Applying for a refund of vehicle tax for the transportation of vehicles by rail

If you transport your vehicle by rail for a certain number of journeys within a 12-month period, you can receive a full or partial refund of the vehicle tax under certain conditions.



  • The following conditions apply for full or partial reimbursement of the 12-month reimbursement period:
    • more than 124 journeys: full refund
    • between 94 and 123 journeys: 75% of the annual tax
    • between 63 and 93 journeys: 50% of the annual tax
    • between 32 and 62 journeys: 25% of the annual tax
  • The supporting documents must be consecutive records of the distances traveled.
  • Each journey must be certified by the domestic or foreign railroad, for example by means of stamped shipping orders.


To receive a refund, you must apply for it online or in writing. The main customs office will check your application.

Online application in the customs portal:

  • Register on the customs portal website.
  • Log in as a company with "ELSTER" to access the service in the customs portal.
  • Select the "Motor vehicle tax" service under the heading "Other services" or "Other applications".
  • Submit your online application for a refund there.
  • Attach all supporting documents in digital form.
  • If required, you can retrieve the decision on your application electronically.
  • If approved, you will receive a refund notice and the vehicle tax will be refunded to the account you specified.

Written application:

  • Create an informal application for a refund of the vehicle tax.
  • Submit the application, including all supporting documents, to the relevant main customs office.
  • If your application is approved, you will receive a refund notice and the vehicle tax will be refunded to the account you have specified.

Special notes

If the distance traveled by rail is longer than 400 kilometers, a trip is counted twice.

If the distance traveled by rail is longer than 800 kilometers, a trip is counted three times.

Processing time

2 bis 4 Wochen

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    • Application for reimbursement of vehicle tax
    • Proof of transportation by rail

Online procedures


  • There are no costs.


  • Appeal
    Detailed information on how to lodge an objection can be found in the tax assessment notice. You can also lodge an objection online in the customs portal. To do this, select the "Appeal" section under "General services" in the service overview.
  • Appeal to the tax court
    This usually takes place after the objection procedure.


Responsible for editing:Bundesministerium der Finanzen

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