causation righteousness: according to the polluter pays principle, all costs incurred in consequence of acts or omission, shall be borne by the polluters ).

The Federal Minister of Finance expected in 2005, with gross revenue of three billion euros each year and for 2006, with 3.3 billion euros. Toll Collect will it get for the operation of the accounting system by 2015 about 650 million euros annually from toll revenues. In 2011, Germany about 4.5 billion euros by the truck toll one.

Is realized by a manual and an automatic billing procedures. To participate in the automatic accounting method of mounting a device with the name of On-Board Unit ( OBU) in the truck is necessary. This device determines, among other things with the help of satellite-based GPS to be paid for the distance traveled on a toll. For trucks without OBU manual payment of tolls is provided in advance. This can happen at toll terminals that are placed for example in gas stations, or via the Internet.

Originally, the toll system should start on 31 August 2003. Due to serious technical problems Toll Collect could not meet this deadline, and therefore its corresponding contracts. The launch was first placed on the November 2, 2003, and later this date has been tilted. In February 2004, the Federal Government and the shareholders of Toll Collect agreed to an introduction of the HGV toll with limited functionality on 1 January 2005. Since January 1, 2006, the toll system is fully functional.

A truck tolling is available in several European countries. Thus, the HVF is in Switzerland since the beginning of 2001 for trucks due and in Austria, an Austrian truck toll was introduced on 1 January 2004.


On 15 December 2004, the Federal Office for Goods Transport presented his verdict on the state of the overall system. After the positive evaluation of the preliminary operating on 1 January 2005 was granted.

Already the first day of use of the system under full load on 3 January 2005 was considered by the operator consortium as successful. There were no major problems; German media had reported only isolated incidences of minor problems and selectively prolonged waiting times.

In the first weeks of 2005, motorists were supported by a total of 5,200 workers in the manual booking at many toll booths terminals. Until 10 April 2005, about 660 million euros have already been taken.

In March 2005, the transport spokesperson announced the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group, Albert Schmidt and traffic expert of the SPD parliamentary group, Uwe Beck Meyer after learning of the toll revenues from January ( 209 million euros ) and in February ( 214 million euros ), an extrapolation by many years of statistics known data about the truck traffic in each subsequent months. Both calculated at this time with the expected toll revenues of approximately 3.5 billion euros.

In a press release on the toll revenues for September 2005, the BMVBW hinted that the annual toll revenue could remain just below the expected level of three billion euros. Then offered the transport association BGL of the Federal Government in October 2005, with 1500 vehicles to drive a toll test to point out gaps in the toll control system can, which, in the opinion of the association representatives to distortions of competition in the freight forwarding industry sector and revenue losses in the millions in the truck toll.

The total annual revenue in 2005 totaled 2.85 billion euros. The predicted figure of three billion euros toll revenues were predicted by the Ministry Spokesman BMVBS Dirk Inger only be understood as " political objective ". The Federal Association of Freight Transport and Logistics ( BGL) saw in his opinion confirms that in addition to the toll refugees also increased during the year the number of black drivers would be available that would not be detected by the monitoring system. Clarification he expected from the comparison of toll revenues in spring 2006 on the toll revenues from the first quarter of 2005, that was still hope in annual toll revenues of 3.5 billion euros. In fact, in 2006, total revenues were comprised of 3.08 billion euros.

In the first half of 2007, 1.6 billion euros flowed into the coffers of Toll Collect. For the full year 2007, the operator was expecting 3.3 billion euro revenue.

In September 2007, the monthly revenue reached a new record of 295 million euros. Extrapolated for the whole year expected the Department of Transportation for 2007 revenue of 3.3 billion euros.

The toll operator Toll Collect announced that its system " incredibly strong " and would run with about 99 percent would have the best detection rate of all toll systems. The software update on OBU -2 in early 2006 was a success. However, the associated risk of tolling of national roads will cause problems. Studies of the toll operator Toll Collect had shown " that a full tolling of distance trains on main roads only under certain conditions is possible" ( at highway -like configuration). There followed some branches in at a close distance or give it to parallel roads nearby, a tolling of such sections would be " only with disproportionate effort possible." In these cases, the system costs exceed the additional toll revenue. Therefore, the distance-based truck toll was extended only to three federal road sections from January 2007.

Also, another advantage propagated the German toll system prepares in the real implementation problems: The staggering amount of toll traffic control currently fails because of the manual log options such as toll terminal or Internet. In these several hours time window for the use of a toll motorway is the toll payers, depending on the distance, granted. When it runs around on his ride a stretch to high price period, the manual payment system can not be determined. For this reason, it is planned, in fact all trucks equipped with an automatic recording (on- board unit ) in order to stagger the toll according to times and places can.

