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Driving in Germany (Domestic Help)


There are many driving laws and regulations in Germany, despite the fact that the country is renowned for having no speed limit on its autobahns. The recommended maximum limit on these high-speed roads is 130 kph (80 mph). There are many accidents and multiple car pile-ups on these roads, so drivers should take extra care.

On other roads the usual speed limit is 100 kph (60 mph) and 50 kph (30 mph) in built-up areas.
Speed cameras are widely used, and penalties are severe. Driving in excess of 40 kph over the speed limit is likely to result in a hefty fine and the suspension of the driver's licence for up to three months. Cameras are also used at traffic lights.

It is compulsory to use front and rear seat belts in cars where fitted, with on-the-spot fines if this law is broken. All new vehicles come fitted with seatbelts. Children below the age of 12 are not allowed to travel in the front seat and are required by law to use special child car seats. It is against the law to use a mobile phone while driving unless it is hands-free.

The drink driving limits are 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood, and blood tests are often used by the police. A first drink-driving offence can lead to suspension of the driver's licence for up to three months.

All drivers are required by law to carry a first-aid kit and a red reflective triangle, which must be placed on the road at specified distances behind the car if it breaks down. If you have an accident, you must stay at the scene for at least thirty minutes, and must exchange insurance and contact details with anyone else involved in the accident.

Licences issued in EU countries are valid for use in Germany for the period of their validity. Licences issued outside the EU can be used for six months from the date of arrival in Germany, with an extension of up to one year available on application.

Non-EU nationals living in Germany for more than a year will need to exchange their licence for a German one if they wish to drive. This is usually a formality, but in some cases the driver will be asked to sit a written or practical test. You can find out whether your licence is recognised in Germany without an additional test by checking the relevant lists on





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