There are lots of reasons to visit Germany, and as the world gradually opens back up, you might be thinking of a trip yourself.

But what if that trip involves self-driving a hire van?

Perhaps you’re heading over there on a business venture, a leisure trip, or maybe you’re relocating. Regardless of your reasons for heading over to Germany in a van, there are a few things to bear in mind.

The good news? You’ve discovered this blog post, which has all of the information you need.

 

Drive on the right (yeah, obvious, right?!)

Not so. Trust us – when you’ve been driving in England your entire life, it’s surprisingly hard to readjust to driving on the other side of the road.

In Germany, they drive on the right. So, it’s important to get into that mindset immediately. However, there are a couple of other things to bear in mind when it comes to lane usage.

Firstly, on the autobahn, the left-hand lane is used for overtaking, so try and avoid sitting in it if you’re not doing so. Secondly, if someone flashes you with their high beams from behind, they’re simply asking to pass. This is normal, and not an instance of road rage – so don’t be alarmed!

 

Speed restrictions and age requirements

In Germany, you need to be at least 18 years old to drive legally. However, we’re talking about vans today, which means the 23-year-old age limit for those still applies.

While in Germany, you’ll obviously need to abide strictly by their speed restrictions, which are a little different from ours. While there isn’t technically a limit on certain sections of the autobahn, most urban areas have low-speed areas. These can be a maximum of 30KMH, which is around 18MPH.

 

Grabbing fuel

Whenever you need to fuel up, keep in mind that most petrol stations in rural areas of Germany are automatic only, and your credit or debit card may not work on those pumps.

Also, an increasing number of German cities are now low emission zones, which means you’ll need a special sticker on your van to ensure you can travel within them to avoid being hit with a fine.

 

Standard carry kit

When travelling with a hire vehicle in Germany, you’ll need the following:

  • driving licence;
  • proof of insurance;
  • proof of ID (your passport should do);
  • proof of ownership;
  • two reflective jackets;
  • a warning triangle;
  • a GB sticker; and
  • beam deflectors.

Also bear in mind that it’s compulsory to carry a first aid kit in your vehicle while driving in Germany.

If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident, German law requires you to stay at the scene for at least 30 minutes.

On that note, if you’re subjected to any on the spot fines while using German roads and can’t pay up, the police have the right to confiscate your van. So, it’s a good idea to have funds available in the unlikely event of something going wrong.

We hope this has proved useful for your planned trip to Germany. If you need to speak to someone about hiring a van for the task, remember to get in touch with the Squab team and hit them with any further questions you might have.