In of the necessary mandatory installation of the toll device ( on-board unit) in all domestic and foreign trucks and those vehicles with an OBU are then fitted on an occasional resident in Germany or German vehicles that rarely use the highway. To this end, the vehicle owners as before the unit (OBU ) will be provided free of charge (worth 500 euros ). The cost of the installation (about 250 euros ) but the vehicle owner must be replaced in the future, because after eliminating manual payment options must be non-discriminatory basis at the terminal under EU law, access to the toll system.

A complimentary for the vehicle owner and the countries bordering equipping all European truck with an OBU could export opportunities for the German toll system in the other states significantly increase, as the high cost of the hardware and the installation were then paid for itself on the German toll system.

The of the EU - with a clause imposed by Germany - decided lowering of the weight limit for the toll payment of 12 t to 3.5 t would then be EU-wide cost reasons no longer capable of implementation. The German parliament has increased at the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Transport, the truck toll September 1, 2007 by almost 10% from 12.4 cents per mile to 13.5 cents. In return, the German freight forwarders are to be relieved by EUR 250 million by the motor vehicle tax is lowered for trucks over twelve tons to the possible minimum in Europe. A further increase took place on 1 January 2009. The current toll rate is 0.141 to 0.288 euro per kilometer, depending on the number of axles and emissions.

Legal bases

The legal basis of toll collection on the motorways and trunk roads is the Federal Trunk Road Toll Act ( BFStrMG ), which replaced the Motorway Toll Act for Heavy Goods Vehicles with effect from 19 July 2011. It is complemented by the Regulation for the collection, for the detection of the correct payment and the reimbursement of tolls ( truck toll Regulation ), which regulates mainly technical, and Regulation fixing the amount of the motorway toll for heavy goods vehicles ( HGV Toll Regulation ). The toll rate regulation was repealed July 19, 2011, and its regulations have since been included as an appendix to § 14 in the new Federal Trunk Road Toll Act.

Toll roads in Germany

First and foremost, and original version of the Motorway Toll Act was limited to federal highways. Because of the so-called toll - Ausweichverkehres it was by the " Regulation extending the toll charges on certain sections of national roads " ( toll road expansion Regulation - MautStrAusdehnV of 8 December 2006: § 2 in conjunction with Appendix to § § 1 and 2) on January 1, 2007 individual sections of the B 4, B 9 and B 75 extended and should be extended to all main roads, through numerous protests of the advance was stopped. The transport ministers have agreed on the following scheme:

On highways or portions of highways, the

  • No through-roads pursuant to the Federal Highway Act,
  • With two or more lanes in each direction are expanded,
  • By median strip or other structural facilities have consistently separate carriageways for traffic direction,
  • Are at least four kilometers long,
  • Are directly connected to an Autobahn and
  • For pursuant to § 5 of the Federal Highway Act, the federal government is supporting road construction,

Begins the toll requirement under Regulation arrangement of commencement of toll collection on sections of national roads ( BStrMautErhebV ) Template: § § / Maintenance / buzer from 1 August 2012.

Which sections of road are toll roads, it can be established in the toll table, a map has the BAG on his website.

The contract

The contract details between the Ministry of Transport and Toll Collect originally secret and even the members of the German Bundestag inaccessible. The question of liability of Toll Collect was therefore the subject of numerous speculations in politics and media.

The stipulated in the contract and due since December 2003 penalty is, according to press reports much lower than the originally envisaged in the (secret) bid amount. The reason for the subsequent reduction of the amount in favor of Toll Collect is unknown.

No dispute between the Ministry of Transport and Toll Collect were the following points:

  • Toll Collect has from the fourth month, on which the system is not running regularly, ie from 1 December 2003, a daily penalty of € 250,000, paid about 7.5 million euros so monthly. This sum is doubled from the seventh month, ie from 1 March 2004 to 500,000 euros per day, ie 15 million euros monthly.
  • In addition, the Federal Ministry of Transport has with continuing infringement of a call option, the first attacks on 15 December 2003 and again on 31 May 2004.

Bone of contention was the following:

  • Can Toll Collect will be liable for damages under certain conditions for the monthly toll failures? The federal government would then have to Toll Collect possibly intentional delays and deceits detected. In this direction implied by the statements of Stolpe, his ministry had been misinformed by the consortium to the operability of the toll system. However, these allegations pointed Toll Collect back.

