Germany - AA Travel Hub
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Germany is a federal parliamentary republic in western-central Europe.


It includes 16 constituent states and covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi) with a largely temperate seasonal climate. Its capital and largest city is Berlin. With 80.7 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member state in the European Union. After the United States, it is the second most popular migration destination in the world.

Via Wikipedia

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Speed Limits

Standard legal limits, which may be varied by signs, for private vehicles without trailers: In built-up areas 31 mph (50 km/h), outside built-up areas 62 mph (100 km/h) and on dual carriageways and motorways a recommended maximum of 80 mph (130 km/h).


The use of German motorways is only permitted for vehicles with a design speed of more than 37mph (60 km/h). In bad weather conditions, when visibility is below 50m, the maximum speed limit is 50km/h.


The maximum speed limit for vehicles with snow chains is 31mph (50 km/h).

Licence / Insurance

Minimum age at which an Irish licence holder may drive a temporarily imported car and/or motorcycle is 18 years old.


Third-party insurance is compulsory.


Unleaded petrol (95 and 98 octane) and diesel available. LPG is also available from more than 5000 stations.


No leaded petrol (lead substitute additive available). Petrol in cans is permitted up to a maximum of 10 litres. It is forbidden to transport petrol in a can aboard ferries.


Credit cards accepted at most filling stations; check with your card issuer for usage in Germany before travel.


High Ethanol petrol: E10 (petrol containing 10% Ethanol) is now widely available in Germany but is not suitable for use in all vehicles. Pumps are clearly marked ‘E10′ but this should only be used if you are sure it is suitable – check with the car manufacturer or refer to this list published by the European Car Manufacturers’ Association.


Alternatives to E10 – ‘Super’ (95 octane) and ‘Super Plus’ (Super unleaded) continue to be widely available.


It is prohibited to use summer tyres in Germany during winter weather conditions – tyres fitted in Ireland are generally summer tyres unless you specifically asked for a different type.


The winter tyre regulation applies to all motorised vehicles using roads in Germany, including those registered abroad, so vehicles registered in Ireland are affected.


Winter weather conditions include black ice, snow, ice, slush and hoarfrost. Please bear in mind that these conditions may also be present even if the temperature is above 0C.
German law specifies that the tyres must be winter tyres or all season tyres designed for use in wintry conditions. Suitable tyres will normally be marked with ‘M+S’, a snow flake or snowy mountains symbol.


Check with the tyre supplier if you are in any doubt as some ‘M+S’ tyres sold in Ireland are summer tyres. These would not meet the German requirements even though the sidewall marking, ‘M+S’, might suggest that they do.


Motorists, whose car is fitted with summer tyres, may not take the car on the road in winter weather conditions. Motorists in violation face fines of €60. If they actually obstruct traffic, the fine is €80. You may also be prevented from continuing your journey unless the tyres are changed or the weather conditions change.

Bridges and Tunnels Car Car Towing Caravan/Trailer Additional Information
Herren Tunnel 1.50 1.50 Near Lubeck on 104
Warnow Tunnel 3.60 4.60 Rostock on 105
Other Requirements

Seat belts: Compulsory for front and rear seat occupants to wear seat belts, if fitted.


Passengers/children: A child under 12 years of age and measuring less than 1.5m travelling in any type of vehicle, must be seated in a child seat or use a child restraint. It is prohibited to use a child seat in the front seat of a vehicle if the airbag has not been deactivated. All child restraints/seats used, must conform to ECE 44/03 or ECE 44/04. It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that all children are safely restrained.


Lights: It is recommended to use dipped headlights or day time running lights at all times. The use of dipped headlights is compulsory during daylight hours if fog, snow or rain restricts visibility.
Driving with sidelights (parking lights) alone is not allowed. Vehicles must have their lights on in tunnels.


Drinking and driving: If the level of alcohol in the bloodstream is 0.050 per cent or more,penalties include fines and the licence holder can be banned from driving in Germany. Theblood alcohol level is nil percent for drivers aged under 21 or drivers who have held their
licence for less than 2 years, should even a small amount of alcohol be detected in theblood the fine is €250.


Fines: On-the-spot fine or deposit. Should a foreign motorist refuse to pay their vehicle can be confiscated. Motorists can be fined for such things as exceeding speed limits, using abusive language and making derogatory signs. Wheel clamps are not used in Germany but vehicles causing obstruction can be towed away.


It is not compulsory for visiting Irish motorists to carry a warning triangle, but they are strongly advised to do so, as all drivers must signal their vehicle in case of breakdown, and it is a compulsory requirement for residents.


It is recommended that visitors equip their vehicle with a first-aid kit and a reflective jacket (their carriage is compulsory for vehicles registered in Germany) and set of replacement bulbs.


Slow-moving vehicles must stop at suitable places and let others pass. It is prohibited to overtake or pass a school bus that is approaching a stopping point, indicated by flashing hazard lights. In all other cases, passing buses has to be done with caution. A fine will be imposed for non-compliance.


Spiked tyres are prohibited.


A GPS based navigation system which has maps indicating the location of speed cameras must have the ‘speed camera PoI (Points of Interest)’ function deactivated. Should you be unable to deactivate this function the GPS system must not be carried.


The use of radar detectors is prohibited.


All motorists have the obligation to adapt their vehicle to winter weather conditions. This includes but is not limited to winter tyres. Extreme weather may require snow chains, in addition.

Travel Advice

Entry Requirements

A valid passport is required to enter Germany. Irish citizens and EU passport holders do not need a visa.

If you intend to stay in Germany for three months or more you must register with the local German authorities (Einwohnermeldeamt). Those coming to Germany for short stays are not required to register with these authorities.

Local Laws & Customs

Practical advice

  • Read our travel advice, inform yourself before travelling and get advice locally when you arrive
  • Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them
  • Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.

Personal identification

You should carry your valid passport with you at all times. German police have the right to ask for identification at any time, and the only acceptable form of ID for Irish citizens is a valid passport. For this reason it is also advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you, should you lose the original.

European Health Insurance Card

The Department of Foreign Affairs advise you to get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel to Germany. This card replaces the E111 form and entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as German nationals.

The EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance and doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. You can apply for an EHIC online at

Emergency Assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

Contact the Embassy

If there is an emergency, or if you need help and advice, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Berlin.

If you phone outside of working hours, leave a message giving:

  • Your name
  • The nature of your problem
  • Where you are now
  • Your contact details (mobile phone number or phone number of where you’re staying)

They regularly monitor these messages and one of our staff members will be in contact with you.

How they can help you

Irish Embassies have a lot of experience helping Irish citizens who run into problems when they’re abroad. Learn more about the kind of emergency assistance they can offer you.


If you’re planning a trip to Germany, The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs advise you to take normal precautions.

Germany on Instagram

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