August 27 2012

Owning a Car in Berlin, Germany: The Compulsory Sticker and Alternatives

When I started living in Germany, I realised that all the cars had a sticker on the left bottom side of the windshield. The majority were green, and yellow ones were scarce. At the beginning I thought it had something to do with the parking spaces, but free parking spaces are plentiful, so I began an Internet search.

Indeed, I found out that those stickers are compulsory for any car that is driven in any green zone of Germany. This practice started on March 1, 2007. The green areas are usually signed with a symbol. And the sticker on the windshield represents the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the car. In this sense, new cars do not have any problem getting the sticker because their emissions are low, however old cars, as their emissions of CO2 are usually higher, may face problems.

So do you already have a car? Would you like to travel to Germany in your own car and get the sticker? If not, or at present you think that owning a car is very expensive, there are other solutions; only pay whenever you need a car.

  1. Rent a car. Several companies in Europe offer this service. It is very common for people when they go on holiday. First, they travel by plane and secondly, they rent a car at the airport. Companies also rent cars for their employees when they have to travel;
  2. Share a car. This second option is becoming more and more popular in Europe. All throughout Germany there are car sharing stations. The premise is that you only pay for the hours you use the car.

In the city of Berlin, for example, you can find a car which costs only 1,40€/hour. The tariffs depend on the time you will need the car and the category of the car. It is an alternative that reduces costs and avoids your need of getting a sticker.

What do you think about old cars being prohibited from driving in green zones? Do you know more countries with this system?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Miriam Ansorena

Miriam Ansorena holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Navarre, in Spain. Strongly concerned about the environment, in the past, she worked full-time as a Design Engineer of Wind Turbines. Her blogs will concentrate primarily on the affects of wind turbines and their prevelance, however, she will also cover issues occurring around Zarautz, Spain and Berlin, Germany. Although she currently resides in Berlin, she is from Zarautz, Spain and has lived in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Glasgow, United Kingdom.

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 27th, 2012 at 7:15 am and is filed under Energy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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