Guide for Driving a Rental Car in Germany

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Germany's roadways are a popular attraction in and of themselves, making car rentals a popular pick for convenient transportation in the country. You can easily get your family from one part of the country to another with a convenient car rental to help you make the most of your German vacation.


Picking Up Your Vehicle


Frankfurt Airport


Germany has several major airports to choose from. The Frankfurt Airport services 88 airlines with nearly 250 global destinations, while the Munich Airport offers service to 257 destinations through 100 airlines. No matter where you're arriving, you'll find convenient vehicle rentals on hand to help you get to your next destination.


Manual transmission vehicles are the most common option in Germany. If you don't know how to drive a manual vehicle, make sure you specify an automatic transmission when you reserve your rental. Expect to pay a premium for these.


Driving Tips

  • In Germany, vehicles are driven on the right side of the road.
  • You may only use the left lane for passing on the Autobahn.
  • Everyone in the vehicle must use a seat belt. Children under 12 must sit in the back. All children are required to use appropriate safety seats.
  • Black ice, or Glatteis, is common in cold weather. Watch for particularly reflective areas on the road. On ice, you should not accelerate, brake, switch gears, or change direction.

Road Signs in Germany


Road Signs in Germany


Most road signs are intuitive in Germany, and easy for an experienced foreign driver to understand. Some features to look out for include:

  • Blue rectangular signs with white lettering which refer to recommended speeds
  • Triangular signs with green border and eagle reading "Landschafts Schutzgebiet" which refer to protected countryside and thus no parking on the roadside or outside designated areas
  • Blue rectangular signs with a house, car, and people playing which refer to residential areas: watch for people in the road and park only in designated areas

Speed Limits


Germany's Autobahns are famous for their lack of speed limits. However, it's important to note that not all roads in Germany are so lenient. You'll find strict speed limits on approximately half of the roadways in Germany. These limits typically range from 80 to 130 km/h (or 50 to 80 mph). Some areas also have speed limits at night only, with posted restrictions for the hours from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.


Though there's no official speed limit on the Autobahn, drivers are strongly encouraged to stay under 130 km/h. You must always drive at a speed that's appropriate to the current weather and traffic conditions.


Fueling Your Vehicle


German Countryside


When budgeting for your trip, keep in mind that fuel is far more expensive in Germany than in the United States. Research the latest fuel prices before your visit so you don't suffer from sticker shock on arrival. Gas stations in Germany are typically easy to find, and many are open 24 hours.


Make the most of your vacation to Germany with a vehicle rental that will give you the freedom to hit the Autobahn and see it all. With proper planning, you can use your car rental to truly make the most of what Germany has to offer.


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Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

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