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Driving Tips for Germany - Autobahn, Speed Limits, and Rules of the Road

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Car driving down country road- Bavaria, Germany
Maciej Noskowski/Photodisc/Getty Images

Drive in Germany:

Driving in Germany can be a great experience; German roads are well maintained, and many scenic routes lead you through wonderful German landscapes.
And flying down the German freeway is for many travelers a fun part of their German vacation.

To make the most out of your drive and to stay safe on the streets of Germany, have a look at the most important rules of the road.

Speed Limits in Germany:

  • Speed limits in German cities are 50 kmh (31 mph).
  • On highways, you are not allowed to drive faster than 100 kmh( 62 mph), unless otherwise marked.
  • There is no speed limit on the Autobahn - except where posted, for example in construction zones; watch out for these signs, you can get a hefty ticket for speeding.

The German Autobahn:

  • On the Autobahn, you can drive as fast as you feel is safe; the German authorities recommend a "suggested" speed of 130 kmh (80mph).
  • You can only pass another car in the left lane. The right lane is for slower vehicles, and overtaking cars in the right lane is illegal.
  • Before you pull into the left lane to pass another car, make sure to check the rear view mirror carefully - some cars travel as fast as 200 kmh and approach very suddenly.

More Driving Tips For Germany:

  • Don't drink and drive in Germany. The blood alcohol limit is .08 bac (0,8 pro mille), and .05 bac if you are involved in an accident. Violators must pay high fines and can lose their driver's license.
  • Always wear a seatbelt, even if you are sitting in the back of a car - it is the law in Germany.
  • Children up to the age of 12 have to sit in the back in a special safety seat.
  • Don't talk on the cell phone while driving, it is illegal in Germany.

Important Street Signs in Germany:

  • Ausfahrt - exit
  • Umleitung – detour
  • Einbahnstraße – one way street
  • Parken verboten – parking forbidden
  • Parkhaus – parking garage
  • Tankstelle – gas station
  • Benzin – gas
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