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to think we will be fine driving on German motorways

(51 Posts)
MrsMcColl Wed 09-Jul-14 15:34:00

Going on holiday to Germany this summer. Driving there from the UK via tunnel. I'm a fairly confident and experienced driver, and just assumed we'd take the motorway from France, across Belgium and into Germany. We're heading for Koblenz.

Several friends though have seemed surprised we'd take German motorways, telling me they are faster and scarier than British ones. I hadn't been concerned before - but should I be? I've driven a fair bit in France - should we aim to do most of the journey in France rather than Belgium and Germany?

Anyone done it and want to advise/warn/reassure?

BitOutOfPractice Wed 09-Jul-14 18:57:24

You'll be fine in Germany. Avoid Belgoum as much as poss-their roads are noticably crap compared to their neighbours!

Sorry Belgium. Great country. Brilliant beer. Crap roads!

blubirdy Wed 09-Jul-14 19:12:19

You'll be fine in Germany. Avoid Belgoum as much as poss-their roads are noticably crap compared to their neighbours!

I can actually close my eyes (as a passenger, lol) and just know the very second I cross the border into Belgium as the motorways in Belgium are like big blocks of concrete, joined together with bumpy seams, so the car makes a "thump thump thump thump" sound every couple of seconds as it goes over the concrete "seam" on the surface. No, give me Germany every time. Actually, come to think of it, I would go as far as to say that Germany offers the best driving in Europe.

Another good German habit/thing that I've noticed a few times, German drivers are ever so polite when there are maintenance crews working on the roads. The 160kmph speeds go wayyyy down to 60-70kmph, with safe distances, manners and common sense applied by drivers. Either it's politeness on the part of the drivers, or the penalties are very harsh for racing past road maintenance crews at murderous speeds. Either way, it's nice to witness.

MeganBacon Wed 09-Jul-14 19:43:36

You'll be fine, but bear in mind that people like my German DH regularly drive at 250 km/h on the motorway so check mirrors a zillion times before changing lane.
Also the slip roads on/off can be confusing compared to ours.
But basically you'll be fine.

MrsMcColl Wed 09-Jul-14 19:57:58

Thanks all. Am sure I can do this...! (I don't think I can avoid Belgium though.)

Billygoats Wed 09-Jul-14 20:06:02

Regular driver through Germany Netherlands Belgium and France and absolutely no problems. No different to British drivers, you get the good and the bad drivers.

Make sure you have a breathalyser, high vis vest, fire extinguisher, spare bulbs kit, warning triangle for these countries.

Expatmomma Wed 09-Jul-14 20:12:07

I live in Germany too smile))

The German motorways are miles better than the Belgian ones.

The Belgian ones are full of potholes!!!!

In Germany the motorways are so much quieter than the UK. I love them and am a slow driver.

If there is no speed limit yes cars will zoom past, but there are many places where speed limits are in force and everyone trundles along keeping to the limit.

I find British motorways far more stressful and dangerous. I guess it's the sheer level of traffic.

The motorways are generally in rural areas and many have good views.

I hope you have a great holiday in this land I have fallen in love with smile)

SwedishEdith Wed 09-Jul-14 20:17:29

I must admit I did find it quite, er, exhilarating driving in Germany - definitely felt faster. I thought the roads weren't in great condition though compared to France

IamSlave Wed 09-Jul-14 20:40:41

I've done 90mph in the slow lane in rush hour frequently - 120 or 130mph in the fast lane is not unusual


IamSlave Wed 09-Jul-14 20:41:54

* I guess it's the sheer level of traffic

Yep, its just old choc block shite UK who has shit motorways.

StrawberryTree Wed 09-Jul-14 20:45:49

We thought the car was breaking down first time we used a Belgium motorway. The Autobahn was a pleasure after that.

starving Wed 09-Jul-14 21:00:45

We flew into Germany and then drove to Austria a couple of years ago. The driving was fine. I remember something about my satnav speed camera notifications had to be turned off, not sure if that was Austria or Germany. Certainly no scarier than certain parts of Britain.

CarbeDiem Wed 09-Jul-14 21:22:22

I regularly drive through Germany on the A1/E2. The autobahn itself is a pleasure to drive on as it's so well maintained, like anywhere else in the world there are some idiots but no more than you'd see elsewhere.
Big yes to checking your mirrors a million times before overtaking. Agree the numbers of big trucks are a pain in the bloody arse as are the short slip lanes but you get used to it quite quickly.

