Pick-up: admission, taxation and insurance


The VW Amarok is the best-selling pick-up in Germany and has a factory-approved truck. However, anyone who hopes for a favorable taxation rating as a lorry in car taxation is unlucky: the Amarok is regarded by almost all tax authorities as a car – and taxed accordingly higher. Are there considerations to offer the Amarok ex works also with car approval? “No, that’s not planned, because for the classification as a car, a completely new type test would be necessary,” says VW Commercial Vehicles Product Manager Jens Bobsien.
The product manager emphasizes that every tax office in Germany can assess a vehicle differently. And the vehicle, which is taxed as a truck in one federal state, is possibly valid for the tax office in another federal state as a passenger car. Concrete statements, which vehicles are taxed like, are therefore not possible.

For many tax authorities, the rule of thumb for taxation as a truck is: “Loading area must be larger than passenger compartment”. The passenger compartment is measured from the gas pedal to the partition behind the last row of seats. Since the area is larger than the loading area especially for double cabins, the higher car tax rate is due. Other typical car characteristics can also be classified as cars: with a top speed of often more than 170 km / h and five seats, it’s hard to talk about a truck. Nevertheless, it is always argued in court, after all, can be saved with the truck taxation per year several hundred euros.

Pick-up with truck registration: insurance premiums versus vehicle taxes

But beware: The tax savings can easily go for higher insurance contributions. Most insurance companies calculate a significantly higher hull coverage for the first registration of a truck than for a passenger car. The reason: who insures a truck for the first time increases with very high percentages – the non-pecuniary discount from the previous car is usually not taken over here. If you then change back to a car after a few years, you may start the car again with the percent from the beginning. Therefore, it is essential to clarify the formalities with the insurance company and have the confirmation sent in writing!

Also the description of a car on truck approval raises questions again and again. Often, a van, van or other suitable vehicle is to be converted from a car to a truck. When asked about the tax office Erfurt states that for the cheaper truck taxation, the rear row of seats including mounting rails must be removed, this includes the removal of the straps. Also required is a partition wall between the passenger compartment and the loading area. A bleaching or darkening of the discs is – at least in Erfurt – no longer necessary.

Commercial pick-up with trailer: driving ban on Sundays and public holidays

Before the conversion, a cost-benefit calculation should be created. When will the tax savings of a truck approval be worthwhile, if high conversion costs (dividing wall, etc.) and possibly an appraisal are necessary. Including in the calculation, you also have the much higher insurance premiums for the hull, when the vehicle runs as a truck. “Dekra therefore recommends consulting the responsible test center as well as the tax office and the insurance company even before a so-called vehicle type change that leads to the expiry of the operating permit of the specific vehicle,” says Dekra expert Wolfgang Sigloch.

It must also be noted that you are not allowed to tow trailers commercially on Sundays and public holidays. The transport of the minibagger to the next construction site is therefore taboo. Excluded from this rule are leisure trailers for private use, such as boat and camping trailers.


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