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A Guide to Driving in Germany

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

When my family visited Germany, we decided to rent a car instead of taking the train everywhere. Driving in Germany is actually very similar to driving in America; not only do they drive on the same side of the road, but the road signs are similar to the ones we have in the US.

First and foremost, you do not need a German license if you are only visiting the country, however, you must be at least 18 years old to drive. Also, there are very strict laws concerning drinking and driving, so I do not recommend driving at all after you've had any alcohol. Another rule to follow anytime you drive: do not use your phone while driving.

Something to remember when driving in Germany: stay to the right unless you are passing! This rule is taken very seriously in Germany and people will flash their lights at you, letting you know that you are going too slow and need to get back over to the right (trust me, I know this from experience). Also, you cannot pass on the right on the autobahn unless traffic in the left lane is traveling less than 60 km/h or is completely stopped.

Although the autobahn is known for not having speed limits, this is not completely true. Cameras along the side of the road monitor traffic and electronic signs above the autobahn display speeds based on the amount of traffic. If there is no traffic, there is no speed. Warning: German drivers will go fast!! We were in the middle lane driving 120 km/h (75 mph) and cars in the left lane were passing us as if we were standing still. However, in areas where there is a speed limit, make sure you do not speed. The cameras along the road track your speed and you will receive a ticket in the mail later.

Overall, remember that you aren't driving in your home country and remember to drive safely. Like I said, driving in Germany isn't difficult; as with any other foreign place that you decide to drive around, follow the rules, remain calm, and do not get distracted.


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