The German Federal Supreme Court has recently stated, in a guiding decision of principle, that in the event of non-payment of the original toll, the increased tolls and their collection fees in Hungary, as set by the National Toll Payment Service co. ltd., could in principle be awarded against vehicle owners by German courts.

The motor-vehicle owner’s liability was also not strange to the German law system and the punitive increase of the toll for non-payment of the highway toll in advance did not violate the ordre public, i.e. domestic German public order, either on the merits or (at present) in terms of the amount.

Nevertheless, it was not possible to order payment of the tolls claimed by Hungarian Road Toll Company, because due to the applicability of Hungarian law, it had to be examined – as we have also explained in other proceedings – whether, in this case, Hungarian law permits an action to be brought for payment of an amount in euros.

From our point of view, such an action is neither admissible under Hungarian law, as the fees are incurred in Hungarian forints.

Nor would such an action be compatible with the law of the European Union, because such an action, which would primarily affect non-Hungarian citizens, would violate the principle of equal treatment of all citizens of the European Union.

As a result, it remains to be said that it is still advisable to defend oneself against the claims based on the notices of the Hungarian Road Toll Company (regularly issued by a claim management companies), in which we will of course be happy to support you.

The full text of this court decision is available via the following link:

https://www.bundesgerichtshof.de/SharedDocs/Termine/DE/Termine/XIIZR7-22.html

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