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Car Hire in Germany
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Car Rental in Germany: driving at no speed limit for excellent sights and brews
Germany should definitely be on every car-lover’s bucket list. As the producer of some of the world’s finest automobiles and one of the only places in the world with speed-limitless motorways, driving in Germany is not just a must, but also a joy. Despite the country’s excellent public transportation infrastructure, your visit will not be complete unless you get behind the wheel yourself.
The best time to visit Germany depends on what activities you plan to undertake. Summer typically extends from mid-April through September with intermittently cool and rainy days. Book ahead if you’re planning on vacationing in July and August, when most Germans also take their summer vacations.
The official language of Germany is German, though many Germans are bilingual, and most Germans have had some English language instruction in schools. In former eastern Germany, the older generations will still have some knowledge of Russian. French, Italian, and Spanish are also widely spoken, and many immigrants from Turkey, Italy, and Poland, and increasingly Arab-speaking countries, retain their native language proficiency.
Germany is located in the Central European Time Zone, UTC+1.
The currency of Germany is the euro, and credit cards are widely accepted at grocery and retail stores. Take advantage of frequent ATMs to have cash on hand for restaurants, bakeries, and butcheries.
Automobile hire is available in virtually every German city, though you’re like to find the most inexpensive car rentals in larger metropolitan centers, such as:
- Munich and Memmingen in the south
- Düsseldorf and Frankfurt in the west
- Berlin in the east
- and Hamburg and Hannover in the north.
There are loads of excellent road trip routes to follow to see spectacular castles, excellent breweries, and gorgeous rolling fields throughout Germany; consider driving, for example, from Mannheim via Bamberg (270 km/167 mi) to Dresden (280 km/174 mi) for some truly excellent sights and brews.
As a Schengen country, Germany accepts visitors from many countries around the world visa-free for up to 90 days. Double check entry requirements for your nationality before you depart, as you may be required to apply for a visa in advance of your departure.
Driving in Germany
With very well maintained roads and an excellent highway network, driving is truly a joy in Germany, and every experienced driver should try their hand on the German Autobahn at least once in their lives. Don’t make the mistake of staying put in any of Germany’s major cities, but go on tour like the locals do; start your adventures now by booking your car today!
- Traffic proceeds on the right-hand side of the road.
- In residential areas: 30 km/h (18 mph)
- In towns and cities: 50 km/h (31 mph)
- Outside towns and cities: 100 km/h (62 mph)
- Speed on the Autobahn is unlimited unless marked by signs suspended above the road or on the side of the road.
- Speed cameras regulate all of the roads throughout Germany.
- You can expect traffic congestion around rush hours in any major city, which can extend in the evening from 1:30 to 6 pm.
- Keep as far right as traffic allows while driving on the Autobahn; you are guaranteed to be overtaken regardless of how fast you drive.
- Parking in German cities is regulated by time and fee. Take advantage of parking garages in order to avoid the time limits of street parking.
- An international driver’s permit is not necessary for driving in Germany.
- There are no toll roads in Germany.
- The minimum driving age is 18, and some rental agencies also allow rental by drivers as young as 18. You are likely to face young-driver surcharges until the age of 25.
Cheap Car Rental in Germany
Different regions of Germany have different starting prices for your basic rental car. Automobile hire in western and southern Germany can start as low as $17 a day, whereas rentals in northern and eastern Germany are more likely to start around $23 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Germany:
- Opel Adam or similar (mini class) – $16/day
- Volkswagen Polo or similar (economy class) – $17/day
- Ford Focus or similar (compact class) – $19/day
- Citroen C4 Cactus or similar (compact class) – $20/day
- Bmw 1 Series or similar (intermediate class) – $25/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Germany
Global Rent a Car makes automobile hire particularly inexpensive in its locations in many cities, such as Frankfurt and Munich. Interrent also has particularly low prices for rentals in and near Hamburg, Hannover, and Stuttgart. As a general rule, if you can rent a car t a major international airport, such as in Frankfurt, Munich or Berlin, your rental will be $5 to $10 cheaper than if you rent it downtown or in a smaller city such as Memmingen or Wolfsburg.
Cars are also likely to be at least $9 more expensive during major tourist seasons, such as in October in Bavaria or in July throughout Germany.