Self-Drive Motoring holidays in Germany. Tips on driving
abroad in Germany. Motoring rules and regulations in Germany. German motoring laws.
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Make sure you Drive Alive! Drive on
Be especially careful when setting off from service
stations or restaurants on the left side of the road.
Take care when overtaking - allow more space
between you and the car in front so you can see further down the road ahead.
has strict drink driving laws, only allowing 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre
of blood - stricter than the UK where the limit is 0.8.
Seat belts front and rear are obligatory everywhere.
Speed limits, shown below, are implemented rigorously.
Radar traps are frequent in Germany, and heavy on-the-spot fines can be levied.
The speed limit in towns and cities is 50 km/h - approximately 30 mph - unless
indicated otherwise. The start of the limit is when you pass the town name sign
on entering the town and the end of the limit is the same town name sign with
a red line across the town name. There may not be a speed limit sign.
Remember - Speeding and other traffic offences
are subject to on-the-spot fines.
When approaching a roundabout give way to traffic already on the roundabout,
on your left, unless signed otherwise.
There are no tolls to pay
on German Autobahns.
- don't get caught out - many German cities require you
to display a sticker confirming your vehicle meets environmental requirements.
Although the autobahns in Germany are not subject
to an overall speed limit (the blue speed limit signs, usually showing 130, are
suggested maximum speeds), many stretches of autobahn are covered by signed speed
limits, which are mostly closely observed by the Germans. But beware; even on unrestricted
autobahns you can get a ticket for driving too fast in the prevailing conditions
(heavy traffic, bad weather etc).
A full UK driving licence is required. Minimum age
for driving in Germany is 18. As in the UK, seat belts should be worn front and
rear. Below are motoring regulations relating to Germany.
More and more towns are adopting
the priority to traffic coming from the right in the towns. If there is no yellow
diamond at a road junction, you MUST give way to traffic from the right, even if
you are on the major road. As it used to do in France years ago this is causing
accidents, especially in the rain. It is used as a way to slow traffic down in built
none unless shown
set is advised, but not compulsory.
Children in cars: children
under 12 or 1.5 metres tall are not allowed to travel unless using an appropriate
always carry your driving licence, vehicle registration document (V5), and certificate
of motor insurance. If your licence does not incorporate a photograph ensure you
carry your passport to validate the licence. If the vehicle is not registered in
your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive.
Drinking and driving: Don't
do it. Over 0.05 per cent and you could face fines, endorsement or even imprisonment,
depending on the severity of the offence.
Fines: On the spot fines are issued. Just about every possible driving offence
can be subject to a fine, even running out of fuel on the Autobahn! Ensure an official
receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine.
First-aid kit is compulsory.
Fuel: All grades of unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are available as well
as lead substitute additive. It is allowed to carry petrol in a can. Credit and
debit cards are widely accepted, although they probably won't work at automatic
pumps. At many garages in rural areas only automatic pumps are available at lunch
time, during the evening and weekend, so make sure you're topped up. It's
a good idea to let your card issuer know you will be travelling abroad. This ensures
they don't suspend your card if they spot it being used in unfamiliar places,
which they sometimes do as an anti-fraud measure.
GB sticker: UK registered vehicles displaying
Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national identifier on blue background)
no longer need a GB sticker when driving in European Union countries.
zones are now in place in a number of German cities. A special permit is required
to drive through these zones. For more info visit our
Low Emission Zone
Minimum age for driving,
provided you hold a full UK licence, is 18 for a car, 18 for a motorcycle over 50cc,
and 16 for a motorcycle under 50cc.
Motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear crash helmets.
Motor insurance: third-party insurance is compulsory. A green card is not
required but your insurer should be advised of your trip.
Radar detection of speed cameras: SatNavs and GPS
(including those on smartphones) in the vehicle which can detect speed cameras
are illegal. Either ensure you have the latest software updates (which should disable
such functionality) or do not carry the device in the vehicle. Switching off the
device is not sufficient.
Seat belts are compulsory for front and rear seat occupants, if fitted.
Snow chains should be carried
in Germany during winter, because if you do not carry and fit them when conditions
demand the police can prevent you continuing your journey. Click for general
information on winter
tyres and snow chains.
Visibility Vests are now
compulsory in Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Spain (and likely
to become compulsory throughout the EU). The rules vary from country
to country concerning number of vests required and whether they should be carried
in the car or boot. Common sense suggests that there should be a vest for every
occupant, and that the vests should be carried in the car, and put on before getting
out. Do this and you will not have a problem.
Winter Tyres: as
from December 4th 2010 new regulations require all passenger cars and motorbikes
including vehicles from foreign countries to be fitted with winter tyres or all
season tyres on all axles when conditions are wintry. Winter tyres (or 'all season'
tyres) should bear the mark M&S or the snowflake symbol on the side wall. Minimum
tread depth should be 3mm. So it seems that winter tyres are not compulsory if conditions
are not wintry (snow, mud or ice), but since there is no reliable way to know the
conditions throughout what might be a lengthy journey, we feel winter tyres are
in effect compulsory. Click for general
information on winter
tyres and snow chains.
All information on this page is provided as a service
to our clients. It is intended as a guide to the more important rules for the different
countries to which we offer driving holidays. It is not meant to be a comprehensive
document. We try and keep the information on this page up-to-date, but we cannot
be held responsible in any way for any consequences arising from any inaccuracies.
If you find a mistake or would like to send us some additional information, please
email us. Your co-operation is appreciated.