€30 – that's how much residential parking currently costs in Tübingen, a traditional university city in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany where the average age of a citizen is just 39.1 years. The fee is applicable to all types of vehicles, regardless of how much they weigh, meaning the owner of a luxobarge such as a Bentley Bentayga doesn't have to pay more than someone who drives a Dacia Sandero.
That could all change soon as owners of heavy vehicles might have to be forced to pay six times more. Following a rather controversial debate, Tübingen's climate protection committee recommended raising the annual parking fee to €120, with one major exception. Owners of cars that weigh more than 1,800 kilograms (3,968 pounds) would have to pay an extra €60, bringing the grand total to €180.
Gallery: 2019 BMW X7
Mayor Boris Palmer had proposed an even higher fee for heavy vehicles, of €360, but the municipal council was not keen on raising the price 12 times compared to the current annual fee. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quotes the mayor justifying the decision to raise prices, saying the maintenance alone costs more than the previously approved €0.50 cents per day.
"You haven't paid for the road. You don't pay enough taxes already. Your favourite vehicle is massively subsidised, by all taxpayers and future generations. If the prices told the truth, a parking space wouldn't have to cost 30 euros a year, but 3,000."
The final decision will be taken at the end of this month by the local council, and other German cities such as Freiburg could follow suit. Not all residents of Tübingen would have to pay the full amount as people on social security would only be asked to pay half. In addition, there would be exceptions made for workers who depend on their vehicles to do their jobs as well as for people with disabilities.