After the agreement of 29 February 2004, the outstanding issue of the information required by the Federal Government for the damages incurred to date and by the end of the year revenue losses should be clarified by an arbitral tribunal which shall consist of three participants. A determines the Ministry of Transport, the other Toll Collect. The third party shall be set by mutual agreement. Rather than demand the accrued revenue losses and penalties in the amount of 5.1 billion euros in Toll Collect, the budget committee of the Bundestag, the system operator approved on February 8, 2006, a wage increase of 14 million euros for " unexpectedly high detection rate of toll road performance " as well as " new Features ". This Toll Collect gets a total of EUR 556 million from the toll revenue annually.

Technical implementation

Unlike in France, where toll is paid at toll booths on the highway exits, in Germany has developed a technologically advanced GPS, so satellite-based system. The declared aim was, with the new technology to open up new markets for the companies involved.

In order to participate in the German truck toll system, there are two different options: automatic and manual route reservation. In the manual route booking has to be made ​​between the log-on at a toll station terminal and the posting through an Internet portal of Toll Collect.

Automatic log on a voluntarily installed on- board unit

This option makes the difference between the German toll solution and all other world existing toll systems. One speaks of a GNSS / CN toll, that is a Global Navigation Satellite System with the return channel Cellular Network. This means that the toll rate is determined by satellite navigation and transmitted to the central computer of the operator for settlement via mobile phone. These can be the shipping company initially register its toll vehicles with Toll Collect. Then by an authorized workshop, the on -board unit (OBU ) called fee collection device is installed in the truck and put into operation.

Manual line booking

This option is primarily intended for foreign trucks, for the installation of an on -board unit would not be worthwhile. At the same time it also serves as a fallback solution if the automatic log should ( as by failure of the American GPS satellites) is not possible. There are two ways the manual posting:

At a steady toll station terminal

The truck drivers whose vehicles have no OBU, it is possible to log into so-called toll booths terminals in the system and there to pay the toll due. For these manual log are about 3,500 terminals throughout the Federal Republic and neighboring countries. They are mainly situated on truck stops, at rest areas and gas stations. The manufacturers of the machines are NCR and the Hoeft & Wessel AG. The contract was worth 31 million euros.

For the manual log- on at a toll station terminal without registering with Toll Collect is basically necessary. The book always refers to a specific vehicle, a concrete road section and a specific validity period of the booking. Frequent, often book at a toll station terminal routes may have their vehicle registered with Toll Collect to obtain a so-called vehicle card, then on the relevant vehicle data (indicator, emission class, number of axles ) are electronically stored. This is the driver for the booking of a stretch easier and faster, because this data is not every time must be entered manually. You can pay either with cash, debit card, credit card or balance on the vehicle and fuel card. The vehicle cards can be fitted for this purpose with a pre-paid credit. It is also possible to set up a credit account on the cards, which is regularly compensated by direct debit. At the toll terminal and manual reservations may be canceled.

Via the Internet through the portal of Toll Collect

A Check directly through the Internet is also possible. A normal internet browser is enough. The Internet log-on is only available to registered users. Even at the user's registry, the vehicles are stored in the system. When booking the trip, the end of the book selects the vehicle and determines the start date of the trip. Then he can choose from previously saved tracks and a new track. Here, the concrete highway and off-ramps must be entered. Are the exact names of the up or departure is not known, these can be searched and taken in a zoomable highway map. The system then determines the specific route. The driver does not want to take the prescribed route, for example, due to current traffic reports, the book must end the system called " Via " points tell then alter the route. Finally, the entries are confirmed and the system provides the voucher with your booking number. If the book does not end at the same time the driver, it must be the driver, the booking number and the time window ( period of validity ) in the run must be carried out to inform.

Third-party companies offer this platform to intermediary commercial services that allow short-term manual line booking via SMS or call center. All providers extend the booking offered by Toll Collect by comfortable solutions.

Control of toll payment

Automatic control

According to the requirements of data protection only random checks of the toll payment may be made. Overall, the control number is set with ten million trucks per year. The operator Toll Collect has committed itself to check them seven million vehicles annually on toll payment. For this, the Vitronic GmbH (Wiesbaden) was commissioned to build stationary for about 100 million euros on the motorways 300 plants ( toll bridges ) than control bridges over the road. With these trucks are to be discovered for which no fee has been paid. Truck drivers therefore happen on the comprehensive 12,000 Baukilometer motorway network ( the opposite direction = 24,000 route kilometers ) on average every 80 km, such a control point, since the stationary control systems on only one side, that is only about a carriageway are mounted. The control bridges are operated according to the specifications above alternately and only a few hours a day in the actual control mode.

