THE FOLLOWING ARE MANDATORY WHEN DRIVING IN GERMANY AND MUST BE CARRIED IN THE VEHICLE AT ALL
* VEHICLE REGISTRATION DOCUMENT
* LETTER OF AUTHORITY TO DRIVE, IF YOU ARE NOT THE OWNER OF THE VEHICLE
* CURRENT M.O.T. CERTIFICATE
* CURRENT CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE (MULTI-LINGUAL ON REVERSE)
* PHOTOCARD DRIVING LICENCE OR INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMIT, IF YOUR LICENCE DOES NOT HAVE A PHOTOGRAPH, A PASSPORT IS NEEDED TO VALIDATE THE LICENCE
* SPARE BULB KIT
* WARNING TRIANGLE
* (h) FIRST AID KIT
* INTERNATIONAL ACCIDENT DECLARATION FORM
* FIRE EXTINGUISHER
Children in Cars:
Children under 12 or 1.5 metres tall are not allowed to travel unless using an appropriate restraint.
Dipped headlights must be used in poor daytime visibility.
Drinking and Driving:
Don't do it. Over 0.05 per cent and you could face fines, endorsement or even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offence. Example: You drive with a blood alcohol level between 0.5 and 1.09 per mill or under the influence of drugs: 250-750 Euro, at least one month suspended driving licence.
Compulsory for front and rear seat occupants.
Speed limits & Fines:
Failure to pay fines for traffic violations (citations for parking in clearly marked "no parking" zones or parking in a handicap space and other relatively small infractions) can lead to imprisonment. If the violations date back far enough and failure to pay is constant, your final payment will be a hefty fine (known as Bussgeld), accompanied by loss of your license and quite possibly a "go straight to jail" card.
GOLDEN RULE, DON'T, if you do you can expect the following fines.
Out of town
FinePointsDriving ban …
1 - 10 km/h 10€ fine
11 - 15 km/h 20€ fine
16 - 20 km/h 30€ Fine
21 - 25 km/h 70€ fine plus endorsement
26 - 30 km/h 80€ fine plus endorsement
31 - 40 km/h 120€ fine plus endorsement
41 - 50 km/h 160€ plus 1 month driving ban
51 - 60 km/h 240€ fine plus 1 month driving ban
61 - 70 km/h 440€ plus 2 months driving ban
> 70 km/h 600fine plus 3 months driving ban
1 - 10 km/h 15€ fine
11 - 15 km/h 25€ fine
16 - 20 km/h 35€ fine
21 - 25 km/h 80€ fine plus endorsement
26 - 30 km/h 100€ fine plus endorsement
31 - 40 km/h 160€ fine plus 1 month driving ban
41 - 50 km/h 200€ plus 1 month driving ban
51 - 60 km/h 280€ fine plus 2 months driving ban
61 - 70 km/h 480€ fine plus 3 months driving ban
> 70 km/h 600€ fine plus 3 months driving ban
*Indicates fine, plus point adjustment and loss of driving privilege. Twelve points and you receive a warning to pay attention to your driving habits; fourteen points and you are given a chance to attend driving classes and with eighteen points your licence is automatically pulled. Most points are annulled after two or five years if no current violations exist. Points as a result of accidents are annulled after ten years. If you are fined and required to surrender your licence, the police are willing to work with you; especially if you need your driver's licence for business purposes. In some cases the authorities are willing to let you choose the time to turn in your licence, as long as it is within the same year and of reasonable length in regards to the initial fine.
We would advise that just about every driving offence attracts a fine, even running out of fuel on a motorway. It is normal practice for fines to be collected on the spot, and a receipt is issued.
Autobahns = None unless shown, we would advise a safe maximum to be 130km/h. German courts have decided that breaking the 130kph advisory limit is sufficiently heinous that the insurance companies can refuse to pay for any repairs or damage caused by a vehicle that is involved in an accident.
Rural Roads = 100 km/h
Towns = 50 km/h.
Minimum speed on motorways 60km/h.
The use of these telephones is PROHIBITED unless the vehicle is fitted with a full hands-free installation. BLUETOOTH is NOT acceptable. Non-compliance by drivers and cyclists will be dealt with severely; a substantial fine will be payable ON THE SPOT.
These are now compulsory throughout the EU. if you need to walk on a motorway. You don't have to carry one, but if you breakdown on the motorway you will be breaking the law if you walk to an emergency phone without one. A suitable high visibility vest should be purchased and conform to BS EN471: 1994 Class 2.
Autobahns - Some Advice:
Beware of Ghostdrivers or Gheisterfahrer; these are a special feature of the German Autobahn network. Occasionally somebody, will for what ever reason best known to themselves, will decide to drive the wrong way on the Autobahn. These people have not just missed a junction, nor are they drunk, stupid, insane or lost. Maybe they are doing it for a wager or to get some sort of adrenaline buzz, whatever their reason there is, a relatively slight chance you may meet one.
We have never encountered one of these people. But we did come close one weekend in the winter of 2000/2001. We were driving north on the A81 from Stuttgart towards Heilbron when the radio reported a Ghostdriver on the parallel road running from Stuttgart to Würsberg.
The warnings lasted for about an hour and they eventually reported that the Gheisterfahrer had left the Autobahn. Presumably unscathed and having avoided the police as well!
Don't drive in the left lane if the right hand lane is empty. Doing so for any distance incurs a fine of 40€.
When you drive in Germany you are supposed to be courteous. So says the law! If you wave your fists or shout at another driver you could well face a stiff fine. About the only thing you can do is mouth something silently. The courts have decided that you are allowed to assume that the target of your irritation is not a lip reader, thus you can say what you want. So don't wave your fists about or scream and shout, the likelihood is that half a dozen Germans have rung the police, and then you're in trouble!
Do not overtake school buses when they are stationery with their red lights flashing or trams when they are loading or unloading.
It would appear to us that the German driver prefers to be right and dead, rather than wrong and alive.