Skip to content

Germany: Red round sticker on the car and what it means

Germany: Red round sticker on the car what it means

Life in Germany. Red sticker on the car. A large, round and red sticker with text found on the windshield of a car  is an urgent warning from the police promising a lot of trouble for the owner of the vehicle.  The sticker contains instructions for the driver and if ignored, you may face a huge fine.

What does the red sticker on the car mean?

We often find vehicles that are not registered both in quiet residential areas and on the outskirts of thoroughfares or industrial areas. Sometimes its missing a sticker from the registration office, other times they do not have license plates.

Sooner or later these unused cars, motorbikes or parked caravans will be noticed by the police, which will mark them with a red dot. The sticker is placed on unregistered vehicles and those which are clearly unfit for road traffic. It is not stuck by the traffic control authorities in the municipality, but by the police themselves. They often appear after neighbours make a report or because an “illegal” vehicle has caught the attention of a patrol.

What should drivers do and what are the consequences?

The fine print on the sticker explains exactly what is going to happen to the vehicle. In the first paragraph it says:  The owner or holder is “hereby requested to remove the vehicle immediately and not to park it again in the area designated for public traffic.” With an emphasis on ‘immediately’: the word is in bold and underlined, and the ‘authorized person’ (holder or owner) should take it extremely seriously.

“Parking of motor vehicles or trailers that are not operational. ”Is an administrative offense and may be fined up to 1,000 eurosAfter one month, the vehicle is also considered “waste” and will be disposed of. Anticipated fine: up to 100,000 euros. Plus towing and disposal costs.

The excuse that you didn’t see the red dot because you live somewhere else, or that someone scratched it again won’t work. According to the current catalog of fines, a fine of 70 euros and a point in Flensburg is almost certain. Lack of a license plate does not protect you against punishment, as the police will ask in the area who owns the vehicle.

Not having insurance cover can also be costly. A classic is the checked-out motorcycle, which is actually parked quite inconspicuously on the side of the road and which is knocked over by an autumn storm. The cost of treating an injured pedestrian or repairing a car sustained by our vehicle can be enormous.

Anyone who plans to remove their vehicle with a red dot can of course only do so legally. Register and insure and remove it with a tug or trailer.

Read also: Orange arrow on the German highway and what it means
How to check for mileage manipulation when buying a used car