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Germany car hire tips

  • Where to pick up your car

    There are over 285 car hire locations in Germany, and the most popular city is Munich.

  • Top car rental brands

    The most popular car rental brands in Germany are Budget, Global Rent A Car, Europcar, Avis and Global Drive.

  • Best time to hire a car

    The cheapest months to pick up your car hire in Germany are November and June.

  • Local currency

    Euro (EUR)

  • Side of road


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Hire a car in Germany

Germany is a country bursting with wondrous places to visit.

A fascinating landscape awaits you here, and much of Germany is surprisingly green. Fine art and music have been born here, whilst the beer and parties are arguably unbeatable.

From sprawling cities, to tiny picturesque villages and hilltop castles, there are so ways to get lost in Germany’s aura. Drive into the breathtaking Allgäu Alps and investigate the enticing forests beyond, or embrace the majestic waterways of the Rhine and the Danube.

Exploring Germany

Driving tips

Autobahn etiquette
Only overtake slower vehicles by using a lane on the left. In some countries you are permitted to pass cars in any lane, but this is not the case on German roads. On a similar note, if you are driving slower than other cars, ensure you are in the right hand lane. This allows for faster cars to pass.

Most fuel stations operate in a self-service manner where you fill your tank and then go and pay inside. Each pump will have a number, so it could be handy to learn your german numbers to avoid any confusion at the checkout.

Environmental zones
Many German cities have Green Zones, or umweltzone. If you are renting a car in Germany, your car should already be equipped with one of these, but do make sure to check.

Winter tyres
These are a legal requirement in Germany in wintry (snowy or icy) conditions. If you are hiring a car between October and April, it is sensible to have winter tyres fitted. Fines are handed out to non compliant drivers.

Travel tips

Make sure you have cash on you (or ways of getting cash) when in Germany. Don’t rely on using your cards, as even today lots of places won’t accept them.

You may come across the Pfandsystem when you travel to Germany. This is a deposit system where the customer pays an extra amount when purchasing a bottle of water or beer, and that amount is returned when the bottle is returned. Usually, you can take your used bottle to any supermarket – regardless of where you bought it – to claim your refund.

Most shops are closed on a Sunday, so be prepared for this by planning ahead the day before. You will find a few large supermarkets stay open in bigger cities, but open shops in small towns will be hard to come by.

Local manners
Germany is a country that likes to play by the rules (queues, driving etc). It also runs in an efficient and timely way, and latecomers are not always taken kindly to. Finally, try to learn a few phrases as signs will be in German – it’s useful to know that

The cosmopolitan capital


A create capital with a fierce spirit, Berlin ticks all the boxes when it comes to a trip away. It’s a huge city, with a load to offer, so make sure you spend enough time here. Not only this, but Berlin is surprisingly affordable compared to other capitals and other European cities. You can eat well and not spend a fortune, which is a major plus when on holiday.

A walking tour is one of the most inspiring ways to uncover Berlin’s history, and there are also a plethora of museums and memorials to spend time at.

From trendy neighbourhoods like Friedrichshain, to regal residences like Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin is full of surprises.

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State capitals


A pretty city

The fifth-largest city in Germany, Frankfurt is renowned for its Christmas markets.

Things to do:

  • Ride the colourful 1970s tram
  • Cruise down the Rhine
  • Wander the Palmengarten
  • Visit writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s house

Southeast of Frankfurt, there is something very magical about the town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Inspiration for some of the world’s finest fables and fairy tales, this Bavarian town is a mecca for imaginative filmmakers. The middle-aged buildings covered in fairy lights and painted fantastical colours are a photographer’s dream.

Other cities which should be on your radar

The Saxony capital, Dresden, has a skyline that is begging to be photographed. Close the the Czech border, some feel that Dresden is a most beautiful German city. Dotted with ornate buildings, it’s clear where it got its nickname, ‘The Jewel Box’. If you drive out of this city, you’ll find numerous places where you can swim in Germany’s clear, Alpine lakes.

Another town filled with magic is the birthplace of Beethoven, Bonn. The oldest city in Germany, the dramatic Drachenburg Castle sits above the town immersed in thick, green forest.

The riverside university town of Heidelberg is blessed with a breathtaking backdrop. Surrounded by a protective cocoon of forest, its two halves are split by the River Neckar and connected by the gorgeous bricks of the arched Old Bridge. Watching over Heidelberg are the enchanting ruins of a renaissance castle. There’s something slightly mystical about these remains, which have been struck by lightning more than once. Nestled into the hillside, this red sandstone structure makes for heartstopping viewing.