Driving in Germany with Australian License

If you’re an Australian driver planning to hit the roads in Germany, you’re in the right place. In this guide, I’ll take you through all the essential information you need to know about driving in Germany with an Australian license.

From driving laws to requirements for Australian drivers, obtaining a German driver’s license to driving tips and best practices, rules for car rental to driving in different weather conditions and areas, this guide has got you covered. So, let’s get started and make sure you’re fully prepared for your driving adventure in Germany!


Are you an Australian driver planning to drive in Germany? Whether you’re visiting the country as a tourist or moving there, driving can be a convenient way to get around and explore. However, before you hit the road, it’s essential to understand the driving laws, requirements, and best practices in Germany to ensure your safety and avoid any legal troubles.

In this blog post, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about driving in Germany with an Australian license. We’ll cover topics such as driving laws in Germany, requirements for Australian drivers, obtaining a German driver’s license, driving tips and best practices, rules for car rental, driving in rural and urban areas, and driving in bad weather conditions. By the end of this guide, you’ll feel confident and fully prepared for your driving adventure in Germany.

Driving Laws in Germany

When driving in Germany with an Australian license, it is important to be aware of the driving laws in Germany. Some of the important driving laws in Germany include:

  • Driving on the right-hand side of the road
  • Wearing seatbelts is mandatory for all passengers
  • Using mobile phones while driving is prohibited, unless a hands-free device is used
  • Speed limits are strictly enforced, and there are many speed cameras on the roads
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited and can result in severe penalties

Make sure to familiarize yourself with these and other driving laws in Germany to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

Requirements for Australian Drivers

As an Australian driver planning to drive in Germany, there are certain requirements you need to meet. Firstly, you need to have a valid Australian driver’s license, which must be in English or accompanied by an official German translation. Additionally, you must be at least 18 years old to drive in Germany.

It’s also important to note that if you plan on staying in Germany for longer than six months, you may be required to obtain a German driver’s license. However, if you are only visiting for a short period of time, your Australian license should suffice as long as it remains valid.

Obtaining a German Driver’s License

Obtaining a German driver’s license is a crucial step for Australian drivers who plan to stay in Germany for an extended period. Fortunately, the process is straightforward and involves several steps.

  • Step 1: Register at the local residents’ registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) and obtain a residency permit (Aufenthaltstitel).
  • Step 2: Apply for a German driver’s license at the nearest driver’s license authority (Fahrerlaubnisbehörde). You’ll need to provide several documents, including your current driver’s license, passport, and residency permit.
  • Step 3: Pass a written and practical driving test. The written test covers traffic laws, while the practical test evaluates your driving skills.
  • Step 4: Pay the fee for the German driver’s license. The fee varies depending on the region.

It’s worth noting that Australian drivers who hold a full driver’s license can skip the driving lessons and training required for obtaining a German driver’s license. However, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with German traffic laws and regulations before taking the tests.

Additionally, Australian drivers who plan to stay in Germany for less than six months can use their Australian driver’s license without obtaining a German driver’s license. However, it’s still recommended to obtain an international driving permit before arriving in Germany, as it will be easier to rent a car or obtain insurance.

Driving Tips and Best Practices

Driving in Germany can be an exciting experience, but it can also be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the local rules and regulations. To help you make the most of your driving experience, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best tips and practices for driving in Germany.

1. Always follow traffic rules

Germany has strict traffic laws, and it’s important to follow them at all times. Make sure you’re familiar with the rules of the road, including speed limits, traffic signs, and right-of-way rules. Be aware that in some areas, there are no speed limits on the autobahn, but always drive at a safe speed and be aware of other drivers.

2. Keep a safe distance

It’s important to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles on the road, especially when driving at high speeds. The general rule of thumb is to stay at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. In adverse weather conditions, such as rain or snow, it’s recommended to increase the distance even further.

3. Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists

Germany is a pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly country, so you’ll likely encounter many people walking or cycling on the roads. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists, especially in urban areas. Be sure to give them plenty of space and always yield to them when necessary.

4. Stay alert at all times

Driving in Germany requires a high level of alertness and concentration. Always be aware of your surroundings, including other drivers, pedestrians, and road conditions. Avoid distractions while driving, such as using your phone or eating, as they can significantly impair your ability to drive safely.

5. Use your turn signals

Using your turn signals is not only a legal requirement in Germany, but it’s also an essential safety practice. Always use your turn signals when changing lanes or turning, and make sure they’re visible to other drivers.

6. Be prepared for tolls

Germany has many toll roads, especially on the autobahn, so it’s important to be prepared to pay them. Make sure you have cash or a credit card on hand to pay the tolls, and always follow the instructions of the toll booth attendant.

By following these driving tips and best practices, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience driving in Germany. Remember to always be aware of your surroundings, follow traffic rules, and drive defensively.