A vehicle is approaching - any kind - of the bridge, a frontal photo of the vehicle is first created. When passing through the bridge, a 3D vehicle profile is created, by which decided by the recognition computer, whether it is a toll -requiring (lorry ) or a non- toll -requiring vehicle (mostly cars) is. Records of non- tolled vehicles are immediately deleted. Records from toll road vehicles are processed accordingly.

If the vehicle has installed an on -board unit (OBU ) then takes place via an infrared signal, a data exchange with the bridge during the passage. Among other things, the stored identifier, the number of axles and the emission category of the vehicle are delivered. From the photo of the toll vehicle, then from the computer detection by automatic number plate recognition license plate number is read. Are all the vehicle received, it is determined whether a current toll payment is available for the vehicle in the central reservation computer. Records of detected in the system toll payers will be deleted. Could the central computer booking no booking be found or the handwriting recognition software does not uniquely identify the indicator, all data collected by the vehicle will be stored in a data set and returned for manual follow-up in Toll Collect. The stored photos are then evaluated manually later by employees of the operator.

Photos of trucks with OBU, the mounted license plate is not identical to the data stored in the OBU identifiers are also evaluated in the follow-up. This is intended to prevent an OBU is from a truck with lower pollutant emissions, which is programmed to lower toll payment, extended and reused in a truck unabated. The license plate reading capabilities of the automatic control system are specified by Toll Collect, with over 90%. The identical control system of Switzerland, which determines the distance-related heavy vehicle fee HVF, for vehicles with OBU, so having received a letter in control electronic identifier provides a detection rate of 93 % for vehicles without OBU a recognition rate of 77%. The infringements of the toll charges not part of the task of Toll Collect. It is the responsibility of the Federal Office for Goods Transport (BAG ). Shippers complain that the control bridges are too low in order to pass under heavy transporters.

In principle, the cameras photograph every vehicle passing through the checkpoint. Of the data collected thus would also be different from the data protection perspective questionable uses possible:

  • Creation of movement profiles with the ( specified ) purpose of fighting terrorism
  • Automatic issuing of parking fines for exceeding the allowed average speed between two checkpoints or spacing violations.
  • Technically still in development is the face detection in the images. These data could be used to generate motion profiles of any motorway users or for specific people search.
  • Balance of the captured vehicle with those of reported as stolen vehicles

Mobile control

When abnormalities are to stop the driver 535 specifically employed toll inspectors of the Federal Office. These new BAG staff, recruited from the staff surplus of post and rail should, with 278 vehicles distributed control be on the road to match the characteristics of the truck with the data of the booking system on three layers. This adjustment is carried out in flowing traffic, that is, the enforcement vehicles communicate with a possibly existing in the truck OBU or the plate of the lorry. It is then checked online if a booking has been made. The Federal Office for Goods Transport is in the context of merger control check three million truck on toll payment. Furthermore, to about 40 auditors of the BAG perform random checks at German transport companies.

Stationary control

Furthermore, there is the possibility of stationary control. To this end, members of the BAG placed on a parking lot behind the control bridge and take over the radio connection to the bridge. Then from the bridge, the images of suspicious " toll evaders " sent to the computer, the auditor which can " wave out " the truck into the parking lot.

Since the introduction of tolls on federal roads on 1 August 2012, the control authority BAG can also use mobile toll collection devices that are placed approximately on bridges.

Operational control

The BAG performs operational checks to verify flashy companies on toll violations. This place exclusively on companies based in Germany application. It is possible to settle amicably toll violations flat rate.

Exceptions from the mandatory toll

According to § 1 paragraph 2 of the Federal Trunk Road Toll Act the following are excluded from the mandatory toll:

The decision of the Transport Committee of the Bundestag of 22 September 2004 concerning the exemption of other, non-commercial vehicles operating has not been implemented in the new version of the Motorway Toll Act in 2004.

Toll revenue and its use

The annual toll revenue is significantly increased by the increase in performance of toll truck and by toll increases since the introduction of the toll in 2005 of 2.59 billion euros (2005) to 4.87 billion euros (2010). For 2012, toll revenues of 4.6 billion euros expected. The average revenue per vehicle kilometer is 16.41 cents. From 26.6 billion toll vehicle-kilometers in 2012 accounted for 16.7 billion kilometers on German car owners, 2.8 billion kilometers in Polish, the 1.1 billion kilometers in Polish and Dutch holder, 0.6 billion euros to Hungarian and 4.3 billion kilometers to other States.

