Germany Driving Guide 2021

Germany Driving Guide 2021

Germany Driving Guide 2021

Germany is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

Updated Apr 9, 2021·9min read
Driving Guide
Germany Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Germany is one of the top places with top-notch tourist attractions that is a must-visit when traveling around Europe. This country offers a variety of distinct experiences to meet all kinds of expectations and suit all possible tastes. Whatever you are looking for: great architecture, a scenic view, glamorous events, exciting nightlife, amazing and delicious cuisine, and the best beer ever – Germany has it all.

The best way to tour comfortably and enjoyably around Germany is to have your own source of transportation. But first, you have to have an International Drivers Permit for Germany to rent a car. Explore and read about it below to find out more about the country, the dos and don'ts when driving in Germany, the requirements for renting a car, and also the top iconic tourist destinations you can enjoy while experiencing Germany.

How Can This Guide Help You

Going on a trip to a country you are not familiar with can be hard and exhausting. But with the help of this guide, you will know important information about Germany that every tourist must know when visiting the country. The driving rules in Germany and the driving requirements will be discussed further. Aside from that, facts about Germany and the country’s top tourist destinations will also be introduced.

General Information

Germany has always been the heart of Europe. From the distinctive culture shaped by historical influences, delicious cuisine, and stunning architecture, a lot of things are available to enjoy during a trip to this country. Thus, making it a country that is a must-visit for tourists exploring Europe.

Geographic Location

Germany is in Western and Central Europe. The country is bordering Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and France on the west; the Czech Republic and Poland on the east; Switzerland and Austria on the south; Denmark on the north; and the Baltic Sea on the northeast. It is a country with a landscape of forests, rivers, mountain ranges, and North Sea beaches. Germany's geographic location has shaped its history both for good and bad.

Languages Spoken

German is the official language of Germany, with most of the people in the country speaking it as their first language. Other languages spoken by the Germans are Sorbian and North Frisian, Danish, Romani, Turkish, and Kurdish. English also is widely spoken in the country, having 56% of the country’s population being able to speak the language. With this, you won’t have to worry about the language barrier when you visit this country since most of the Germans do know how to speak the English language.

Land Area

Germany is the seventh-largest country in Europe. It covers an overall area of 349,360 square kilometers (data retrieved as of 2018) with a population of over 83 million. Most of Germany’s lands are used for Agriculture.

Agriculture remains the biggest land user in the country, with over 52 percent of the land area. With that, Germany is also a leading producer of food and agricultural products. It is Europe's second-largest agricultural producer behind France, with agricultural production amounting to 53.1 billion EUR in 2017. Furthermore, it is not just tourist attractions that Germany can offer but also good quality products. Since Germany has a lot to offer, it is best to plan ahead of your tour and make the best out of your time in the country.

History

Being Europe’s largest economy, Germany played a big role in the continent’s economic, political, and defense organizations. After Adolf Hitler lost in WWII, the emergence of the Cold War has paved the way for two German states to be formed in 1949, namely the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). As France was heavily defeated in the Franco-Prussian War and Napoleon III being overthrown by the french rebellion, the events caused southern German states to support Prussia and somehow brought about the reunification of Germany.

The reunification brought problems, especially in Germany’s economy. Some problems were due to the structural problems in the European economy. And others to the costs and consequences of unification itself. Despite the problems in the past, Germany is now one of the most visited countries due to its rich culture and aesthetic tourist attractions.

Government

Germany practices the federal system. It is made up of 16 states. Each of these states has its own parliament and state leader, known as a Minister-President (the city-states of Berlin, Hamburg, and Bremen have mayors). Every state has its police force, health, and education system. This is due to the fact that Germany grew out of the highly decentralized roman-German Empire, in which small fiefdoms had their own councils and could even coin their own money.

Tourism

Known for not just its scenic tourist attractions but also for its delicious cuisine, about 39.6 million people visited the country in 2019 only. With its culture, natural beauty, historic sites, and small towns, riches of forests and mountains, this country does not disappoint.

The combination of old charm and modern German cities makes it an ideal destination for travelers. With a wide array of food, accommodations, and drink options, Germany is traditionally less expensive to travel to than its other European counterparts.

International Driver’s Permit FAQs

International Driver’s Permit IDP or mostly known as an International Drivers License, is a document that allows the owner to drive or rent a motor vehicle. An International Driver’s Permit for Germany is significant to ensure your safety and avoid getting in trouble when all you want to do is enjoy and get the most out of touring Germany. It serves as an official translation of your home country license. Other important information found below is for you to know about using an IDP in Germany.

Is an International Driving Permit Required in Germany?

You must be asking yourself, “Do I need an International Driver’s License in Germany”? The answer is yes. An International Driving License in Germany is not necessarily required when driving in the country when your local driver’s license is in the English language. But in most rental car agencies, an International Driver’s License in Germany is required when you are to rent a car from them. That is why it is highly advisable to get one so as to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications that will hinder your trip to Germany.