Rules for Car Rental

When traveling to Germany and planning to drive with your Australian license, you may also consider renting a car. However, there are some rules and regulations that you need to keep in mind when renting a car in Germany.

Firstly, you need to be at least 21 years old to rent a car in Germany. Additionally, most car rental companies require you to have held your license for at least one year.

When renting a car, you will need to present your Australian driver’s license, as well as your passport or national ID card. It is also recommended to have an International Driving Permit (IDP), which serves as a translation of your license and is accepted in Germany.

When renting a car in Germany, it is important to familiarize yourself with the local traffic laws and regulations. For example, Germany has a strict speed limit on the Autobahn, which is limited to 130 km/h in most areas. Additionally, it is mandatory to use winter tires during snowy or icy conditions.

Before signing a rental contract, make sure to carefully read the terms and conditions, including the insurance coverage and any additional fees or charges. Some car rental companies may also require a security deposit.

Overall, renting a car in Germany can be a convenient and enjoyable way to explore the country. Just make sure to follow the rules and regulations, and always prioritize safety on the road.

Driving in Rural Areas

Germany’s rural areas offer beautiful landscapes and a chance to experience a different side of the country. However, driving in these areas can also present unique challenges that drivers need to be aware of.

  • Be aware of wildlife: Many rural areas have wildlife crossing the roads, so it’s important to be on the lookout for animals such as deer or boars.
  • Watch for narrow roads: Rural roads can often be narrow and winding, with limited visibility around corners. Stay alert and slow down when necessary.
  • Pay attention to road conditions: Rural roads may not be as well-maintained as urban highways, so be prepared for uneven or bumpy surfaces, potholes, and other potential hazards.
  • Be mindful of tractors and farm equipment: Rural areas are often home to farms, and it’s common to encounter slow-moving tractors and other large equipment on the roads. Give them plenty of space and be patient when passing.

By taking these precautions and staying aware of your surroundings, you can safely enjoy driving in Germany’s beautiful rural areas.

Driving in Urban Areas

Driving in urban areas in Germany can be a challenge, especially for those who are not used to it. The cities are often crowded, with narrow streets and heavy traffic. Here are some tips to help you navigate the urban landscape safely and efficiently:

  • Pay attention to traffic signs and signals. German cities are well-marked with traffic signs and signals, so make sure you are familiar with the meaning of each one.
  • Stay in the right lane. In Germany, the left lane is reserved for passing, so make sure you stay in the right lane unless you need to pass another vehicle.
  • Watch out for pedestrians and bicycles. Many Germans choose to walk or bike instead of driving in urban areas, so be sure to watch out for them.
  • Be patient in traffic. German cities can get very congested during rush hour, so be prepared to sit in traffic and be patient.
  • Use public transportation if possible. If you are not comfortable driving in urban areas, consider using public transportation. Germany has an excellent public transportation system, including buses, trains, and trams.

By following these tips, you can have a safe and enjoyable driving experience in Germany’s urban areas.

Driving in Bad Weather Conditions

Driving in bad weather conditions can be a challenge, even for experienced drivers. In Germany, where the weather can be unpredictable, it’s especially important to be prepared for all types of weather. Here are some tips for driving in bad weather conditions:

1. Slow down

When the roads are wet or icy, it’s important to slow down and drive at a safe speed. It takes longer to stop on wet or icy roads, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to slow down and stop.

2. Increase your following distance

In bad weather conditions, it’s important to increase your following distance. This will give you more time to react if the car in front of you stops suddenly. A good rule of thumb is to keep a distance of at least three seconds between you and the car in front of you.

3. Use your headlights

When driving in bad weather conditions, it’s important to use your headlights. Not only will this help you see better, but it will also make it easier for other drivers to see you.

4. Avoid sudden movements

In bad weather conditions, it’s important to avoid sudden movements. This means no sudden braking, accelerating, or turning. Sudden movements can cause your car to skid or lose control.

5. Be aware of hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is when your tires lose contact with the road and start to slide on a thin layer of water. This can happen when you’re driving on wet roads, and it’s especially dangerous at high speeds. If you start to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas and steer straight until you regain control of your car.

By following these tips, you can stay safe while driving in bad weather conditions in Germany. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


Driving in Germany with an Australian license can be an exciting experience for tourists, but it is important to understand the rules and regulations before hitting the road. By familiarizing yourself with German driving laws and obtaining a German driver’s license, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Remember to follow driving tips and best practices, such as avoiding distracted driving and practicing defensive driving techniques, especially in rural and urban areas. Additionally, be prepared for driving in bad weather conditions by checking weather reports and adjusting your driving behavior accordingly.

Finally, if you plan to rent a car, be aware of the rules and regulations for car rental and make sure to have all necessary documentation in order. With proper preparation and caution, driving in Germany can be a fun and rewarding experience.

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