One of the most exciting and rewarding parts of my journey was when I hired a car in Berlin with the plan to drive to Munich.
I made it! This was the route I took:
I noticed a few things about driving in Germany:-
- Being on the left side of the car and driving on the right hand side of the road felt completely natural almost from when I first got in the vehicle;
- Germans were generally very polite drivers, but I got the feeling that if you ventured into the wrong lane on the Autobahn you would not think the same;
- Roads are very well maintained – no potholes in sight;
- Being upgraded from a Volkswagen to Mercedes-Benz was a bigger deal for me than them. 90% of cars on the roads were Mercedes-Benz, Audi etc
- Antifreeze liquid to go in the wiper dispenser is super important, otherwise the water will freeze on your windscreen;
- It was important to accelerate and decelerate slowly. If you accelerate too quickly on snow, your tyres will spin!
- I always had at least half a tank of petrol. Running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere didn’t really appeal to me.
- I never used cruise control. I don’t use it when I drive alone so I definitely wasn’t going to use it in a foreign country.
- Germans are very good drivers. It costs them over €2,000 in driving lessons and tests, as well as complicated tests so only people who are passionate and dedicated will make it onto the roads!
- The reason the Autobahn is of such a great standard is due to the multiple layers of concrete – a bit different to our main roads!
- There are areas on the Autobahn that have speed limits so make sure you keep an eye out for these!
- Do not sit in the far left lane. People go REALLY fast! 240km/hr fast. You don’t want one of those drivers up your rear holding down the horn and only weakly applying their brakes on the assumption you will move. I saw this happened and thought the car was going to get squished!
- It is illegal to overtake on the right;
- When traffic is at a standstill you should put on your hazard lights to alert other drivers;
- Every car in Germany is required to have a hi-vis vest in it. How logical!
- Big trucks are not allowed to drive on Sundays;
- Pay extra for an in-vehicle GPS system. Worth every penny.
Those are my observations and tips for now. All in all, it was a great experience and I would love to be on the Autobahn again someday soon!