Taxes On RVs Are Increasing

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Taxes On RVs Are Increasing
Taxes On RVs Are Increasing

Video: Taxes On RVs Are Increasing

Video: Taxes On RVs Are Increasing
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After much speculation, the new tax rates for campers are now fixed. It gets expensive for the owners of older vehicles - and sometimes annoying for those who do it themselves.

By Heiko Haupt

For travelers with mobile homes, the past one or two years have not been an unrestricted pleasure: Because rumors of serious tax increases could also cast their shadow on sunny trips from campsite to campsite. There was speculation about increases of up to 500 percent. But now there is clarity - and it didn't turn out that bad after all.

Alignment with cars from the table

The original ideas were based on the assumption that a motorhome should be equated with a normal car for tax purposes. The ADAC in Munich calculated what that would have meant: For a motorhome with a gross vehicle weight of 3.1 tonnes and a 2.8-liter diesel engine that does not meet the requirements of the Euro 1 emissions class, it would initially be a tax amount of 630 euros annually, from 2011 even 840 euros. So far it was just 200 euros.

After much back and forth, things are now looking different, as a bill that has already been passed by the Bundestag and Bundesrat shows. The basic idea: The motorhome is not classified as a passenger car for tax purposes, rather it becomes a vehicle class of its own. "In view of the discussions in the past, the result is still acceptable", says Ralph Binder, spokesman for the Caravan Industry Association (CIVD) in Frankfurt / Main.

Because when assessing the tax, it depends on the one hand on the vehicle weight - graduated in 200 kilogram increments. On the other hand, it is about the pollutant classes. The cheapest way to get away is mobiles that meet at least emission class S4. Up to a total weight of 2000 kilograms, 16 euros per 200 kilograms are incurred, from 2000 kilograms it is then 10 euros - the total tax may not, however, exceed 800 euros. For emission classes S3, S2 and S1 it is 24 and 10 euros respectively, but not more than 1000 euros in total.

High taxes for older mobiles

It gets expensive for mobile homes that do not meet any of the emission classes. With a weight of up to 2000 kilograms, you have to pay 40 euros for every 200 kilograms of the total weight; from January 2010 this will also apply to emission class S1.

The association uses an example to explain how the differences between the pollutant classes are in the amount of vehicle tax: A motorhome with a total weight of 3.5 tonnes and emission class S4 will in future cost 240 euros in vehicle tax. The same vehicle with emission classes S3, S2 or S1 comes to 320 euros, without a pollutant classification it is 480 euros.

The experts have mixed feelings about the future of older vehicles without a pollutant classification. There are no exact figures for the individual pollutant classes. According to Ralph Binder, the CIVD assumes around 210,000 motorhomes that can roughly be assigned to the group without any classification. That is a good half of the 405,000 motorhomes registered with the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) in Flensburg at the beginning of 2006.

Often nothing works without a high roof

"Of course, the taxes especially hurt owners of these older vehicles," says Viktoria Groß, spokeswoman for the German Camping Club in Munich. "But you also have to see it from an environmental point of view." Because the exhaust gases from the older diesel models are no longer or less elaborately cleaned. It is possible that a larger number of these mobiles will be sold abroad over time, where such taxes are not payable. Maximilian Maurer from the ADAC in Munich assumes that many of the old motorhomes will continue to be operated in Germany despite everything: "The increases are not so dramatic that no one can afford the vehicles anymore."

However, the first tax assessment of the new era in particular will be uncomfortable for owners of motorhomes of all categories. The law stipulates that the new rules will apply retrospectively from the beginning of 2006 if they come into force at the beginning of 2007. “The owners then have to pay taxes twice - that's an irresponsible fat item,” says Ralph Binder.

Aside from taxes, the new rules also have another consequence: In future, there will be clear limits to what a motorhome is. For example, there must be a standing height of at least 170 centimeters inside, both at the hob and at the sink. "If the standing height is not maintained, the vehicle is taxed as a car," explains Viktoria Groß.

This could be fatal, especially for the many self-builders. Because, according to Maximilian Maurer, the regulation will mean that a mere kitchen in the rear will probably no longer be enough to turn a minibus into a motorhome. “A converted VW bus with a lifting roof will probably meet the requirements of a motorhome. A simple VW bus with a conventional roof, on the other hand, will fall out of the mobile home category. (dpa / gms)

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