The advantages of a seasonal license plate
If you want to use a vehicle such as a motor home, motorcycle or convertible not all year round, but only for a certain period of the year – for example, only during the summer months – you can save time and money by using a seasonal license plate.
For some years now, it has been possible for motor vehicle owners to register a motor vehicle with a seasonal license plate, provided that they wish to use the motor vehicle only during a certain period of the year. This saves not only the time-consuming and costly registration and deregistration each year. Some car insurers offer discounted insurance coverage for such vehicles registered with seasonal license plates. However, there are a few criteria that should be taken into account when using a seasonal license plate.
There are some types of vehicles, such as a convertible, a motor home, a motorcycle or an enthusiast's vehicle such as a youngtimer, which their vehicle owners would prefer to drive only in good weather and not in ice and snow. A normal license plate is valid for the whole year, as long as the vehicle is not deregistered in the course of one year and, for example, re-registered the next year.
If a vehicle is registered with a seasonal license plate, however, the vehicle owner can specify when registering the vehicle in which months he or she wishes to use it on public roads and when not. The period of use is then noted on the license plate by numbers placed one above the other on the right edge, separated by a horizontal line.
With a normal license plate, the vehicle tax and vehicle insurance are charged for the entire year, provided that the vehicle is registered for the entire calendar year and is not registered or deregistered during the year. The situation is different with a seasonal license plate: Here, the vehicle tax and insurance are not charged for the entire year, but only according to the desired period of vehicle use – and without the need for annual registration and deregistration.
With a seasonal license plate you not only save the fees and the time for the annual registration and deregistration. The car insurance premium is also usually cheaper with a seasonal license plate than if you register a car with a normal license plate during the year and deregister it after the desired period of use.
This is because, compared to a short-rate billing, as is done when a car with a normal license plate is deregistered during the year to calculate the car insurance premium for the time used in the year, insurance rates based on seasonal license plates are usually cheaper.
One-time registration is sufficient
To register a seasonally used vehicle, the vehicle owner needs a corresponding electronic insurance confirmation (eVB), formerly a double card, which can be obtained from the vehicle insurer. On this eVB, you must have your vehicle insurer enter the desired period of use during which you would like to drive the vehicle on public roads – a minimum of two to a maximum of eleven months per calendar year are possible here.
For example, the seasonal license plate can be applied for in such a way that one is allowed to use the motor vehicle on public roads from March to October of a year inclusive. In this case, an 03 for March and below that a 10 for October, separated by a horizontal hyphen, is noted in the right margin on the license plate number. The number of motor vehicles has therefore increased from 1. March until 31. October of a year registered for public road traffic.
By the way, only if the selected period of use of the seasonal license plate is more than six months per calendar year, the no-claims bonus in the motor vehicle liability and/or comprehensive insurance of the seasonally used vehicle is improved per accident-free calendar year.
Be sure to adhere to the specified period of use
Important: A vehicle registered with a seasonal license plate may only be used on public roads during the agreed period of use. Anyone who drives or even parks their vehicle on a public road outside this period risks a fine of up to 50 euros.
By the way, if the main inspection (TuV) of the vehicle is outside the specified period of use, it is sufficient to have the vehicle inspected within the first month on which it can be driven on public roads again without incurring a penalty.
If you drive a vehicle with a seasonal license plate outside the specified period of use and cause an accident, you may not only be fined for violating the compulsory insurance law, but also face high recourse claims from the vehicle insurer. There is no motor vehicle liability cover for the vehicle on public roads outside the agreed period of use, so the motor vehicle insurer can claim the full amount of the loss back from the motor vehicle owner.
Premium-free protection outside the period of use
Good to know: Many motor vehicle insurers grant a motor vehicle with a seasonal license plate outside the agreed period of use premium-free insurance coverage in the motor vehicle liability insurance as well as in any partial comprehensive insurance that may have been taken out.
However, this coverage only applies if the motor vehicle is parked during this period in a non-public place, for example, in a private garage or in a private property enclosed by a fence, wall or hedge.
Within the scope of such a rest insurance, a car with a seasonal license plate is also covered against fire, storm and burglary damage outside the period of use, for example via a partial cover insurance agreed in the motor vehicle policy.
Seasonal license plates are becoming increasingly popular
More and more vehicles now have seasonal license plates, according to recent statistics from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). On the cut-off date of 1. In January 2020, almost 2.49 million vehicles were registered with a seasonal license plate instead of a normal license plate.
Compared with the previous year, this is an increase of 2.3 percent or around 57 percent.000 motor vehicle. Compared to the cut-off date of 1. Since January 2011, the number of vehicles with seasonal license plates has increased by 36.6 percent, or more than 667 percent, by 2020.000 vehicles increased.
Of all vehicles with a seasonal license plate, more than half, 54.3 percent, were motorcycles. This is followed by passenger cars with a share of 38.5 percent. In addition, 5.8 percent of all vehicles with seasonal license plates were motor homes and just under 1.4 percent were caravans.