What Countries Accept International Driving Permit?

An International Driver’s Permit in Germany today serves as your ticket to exploring the roads of over 150 countries. But it does not replace your valid driver's license. It is just a translation document that translates your own driver's license to 12 of the UN-recognized languages that you can use when driving in foreign countries. Furthermore, you can easily obtain an IDP as you can apply for it online through our website.

Can I Use My Driver’s License in Germany?

Driving with a local driver’s license is valid in Germany for six months as long as it is not expired. If it is issued by a country outside the European Union or EA/ European Economic Area or EEA and you wish to stay in Germany for more than six months, you have to obtain a German driving licence. You also have to bring your International Driver’s License to drive in Germany together with your local driver’s license and other driving in Germany requirements for you to avoid getting in trouble with the authorities.

Where to Get an International Driver’s License in Germany?

Our website’s homepage is where you can get an International Driver’s License in Germany. As an International Driving Permit is required in Germany, obtaining one before traveling to Germany is highly advised. Once you have submitted your application, the IDP team will review it, and if it’s approved, the digital copy will be emailed to you in 2 hours. Since IDP does international shipping, you can avail yours even if you're already in Germany or not.

A lot of tourists ask themselves, “Do I need an International Driver’s License in Germany? And what are the requirements?” Anyone who has a local driver’s license and is 18 years old and above can apply for an IDP wherever you are across the globe. Applying for an IDP will not be stressful as it is very easy and less hassle. You just need to apply online and submit a valid copy of your current driver's license and a passport size image of yourself.

Can I Use My Digital Copy if I Lost the Physical Copy of My IDP?

No, the authorities in Germany do not acknowledge digital copies of your International Driver’s Permit in Germany today. Once you lose it, you have to quickly apply for its replacement to continue driving in Germany. We process replacement requests within 24 hours after you submit your application for replacement and ship the physical copy in no time.

Renting a Car in Germany

Have you ever imagined exploring Germany in your own comfort? Like driving along the German roads and witnessing the picturesque view that comes along with it? But the question is, do you have a car already? If not, then here is some useful information for you on renting a car in Germany.

Car Rental Companies

Visiting Germany will be less hassle and more enjoyable if you have your own source of transportation. Most tourists opt to rent a car for their own convenience and comfort during their trip. You can find a lot of car rental companies online, such as Europcar. They have this loyalty program with customers who regularly rent with them that attracts tourists to rent with them. Other car rental companies that you can choose from are listed below.

  • Autoeurope
  • Kayak
  • Sixt
  • Hertz
  • Rentalcars

You can also opt to rent a car after you land in Germany. There are a lot of car rental booths near the airport. The downside of renting a car at car rental booths is that prices can be much higher than the ones found online. But the good news is that you can rent a car whether you are in Germany already.

Documents Required

The important documents you need to rent a car in Germany are your local driver’s license and your government-issued document such as your passport. It is also necessary for you to have an International Driver’s Permit while driving in Germany today, as many car rental companies look for it when you rent a car from them. It can come in handy as a complement to your local driver’s license and your passport.

Vehicle Types

Different rental companies offer different vehicles for rent that you can choose to assure you to get the most out of your trip to Germany. You have the usual choices of a diesel or gas model, plus various sizes (compact, medium, SUV, etc.) and models. Automatics are more expensive and may only be available if you choose to rent a bigger and pricier car.

It is advised to rent the smallest and least-expensive manual “stick-shift” transmission of a car not just to save money but because smaller cars are easy to handle in Germany’s winding and narrow roads. If two adults or even more are traveling, it can be worth it to move up to a larger class of European cars.

Car Rental Cost

Basic rental rates can vary from company to company and country to country. The cheapest car rental fee you will find in one country can be the most expensive one in another country. Basic rates mostly include unlimited mileage, Value-Added Tax (VAT), legally required third-party liability insurance, and other add-ons. Emergency roadside assistance is usually at the cost of your rental to cover mechanical failure.

Some car rental companies usually charge extra if you plan to drive in the winter season for the snow tires. Other add-ons such as child seats, GPS, and drop-off and pick-up can influence the rental fee you have to pay. Aside from the rental fee, you also have to consider other driving costs such as fuel, toll, and parking when budgeting for your trip.

Age Requirements

Some rental companies require a minimum age of 18 for you to rent a car from them. Some also would require a minimum age of 21 or even older. Age is just one of the requirements in renting a car. Another is having a local driver’s license. There are some rental companies that require Underage Driving Free for all drivers under 21 years old. Violating the age requirement is a criminal offense that can result in an expensive fine.

Car Insurance Cost

The strongest possibility of the extra cost when renting a car is insurance. It is very important to rent a car with insurance in Germany. Your rental contract includes third-party liability insurance fees in the rental fee. This means that the rental agency will pay any claims to other parties in case of an accident. Other car insurance costs will be discussed by the car rental company.

