If I ask people what they know about driving in Germany, the first thing that comes to their heads is driving on motorways without a speed limit. (Read more about driving on an Autobahn here)
But what about driving in towns or villages?
There are a few things different to driving in the UK (and I’m not talking about driving on the other side of the road ☺)
1. When driving into a town or village: as soon as you see a yellow sign like this you need to limit your speed to 50 kph (30 mph). Sometimes you might be able to still drive faster, but then it is signposted. Otherwise the yellow sign tells you that you are entering a town or village and need to slow down.
2. The same goes for leaving the town. As soon as you drive past the yellow sign with a red line through, you can get back to 100 kph (60 mph), again, unless there is a different signpost.
3. Priority roads are always signposted.
4. If you are approaching a priority road, you’ll see the usual triangular ‘give way’ sign, but watch out for any additional sign, like the one here. It means that you need to watch out for bikes, too – and they can come from either side!
5. But watch out for roads without any signs. Here goes ‘right before left – rechts vor links’. It means, no matter where you’re coming from, any car from the right has priority. If you were driving where car 1 is, you would need to give car 2 priority, but car 2 needs to give car 3 priority. So, even if the road you are driving on looks like a priority road, it isn’t if it’s not signposted as one.
6. Areas where the speed limit goes down to 30 kph (19 mph) have this sign
7. And this one when you can get back to 50 kph
8. This sign goes one step further. Children (and adults) are allowed to play in this road and anything on wheels, cars, bikes, motorbikes, must drive at a walking pace!
9. Roundabouts. When you approach a German roundabout you are not allowed to indicate which exit you want to take. As German roundabouts are never as small as the UK mini roundabouts it is obvious that a driver goes to the right. Therefore you do not indicate. Cars already on the roundabout have priority, so you look out for their indication, as you only indicate when you’re about to leave the roundabout.