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News for drivers in 2023 - What else has or will change?

At the beginning of every year, there are innovations that affect motorists and road traffic. The year 2023 is no different. Here follows a comprehensive overview of all innovations in 2023 in the field of cars. We distinguish between the areas:

New rules for drivers and for the driver's license
Car equipment innovations 2023
New environmental targets in 2023
Innovations in the area of costs, car purchase, car insurance and taxes
What's new in road traffic and travel

Street sign with two directional arrows. The arrow to the left is 2022, the arrow to the right is 2023

New rules for drivers

You can see a part of the front page of an old paper driver's license

The first adjustment in 2023 concerns the motorist himself or herself, or the driver's license. All driver's licenses will be replaced by 2033 so that they are forgery-proof and comply with the EU regulation. All paper driver's licenses still in circulation will be changed to check card models by then. To avoid a rush, driver's licenses have been gradually exchanged by year of issue since 2022. Until 19.01.2023, all driving licenses issued between the years 1959 and 1964 were affected. By 19.01.2024, this will be followed by those issued between 1965 and 1970. It is therefore advisable to deal with the exchange in good time in 2023. Anyone who is still stopped after the deadline with an old driver's license commits an administrative offense that is punishable by a €10 warning fine.

In addition, the 4th driving license directive is on the agenda in the EU for this year. This would allow holders of a Class B driver's license to drive vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of up to 4.23 tons in the future instead of the previous maximum of 3.5 tons. Likewise, the framework will decide whether the minimum age to obtain a bus or truck driver's license will generally be lowered to 18. Up to now, bus driver's licenses can only be taken from the age of 24 and truck driver's licenses from the age of 21, unless the truck driver's license is required as part of training to become a professional driver. As part of this training, it is already possible to obtain a truck driver's license at the age of 18. With the new regulation, it would also be possible for everyone else to do so at 18. Once the directive has been adopted, it will still have to be transposed into national law, so it will be some time before the directive is valid.

What will change in the interior in 2023?

The next innovations 2023 concern the carrying obligation and the car equipment. Here we are talking about 2. points. On the one hand, the new DIN standard 13164:2022 for first-aid kits will apply from 01.02.2023. This stipulates that the first-aid kit will be extended by 2 medical masks and that the first-aid cloth will be omitted in return. However, since the new DIN standard has not yet been incorporated into the Road Traffic Licensing Ordinance, the old first-aid kits of standards 13164:1998 and 13164:2014 can continue to be used as long as they are complete and still have a valid minimum shelf life.

The second innovation in 2023 in the area of car equipment concerns child seats. From 01 September 2023, only child seats with the standard i-Size UN ECE Reg. 129 may be sold. Previously, to the already mentioned also still apply the standards ECE-R 44/03 and 44/04. With the ECE-R 129 tested child seats have additionally passed a side impact test and are only divided by body size and no longer by weight. In addition, children up to 15 months of age are transported in these child seats against or to the side of the road. Previously, this only applied to children weighing 9 kg (which corresponds to about 9 months).

You can see a first aid bag according to the current DIN standard 13164:2022

What innovations will there be for motorists in 2023 in the area of the environment?

You can see a man holding a round traffic sign with CO2 on it. In the background you can see vehicles in a traffic jam and their exhaust clouds

Environmental and climate protection continues to be a hot topic in the automotive industry. More and more regulations and laws are being passed in this regard. This also applies to CO2 pricing on gasoline and diesel. This increases every year and makes refueling more and more expensive. But here comes the good news! This year, the German government is foregoing this increase in CO2 pricing. Fluctuations at the fuel pumps may nevertheless occur, depending among other things on further developments in the Ukraine war.

You can see a license plate that says Euro-6e

In addition to CO2 prices, the Euro standard is also a recurring topic for environmental protection. The EU Commission has been discussing the Euro 7 standard since October 2022. However, as this will not come into force until 2027 at the earliest, an interim step has been agreed. This is called Euro 6e and will start from 01 September 2023. In it, the emission values for nitrogen oxides will be further reduced from 1.43 to 1.1 and the particle number from 1.5 to 1.34. This will apply to all new type-approved passenger car models from this date and will be mandatory for all first registrations of new passenger cars from 01 September 2024.