Car Insurance Policy

Different car insurance has different purposes. By availing of car insurance, you are ensuring yourself for liability protection in cases where you experience accidents on the road. Read further below to know car insurance and what they cover.

  • Collision Damage Waiver - The Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) covers the costs of the damages the car you rented endured while using it.
  • Theft Protection Insurance - This car insurance covers the damages of the car you rented if it is attempted to be stolen or it is stolen.
  • Third-Party Liability Insurance - The Third-Party Liability Insurance covers the costs of the car you collided or damaged during a road accident.

Other car insurance that is available for you to avail of will be further discussed by the car rental company.

Other Tips

When traveling to a foreign country, it is important to know and learn some key tips. A tip about how to get an affordable rental car deal is discussed below.

How Can I Get a Budget-Friendly Rental Car Deal?

First things first, you have to set your budget. Before renting a car for your trip, you have to calculate the possible rental fee and extra costs that you have to spend. Then compare prices from different car rental agencies. Comparing different rates can give you an idea of what to choose that will satisfy your estimated budget.

You may also rent a car in airport car rental locations. However, airports charge rental agencies concession fees to operate on their property, and those costs get passed along to you. It's super convenient on your part to hop off the plane and go right away to the rental car agency, but that your convenience comes at a price.

The Road Rules in Germany

It is very important to know and understand the driving rules in Germany and also in other countries you are about to visit. Doing so would ease your trip and prevent any troubles with the authorities. Here are some important must-know rules while driving in Germany:

Road Germany Photo by Markus Spiske

Important Regulations

Road rules and regulations when driving in Germany apply not just to the locals but also to tourists. You must be at least 18 years old to be able to drive on German roads. Carrying required documents when driving is a must. You must be on the right side of the road when driving in Germany. Additional other important rules and reminders to guide you are further discussed below.

Drunk-driving

Driving under the influence is strictly prohibited. Drink driving restrictions in Germany allow a maximum blood alcohol level of 0.05%. But there is also a zero-tolerance rule in effect for those drivers who are under 21 or who have less than two years of safe car driving experience. Violating the restriction can get you a penalty of imprisonment for up to one year or a fine.1. Violating the restriction can get you a penalty of imprisonment for up to one year or a fine.

Turning Signals at an Intersection

The timing of turning your signal lights when you are about to turn in an intersection is very important. You have to turn your signal lights on 30 meters prior to reaching the intersection. Aside from that, you have to be at the closest line to the direction that you are turning. Before proceeding to turn in an intersection, make sure that there is no oncoming traffic.

Parking

In Germany, almost all the locals park their car on the roadside since it is cheap and the most convenient one. Aside from that, there are also paid parking services available such as the open parking ground, underground parking facility, and covered parking facility. In Germany, a vehicle is considered a parked car if it is not moving or stationary for more than 3 minutes.

You are prohibited from parking within 10 m of traffic lights, closer than 5m to pedestrian crossings, on a bike lane, and by the curbside facing oncoming traffic. Furthermore, when you arrive at your destination, park in the designated parking spots only. Be mindful of the parking rates—Park in well-lit areas at night. Always lock and secure your personal belongings before leaving your car unattended.

Ensure you and your vehicle are in good condition before driving

You must be capable of driving safely. Don’t use an unregistered vehicle. Your car must be fully functioning and must be in good condition before hitting the road. Check if the brakes and horns are functional. Ensure that your mirrors, number plate, car lights, side windows are clean. Checking it up will avoid possible accidents along your trip.

When driving, you have to observe and follow road rules. Do not forget to wear your seatbelt for your safety. Be alert and pay attention to the road. Use of cell phones, while your car is running, is strictly prohibited. Always be aware of the road traffic signs to guide you in your journey.

General Standards of Driving

Germany is very strict and serious when it comes to its road rules. It is very important to observe general standards of driving to ease your trip and prevent troubles from coming your way. Here are some reminders to take not when driving in Germany:

Speed Limits

Germany is the only European country that does not have a general speed limit. Instead, it has this federal controlled-access highway system called a German Autobahn. An Autobahn is known for having no federally mandated speed limit for some classes of vehicles. There are Autobahn parts that have no speed limit, and those parts are indicated by a white circular sign with five diagonal black lines.

Germany has no mandated speed limit but rather a “recommendation” of speed 130 kilometers per hour (81 mph). Unless there are no signs stating otherwise, the following speed limits apply when driving in Germany: 130 km/h for motorways, 100 km/h for main roads, and 50 km/h for urban areas.

Driving Directions

Driving throughout the roads of Germany is a wonderful experience, in large part because of the excellent roads and the scenic routes they transport you over. Thanks to the excellent network of highways and railways, German cities and towns, big and small, are easy to access. You won’t have any problem visiting the top-notch tourist spot in Germany.

Seatbelt Laws

Seatbelts must be worn all the time by the driver and the passenger when driving in Germany. Failure to follow this rule shall result in a fine. Children under the age of 3 cannot travel without a car seat. Children aged three or over must travel in the rear seats. Even if it is not required for the passengers at the back to wear seatbelts, it is still advisable to do so. So as for safety purposes, especially on busy roads where most accidents tend to happen.

