January 1st is an important deadline. Because at the beginning of the new year changes are coming into force in many areas. Even motorists should have that in mind. Many things are different after the New Year.

Electric cars are taxed. However, as of 1 January 2016, the period of the motor vehicle tax exemption changes. Motorists should also take a look at their mark at the turn of the year: If the HU badge has the wrong color, there may be trouble in the new year. But that’s not all, what motorists should consider – important changes for 2016 at a glance:

Vehicle tax for electric cars

Vehicle tax for electric cars

Pure electric vehicles, which will be registered from 1 January, are exempt from motor vehicle tax for five years. This is indicated by the federal government of taxpayers. That is much less than before. Because electric cars, which are approved until 31 December 2015, enjoy another 10 years of exemption from the motor vehicle tax.

Good to know: If the electric car is sold within the tax-exempt period, the new owner will not have to pay any vehicle taxes for the remaining period, explains the Auto Club Europe (ACE). Incidentally, hybrid vehicles and cars with a so-called range extender do not enjoy the tax privilege: they are not considered electric vehicles within the meaning of the Motor Vehicle Tax Act.

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HU plaque changes color

If you still have a yellow HU badge on the license plate after 1 January, you missed the appointment for the main examination. From January, only brown, pink and green may be on the road, explains. A brown badge indicates that the HU 2016 is due, in 2017 is ready, and green stands for 2018.

The month in which the vehicle inspection is due can be recognized by the number on the sticker above. Those who overdue the deadlines must expect a fine at police checks. If there is more than two months delay, a recessed HU with additional costs is required.

New type and regional classes for insurance

New type and regional classes for insurance

Some pay less from January, the others have to dig deeper. Thus, the changes in the type and regional classes for motor vehicle liability insurance can be summarized, published annually by the German Insurance Association (GDV). Around 20 percent of motorists thus benefit from better regional classes, around 15 percent are promoted. The lowest regional classes apply in the federal states of Brandenburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, while Berlin is the worst.

The regional classes of partial and full insurance change less. According to GDV, around 90 percent of those insured remain the same. 

The regional statistics is one of several indications for motor insurers to calculate the contributions. It reflects the damage record of a particular region. In liability there are twelve regional classes. The newly calculated regional and type classes usually come into force with insurers on 1 January.

Euro 4 for motorcycles

Euro 4 for motorcycles

Even motorcycles should be cleaner. Therefore, all new two-wheelers that will be type-approved from 1 January will have to comply with Euro 4 emission standards. This is indicated by the ADAC. The Transport Club believes that the new rules are a challenge for many manufacturers.

From January 2016, all new motorcycles will also have ABS or a so-called combined braking system. This requirement applies to motorcycles with a cubic capacity exceeding 50 cubic centimeters or a maximum speed exceeding 45 km / h. Old motorcycles do not need to be retrofitted.

Full points for pedestrian detection

From 2016, the security organization Euro will also include pedestrian recognition in the rating scheme. If you want to get the full score, you have to prove that the car prevents a collision with pedestrians at an initial speed of up to 40 km / h, explains the ACE. At a speed of 60 km / h, the injuries to pedestrians must be noticeably reduced.