Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Rent a Car Germany | 0 comments

Driving in Germany: Guide and Safety Tips

The German road system is one of the best in the world. The crème de crème of the road system is the autobahns that are well designed, marked, and have no set speed limits. The combination of an excellent road system and the quality of German cars creates a wonderful experience for anyone who wants to explore Germany via road. Compare prices and rent a car in Germany using our comparison engine below this article, or check this link for instructions in German.

Renting a Car, and other Basics

Germany car rental industry is well established. You are guaranteed to find a car rental company in every city or airport. As an advice, to get the best deal, always book your car at least 14 days before travelling to Germany.

When looking to rent a car in Germany, you you will be required to have a valid driver’s license and a passport or an any other recognized document proving your identity. If you come from A European union country, you can exchange your driver’s license for a German one, if you come from a country outside the European Union, you need to exchange it for the German one, and it is only valid for six months.

Many German Cars use manual transmission, if you are not comfortable using one, you are advised to indicate so when renting a car in Germany. Moreover, it is advisable to carry your Debit or Credit Card for ease of transactions. If you like a sports vehicle, indicate so when you are applying. Sports cars are widely available but are more expensive.

Before you leave the rental premise, make sure your car has a Green insurance certificate. This insurance certificate is also known as the Green card. Foreign drivers are required to have this card at all times when driving on German roads. This is one of the documents police will ask in case you are stopped.

You need to have a first aid kit in your car in case of an accident. In addition, carry some loose cash with you as the police tend to issue spot fines for minor traffic incidents.

Special requirements while Driving

German roads are well maintained. Furthermore, German drivers are generally well behaved and new drivers will not experience difficulties if they follow traffic rules and regulations. Driving in Germany is done on the right side of the road while overtaking is on the left. The minimum driving age is 17 years old, although car hire companies require drivers to be 21 years of age with at least one year driving experience.

If you are entering an intersection on the right, you have the right of way. If you are driving in the autobahns, and you experience some mechanical failures, you need to notify the authorities using the emergency lines present every two miles.

Incase of bad weather, you must use full lights. The same should apply when you are travelling at night.

Drivers should not use mobile phones while driving.

What to do in case of an accident

In the unfortunate situation of an accident, you should stop immediately. This applies also when you are a witness. The next step in calling the police and other emergency services using the following number: 112.

If you are involved in an accident and you are not injured, mark the location of each vehicle on the road using a chalk that is usually available on the first aid box. Next, exchange information with your driver such as your names, green card, and insurance. After that, call the police by dialling 112.

Incase you hit an unoccupied vehicle, Germany law states that you wait for the owner to arrive for at least 30 minutes. If the owner does not turn up, call the police.

Traffic Signs and Signals

Traffic signs and signals mirror those found when driving in the United Kingdom and other European Union countries.

The signage for European Highways starts with the prefix E while the signage for federal roads starts with the signage B. Most signs are easy to understand as they are accompanied by diagrams.

Cost of Fuel

As at 31st January 2013, the cost of fuel was as follows: unleaded 95: €1.58 and Diesel: €1.42. Please note that fuel prices can change without warning.


There are extensive parking spaces, and finding the right place is not difficult. Parking in streets is generally accepted unless there are regulations advising you otherwise. Parking violations attracts fines for up to €35.

Alcohol limit

It is advisable not to drink and drive. However, if you must drink, your blood alcohol limit should not exceed 0.005%. For drivers less than 21 years, the alcohol limit is 0.00%. This limit is strictly enforced and violators usually heavily fined or imprisoned.

Speed limits in Germany

Speed limits in Germany may vary depending on location as follows. Built up areas: 50km/hr, rural roads: 90km/hr, motorways: 80 to 30 km/hr.

Please note that speed limits are strictly followed and violators face heavy penalties.

Seat belt requirements

The driver and Passengers must wear seatbelts at all times. Children less than two years of age should not seat in front of the car, unless they are in specially seats. Passengers who violate this requirement face a fine of €30 on the spot.

Useful German phrases

English German
Motorway Autobahn
Petrol Benzin
Fines Verwarnungsgeld
Warning triangle Warndreieck


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Rent a Car Germany - price comparison

Feb 04, 2013 by Josh

Excellent price comparison tool! thanks

5.0 5.0 1 1 Excellent price comparison tool! thanks Driving in Germany: Guide and Safety Tips