Traffic Road Signs

The road signs when driving in Germany are very important. The signs when driving in Germany are somehow the same as most of the road signs in the other countries of the world. However, it is always good to know more about it before hitting the roads to make sure you know the different types of road signs while driving in Germany.

Most of the road signs when driving in Germany are the same as in other countries. Whether you are driving your own car in Germany or renting one, pay attention to the road signs in Germany for a safe journey. These are some examples that you will see on the roads of Germany.

  • Warning road signs - traffic light ahead, roadworks ahead warning, poor road surface ahead, and etc.
  • Priority road signs - stop, priority road ahead, roundabout ahead and etc.
  • Mandatory road signs - speed limit, pass on right only, a mandatory lane for buses, and etc.
  • Informational road signs - curve to the left, curve to the right, traffic lights, double curve, road works, road narrows, slippery road, rough road, two-way road.

Right of Way

Germany uses a hierarchical system to assign intersections’ right of way when driving in Germany. A police officer directing traffic overrides all the traffic signals or controls. Officers use obvious motions such as pointing to direct traffic. Even so, if an officer is not moving or motioning, the officer's position will determine if you must stop or can proceed.

Driving in roundabouts in Germany is the usual solution for intersection design both in rural and within urban street networks. The vehicle entering the roundabout when driving in Germany has the right of way unless signs indicate they don't. Signs are the most common right of way when driving in Germany.

Legal Driving Age

The legal minimum age for you to drive in Germany is 18. You also must have a local driver’s license. It is illegal for you to drive if you are below the age of 18, even if the legal driving age of your home country is lower. You are obligated to carry your driver’s license with you whenever you are driving in Germany. Violating this rule may risk you being fined.

Laws on Overtaking

Overtaking in Germany is allowed, but there are rules that you must abide by to not cause an accident. Moreover, overtaking is prohibited at pedestrian crosswalks when there is a solid white line on your side. Overtaking on your right is prohibited except if it is a multilane road.

There are signs that indicate ‘no overtaking’ in Germany, which means that you are not allowed to overtake vehicles with more than two wheels. If two or more lanes are traveling in the same direction, it is allowed to overtake on the inside.

Driving Side

There is always this question on what side of the road will you drive in Germany, right or left?. Driving at the designated side of the road that Germany can prevent accidents. Like most countries in Europe and all over the world, you have to be on the right side of the road when driving in Germany. The only British Isles and Gibraltar drive on the left side of the road in Europe. Furthermore, do not be confused about whether you should be driving on the right or left in Germany, as the correct driving side is the right of the road.

Other Tips

In order for you to have a trouble-free adventure while driving in Germany, you need to know about additional key tips. Read through below to know those tips.

Are There Any Things that My Car Must Be Equipped With?

There are a few things that you must keep in your car at all times when you are driving in Germany. Some of those things are a first aid kit and visibility vests in case of breakdown or accident, a warning triangle, beam deflectors, and a safety helmet if riding a motorcycle.

Driving Etiquette in Germany

Unfortunate circumstances come into play whenever and wherever. It can’t be avoided. From minor to major car problems, it can happen on the road. You will also have to communicate to locals, so be courteous and be polite.

Car Breakdown

Despite vehicle advances, it can’t be prevented that your car may break down while you are on the road. If your car breaks down when you are still on the road, steer clear your vehicle first as far as out of the travel lane as possible. Call for police and other rescue responders immediately. If you can pull over to the side of the road, exit through the passenger-side door, away from traffic, then stand far away - behind the guardrail, if possible.

If you are on a highway, and you can’t get off the road, do not get out of the car. Contact emergency services and turn on your hazard lights and keep your seatbelt on. Most heavily traveled highways are also heavily patrolled, and a nice highway patrol officer will come along before you know it.

Police Stops

Police officers often conduct checkpoints on German roads. While driving in Germany, if you are somehow pulled off by a police officer, pull over as soon as possible. Lower your speed and stop at a certain place where the police officer might have some questions for you. Communicate and answer the police officer’s questions politely. If they ask you to come with them, hear their reasons first and ask about your violation that you needed to go together with them.

Aside from checkpoints, police officers will pull you over if you violated the road rules. The officer may want to take a quick inspection of the legal requirements you need to bring, such as your International Driver’s License to drive in Germany and your local driver’s license. Don’t speed up when you’re being pulled over. Evading police officers might get you in trouble and somehow be fined for it, and I know for sure that you would not want that.

Asking Directions

Most German people are well-mannered and disciplined, so you’re going to have no problem talking to them about directions while on your trip or driving in Germany. Even if they are that kind of people, you also have to do your part in order to have a peaceful conversation. Losing your cool or raising your voice is considered rudeness and thoughtlessness in Germany.