You can see a stylized kitchen scale on which a vessel with a content to be measured stands to illustrate the particle measurement

In addition to the tightening of Euro Standard 6, there will be a particle count for all diesel vehicles of the Euro 6/VI standard from 2023 at every exhaust emission test.This is to determine the efficiency of the respective particle filter to ensure that the emission values have not deteriorated due to wear and tear, etc.. Incidentally, this year all those are affected who have a pink TÜV badge on the vehicle, as these vehicles are due in 2023 with the general inspection. All others will follow in the coming years.

Innovations for motorists in 2023 in the area of costs, insurance and taxes

In addition to fluctuating fuel prices, owners of e-cars must brace themselves for higher electricity prices at charging stations. In addition, for many, the type and regional classes that assess accident and damage risk have changed. For some, this will also result in higher costs for motor vehicle liability and comprehensive insurance. If necessary, it may therefore be worthwhile to change insurers in good time. This can be checked on the comparison portals.

But there will also be changes for car buyers in 2023. First, the eco-rebate for plug-in hybrid vehicles will be dropped and will therefore only apply to pure e-cars. But there will also be cuts for e-cars. The purchase premium was reduced by the federal government as of 01.01.2023 and the manufacturer's share was also reduced. This means that only a maximum of €6,750.00 in subsidies is now possible instead of up to €9,000.00 previously. In addition, from 01 September 2023, only private individuals can apply for the purchase premium. As a final restriction, there is a limit on the government subsidy sum of €2.1 billion for 2023. Once this has been used up, it cannot be applied for again until 2024. There, however, the subsidy amount will be reduced even further.

In the area of costs, however, there are also a few benefits:

  1. Retroactive to January 2022, the distance commuter allowance has increased from 35 to 38 cents from the 21st km. This increase is limited until 2026.
  2. Also in 2023, the GHG premium can be applied for again. Thus, owners of electric cars can sell the saved greenhouse gas as so-called CO2 certificates and thus earn around 300,00€ tax-free. The income is tax-free only if the vehicle is privately owned. The application period for the GHG quota from 2022 is still until the end of February 2023.
  3. Last but not least, all owners who drive classics from 1993, such as the Porsche 993 built in 1993, can now rejoice. Provided that the vehicles are still largely in their original condition or have been professionally restored, you can now have your vehicle assessed as a classic car and thus obtain an H license plate for it. This will save you money on vehicle tax. To be classified as a classic car, the vehicles must be at least 30 years old, which means that cars from 1993 are now included in this group.
You can see a piggy bank with a 50 euro bill sticking out of the top. Around it are distributed more euro bills and coins

More news for drivers in 2023 on the road and on the move

First of all, this is about new traffic signs. Since 09.11.2021 there is the "Amendment to the Road Ordinance". This contains stricter penalties and increased fines. Likewise, there are new traffic signs that will be found more and more on German roads or in public space from now on. These include, for example, the sign for pre-authorized parking of car-sharing vehicles, the right-turn arrow for cyclists, and the traffic signs for cycle lanes and cycle zones. There are now also signs for cargo bicycles, with which parking spaces and loading zones are reserved for them. A traffic sign, however, that will be erected increasingly only from 2023, is the overtaking ban of single-lane vehicles for multi-lane vehicles. Thus, neither cars, trucks, buses nor motorcycles with sidecars are allowed to overtake a motorcycle, scooter or bicycle. The traffic sign is set up at bottlenecks. With disregard threatens a fine of up to 70,00€ and a point in Flensburg.

