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    Tips and Information for Driving a Rental Car in Germany

    Driving Overview

    Germany Driving InformationGermany was the first country in the world to develop a national system of superhighways, and for many years Germany's Autobahn system was a model for other nations. After unification, Autobahns in the eastern part of the country were significantly upgraded. Today Germany has nearly 6,000mi/9660km of Autobahns and an extremely well developed network of lesser highways. This makes driving a rental car in Germany exceptionally easy and pleasant, and the German network is interconnected with networks in neighboring countries. Germany is about 500mi/805km long (from north to south) and 400mi/644km wide in its longest dimensions.

    Rules of the Road

    Traffic travels on the right and streetcars do not have the right of way. They should be passed on the right on a two way street and on either side on a one-way street. Avoid the far left lane on the autobahn as speeds can often exceed 100mph/161kph. Additionally, we recommend that travelers learn more about reading road signs in Germany with Auto Europe before you arrive.

    Speed Limits in Germany

    Speed Limits & Gas Stations in Germany 
    • City: 31mph/50kph
    • Open Roads: 62mph/100kph
    • Highways: 81mpg/130kph
    Gas Station Availability - Most gas stations are open from 8am to 8pm. There are stations open 24 hours in some major cities and on the autobahn.
    Germany Parking Laws and Tolls

    Parking & Tolls in Germany

    There are no toll highways in Germany.

    Parking is allowed only on the right side of the road except on one-way streets where both sides are valid. Parking spaces with meters are usually free of charge at night.

    Tips for Driving Your Rental Car in Germany

    Germany is one of the most culturally rich and diverse countries in Western Europe, and a perfect destination for the adventurous at heart - eager to explore a mix of must-see tourist hotspots and the less traveled hidden vistas. Rather than vacation within the confines of a tour bus on a set schedule, cruise through Germany, fueled by curiosity and wonder, as you navigate through city streets in Munich or lush forested mountains bordering Austria.

    Driving in Germany Tip #1 STAY IN THE RIGHT LANE WHEN POSSIBLE

    It's safe to assume that if you've heard of Germany, you've also heard of the famed Autobahn highway system that connects nearly every German destination. The majority of the Autobahn has only "advised" speed limits, a prospect which can be as terrifying as it is exciting. It is recommended that, when driving through the unrestricted speed zones of the Autobahn, you stay in the right lane, as the left lanes are used for passing only.

    Driving in Germany Tip #2 USE YOUR BLINKERS

    German drivers don't slouch when it comes to using turn-signals, and nor should you, especially when driving on speed limit-less expressways, where a turn signal can prevent a collision with other vehicles changing lanes. When changing lanes yourself, remember in Germany, like the rest of Europe, passing on the right is illegal and frowned upon.

    Driving in Germany Tip #3 EXPECT LESS SPACE WHEN PASSING

    Due to more stringent driver's license testing standards in Germany, it is common for locals to drive much more aggressively than visitors from the United States are accustomed to. Because of this, the amount of space between cars can become uncomfortably slim when passing others or when being passed yourself. By knowing this before you start your trip you'll be able to keep your cool - this is normal when driving in Germany.

    Driving in Germany Tip #4 STAY OFF YOUR CELL PHONE

    Use of handheld cellular devices is strictly prohibited while driving in Germany, and if caught you may face steep fines. Hands-free devices are permitted, but it is still recommended to avoid the distractions of cellular devices unless completely necessary.

    Driving in Germany Tip #5 WEAR A SEAT BELT AT ALL TIMES

    Seatbelts save lives, and that's a fact, so remember to buckle-up before hitting the road. Much like the rest of the western world, wearing a seatbelt while driving in Germany is mandatory, and violators will be fined a minimum of €30 EUR, per un-belted passenger.

    Germany Driving InformationGermany Driving Laws

    When driving in Germany, understanding the traffic laws is of the utmost importance, and will help you enjoy a more care-free travel experience. Below you will find all the pertinent information regarding Germany's driving rules and regulations, and how to avoid tickets and fines.

    • Children under 12 years of age or under 5 feet tall, must be seated in the back.
    • Booster seats are required for children riding in the back seat up to age 12, although height/weight restrictions do apply in specific cases and vary from supplier to supplier.
    • Vehicles must not be parked opposite the flow of traffic, parking fines of approx. €35 EUR will apply for illegally parked vehicles.
    • Running a red light, or stop sign, can result in fines ranging from €90 EUR to €360 EUR.
    • In Germany there are suggested speed limits and mandatory speed limits, depending on what stretch of road you are traveling on. This is especially important to note when driving the Autobahn in Germany. Suggested speed limits are contained within blue square signs; where as mandatory speed limits are contained within red circular signs.
    • Insurance and other related documents must be kept in the vehicle at all times.
    • In the unfortunate event that you do receive a traffic ticket in Germany, get in contact with the car rental supplier as soon as possible and arrange a payment method. Many travelers have reported a steady flow of letters with increased fines if the tickets are left unpaid for extended periods of time. In most situations the rental supplier will auto-deduct the ticket amount from the credit card on file, as well as an "administration fee."

    Travel Inspiration for your Next Trip to Germany

    Explore Germany in a Rental CarAuto Europe has been helping travelers find affordable rental cars in Germany for decades. As a trusted travel partner, we love sharing ideas to help you build your upcoming travel itinerary. We've developed road trips highlighting some of the most sought after attractions in Germany, as well as published a number of unique posts focusing on informing travelers on all there is to see and experience during your time abroad. Whether its your first time or tenth time, review the links below and let us inspire you to make the most of your visit to Germany.

    Road Trip Planners Travel Inspiration

    Popular Germany Car Rental Locations

    Auto Europe is proud to offer rental car services in every major city in Germany. No matter where your travel itinerary brings you, Auto Europe has a local supplier with a guaranteed low rate. Book your rental car in Germany today and enjoy 24/7 live customer support in addition to savings offered exclusively to Auto Europe customers. Use our booking engine for a free quote!

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