You can ask anyone for directions. You just have to make sure that you approach them nicely and politely. How they will respond to your questions will depend on what approach you are going to use while talking to them. If you fail to approach them politely, don't be offended if someone rectifies how you act, as this is very common in the German culture.

Checkpoints

When approaching a checkpoint, slow down your car’s speed. Road checkpoints may be held in an area where security forces are being targeted, and therefore those manning it may be cautious and vigilant. It can be done legally or illegally. Make sure you do nothing to give them the impression that you are a threat to them. You have to be always polite and alert.

Whenever you have a conversation with the authority conducting the checkpoint, talk nicely. Avoid confrontation. They will likely check for your driver’s license and other required documents while driving in Germany. You should remain inside the car if the search is conducted using a dog. If the inspection is done, thank the officer and continue your trip.

Other Tips

It is also important for you to know about the do’s and don’ts if ever you encounter a road accident. The things on what to do and what not to do when you are involved in a road accident are elaborated below.

What if I Get Involved in an Accident While on the Road?

If an unfortunate event happens, like getting involved in an accident, stop immediately. This also applies if you are not involved in the accident but are a witness. If anyone is injured, you should call for an ambulance and a police officer. Otherwise, you should mark the location of the vehicle or take a picture of it and move out of the traffic. Immediately dial 110 for emergency rescue.

Driving Situations and Conditions

Germans are well-disciplined when it comes to driving. It doesn’t seem that driving in Germany is not safe and is more dangerous than driving in other European countries. Locals tend to follow the driving rules strictly. Furthermore, be disciplined enough to follow road rules to avoid any possible accidents that might happen.

Accident Statistics

According to Germany’s Federal Statistics Office, in 2018, a total of 3,275 people died in road accidents in Germany. It is 95 more than the previous year. This rise in fatalities is the first increase after two years of decline. A further 396,000 people were injured in traffic accidents in 2018, an increase of 5,706 cases.

Germans take it seriously while driving in Germany. They obey the rules and never pass on the right. When they pass on the left, they then move back to a slower lane if a faster car is moving up from behind. The drivers are paying attention. There's no eating, texting, coffee drinking, or other stuff that is commonly seen in other countries.

Common Vehicles

As much as it’s a luxurious country, Germans also like to drive luxurious cars. Germans have always had this close relationship with their private cars and just for means of transportation. For them, driving symbolizes freedom. It has always been a part of their personality.

With around 46 million cars registered for use on German roads, over two-thirds of adults in Germany own a car. According to data retrieved a statistics, ranking shows that 15.9% of the German population drove Volkswagen. There are also Germans who drive SUVs, economy vehicles, and minivans on the road.

Toll Roads

In Germany, you will only pay tolls if you use the Herren Tunnel and the Warnow Tunnel. Tolls are collected either manually (in advance) or automatic payment. The manual payment options include paying through the toll collection terminals in car parks, through a mobile application (Toll Collect), and through the internet by accessing toll-collect.de. For automatic payments, the tolls will be collected through onboard unit Toll Collect and Toll2Go (system for Toll Collect ).

Road Situations

Road conditions in Germany are generally excellent, but you should also exercise caution while driving on Germany’s old roads. In Germany, the schools are only half-day, and most of the people work on half-days too that diverts into some traffic. Their streets are really narrow because they were defined in times where traffic was smaller and slower than today. Another aspect is that original buildings are being preserved. This means they cannot be demolished to open a new wider street.

Berlin has 3 of the most congested roads in Germany. Drivers need a lot of patience on the B96 between Lichtenrade and Kreuzberg, on the B2 between Spandau and Tiergarten, and on the entire A100 urban motorway, as calculated by traffic data provider Inrix. The busiest times in the capital are Thursday evening and Friday, just before the start of the weekend.

Driving Culture

Most people in Germany think of driving is a relaxing pastime. Since this country takes its driving seriously, Germans follow road rules more consistently and drive more confidently. German driving tests are also not that easy. They are more attentive towards turning signals, pedestrians, and cyclists. They know how to drive manual cars and generally understand things like "the left lane is for passing” better than any other country.

Other Tips

Knowing about more of the driving situations and conditions of Germany will be very beneficial on your part. When you know about these kinds of things, you get to picture out how it is driving in the country. Read below to know more about the driving conditions and situations of Germany.

What Is the Unit to Measure Speed in Germany?

When driving in Germany, Speed limits are imposed on roads to ensure and prevent road accidents. There are two units of measurement in measuring speed, namely MPH (miles per hour) and KPH (kilometers per hour), that are used by different countries all over the world. Germany’s speed limit is measured by KPH. Currently, only about 9% of the world uses miles per hour as a unit of measure, with the best-known among them being the USA and its dependencies.

Germany remains the only European Union member state with no speed limit on its highways. Keeping in mind the measuring unit of speed in Germany is very important as some signs on the road may have no label on them. A speedometer is used to measure the speed of your vehicle. Once the speed of your vehicle that is indicated in the speedometer went over the speed limit when driving in Germany, you are likely to be pulled off by a traffic officer.

