Die Reichsgaragenordnung – the parking space law

Paragraph Symbol - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / froxxWith the invention of the garage towards the end of the 1930s, the next logical step (in Germany, at least) was to create a law governing them.

It was called the Reichsgaragenordnung and came into effect in 1939.  And yes, it is still on the German statute book and valid to this day!

I first came across the name in the Hausordnung (house rules) for one of the flats that I lived in.

Im übrigen ist jeder Garageneigentümer zur strengen Beachtung der Reichsgaragenordnung verpflichtet.

But which rules does this law actually contain?

Well, the most important part is used by planning departments to determine how many parking spaces are needed for a new building.  If you build a block of flats, the law determines how many parking spaces you need to provide for the residents.

It also applies when you modernise a building, often causing parking spaces to be located on previously green sites due to lack of available land.  In some cases, the owners end up paying for the parking spaces to be created elsewhere in the town.

It is irrelevant whether the tenants actually own or even use that number of cars.

In Austria, where the law is also still valid, it prohibits tenants from keeping mopeds in their flats.

The 203-page law apparently also deals with what you are allowed to store in your garage, winter tyres for example.

One might go as far as seeing this as being typical for Germany – a law for everything!  Personally, I am always fascinated to find laws like this one that did not get revised with the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949.


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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.


  1. Dmitritolbert says

    OK I get it but can some one tell me is the landlord allowed to charge you monthly for that unused space in the garage? I dont a own a car

  2. If you rent a flat or a house with a garage space, then the rental contract will usually include details of how much extra you pay for the garage. If you don’t need it, then you have to get the contract changed before you sign it and rent the property without the garage. Obviously then you are not allowed to use it as storage space either.

  3. I have received an e-mail saying that the law has been succeeded by new building laws in each of the German states see: http://www.stadtgrenze.de/s/bbg/rgao/rgao.htm

    However this does not explain why some local rental contracts for garage or car park spaces still contain a clause that “the Reichsgaragenordnung shall apply”.

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