Germany is one of the most culturally rich and diverse countries in Western Europe, and a perfect destination for the adventurous at heart – eager to explore a mix of must-see tourist hotspots and the less traveled hidden vistas. Rather than vacation within the confines of a tour bus on a set schedule, cruise through Germany, fueled by curiosity and wonder, as you navigate through city streets in Munich or lush forested mountains bordering Austria.
- Stay in the Right Lane when Possible
It’s safe to assume that if you’ve heard of Germany, you’ve also heard of the famed Autobahn highway system that connects nearly every German destination. The majority of the Autobahn has only “advised” speed limits, a prospect which can be as terrifying as it is exciting. It is recommended that, when driving through the unrestricted speed zones of the Autobahn, you stay in the right lane, as the left lanes are used for passing only.
- Use your Blinkers
German drivers don’t slouch when it comes to using turn signals, and nor should you, especially when driving on speed limit-less expressways, where a turn signal can prevent a collision with other vehicles changing lanes. When changing lanes yourself, remember in Germany, like the rest of Europe, passing on the right is illegal and frowned upon.
- Expect less Space when Passing
Due to more stringent driver’s license testing standards in Germany, it is common for locals to drive much more aggressively than visitors from the United States are accustomed to. Because of this, the amount of space between cars can become uncomfortably slim when passing others or when being passed yourself. By knowing this before you start your trip you’ll be able to keep your cool – this is normal when driving in Germany.
- Stay off your Cell Phone
Use of handheld cellular devices is strictly prohibited while driving in Germany, and if caught you may face steep fines. Hands-free devices are permitted, but it is still recommended to avoid the distractions of cellular devices unless completely necessary.
- Wear a Seat Belt at all Times
Seatbelts save lives, and that’s a fact, so remember to buckle-up before hitting the road. Much like the rest of the western world, wearing a seatbelt while driving in Germany is mandatory, and violators will be fined a minimum of €30 EUR, per unbelted passenger.