Digital parking discs sound so obvious, but even in 2023 there are still pitfalls

If you want to park correctly, you have to take a few things into account - especially with an electronic parking disc.  (Mario Hoesel; Jevanto ProductionsAdobe Stock)

If you want to park correctly, you have to take a few things into account – especially with an electronic parking disc. (Mario Hoesel; Jevanto Productions/Adobe Stock)

Key facts at a glance

  • Electronic parking discs have established themselves as an alternative to standard parking discs.
  • They must meet certain requirements, such as automatic parking time display and type approval.
  • Correct placement and good visibility are also important – but what is the situation abroad?

Free parking spaces are hotly contested among drivers, especially in major German cities such as Berlin or Munich. Once you have secured a parking space, parking discs are often used to display the driver’s arrival time clearly visible on the dashboard.

In addition to standard parking discs, electronic parking discs (also: digital parking discs) have now proven themselves as an alternative.

However, there are some pitfalls to be aware of when dealing with electronic parking discs. So that you always know what you have to pay attention to when it comes to electronic parking discs, the ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club) has released a short video that combines the most important points for correct use.

Find out below what you should definitely pay attention to.

What you need to consider with electronic parking discs

Alexander Sievers leads through the video in his role as a lawyer at ADAC. The video addresses several key questions about digital parking discs, which we will break down for you in bullet points below.

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What characteristics does an electronic parking disc have to fulfill?

➡️ Automatic display of »Start of parking time«: E-parking discs are equipped with an electronic motion detector, which – as Alexander Sievers says – “automatically sets itself to the start of the parking time when the engine is switched off.” So you don’t have to set up your parking time manually, as is the case with the analog parking disc.

If the time display on your electronic parking disc continues to run after you switch off the engine, “this model is not permitted and prohibited,” as Sievers says.

➡️ Type approval required: In order for an electronic parking disc to be approved in Germany, it requires a so-called “type approval”. This is an ECE approval from the Federal Motor Transport Authority. ECE stands for “Economic Commission for Europe”.

This point is to be understood as device approval by the Federal Motor Transport Authority. The ECE approval for electronic parking discs is No. 10 R – 047203, which should be clearly marked on the front of your e-parking disc.

This is what an electronic parking disc looks like.  Clearly visible: the parking sign and the arrival time.  (adac-shop.de)






This is what an electronic parking disc looks like. Clearly visible: the parking sign and the arrival time. (adac-shop.de)

➡️ Traffic sign 314: As with all other parking discs, the traffic sign 314 must be displayed on the front as the parking sign. The parking sign is characterized by the white letter “P” on a blue background. The word “arrival time” must also appear on the front.

➡️ Writing on the e-parking disc: “A 24-hour time is also specified with a font height of at least two centimeters,” says Sievers.

How is an electronic parking disc installed correctly?

➡️ Good visibility from outside: The most common method of attaching your parking disc is along the windshield. But this is “not clearly stipulated” for both types of parking discs, Sievers tells us. However, the parking disc must be clearly visible in the vehicle.

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The parking disc must not impair the driver’s field of vision. That’s why, according to ADAC experts, most manufacturers recommend attaching the parking disc to the bottom right of the windshield.

➡️ Change battery early: An electronic parking disc that is visibly stored but does not work due to a dead battery can “result in a ticket.”

A well-known sight: a manually operated parking disc with a rotary wheel.  (adac-shop.de)






A well-known sight: a manually operated parking disc with a rotary wheel. (adac-shop.de)

Where in Germany is electronic parking disc allowed?

➡️ Location in Germany: According to ADAC lawyer Sievers, the electronic parking disc is permitted everywhere on public transport.

Private parking spaces represent a restriction. In such cases, the operator of the private parking space determines the so-called parking space conditions. This also determines how which parking disc can be used. This can apply, for example, to the parking lot of a supermarket. In such a case, Alexander Sievers recommends “taking a close look at the parking conditions beforehand.”

➡️ Location abroad: There is no uniform legal regulation across national borders: in Austria, Belgium and Switzerland, for example, electronic parking discs are prohibited. They are permitted in the Netherlands and Denmark.

It is also conceivable that “a parking disc approved in Germany is not approved abroad.” In this case, the ADAC man recommends “taking a close look at which models are approved in the respective country.”

Because of these inconsistencies, Alexander Sievers advises people to avoid using electronic parking discs abroad.

Apropos: Anyone who has lost their desire to drive because of all the rules and restrictions in traffic can put their lead foot through on the virtual slopes, free from the rules.

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Are you now clear about what needs to be taken into account when it comes to e-parking discs? In other words: Did you know up to now which general conditions had to be adhered to when it came to digital parking discs, or were you well informed anyway? Please let us know in the comments which parking disc you use – or whether you prefer pedaling through the urban jungle on a cargo bike.

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