German Driver’s Guide

A few laws to note about the German driving codes:


    There are no tolls to pay on German Autobahns
    Strict drink driving laws, only allowing 0.5 per mil blood alcohol
    Seat belts front and rear are required everywhere
    No hand-held mobile phones are allowed while driving. You may pull over to the side of the road if you need to take a call!
    To hire cars you’ll need to be at least 21 years old and hold a valid driving licence and a major credit card

Speed limits:

    Speed limits are implemented rigorously, radar traps are frequent
    City 31mph/50kph, two laned highway 62mph/100kph
    Unless otherwise marked, most motorways (Autobahns) have no speed limit but 81mph/130kph is recommended

Driving license:

    Every valid driving licence is accepted
    Non-EU (European Union) members need an international driving license or an official German translation

Rules of the road:

    If there is no policeman, no signal or no sign indicating the right-of-way, then right-of-way is always given to traffic approaching from the right – This also includes situations where main roads and small side streets cross at uncontrolled intersections
    Driving is on the right hand side, overtaking only on the left side


A glossary and list of signs commonly found on the German autobahn:

A great overview with a short history of the German autobahn:

German government analysis of traffic laws post-unification:

A monologue for Americans trying to obtain a German driving license:

Guide to receiving an international driving permit for those from the UK:

Guide to receiving an international driving permit for those from the USA: