Of course, this isn’t our first post about the famous German highway known as the Autobahn, nor will it be the last. Why should it be? Each year, car and driving enthusiasts flock to the Autobahn to see what their cars are made of, as well as safely commute across all over Germany. Here are five things you should have before driving on the Autobahn for the first time.
Driving Gloves – We’re starting small on this list. If you really like to drive, you probably already have some, but if you don’t, you’re missing out. Look for a pair that’s tight fitting and a little “sticky”. These won’t be the gloves that a chauffeur would be using, but more along the lines of something designed for performance. They will give you a little more grip on the wheel, and should allow you to shift more easily. You won’t be able to adjust the radio, but you’re driving, leave the radio to someone else. That actually brings us to the next thing…
Music – This is completely a matter of personal preference. Prepare the tunes that you want to listen to, so you’re not even a little tempted to play with the radio while you’re driving. When you make your playlist, consider music you don’t always listen to. You’re doing something unique, and it should have a unique soundtrack. Even if you’re not a huge fan of classical music, you might find that Mozart or Beethoven give the perfect blend of auditory stimulation and pleasure, while allowing you to stay focused on the road. You may decide that you want to just enjoy the sound of the engine and the tires on the road. It might not be a bad idea to try it out!
A GoPro Camera – The Hero HD Motorsports option is perfect for documenting your jaunt on the Autobahn. The suction cup mount will hold the camera from the window of your choosing, and 720 mode offers 170 degrees of width! Suggestions for mounting include, but are not limited to: Windshield facing forward, windshield facing backwards, rear window facing forwards/backwards, sunroof hanging down (the arm is roughly 8 inches) with the camera facing forward, drivers side window facing forward, just behind the ear of the driver.
Understanding of the Rules – The only non-tangible item on the list is arguably the most important. The rules of the Autobahn are not like the rules of American interstate highways. First of all, there’s no such thing as a “fast lane” and “slow lane.” The lanes are for passing – that is all. If you’re not passing someone, move to the right. This is actually supposed to be a law in the US, but it’s not enforced, much to the frustration of driving traditionalists and logical folk everywhere. Passing on the right is strictly forbidden. If you are in the left lane and not passing someone, you can, and probably will get a ticket upwards of 300 Euro. The driver of the car going faster than you, who wants to pass you, is going to lay on the horn. He’s not going to break a law because you don’t know your role. There are limits in many areas, and if you don’t know how to read the signs, learn. With people moving at such high speeds, it’s irresponsible of you not to know the rules. Also speeding in a posted zone, and running out of gas will earn you tickets of at least 300 Euro.
A Good Car – This one goes without saying. You’ve probably heard the old saying “you get what you pay for.” Well that’s not entirely true. Of course you probably won’t find yourself in anything like a Ferrari or Lamborghini, but if you don’t want to break the bank, you have a few options. We currently have upgrade specials running that will put you in a full size car for the price of an intermediate. It might not be the F430 you’ve always dreamed of (not that we can’t get you a sports car in Europe), but anything in that category should be a good start for the budget minded traveler.
Do you have experience driving on the Autobahn? What kind of advice would you offer someone who has never driven on it?