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For drivers in Germany, 2010 was the most expensive year ever

Owning and operating a car in Germany has never been cheap, but it's never been more expensive than in 2010. German auto club ADAC says costs associated with owning a car have risen more than 40 percent since 1995.

Gas pumps at a gas station

Taxes account for more than half the fuel price in Germany

In 2010, German car owners had to pay a high price for their mobility, according to ADAC, which cited record-high fuel prices as the major cost factor.

"For drivers, 2010 will go down in history as the most costly year ever," ADAC said in a statement.

High taxes

The cost of acquiring and operating a car has risen 42 percent since 1995, compared to a 24 percent increase in the general cost of living.

Due to tax increases and higher production costs, fuel prices soared 86 percent over the 15-year period. In 2010 alone, the average price for a liter of super gasoline was more than 1.40 euros ($1.84) - the highest the average price ever.

According to ADAC, urban singles spent an average of 3,340 euros on their cars in 2000. Five years later, that figure had jumped to 3,900 euros. By the end of 2010, their expenses reached 4,380 euros, or 1,000 euros more than a decade earlier.

Cars on the Autobahn

Single households spend about 1,000 euros more on driving than they did a decade ago

Driving is also pricey for four-person families with two cars. According to the automobile club, their annual costs have risen 30 percent over the past 10 years from 5,940 euros to 7,740 euros.

Taxes account for the lion's share of gasoline and diesel prices. The German government's mineral oil and value added taxes account for nearly 88 cents of the 1.35-euro price of a liter of fuel.

Low toll revenue

While the German government reaps more revenue year for year from vehicle-related taxes, income generated by its highway toll for trucks is expected to fall this year for the first time since the haulage charges were introduced in 2005.

The government predicts this year's toll revenues will amount to 4.2 billion euros, down from 4.3 billion euros in 2009.

Author: John Blau
Editor: Sam Edmonds

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