About Germany (DE)
With enchanting landscapes, delicious food and a rich history that meets a dynamic present, Germany has it all. Geographically diverse, this Central European country has approximately 83 million people spread over 357,386 km square kilometers (about 137,988 square miles). An outdoor lover’s dream, it is best discovered by booking a car rental. From the North Sea to the vineyards of the idyllic Middle Rhine Valley, which has gently rolling hills, rivers and castles, there is something for everyone in Germany.
Berlin is known as a high-paced and dynamic city that is a leader of contemporary European culture. Munich is the capital of the stunning Bavaria region, where you can enjoy Oktoberfest every autumn. In Bavaria, don’t miss the fairyland castle of Schloss Neuschwanstein (in Füssen). In the southeast of the country, discover the gorgeous Bavarian Alps (or Bayerische Alpen in Germany), which form a geographical border with Austria and offer a variety of beautiful ski resorts and villages.
For the most part, Germany’s roads are outstanding. Drivers from abroad may fear getting on to the Autobahn, Germany’s notorious highway system which for the most part does not have speed limits (except in some areas or certain cases, such as when there is construction work; in these areas, drive carefully, as you can automatically be issued a speeding ticket). The most important thing to remember about the Autobahn is to avoid the left lane, where you will find the fastest drivers. If there is a sudden slowdown, be sure to turn on your hazard lights to warn the drivers behind you.
Choosing your car
Major Germany car rental providers include Enterprise, Sixt, Europcar and Alamo. You can rent a car in Germany made by one of the internationally recognized local luxury brands, such Mercedes-Benz or BMW. Alternatively, you can hire a cheap car rental option with an economy compact car such as a Volkswagen, which is perfect for solo travelers or couples. For larger groups headed to the mountains to ski, a 7—12 person mini van or people mover can comfortably carry multiple people, as well as their sporting equipment.
Tips and advice
You may run into inclement weather, such as snow and ice, during the winter, especially in the more mountainous areas. Before your trip, be sure to read up on the forecast, and learn about the typical weather for the area you will be traveling to.
Inside city centers, keep in mind that you may encounter many one-way streets; to deal with this, there are designated areas where you can make a U-turn.
Some city centers have a special zone to reduce emissions (“Umweltzone” in German). If your car hire does not meet the zone’s environmental safety requirements, you will not be able to drive in it.
Seatbelts are mandatory, and you are not allowed to talk on the phone while driving your car rental in Germany.
Beware of people riding bikes on or near the road, which is especially common in German cities.
Note that you are not allowed to turn right on red in Germany.