I've never gone as far as Belgium, we go to Holland for the ferry to uk, don't think I ever want to now after you guys on thread universally agree their roads are shite - although I find it hard to imagine anywhere beating some of Polands older roads.

Oh and if you're travelling with dc or indeed just adults. Make sure you're carrying enough water and distractions in case you get stuck in traffic. Once we got stuck for 6 hours pretty much at a complete standstill and a crawl.
Dh still hasn't forgiven me for slightly weeing on the passenger seat while having to pee in a bottle in said traffic jam - I'm unrepentant as there was nowhere else to go grin

spanieleyes Wed 09-Jul-14 21:35:55

I love european motorways ( except Belgian ones!) as they are generally free flowing and ultra smooth! Remember to return to the "slow" lane after overtaking, lane hogging is frowned upon and European drivers tend to nip in and out of lanes at great speed.

londonrach Wed 09-Jul-14 21:52:21

German driving is much quicker than france. If you go into Austria whilst there you have to visit their motorway services....

chloechloe Wed 09-Jul-14 21:52:31

I live in Germany. It's not unusual to see people doing 200-250km/h where there is no limit. The most important thing when you are in the fast lane is to move over immediately as soon as somebody comes up behind you. You should not delay even for a milisecond or they'll be cursing you. Also the sliproads often go off at quite sharp angles.

Where there are speed limits in place, don't think the police will turn a blind eye to speeding just because they generally drive fast. They will fine you if you're more than 10% over.

All in all though the roads over here are much safer than in the UK despite the high speeds!

PicardyThird Wed 09-Jul-14 23:59:02

Where there's no limit, my German dh will often do 160 km/h, sometimes creeping up to 190 (if I don't notice and start saying 'that's fast ENOUGH' blush ) and he is by no means the fastest on the road. Yy to what everyone says about frequent lane-changing. There is the Rechtsfahrgebot, which means you have to drive in the furthest-right lane that's available apart from when overtaking. Most drivers are good about keeping reasonable distance, but they will come roaring up at some speed, so check, check and check again.

Welshcake77 Thu 10-Jul-14 08:45:25

I agree with what everyone else has said but just thought of something you should check out before you go if you are going to be driving in and out of a city. I live near Frankfurt and there is an environmental zone around the city which starts on the autobahn. You need to have a sticker in your car which shows it meets the pollution standards set. You can order and pay for them online (my parents did this before driving over here) have a look here to see if the area you will be driving in requires one

doradoo Thu 10-Jul-14 09:09:53

YY to all the previous posters - think those who don't live here are underestimating the speeds though - upwards of 100mph on unrestricted stretches is very normal and you will be passed by many going superfast -even after living and driving here for years some of the speeds worry me (and I say this as someone happy to bomb it along at 160-180kmh)

Also watch out for tailgating - the germans love to sit on your bumper - even though it is illegal.

Make sure you don't hog the outside lane.......

Also if you can time your journey for saturday pm/sunday there won't be many lorries on the german roads as only those with fresh foods are allowed to drie then - as a result though any services will be chocker with lorries.

On the traffic the work 'stau' (pronounced shtow) is the work for jam - usually followed by a number.

Generally though it's very much a 'drivers country' the roads are well maintained and well signposted (usually!)

mumtosome61 Thu 10-Jul-14 09:15:33

Love roads in Germany. Would take them over Belgian roads any day!

Have an awesome time smile

AmberLav Thu 10-Jul-14 09:19:50

I wish we had some of the rules from the Autoban here in this country, like pulling into the slow lane if you can when you see a faster driver coming up from behind (I think technically we do, but most seem to ignore)...

Huge stretches of Autoban have lower speed limits, particularly when it is raining etc... so watch for those, as I think Germany can be a bit strict on speed limits too, when they apply...

nigerdelta Thu 10-Jul-14 09:34:39

250 kph is insane.

bigdog888 Thu 10-Jul-14 16:50:09

250 kph is insane

Not really - it's only 156mph. Quite possibly at that speed you'd have someone flashing their lights wanting to come past. I've driven at that speed in the UK before now. Where traffic and conditions allow I'd expect to be knocking on the door of 180mph on certain de-restricted sections of autobahn.

MrsMcColl Thu 10-Jul-14 17:09:16


MrsMcColl Thu 10-Jul-14 17:10:27

Oh just noticed who it is. Ha ha bigdog.

bigdog888 Thu 10-Jul-14 17:12:20


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