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Driving Regulations

German roads are much narrower than those in the US - so beware! Drive defensively as some Europeans tend to prefer a more "sporty" drive. Also, familiarize yourself with the "Autobahn" and try and have routes planned out. That way you will know roughly where you are going and can avoid traffic jams.

Another thing to watch out for are roundabouts. Remember, those already in the roundabout always have right of way, so be cautious when entering a busy one. Right of way is also applicable in town centers; be sure you can recognize certain signs and know their meaning.

While the general speed limit (unless otherwise stated) in a city or town is 50 kilometers per hour (kmh), which equals to around 30mph, the limit on an open road outside of towns is 100 kmh (around 60mph). Germany is one of the last countries with no general speed limit on an autobahn- so if there is no sign with a particular limit, you can drive as fast as you want (or better: as fast as traffic allows you to drive). A top speed limit of 130 km/h (80mph) is recommended by the German authorities in most cases though.

Special Tip: Check out our pocked-sized conversion chart.

One important thing to have in mind at a traffic light is that you cannot turn right when the lights are still red. You will have to wait for the light to switch to green. If there is a sign of a green arrow right next to the lights, this rule doesn't apply and you can turn right whenever there is no traffic ahead.

Your rental car provider will be able to give you further details on laws, fees and other useful tips when driving on the highway. Just ask!