Germany Driving Rules and Tips
Germany has the highest accident rate of any European country because it has more traffic than any other country, as well. Therefore, you need to know the rules of the road to stay safe while driving as a tourist.
- You should always carry the following documents while driving:
- Driver’s license
- Proof of insurance, especially when renting a car
- Recommended to carry an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) from home country
- Ownership Document
The minimum age for a full license in Germany is 18. A person who is 17-years-old may have a license to drive with a parent or adult in the car.
Driving Rules, Laws and Regulations
- You will drive on the right hand side of the road
- Use of mobile phones is prohibited
- Everyone in the car must wear a seatbelt
- Children under 12-years-old must ride in the backseat
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks
- Do not follow the vehicle in front too closely
- Always carry license while driving
Speed Limits and Fines
Unless otherwise stated, following speed limits must be adhered:
130 km/h (81 mph) on the Autobahn
100 km/h (62 mph) on highways
50 km/h (31 mph) in city
Speeding fines start at 15 euros in cities and 10 euros in the country. They increase incrementally depending on how fast you are going above the speed limit and can be as much as 680 euros.
Germany has fairly strict laws for drunk driving. You can be in trouble for a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) as low as 0.03g/100ml (if it changes your behavior). Penalties can include not being allowed to drive in Germany, as well as hefty fines. Generally, it is best to not drive at all after drinking.
In most places, you’ll be able to park on the streets. Do not block driveways or roadways; also, do not park too close to an intersection. However, you may need a special parking sign (Parkscheibe) to place on your car, available at gas stations. With it, you signal to the police when you left the car. Follow the signs to pay for parking; in some places, you may need to park with two of your wheels off the street.
The sections above will help you drive your best while in Germany. Remember to check for any local regulations in the areas you will be traveling.
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