Is Driving in Germany Hard?

The roads of Germany are easy to drive since it is well maintained. The road sign when driving Germany is also logical. Thus, you won’t have any problem with it. Even if you don’t speak their native language, which is German, road signs will get you to the German city center and park there if you wanted to take a break from your trip. After touring across the country, road signs will get you back to the Autobahn of your choice. You simply need to follow the proper Autobahn etiquette.

Germany is home to Europe’s safest drivers. You have to learn the theory of driving real hard, practice a lot under professional guidance, under all conditions (night driving, Autobahn etiquette, parking, safety, first aid, providing help in traffic emergencies, etc.). This is generally a tough program, and it is not uncommon to fail the german driving test on the first go or even in the second. Passing the driving licence questions in Germany is not a piece of cake.

Is It Safe to Drive in Germany Late at Night?

Driving in Germany is safe. But every large city also has its crime issues. There are no street lamps on Autobahn or the country roads. However, the autobahns are so well made that if you follow their recommended speed limits, you will not outrun your lights.

The German road network at night is equal or superior to any in the world for safety. However, there will be more cars that are speeding way too fast at night on roads that do not have speed limits. The safe thing to do is stay on your lane and remember to apply all the road regulations.

Things to Do in Germany

Germany is more than a country. With Big, bold, and bursting landscape and culture, Germany is a country that simply cannot be ignored. At the present time, it is a place full of mountains, lakes and rivers, financial powerhouses, and edgy cultural experiments. Every moment of your trip to Germany will surely be worth it.

Drive as a Tourist

Driving your own car in Germany as a tourist is possible. Though it is not required to have an international driver’s license in Germany, you should always remember to bring your local driver’s license, your IDP, and other necessary documents needed, such as your passport, every time you hit the road in Germany. Thus, you will have no problem visiting different tourist attractions in Germany.

Work as a Driver

It really depends on the company you are about to apply to. But for starters, foreigners who wish to apply for driving jobs in Germany must have to secure a work visa and a German license first byways of passing the German driving test. Getting driving jobs in the country must be hard, but it is not entirely impossible.

The average wage for a driving job in Germany is €14 (about $17) per hour. Most of the driving jobs in Germany require at least a high school degree as the highest educational attainment before entertaining you for the job.

Work as a Travel Guide

Germany is a big country with high economic growth statistics, and a lot of tourists are visiting the country each year. And with that, it is a good idea to work as a travel guide. The minimum salary for a person working in Germany is €9 (about $11) per hour. Note that it does not include the tips that are given to you by the tourists.

Apply for Residency

If you wish to relocate to Germany and work in Germany, you must secure a residency permit and work visa first. Citizens from some countries such as the USA, Canada, and Australia are allowed to enter Germany without a visa. Furthermore, they may apply for a residence permit while in the country.

It may also be possible to apply for a residence permit at the embassy or consulate in your home country directly. Listed below are the requirements needed for you to apply for a residence permit in Germany.

  • A valid passport.
  • No criminal record.
  • Be efficient and proficient in German (at least a B1 level).
  • Be financially stable.
  • Have German health insurance.
  • Pass a health check that will prove you healthy enough to work and/or study.
  • A letter from your employer with the job offer and description (if you are working).
  • Proof that you have been admitted into a university (if you are studying).
  • Proof of marriage (if you are joining your spouse).

Other Things to Do

There are also other things that you can possibly do if you decide to stay longer in Germany. Some of those things are listed below, so be sure to learn and take not everyone for it.

Can I Buy a Car in Germany?

Yes, you can. If you want to buy a car from a dealership or from a private, all you need is cash and some Identity( ID card or passport ). The problem would arise in the registration of the car. For a “normal” registration, a permanent place in Germany would have to be defined where the vehicle is normally located and a person with a permanent address in Germany.

Of course, vehicle tax would have to be paid, and mandatory insurance would have to be upheld. For immediate export, a vehicle can also receive temporary plates. Also, here, vehicle tax and insurance (short time) would have to be provided.

Can I Obtain a German License?

Obtaining a German license is one of the popular questions about driving licence questions in Germany. You need to go to the nearest driving school course to ask for the detailed process and cost estimates. Some countries have the option of converting their original license to a German one or using the same (if they have an EU Driving license).

If you’re a non-EU person, you’ll have to pass the German driving test, the written and practical test both in German and in English, the specific costs will be decided by the individual driving school. You also must have your residency to get permission to pass a driving test in Germany.

Is Driving With a US License in Germany allowed?

US driver’s license holders are allowed to drive in Germany for no more than six months. If they wish to continue driving in Germany with a US driver’s license, they need to obtain a German license. However, they may legally drive in Germany for up to 364 days in Germany on their U.S. driver's licenses. They just have to go to their local driver’s registration office and notify them about their decision to continue to drive on their U.S. license until their departure (up to 364 days, as stated above).

