A Guide to Driving in Germany

A combination of cultural treasure and beautiful landscapes make Germany a wonderful place to holiday, not to mention take a driving tour of. With such diverse and contrasting regions, as well as some stunning scenery, driving through this eastern European country can be a wonderful experience. Whether you plan on dedicating your entire holiday to exploring Germany, or you are simple passing through on your way to another country, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with Germany’s rules of the road.

What do you need to know before travelling to Germany?

Like many European countries, the legal driving age for Germany is 18, so even if you have a full UK licence at the age of 17, you will be unable to drive there. It is essential that you have your driving licence with you at all times when driving, as well as your car hire insurance documents. Should your licence not include a photograph, have your passport to hand as this will validate the licence.

Driving on the Autobahn

Often considered the ultimate way to experience driving in Germany, if not the world, the Autobahn is a nationally coordinated motorway system with no official speed limit. Designed, built and maintained to a high standard, this stretch of road can be both exhilarating and terrifying for visitors to Germany’s roads, mostly due to the combination of fast cars and slow moving HGVs. Whilst most believe you can drive as fast as you want on the Autobahn, the general rule is that 130km/h is the maximum speed.

Read our infographic guide to the Autobahn

What are the driving laws in Germany?

Most driving offences in Germany are subject to fines, including running our of fuel whilst driving on the Autobahn. If you do fall foul of a driving offence, always make sure the officer issues you an official receipt when you hand over your Euros.

Themed roads in Germany

Take a drive down one of Germany’s 80 themed highways for something a little different. Choose from the German Castle Road, Fairy Tale Road or the most well know, Romantic Road. This 261 mile route will take you from the heart of Germany’s wine country, through picturesque Bavarian villages and in to the foothills of the Alps. Make sure you schedule in plenty of time to explore each route and take advantage of the stunning photo opportunities.

Want to explore Germany even more? Take a look our recommendations on Exploring Germany by Car.

More information about driving in Germany

If you’re hiring a car in Germany, it’s also recommended that you take out car hire excess insurance for peace of mind. Learn more about UK & Europe Car Hire Excess Insurance before hiring a car.