German environmental aid requires at least 360 euros of annual parking fee for residents

German Association for Environmental Aid

Berlin (ot)

  • Federal states are slowing down turnaround in mobility: DUH survey shows only five states allow municipalities to charge adequate rates for resident parking permits
  • While parking permits for residents in other European cities such as Stockholm cost up to € 1,309 per year, most German cities only charge up to € 30.70 per year
  • Cities such as Erfurt, Cologne and Stuttgart, which may already raise taxes, must do so as soon as possible
  • DUH demands: Rates must be so high that people who don’t need a car question ownership of the car

Federal states and cities are slowing down reasonable rates for resident parking and thus the turnaround in mobility. This is the result of a nationwide survey of the German Environmental Aid (DUH). According to this, only five federal states allow municipalities to set suitably high rates. Already in June 2020, the federal states were authorized, by amending the law on road traffic, to overturn the previous national maximum limit of 30.70 euros per year through their tariff plans. DUH also criticizes municipalities such as Erfurt, Cologne and Stuttgart, which have the ability to charge higher taxes but still do not. DUH requires a resident parking fee of at least 360 euros per year.

Jürgen Resch, Federal CEO of DUH comments: “Public space is scarce and increasingly competitive. Every year the number of cars registered in Germany increases by half a million. At the same time, registered cars become longer, wider and heavier. However, in most cities, Residents are allowed in their huge SUVs and pickups for just 8 cents a day. Areas for playing, walking and relaxing, as well as parks and green spaces are becoming scarcer. Municipalities finally need ways effective to recover space for people “.

Only five federal states receive a green card in the DUH application: in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia, cities can charge reasonable rates for residents’ parking. Four federal states (Bavaria, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein) have not yet decided whether they want to give their municipalities more options and are therefore receiving a red card. All other federal states (Berlin, Bremen, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Saxony) say they are planning a new parking fee regulation, but are currently still discussing the project. There is a yellow card for delaying this important decision. The regulation has already been adjusted in Hamburg: however, the annual fee of 65 euros cannot yet have any directive effect, which is why Hamburg also receives a yellow card.

Even in urban centers characterized by a dense network of buses and trains and short distances for bicycle and pedestrian traffic, the number of cars continues to grow. As cars can be parked almost anywhere for free, more and more families are buying second and third cars, and even people who almost never drive keep it. The rates must therefore be so high that people who are not dependent on their car question the ownership of the car.

Robin Kulpa, Head of Traffic Control and Air Pollution at DUH: “Comprehensive management of reasonably priced parking spaces is demonstrably an important tool for reducing the number of cars in cities. For years, cities have been asking for more room to maneuver to counter the trend towards bigger and bigger cars. That is why I cannot understand why cities like Erfurt, Cologne and Stuttgart, where higher fares are finally possible, have so far remained inactive. To protect the climate and make our cities more liveable, parking rates need to be higher. Compared to the cost of bus and train tickets, a rate for resident parking permits of at least 360 euros per year is still low “.

DUH is calling for an increase in rates for resident parking permits to at least € 1 per day and significantly higher rates for large city SUV tanks. Baden-Württemberg shows that cities apply good and adequate regulations as soon as the state government allows them: the Freiburg regulation, which provides for an average rate of 360 euros per year, is exemplary. For particularly large SUVs and pick-ups, 480 euros per year are due. Tübingen has also found good regulation and requires a 50 percent higher annual fee for particularly heavy SUVs weighing more than 1.8 tons compared to small cars. For low-income families and people with a disability card, significant reductions of 75% are foreseen in Freiburg.


In the parking management zones, residents receive a special permit so that they do not have to pay parking fees. The fee for this resident parking permit has been nationally capped at € 30.70 per year until June 2020. A price that has no driving effect and does not even cover the administrative burden. The costs of production, cleaning and maintenance of the car parks are also not taken into consideration. The annual operating costs alone, for example for cleaning and winter service, are between 60 and 300 euros per parking space, depending on the city. The use of the scarce and valuable public space with private cars is therefore subsidized by the community.

While buses and trains are becoming more expensive every year, parking permit fees have been capped for decades. The increase in parking rates is a key lever to allow families to separate from second and third cars and for occasional drivers to switch to car sharing.


An overview of the responses from the federal Länder can be found here:

Press contact:

Jürgen Resch, Federal Managing Director
0171 3649170,

Robin Kulpa, transport and air pollution control officer
030 2400867-751,

DUH Press Room:

030 2400867-20,,,,,

Original content from: Deutsche Umwelthilfe eV, broadcast by news aktuell

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