Government to Refund 40 Millions Shekel in Vehicle Fees

From Mazdas to Toyotas, Tel Aviv court rules that people will now pay lower license fees, for allegedly having been overcharged in past years.

Cars on a highway in Tel Aviv, December 17, 2013.
Reuters

Car owners will pay lower vehicle license fees starting next year, following the settlement of a class action suit announced on Tuesday in Tel Aviv District Court. License fees are immediately being cut by 40 million shekels (about $10 million) to compensate the public for alleged past overcharges. Fees will be reduced for subsequent years, too.

This means that the owner of an average size family car, such as a Mazda 3 or Toyota Corolla, will save 26 shekels when renewing a car license for 2016. In future years, annual fees will be cut by 10 shekels.

The compromise was reached on a claim that the Transportation Ministry had been overcharging for the annual license. The lead plaintiff claimed that the state had taken in an extra 25 million shekels a year since 2006, for a total of more than 200 million shekels. The error occurred because the ministry did not lower fees in keeping with the cost-of-living index, which dropped between 2003 and 2004, the suit claimed. This correction was never made, the plaintiff claims.

The fee reduction will apply to any vehicle owner who paid license fees between April 9, 2011 and now. Initially the ministry claimed that the suit was baseless, but ultimately agreed to the settlement.

The suit was filed by attorney Ido Steiner.