- Cars and Driving
When in Germany, you must drive on the right!
Third party liability insurance for vehicles is mandatory
in Germany. It is important to bring proof of no claims from
your previous insurance company that goes back at least five years,
if possible. This will help reduce your insurance premiums. You
may have to translate this.
Registering your car
The registration is done at the Verkehrsamt. You will need
your passport or identification, proof of insurance, registration
papers, vehicle registration papers, and money for registration
and tax. If you are buying a new car, this will be done for
Mandatory car inspection (Technischer Überwachungsverein
A new car must be inspected after three years, and then every two
years. There is also an exhaust control inspection (AU) in
those periods. The expiration date of the inspection can be found
on the Kraftfahrzeugschein and on the rear license plate
(year and month are printed in the circle). You must remember when
to go and you may be fined if you do not go. If you have had a bad
accident, the car must go through the inspection again. The people
at your garage can tell you if you need to go.
Mandatory Equipment which has to be in your car
These are a first aid kit (which must include rubber gloves) and
a luminous red warning triangle. If a car is stopped for any
reason, the triangle must be placed 200 meters behind it if on the
autobahn and 100 meters behind it on all other roads.
EU nationals do not have to exchange their licenses.
Non EU citizens: If you have a valid driver’s
license from your home country, you may drive in Germany for twelve
months from the day you established yourself as a local resident.
You must have a translation of the driver’s license with you.
You can get a translation from your embassy or consulate,
German automobile club, or a certified and court-appointed translator.
If you are planning to live in Germany for more than
twelve months, you must apply for a German driver’s license. You
must do this after having proved that you have driven in Germany
for six months.
More information from the Verkehrsamt. For contact
details of German Motoring Organisations (equivalents of the AA),
check our handy addresses
and links page.
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