A nationwide ban on the car pick-up service Uber has been issued in Germany, after a court ruling in Frankfurt found the firm to be lacking the necessary legal permits.

Drivers are unable to carry passengers who arranged the journey through the Uber smartphone app, unless they have an official permit that complies with the Passenger Transport Act, according to German newspaper Der Spiegel.

If Uber is found to be in breach of these regulations it risks a €250,000 (£198,000, $328,000) fine, while drivers could face a detention order.

The ride-sharing service had already been outlawed in Hamburg and Berlin due to passenger safety concerns, however Uber had continued to operate while the legality of the ruling was questioned.

Uber appeal expected soon

The most recent ban will only be enforceable until an appeal is launched, which is likely to be submitted by Uber in the near future.

Germany is one of the fastest growing markets in Europe for Uber, which currently operates in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Dusseldorf.

Last week, Uber announced that it expected its service to double in size in Germany by the end of the year, as a result of major expansion plans.

"This is a really exciting time for Uber in Germany," Fabian Nestmann, a spokesperson for Uber Germany, said at the time.

"We are getting thousands of emails every week from people all over the country who want to join the platform and we have seen tens of thousands of people all across Germany looking to use Uber to get a ride."

Uber is yet to respond to a request for comment from IBTimes UK. This article will be updated when a statement is issued.