Can I Stay and Drive in Germany for More Than 12 Months?

You can drive for more than 12 months in Germany, but you have to obtain a German driver’s license. To apply for a German driving license, you’ll need to visit your local vehicle license office. Though the driving license questions in Germany are not easy to pass, it is still better to go for it. Here is the list of requirements needed when driving in Germany for you to get your German driver’s license:

  • your IDP,
  • one photograph, 35 x 45mm,
  • a base fee of EUR 40,
  • a valid local driving license,
  • proof that you’ve finished a first aid course,
  • your passport,
  • recent proof that you’ve had your eye vision tested,
  • confirmation that you’re resident in Germany (residency permit).

The Top Road Trip Destinations in Germany

Germany is one of the countries mentioned when it comes to top-class architecture. An estimate of 25,000 castles can be found in Germany. The country is not only famous for its architecture, but it is also known for its top-class landscapes, cuisine, culture, and history. Furthermore, it is a must-visit for anyone who loves to travel. With your rented car, experience and enjoy the whole of Germany.

Munich Photo by Jan Antonin Kolar

Munich

Known for not just being the place where the annual Oktoberfest is held, the city of Munich is a famous tourist destination in Europe that has almost everything for tourists. This is the place where the old meets the new, maybe it in the architecture or the attitude aspects.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Munich International Airport, head north.
  2. Turn left, then turn left again towards Nordallee.
  3. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit.
  4. Turn left onto the ramp to München/Freising.
  5. Continue onto Zentral Allee.
  6. Continue straight.
  7. Merge onto A92.
  8. At the interchange 4-Kreuz Eching-Ost-Kreuz Neufahrn, Use the right 2 lanes to follow signs for A9 toward Salzburg/München.
  9. Keep left at the fork to stay on A9, follow signs for München/Stuttgart/Lindau.
  10. Keep left to stay on A9.
  11. Use the left 2 lanes to take exit 76-München-Schwabing toward München-Schwabing/Mittlerer Ring Ost/Messe / ICM.
  12. Continue on B2R. Take Ifflandstraße to Tal.

Things to Do

There is so much more than you can do in Munich. Aside from the stunning museums, Baroque-style churches, and other sights in the city, it is also a place where people relax and enjoy a locally brewed beer.

  1. Explore the Heights in Olympiapark
    If you love heights, Roof Climb is for you. You can join the roof climb for amazing views of the Munich skyline as well as the park. Then you can hire a pedal boat or rowboat and enjoy the lakeside views in Olympic Lake. To cap off your Olympiapark tour, simply find a nice spot in the park as you marvel at your surroundings. There are a lot of activities that you can do in Olympiapark, and these are just some of them.
  2. Have Fun at the Annual Oktoberfest
    If you happen to visit Germany in late September to early October, then you should not miss out on attending the Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is a celebration in Munich where great local beers are served accompanied by awesome people, and it’s all anchored in classic Bavarian culture. It is attended by millions of people from around the world.
  3. Visit Neues Rathaus
    The town hall of Munich that stands 100 meters long has 400 rooms. It is a favorite postcard place in Munich that attracted lots of tourists due to its Gothic architectural design. It is decorated with niches that have little trefoil arches, and the bay of the tower has statues or sculptures of the first four Bavarian kings.
  4. Wander Around the Englischer Garten
    The Englischer Garten is a 370-hectare park that is one of the largest urban parks in the world that is even larger than New York’s Central Park. The park has lakes, lawns, and tree groves that you can stroll through and will give you a refreshing atmosphere.
  5. Witness European Paintings at Atle Pinakothek
    Constructed in 1836, the Alte Pinakothek houses three museums and is one of the oldest art galleries in the world. The first museum exhibits over 800 paintings from the 14th up to the 18th century. The second one showcases over 400 paintings of the 19th century. The third museum opened in 2002 displays a huge collection of modern art, including Picasso’s.

Stuttgart Germany Photo by Bruno Kelzer

Stuttgart

With your International Driver’s License in Germany, driving in Stuttgart is possible. The city of Stuttgart is known for its stunning buildings that are designed in both historical and modern times. Now just that, the city is also famous for its green environment and lovely festivals.

Driving Directions:

  1. From the Stuttgart Airport, head southeast on Flughafenentlastungsstraße.
  2. Use the right 2 lanes to turn right onto Flughafenstraße.
  3. Use the right lane to take the B27 ramp to A8/Stuttgart.
  4. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for A8/Stuttgart/B27 and merge onto B27.
  5. Use the right 2 lanes to take the S-Sonnenberg exit toward S-Süd/S-West.
  6. Continue onto Peregrinastraße.
  7. Continue onto Laustraße.
  8. Turn left onto Heinestraße.
  9. Continue onto Karl-Kloß-Straße.
  10. Turn left to merge onto Heslacher Tunnel/B14 toward Waiblingen/B10/B27/S-Zentrum/Marienplatz.
  11. Merge onto Heslacher Tunnel/B14.
  12. Keep left to stay on B14.