You can see the 5 traffic signs mentioned above in the text.
The traffic sign for autonomous driving described on the right can be seen

The second innovation in 2023 concerns autonomous driving. From now on, autonomous driving vehicles will be allowed to travel at speeds of up to 130 km/h. Previously, only 60 km/h was permitted. With the increased speed limit, lane changes are now also automated. However, hardly any autonomous vehicles or vehicles with automated mode are on the road on our highways so far. In this context, there is a test track on the A9 between Munich and Ingolstadt. The test route can be recognized by new traffic signs. Every 2.5km, a round sign with a black and white pattern is set up at the side of the road. This enables self-driving vehicles to determine their exact location. These signs can be ignored by drivers.

While we're on the highways, the third 2023 road innovation comes into play. Since 01.01.2023, the truck toll has increased. To this end, there is to be a more extensive reform in 2024, in which, among other things, vehicles from 3.5t gross vehicle weight will then also be affected by the truck toll. In addition, a differentiation of CO2 emissions is also being discussed.

Drivers of e-cars, on the other hand, can rejoice because in the future, charging stations will also have a contactless payment option with debit or credit card.

Things get more interesting in the travel sector. Here, too, there will be some new things for drivers in 2023:

  • Austria:
    • The tolls increase for cars in the year to 96,40€. For 2 months it is 29,00€ and for 10 days 9,90€. For motorcycles the new fees are: 38,20€ in the year, at 14,50€ per month and at 5,80€ for 10 days.
    • On 01.10.2022 new rules for motorists were established:
      Drivers now have to keep the same distance as in Germany if they want to overtake bicycles. (1.5m in built-up areas, 2m outside built-up areas.
      Similarly, buses or streetcars may not be overtaken at stops on the side where passengers get on and off. If the doors are closed, passing at walking speed is permitted.
      In addition, school streets can now be set up in the immediate vicinity of schools, where motor vehicles are banned on school days and at the start and end of school.
      Stopping and parking vehicles are no longer permitted to encroach on sidewalks or bicycle facilities.
      Cyclists are now also required to merge into the lane by zipping traffic when the bike lane ends and they maintain their direction of travel. Only on country roads, they have to wait for the flowing traffic.
      On 24 days in the 1st half of the year, block clearance for trucks will be introduced in Tyrol on the Inntal freeway A12 heading south from the Kufstein-Nord exit. This means that only 250 trucks per hour will be allowed to pass the stretch.
  • Switzerland:
    • The toll still costs 42€. In addition, the e-toll is to be added this year, which will then be used in parallel with the adhesive vignette.
    • Also planned for 2023 is that Swiss fines may be enforced in Germany.
  • France:
    • As of February 01, 2023, the toll on French highways will increase by 4.75%. That's €1.19 more than before for 25km and €4.75 more for 100km.
  • Italy:
    • The entry fees to the city of Venice will not be increased for the time being. The planned increase to 6€ per day is postponed for at least 6 months. For guests with overnight stays these fees do not apply.
    • The Amalfitana coastal road in southern Italy will have limited traffic around Easter. In the period from 24.04. -02.05.23 between 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on even days only vehicles with an even final digit in the license plate may drive on the road and on odd days the vehicles with an odd final digit in the license plate. This also applies to foreign cars and rental cars.
  • Croatia:
    • Has adopted the euro since 01.01.2023. This eliminates exchange rate losses and means vacationers can no longer be ripped off by excessive fees.
    • Anyone who still has Croatian currency can exchange it at Deutsche Bundesbank counters until February 28, 2023. After that, exchange is only possible in Croatia.
  • General information:
    • Giro cards (EC cards) with the Maestrologo will no longer be issued as of 01.07.2023. This means that it is no longer possible to pay abroad with the giro card. Anyone who currently still has a giro card with Maestrologo can use it until the expiration date. Alternatively, only debit cards (if they are accepted) and credit cards will then work. The European banks are already working on their own payment system, called the European Payments Initiative, or EPI for short. As soon as this is usable, we will inform accordingly.
You can see a suitcase with travel stickers and a motorhome

Based on the listed innovations for motorists in 2023, it already shows that it will be an interesting year. There are new rules for motorists and some that will still develop in the course of the year. As soon as there is more information about the innovations in 2023, we will report further on our blog. Until then, we wish everyone a great start to the year.

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