Germany Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
Driving In Germany
Roads are in excellent condition as are the vehicles and driving standards are high. A quirk of driving abroad in Germany is that there is no official speed limit on Autobahns or motorways. However there are speed restrictions in certain locations so keep an eye out for them. Generally these will be displayed on flashing signs above the road. If a sign shows a speed limit with a line through it that means no upper limit is in force. This may seem like a recipe for disaster but in my experience this approach actually encourages common sense and when a speed limit is in force, I find German drivers normally obey it. Average speed travelled on autobahns with no speed limit is around 150KMH. German drivers tend to be polite and generally they aren’t aggressive drivers. However, if you stray into the ‘fast’ lane you should expect BMWs, Audi’s, Mercedes and Porsches to come flying up behind you at high speed. If you or your car isn’t equipped to play with the big boys, stay out of the fast lane! Another sensible aspect of driving on autobahns is that the areas where lorries can overtake is often restricted, especially on 2 lane roads. This means that the situation where two slow moving trucks block the road for miles is usually avoided. In terms of hazards -In Winter, snow tyres may be needed in certain areas so check this with the rental company before you take the car out. Generally though, Germany is one of the best countries to drive in. Roads are in good condition, are well signed . driving standards are good and road rules are sensible too.
For more information on driving on German Autobahns and the potential to rent high performance vehicles in the country see my ‘Once in a Lifetime’ page.
Many travellers drive in Germany during a longer road trip taking in other European countries. Below are some destinations which could be driven in a day from main German cities, and toll costs where relevant
Munich- Berlin– 590km, estimated travel time, 5.5 hours,
Munich -Paris -850km, estimated travel time, 8 hours,
Munich -Vienna -408km, estimated travel time, 4.5 hours ,
Munich -Prague -382km, estimated travel time, 4.0 hours,
Berlin -Warsaw -592km, estimated travel time, 7.0 hours,
Berlin -Amsterdam-665km, estimated travel time, 6.5 hours
Berlin –Hamburg 290 km, estimated travel time, 3 hours,
Hamburg-Copenhagen 338 km, estimated travel time, 4 hours,
Munich-Frankfurt 393 km, estimated travel time, 3.5 hours,
Berlin-Frankfurt 553 km, estimated travel time, 5 hours,
Berlin -Prague– 362 km, estimated travel time, 3 hours 45,
Germany Car Rental –
Not surprisingly all the major companies operate in Germany -Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, National,Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Enterprise, Dollar,Easycar.com all have outlets across the country.It will also feature on all Car rental broker sites such as Argus Car Hire and Web discount sites such as ebookers.com. or Expedia. There will also be hundreds of small local companies in towns across Germany.
This is a specialist broker site covering Germany-
This is a well established company who operate in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Germany Self Driving Rules-
You’ll generally be allowed to drive the car across international borders though there may be restrictions on taking higher spec vehicles into Eastern Europe.