Things to Do

You can go and roam around the city of Stuttgart. Museums such as the Porsche and Mercedes-Benz museum can be visited in the city. Aside from that, there are also parks where you can relax from a tiring trip. While traveling to Stuttgart, your International Driver’s License in Germany should be with you.

  1. Visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum
    The museum exhibits 160 vehicles that include some first-ever built, auto racing legends, and prototype cars of the future. There is an audio-guided tour that will take you through the history of the brand and will show a great type of vehicles made by Mercedes-Benz. You don't need to be car crazy to have a good time here, but for automobile lovers, this is a must-visit.
  2. Roam Around the Zoological-Botanical Garden
    Wilhelma is a place that was first landscaped as a pleasure park during the reign of Emperor William I. It was then rebuilt and developed into a zoo following the damages of the war. There are more than 1,000 species in the zoo and over 2,000 species of plants. Orangutans, chimpanzees, and gorillas are some of the animals that attracted tourists to visit the place.
  3. Explore Another Car Museum
    Another car museum found in the city of Stuttgart is the Porsche museum. The museum was already established in the 1970s, but it was developed and reopened in 2009. Inside the museum are displays of the history of the brand and depicts the various innovations of Professor Ferdinand Porsche, who is the founder and is the one who invented the first gasoline-electric hybrid.
  4. Relax at the Killesbergpark
    The Killesbergpark is a 50-hectare that has fountains, gardens, and sculptures. After a tiring day, you can go and relax in the park while roaming around it. There are also other recreational activities that are intended for kids.
  5. Don’t Miss Out on Visiting the Staatsgalerie
    The Staatsgalerie is an impressive art museum that was established in 1843 and is continuously showing its neoclassical style. Paintings up to the 18th century are being showcased in the museum. Some of the centerpiece paintings include Jerg Ratgeb’s 16th-century Herrenberger Altar and the Corpse of Christ by Annibale Carracci.

Berlin Germany Photo by Stefan Widua

Berlin

You could not visit Germany and not plan to stop by the city of Berlin. The city is the best place for a city break in Europe. With its rich history, delicious local food, world-famous beer, and some of the most stunning museums in the world.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Berlin Brandenburg Airport, head south toward Melli-Beese-Ring.
  2. Turn left to stay on Melli-Beese-Ring.
  3. Keep right to continue on Schönefelder Allee.
  4. Use the left 2 lanes to merge onto A113 via the ramp to Hamburg/Berlin-Zentrum.
  5. Merge onto A113.
  6. Continue onto A 100.
  7. Take exit 20-Tempelhofer Damm toward Tempelhofer Damm/Potsdamer Platz Zentrum/Flughafen Tempelhof.
  8. Use the right 2 lanes to turn right.
  9. Turn right onto Tempelhofer Ufer.
  10. Continue onto Waterloo-Ufer.
  11. Continue straight to stay on Waterloo-Ufer.
  12. Turn left onto Zossener Brücke.
  13. Continue onto Lindenstraße.
  14. Continue straight to stay on Lindenstraße.
  15. Continue onto Axel-Springer-Straße.
  16. Use the right 2 lanes to turn right onto Spittelmarkt/B1.
  17. Turn left onto Spandauer Str..

Things to Do

Filled with historical buildings, you can roam around the city of Berlin and feed your eyes with a scenic view of the architectural structures of the city. Aside from that, there are also parks where you can just unwind and relax. Berlin has a lot to offer for tourists.

  1. Go and Visit the Brandenburg Gate
    The Brandenburg Gate is the city’s most famous landmark. The iconic structure offers a lot of insights into Berlin’s history and is the city’s first Neoclassical structure. A symbol of Berlin and German division during the Cold War, it is now a national symbol of peace and unity.
  2. Explore the Museum Island
    A museum island is a group of five world-class museums: Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode-Museum, and the Pergamon Museum that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The museums are the perfect place to show the city’s rich Prussian royal collection. The Altes Museum was the first one that was built and Pergamon was the last among the five museums.
  3. Drop by the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
    Just a 4-minute drive from the Brandenburg Gate sits the Holocaust Memorial. They are composed of 2,711 concrete blocks in a grid pattern. There is also a network-themed room that shows backgrounds with biographies of the Jewish victims.
  4. Take a Stroll at the Treptower Park
    The Treptower Park in the southeastern part of Berlin stretches for around 84 hectares and is landscaped in an English style. You can spot rose gardens, abundant lawns, and tree groves in the park. There is also a memorial cemetery for the 80,000 soviet soldiers who died in the Battle of Berlin.
  5. Visit the Berlin Cathedral
    Also found in Museum Island, this temple is not strictly a cathedral, but is still one of the most important Protestant churches in the city of Berlin. After being damaged in the second world war, the restoration of the cathedral began from the 1970s up to 1993. Plenty of mosaics, goldwork, and sculptures are found inside the cathedral.

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