Driving in Germany - any major differences to France/Italy/Spain?

Discussion in 'Germany' started by magicsurfbus, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Off to Germany fairly soon - our first extended trip there.

    It would appear that there are few (if any) toll roads, and I've already sent off for the environmental/emission sticker that they like to see in some cities.

    Are there any other aspects of driving in Germany that are significantly different to driving elsewhere in Europe? I'm already equipped for driving in France, Spain and Italy.
     
  2. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    On the autobahns you need to stay with the flow of traffic. That means in practice you shouldn't try and overtake the heavies unless you've got long legs.

    there is no legal definition of an accident. In any collision there is at least one party at fault.

    Pretty similar to France otherwise I think.
     
  3. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    As in Holland, watch out for cyclists, particularly when there is a cycleway along the nearside in towns (your right hand side). It is easy to turn right without checking for cyclists speeding along 'inside you'. I'm pretty sure they have right of way.
    Also, I found that German drivers often give way to pedestrians wanting to cross the road in towns when there is no 'zebra' crossing e.g. if someone is waiting at the side of a road, or on a central island. That was in Bavaria - may be different in other regions as the Bavarians tend to be a bit different to others so I'm told.
     
  4. Brian_K

    Brian_K Read Only Funster

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    Could you expand on that a little please. Having a 6m MH it's pretty "nippy" - is there some law about overtaking slower moving waggons on the Autobahn?

    Brian
     
  5. parknride

    parknride Funster

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    Just booked our ferry this morning to ijmuiden next week, might see you pootling about germany? Where did you apply for the emission sticker please?
     
  6. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    German traffic law is very different to the UK, in the sense they have laws regulating everything. Effectively, their highway code is the law, not just guidance. For example it is illegal to hold up faster traffic by overtaking a truck. Make someone have to slow down and it could be an on the spot fine for you.
     
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  7. Brian_K

    Brian_K Read Only Funster

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    Understood, thanks. Drove (a car) in Germany many times, but not a MH. Once got flashed to pulled out of the way at 140mph, amazing how fast those big Mercs come up on you :eek:

    Brian
     
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  8. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    It works in both lanes too. There was an article in MMM last year in which the owner of a VW camper jugging up a hill found trucks coming up behind him and flashing their lights. He thought they wanted him to go faster, they didn't. On the hill the trucks would have been confined to the inside lane but his camper wasn't. They wanted him to move into the outer lane so they could maintain their faster speed by undertaking him.
     
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  9. Brian_K

    Brian_K Read Only Funster

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    Now that would never have occurred to me. Is this pretty much confined to Germany or is it a European wide thing?

    Luckily enough I'm just heading over the border later this year, but have Holland to get through and Belgium/France next month. Going to have to do some swotting I think!!

    Brian
     
  10. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    I've never come across it outside Germany but I've not driven as much UN other European countries.

    It can be pretty scary and new to driving in Germany drivers can become either terrified or irate due to the big merca and beemers reaction. As long as you remember holding them up is as bad in Germany as making a dangerous overtake is in the UK (and for the same reason) you can stay calm..

    One other thing. If you do find yourself on an unregulated stretch of autobahn bear in mind you have no point of reference to these speeds. I have driven at 140mph on an autobahn and things happen incredibly fast. Driving at 65 you can't imagine that so you need to check check and check again..

    Oh and I just remembered having thought co to that experience. Germans mirror signal manoeuvre.. that is a process they follow where one follows the other regardless.. the signal is not a request it is a warning. They are about to change lanes regardless of what you are doing.
     
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  11. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    It's Germany only although perhaps Austria as well - they were all one and the same once! But I wouldn't be overly concerned about things, just drive sensibly and you will be fine.

    It is said that when there is a accident between two vehicles in Germany it is almost certain it is because someone has broken the law. The law is extremely prescriptive and judgement rarely comes into things on the road, you either have right of way or you don't. This probably explains why there are so few roundabouts in Germany. They much prefer traffic lights. Black and white, or rather red and green!

    The police also have to attend the scene if the value of the damage is more than a certain amount.
     
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  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    They are very aggressive, real bullies.

    Then for the ultimate thrill, try Naples.
     
  13. Brian_K

    Brian_K Read Only Funster

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    OMG, that's it, I'm taking Ryanair :D

    Those southern French take some beating, hired a car in Nice last year and had a good tour around, never swore so much in my life. Totally different in the north of the country (I've found).

    Brian
     
  14. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    yes you need to be looking 3 kms behind ! If you pull out to overtake, accelerate pass & bcak in. Otherwise you will find the headlights being flashed to alert you to the fact that you are daydreaming & should already be back in.


    Exactly.
    & don't get the hump that you have been flashed . They are doing it to warn you. Some will put the headlights on from 2kms back as that's barely 20 seconds for some before they will be on top of you.

    France is the same in that the lorries cannot overtake cars in many areas . You will see the signs on the side of the roads.

    When exiting a slip road they will ease up to let you out. You are expected to accelerate to join the traffic regardless of speed necessary . Don't ease off thinking you'll let them pass & drop in after as most will slow even more as they are expècting you to enter on to the Autobahn.
     
  15. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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  16. parknride

    parknride Funster

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  17. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    Some years ago I crossed the alps heading for the sunshine in an 1800 na fezza. The way they all smoothly change lanes to take the bends at 80 odd mph meaning if you use normal UK lane discipline you are going to find yourself the wrong end of a Belgian Beemer.

    Give me Germany any day!!
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    yes.. when you make a driving error they shout at you in German.. loudly :whistle:
     
  19. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Main difference is German road signs........they are in German.
     
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  20. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    Except in Bavaria where they are in some other language even Germans can't read.
     
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