From the toll revenue system costs are first deducted, that is, the costs incurred by the system operator "toll -collect " paid the federal government. They grew in 2005 of 0.56 billion euros to 0.7 billion euros (2010). Of the remaining advent of the federal government in turn uses about 600 million euros for the financing of measures to reduce the state-dependent cost burden of the German road haulage industry in relation to its foreign competitors (so-called " harmonization measures "). This amount was lower in previous years due to lower toll rates. He has His order of 600 million euros since 2010.

The remaining volume of which flowed through 2010 in the infrastructure of road, rail and inland waterways. The Bundestag decided with the approval of his household in 2011 on 26 November 2010, that starting with the 2011 budget year, this remaining volume to be used exclusively to finance the federal trunk roads ( establishing a financing cycle road). He does this as well, established by law in the Law amending toll legislation, which was adopted on April 15, 2011. In practice, however, this has no effect on the financing of the three modes of transport, because the federal government has simultaneously lowered the hitherto provided for the road control volumes precisely the amount of the additionally provided for the road toll funds and so " liberated " control means now another for the can use modes of transport. But this also shows that the truck toll will not be used to increase investments for federal trunk road, with the federal government originally justified the introduction of the toll. In the first year of the truck toll the control means for the road through the new toll funds were simply replaced.


Since the introduction of tolls on toll diversion, ie significant shifts of highways on subordinated roads came, particularly highways, the toll charges in July 2011 was extended to four-lane highways with median strip, which are directly connected to motorways, longer four kilometers and no through-roads are.

Since 1 January 2007 the following main roads were toll roads:

  • B 75 between the Federal highway 252 and Federal highway 7 (Hamburg)
  • B 4 north of the federal motorway 23 to Bad Bramstedt (Schleswig -Holstein and Hamburg)
  • B 9 between the federal limit D / F and the junction Kandel -South Federal Highway 65 ( Rhineland -Palatinate )

The extension of the road will bring in an additional 110 million euros per year.

Additions are 84 sections with a total of over 1100 kilometers in length.

On the other hand, certain motorway sections, such as the Frankenschnellweg in Nuremberg, except through formal conversion of the mandatory toll.

A tolling of the entire federal road network would generate further two billion euro revenue.

Monitoring of highway traffic

In 2005, for the first time on the part of the Federal Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU ) was the requirement for a use of the resulting data in the context of the toll system loud. Schäuble took the view. the " rumliegenden toll data " were used.

In the fall of 2013 called for the then Interior Minister Hans -Peter Friedrich, as part of the coalition negotiations, greater powers for German security authorities. The use of several million records from the toll system should support the fight against crime. At this time, driving and control data of millions of vehicles were recorded automatically at toll checkpoints on 12,800 kilometers of federal highways and 5,400 sections. This data could be used at this time exclusively for the payment of truck tolls. This strict earmarking has been criticized by the Union, in particular the fact that a transfer to other offices is strictly prohibited. A news magazine Der Spiegel vorliegendes 30 -page negotiating paper said in this context: "This security agencies have also become educated about felony or to avert danger to life and limb not have access ". The goal is now the "lifting of the strict earmarking". The plans of Frederick led to a sharp rejection by the opposition. Peter Schaar, the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information turned explicitly against using toll data turned to crime. He said: " The conversion of the truck toll system to a monitoring system I reject ... With the introduction of motorway tolls ten years ago was solemnly promised that the system is not used to monitor and therefore the data collected exclusively for the toll collection be used. " The SPD rejected the proposal as well. Lower Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius explained that the toll systems were introduced only for billing purposes. " An extension to the security authorities of the powers would be completely disproportionate". Frederick moved from its receivables from eventually.

Other countries with an interest in the German toll solution

The Government of Sweden, which was recommended by a government commission to introduce a toll in Sweden, has expressed after the toll starting in Germany in early January 2005 that there was interest in the German solution. Details will still observed and tested.

Furthermore, keep in the media rumors about a Chinese interest in the satellite toll that had previously been officially neither confirmed nor denied.

At European level, there were already back at the turn of the millennium, including on German efforts to the demand for a pan- European satellite tolls for Toll Collect then over other competitors would have a substantial lead. Following the enormous difficulties in Toll Collect, the project was put on hold, however. Whether it is resumed is unknown as yet.

Spiegel Online reported several times about interest in the German solution. So the Czech Republic planned a toll in 2005, when the German system could participate in the tender of the project. The contract was awarded, the Kapsch Group with the Austrian system for toll collection. Also, the USA, Hungary and Slovakia in 2007 had shown interest in the German truck toll system.