Germany was the first country in the world to develop a national system of superhighways, and for many years Germany’s Autobahn system was a model for other nations. After unification, Autobahns in the eastern part of the country were significantly upgraded. Today Germany has nearly 6,000mi/9660km of Autobahns and an extremely well-developed network of lesser highways. This makes driving a rental car in Germany exceptionally easy and pleasant, and the German network is interconnected with networks in neighboring countries. Germany is about 500mi/805km long (from north to south) and 400mi/644km wide in its longest dimensions.
Speed limits in Germany are as follows: City 31mph/50kph, Open Roads 62mph/100kph and on the highways, 81mph/130kph is recommended but most autobahns have no speed limit. It is particularly important to obey the speed limits when piloting your rental car through the city of Munich, downtown Berlin or along Frankfurt’s roadways as there is typically congestion in and around these large urban centers.
Rules of the Road
Traffic travels on the right and streetcars do not have the right of way. They should be passed on the right on a two-way street and on either side on a one-way street. Avoid the far left lane on the autobahn as speeds can often exceed 100mph/161kph.
Most gas stations are open from 8 am to 8 pm. There are stations open 24 hours in some major cities and on the autobahn.
There are no toll highways in Germany.
Parking is allowed only on the right side of the road except on one-way streets where both sides are valid. Parking spaces with meters are usually free of charge at night.