Car Rentals and other Transportation in Germany
The transportation systems in Germany are wonderful, with trains, buses and taxis that service the country efficiently and comfortably. High-speed ICE trains are often the preferred choice for distances, with local trains adequate for local travel. Rental cars are an excellent way to see the country. The famous autobahns (freeways) and other roads in western Germany are excellent. The major roads in eastern Germany are also adequate. The average speed on the western German autobahns (where there's no speed limit) is 80 mph (about 130 kph), but many people drive faster, so you may not want to venture there. On the other hand, you may want to venture there exactly for that reason. In fact, many car rental companies in Germany offer high horse powered cars that are popular with tourists specifically for going full throttle on the autobahns. Going to Germany? Consider Cellular Abroad cellular service for affordable cell phone rentals forGermany(including FREE incoming calls). Click here for details
The Germans expect you to conform to their driving customs, so be extremely careful switching lanes, and remember that the left lane is only for passing; never pass on the right. Your best bet is to stay in the right lane, which is the slow lane. Often vehicles travel VERY fast and you will find that even if you are going 80 or 90 miles an hour, cars will pass you as if you were standing still. On other roads outside cities, 60-mph/97 kph is the limit, 30 mph/48 kph inside city boundaries. Parking is often a problem in the cities, so local train or bus travel may be an option. In any event, obey the parking and traffic signs rigorously as there is not much room for flexibility in the German system of rules and regulation. The Germans have no problem policing you for improper driving practices. Be attentive of the bicycle lane which are abundant in most cities. Cyclists have the right of way and the lane must be clear before making turns where cyclists might be. Even if you are an inch into the bike lane, that is an inch too much and cyclists will inevitably call you on the invasion of space. Most major car rental companies operate in Germany, so check www.avis.com, www.hertz.com , www.budget.com , www.rentalcars.com. If you know you are going to rent a car for Germany, doing so from the US prior to your trip will save you money and guarantee availability.