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Driving into Germany

Palo Alto, CA USA
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Driving into Germany

I understand that there is a road fee or environmental sticker required to drive into Germany with a rental car from France. Does anyone know how much it is? We would only be doing this for half day or so, if it's too much we would probably skip it. Autoeurope does not know, they just know that there is a fee. No luck with the Germany tourist offices either. We will be driving a compact or mid-sized car.

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: Driving into Germany

I don't think so...I know there's a vignette (the name for the sticker) required in Switzerland, and I think another one in Austria, but none that I'm aware of in Germany.

There IS a vignette certifying emissions for driving in congested city centers like Koeln, but if you're not driving in the city center, you don't need a vignette.

I'll have this post withdrawn if I'm wrong.

Freiburg im...
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2. Re: Driving into Germany

There are no road fees in Germany. The only place near Colmar requiring the absurd environmental sticker is Freiburg. The sticker is €5 to €10.--, but it would be taking you some time to get it...

In case Freiburg is on your itinerary, ask again, I'll give you "sticker free" directions to the old town.

http://www.lowemissionzones.eu/

Burlington, Vermont
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3. Re: Driving into Germany

If I rent a car in Frankfurt, will I have to pay the Freiburg fee? My wife and I were planning a one-day visit to Freiburg, but might reconsider if there's some silly hassle like this.

Tampa, Florida
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4. Re: Driving into Germany

Either park on the outskirts of Freiburg and take a train into the city, or send huwe a pm (click on their name in blue, then click on "send message") and get the directions for getting into the old town without having to buy a sticker.

If someone who has rented that particular car before has bought a Freiburg sticker (unlikely), then its no issue -- otherwise go with the PM option.

Burlington, Vermont
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5. Re: Driving into Germany

Thanks, but it's not worth it to me. If Freiburg doesn't want me to have lunch and do some shopping in their city without hassling me, that's okay, there's lots of other interesting places for me to spend my tourist Euros.

:-)

Freiburg im...
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6. Re: Driving into Germany

Hi signothetimes53,

as you'll be renting the car in Frankfurt, you don't have to give thoughts to the sticker. It is alredady affixed to all German hire cars, as it is required in many places, e.g. Frankfurt as well. The sticker is also valid throughout Europe. The OP asked, because he will be hiring his car in France, where the sticker is uncommon.

lowemissionzones.eu/countries-mainmenu-147/g…

Tampa, Florida
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7. Re: Driving into Germany

and it has absolutely, positively nothing to do with not wanting you and your tourist euros.

It has everything to do with trying to control the amount of emissions in the cramped and narrow streets of historic city centers...which have become far nicer places to be without clouds of exhaust damaging your lungs and the buildings.

They figure if you can breathe, you might hang out a little longer and buy something.

Things are different in Europe, particularly when it comes to environmental issues....that doesn't mean it's better or worse, just that it's different. Getting huffy because they're trying to make their hometown a nicer place to be isn't the way to deal with it.

Luxembourg
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8. Re: Driving into Germany

I purchased the German environmental sticker for my car at the nearest dealer of the make I am driving before entering the city I was heading to, it took 15 minutes, cost € 5 and is valid for the life time of the car with that license plate.

Edited: 4:55 pm, April 06, 2010
Burlington, Vermont
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9. Re: Driving into Germany

I certainly appreciate the steps that cities want to take to keep their air clean. What I don't appreciate is nonsensical bureaucratic measures such as this.

My hometown bans all traffic in its downtown streets, period. No sticker required, you have to park in garages on side streets. The main street is a pedestrian-only zone. That's fine with me.

But when I read instructions like "Either park on the outskirts of Freiburg and take a train into the city, or send huwe a pm (click on their name in blue, then click on "send message") and get the directions for getting into the old town without having to buy a sticker", my eyes roll into the back of my head from the sheer hassle factor, and I say, no, I'd just as soon skip Freiburg.

But apparently, those instructions were inaccurate, as later posts, even from you, Sunshine817, have suggested.

Mandating that rental car companies buy the sticker for their entire fleet, and pass along the cost to their customers as part of the rental fee? Now *that* makes more sense to me, it's a far more efficient way to collect that "environmental tax" than forcing each individual tourist to find some office on some side street, wait in line, fill out forms, buy the sticker, yada yada yada.

Alsace, France
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10. Re: Driving into Germany

**************But when I read instructions like "Either park on the outskirts of Freiburg and take a train into the city, or send huwe a pm (click on their name in blue, then click on "send message") and get the directions for getting into the old town without having to buy a sticker", my eyes roll into the back of my head from the sheer hassle factor, and I say, no, I'd just as soon skip Freiburg.

But apparently, those instructions were inaccurate, as later posts, even from you, Sunshine817, have suggested.

Mandating that rental car companies buy the sticker for their entire fleet, and pass along the cost to their customers as part of the rental fee? Now *that* makes more sense to me, it's a far more efficient way to collect that "environmental tax" than forcing each individual tourist to find some office on some side street, wait in line, fill out forms, buy the sticker, yada yada yada. ****************

Hello! It is your choice as to whether you visit anywhere that has legal requirements such as this environmental sticker which seems to be causing you so much grief.

It isn't just to get money out of tourists or even those who live nearby who enjoy visiting Freiburg - in this case - but is actually a legal requirement for all German cities. In your case, if you are hiring a car from a responsible agency it is highly likely that your car will already have one of these stickers, so you don't have to worry about it further. It is NOT a massive bureaucratic timewaste, as I got mine from a garage in Breisach - the first German town over the French border from Colmar - in less than five minutes, showing the car's registration document and for a payment of 5 € for which I received a receipt ... which you could show to a car hire company and request a reimbursement. It was very simple and the garage knew exactly what to do.

Being a tourist is no reason for not obeying the law. Ignorance is no defence, and I am sure that your car hire contract will state that you are liable for any penalties such as speeding fines or parking violations etc. A fine for not having the requisite window sticker would also fall into this category so it comes down to maths ... would you prefer to pay 5€ or a minimum fine of 60€? And be sure that the fine will find you eventually because the police will contact the registered owner of the hire car, who will be delighted to make sure that you pay the fine that you incurred when in possession of the car.

Infact I consider that members of this forum living locally have bent over backwards to give you helpful advice, including personal help for your particular circumstances. Your reply seems somewhat ungracious .....