Tips For Those Embarking On Car Hire Holidays In Germany

By: Thomas Pretty

For those about to embark on a car hire holiday to Germany there are a number of factors to consider ensuring your safety. The roads in Germany are widely held to be some of the best in the world but the rules of the road should be understood to get the best out of your car hire holiday.

The autobahns are seen by many as the pinnacle of the driving experience but this is not always the case. Most believe there to be constant state of speed anarchy on the roads but this is simply not true; may parts of the autobahn network do in fact have speed limits.

Still as you embark upon you car hire holiday you may be disappointed by the autobahns of Germany. Most people envisage roads of ten lane carriageways where drivers all travel at supersonic speeds. This is however is not true; the majority of the autobahn network is double or triple carriageway and the drivers predominantly drive at sensible speeds; it is only a minority who whiz along in their super cars. The autobahns of Germany are however supremely maintained and offer an efficient way to get the best from your car hire journey.

When you first embark in your hire car remember to make all members of your travelling party belt up before every trip. It is the law in Germany that all occupants in a car must wear seatbelts and the law is rigorously enforced. If travelling with children under 1.5 metres they may not sit in the front seat unless they have an approved child seat; thankfully most car hire companies can provide these on request.

Failure to meet such road going requirements can lead to on the spot fines. The police in Germany generally collect fines for motoring misdemeanours although if you cannot produce the cash your car may be impounded; try explaining that one to the car hire company. Thankfully corruption in the German police force is practically non-existent so you will know that your fine reaches the appropriate authorities.

Speed cameras are a definite consideration when undertaking a car hire holiday. Apart from Britain, Germany has the highest concentration of enforcement cameras to catch those breaking speed limits, tailgating and those jumping red lights. If driving a hire car you may think that it will be possible to avoid any fines, this sadly is not the case as the rental company will pass on any fines they receive onto you. Mobile cameras are also commonly used and are set up to catch similar offenders to those caught by stationary camera positions.

Drink driving penalties in Germany are some of the harshest in Europe; it may even include a suspension on your first offence. Penalties begin from the low level of 0.05 percent which twinned with the high alcohol content of German beverages means if you do have a drink, do not even think about climbing in your car for a journey. Driving while under the influence of drugs, whether legal or illegal is also prohibited and carries high fines.

Other laws include the prohibition of using your mobile phone whilst driving, unless utilising a hands free kit. If you do need to make a call you will not be prosecuted if you pull over and turn the engine off. One of the stranger motoring laws prohibits the revving of engines excessively, so boy racers be careful when in Germany. Also it is illegal to slam your car doors in a violent manner. Serenity is obviously evident in German motoring legislation.

Try to ignore the misconceptions that Germany is a racers paradise, this way you will avoid fines and in some cases further prosecution. Granted there are places where speed limits do not apply, but German drivers in the most part are well trained and well educated in road safety measures. Consideration and common sense are vital. If you follow this advice there is no reason why your car hire experience in Germany should not be enjoyable.

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