Car categories in Germany vary between economy, compact and intermediate cars and also include minivans, minibuses and automatic vehicles. Road services are available 24 hours a day, whether you're in a big city or in rural areas.
Germany also has the largest variety of luxury cars for affordable prices. So if you always dreamed about driving a Mercedes, Audi or BMW through the magnificent motorways, Germany is the right place for you.
Renting a car in Germany is a convenient solution, which will help you to maximize the experience with minimum effort.
Germany is a strategic starting point for trips across Europe. However, there are several limitations when driving to Italy and Eastern Europe countries (Cezch Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Poland, etc.) with specific car categories (especially luxury cars, automatic vehicles and minivans). Make sure that these limitations don't interfere with your travel plans in advance and mind the restrictions that appear on your car rental agreement.
Please note that traveling to countries such as Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia requires a special road sticker - you'll be able to buy it at the relevant border crossing.
Germany enjoys one of the world's finest road infrastructures. It has more than 11,000 km of motorways, known as autobahns. Unlike in other European countries, driving on autobahns is free of charges or tolls. Seat belts are compulsory for both the front and back seats. Sitting in front is allowed for children ages 13 years and older.
Speed limits in Germany depend on the road you're driving on (motorways, dual line carriageway, roads, urban areas etc.). Driving in bad weather or poor visibility is limited to 50kmph.
Fuel -unleaded petrol (95 and 98 octane) and diesel. LPG refueling is available in thousands gas stations. Germany is one of the "greenest" countries in the world and offers E10 - high ethanol petrol with extremely low emission. However it is not suitable for all the vehicles. Ask about your car petrol consumption at the rental counter.
It is recommended to use low headlights or day time running lights at all times. It is compulsory during daylight hours if weather conditions such as fog, snow or rain restrict visibility, or while driving in tunnels.
Winter tires and snow chains - Winter tires might be compulsory even if you are not driving in snowy or mountainous areas. Therefore, it's highly recommended to inquire about this issue at booking time. Please book snow chains in advance and make sure they fit and you know how to handle them.
Driving in urban areas - As part of the national effort to reduce air pollution , a growing number of cities require car owners to put stickers confirming their vehicle has low emission. Cars that don't have this sticker (called "umweltplakette") are not permitted to enter residential areas. The forbidden areas are marked with "umweltzone" traffic signs. Car rental agencies are obligated to supply their customers with the sticker, so make sure to check this issue at the rental counter.
In addition, some residential areas (especially near schools and public buildings) have a specially- reduced speed limit of 30kmph. Watch for the "zones 30" traffic signs in these areas.
Have a safe and pleasant journey.