Driving in Germany

Old Mar 5th, 2002, 11:51 AM
  #1  
Mike
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Driving in Germany

This is really a two-part question. Part 1, how safe and easy is it to drive in Germany (Munich/Frankfurt, possibly via Romantic Road)? My wife hates the idea of being a navigator and "on call" every traveling moment. Can it really be that bad? Part 2, Has anyone done BMW's European Delivery Program and subsequent car travel in Germany?
 
Old Mar 5th, 2002, 11:57 AM
  #2  
Therese
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The Romantic Road is an easy and scenic drive. The road is clearly marked, and no high level navigation is required. The autobahn is also easy to use, although traffic can be heavy and traffic generally moves at quite a clip.

I've not done car delivery in Europe, so no help there. If you do buy a BMW while there you'll feel right at home on the autobahn.
 
Old Mar 5th, 2002, 07:58 PM
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Russ
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German roads are in excellent condition, but many are quite narrow. I have found myself perilously close to trees and other inflexible roadside objects by momentarily craning my neck to read a roadsign or glance at my map, a problem I assure you I don't have much here in California - the roads over there require your undivided attention. You will need your wife more than you imagine.

The Romantic Road can be an unromantic parking lot in summer.

Overall, I vastly prefer the relaxation of train travel in Germany to the road "Angst" of driving over there and will only drive if I need to - which is almost never since there are over 6000 train stations in Germany. I can drive all I want here at home.

 
Old Mar 6th, 2002, 05:00 AM
  #4  
xxx
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Personally, I had no problems driving in Germany. They drive fast and do not tolerate lingering in the left lane. We chose not to drive in the large cities, but enjoyed having a car to sample the smaller towns.
 
Old Mar 6th, 2002, 11:16 AM
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Mike
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Very much appreciate the comments. Sounds like driving conditions are simply different, not necessarily worse than driving major U.S. freeways. Meanwhile, am still curious about BMW European Delivery ... I know many people do it, just haven't connected with anyone yet on the joys/travails of breaking in a new car on the roads of Germany. Also still wondering about parking the vehicle ... is public parking relatively easy to find outside the major cities, and do all hotels charge reasonable rates for parking (comparable to American rates)?
 
Old Mar 6th, 2002, 11:28 AM
  #6  
Daniel
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Trust me, driving in Germany will be a RELIEF if you've driven in any major city (on on major interstates, for that matter) in the U.S.

Yes, they drive fast, but road rules are observed and the common courtesy of moving out of the "fast lane" keeps the traffic flowing safely and smoothly. We drove from Amsterdam to Cologne, then to Heidelberg then to Regensburg via the Autobahn, then to Munich and southward without a hitch. I LOVED driving there. The small roads are not all that treacherous even in higher elevations, and the autobahn is a breeze.
 
Old Mar 6th, 2002, 12:18 PM
  #7  
Anna
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My husband and I looked into the European delivery last summer for our trip last September. We weren't able to do it because there wasn't enough time for the car to be made and we weren't interested in one of the pool cars that were available. I don't remember all of the details exactly, but I believe the cars are already broken in. Your local dealer should know, we went to a dealer in the Chicago area that arranges European deliveries all the time. We rented a BMW from Sixt instead, you have to be very alert when driving on the autobahn but it's safe and easy. The Germans are very good drivers.
 
Old Mar 6th, 2002, 12:36 PM
  #8  
Steve Mueller
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Train travel is more relaxing, but doesn't offer the flexibility of a car. This is especially important for small towns such as those along the Romantic Road. The Autobahn is not the least bit intimidating. Just stay in the right lane unless you need to pass a truck caravan or something. I've had more people aggressively zoom up on my rear bumper in the US than on the German Autobahn.
 
Old Mar 6th, 2002, 01:55 PM
  #9  
ellen
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I drove the Romantic Road and the autobahns in Germany by myself last year. Not as easy as having a navigator but the signage is good and roads in excellent condition. The only problem on the Romantic Road is if you're stuck behind a truck or farm machine.
 
Old Mar 6th, 2002, 03:56 PM
  #10  
Kay
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I checked into the BMW program, but you have to arrange it through a dealer in the US and its hard to get info from them. I guess you have already checked out the web page about the program. One of the nice things about buying it in Europe is that they offer a more customized car. Go to the international web site. In Europe, you have many more choices of woods, upholstry, etc. that they don't offer in the US. Regarding driving, my husband and I have driven in Germany several times and never had a problem. The first time we drove in Europe we were on the Romantic Road and had no problems. Don't miss Fussen and Ludwig's castles!
 
Old Mar 6th, 2002, 05:17 PM
  #11  
zx
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My husband and I really enjoyed driving the autobahn and the small little roads. you do have to be very alert to other drivers, especially those little porsch's whizzing by at 120 mph.....
If your at all nervous, just stay out of the fast lane. You will still be going ffast (80ish mph)
German are some of the best drivers i've seen anywhere.
A freind of mine did the car delivery program ans they put them up at a 5star hotel, the car arrived 6wks later, and they had a nice trip
good luck
 
Old Mar 6th, 2002, 07:19 PM
  #12  
jason
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Germnay is probably the best country in Europe for road-tripping. Can also be fun if you have a lead-foot. Romantic Road is scenic in the south, closer to the alps, not much too see north of Augsburg/Munich though, you can stop off at all of the cute little towns via the autobahn. Rothenburg is a pretty neat town along with Nordlingen. Make sure you pay attention and understand the speed-limit signs...Got a speeding ticket in what I think was an 80km zone, was stopped by an unmarked blue Audi. If the speed-limit sign has a circle around the numbers with a diagonal line through it, it's ok to haul butt...Found that out after a 180 dm fine, don't worry, the police accept credit cards on the spot. Don't listen to the people who say you shouldn't drive that fast because you're not accustomed to it, I recommend if you're driving over a sustained speed of 160km/hr that you grip the wheel firmly, no talking to the passenger, pay very close attention to what you're doing, crank up the Polka on the Blaupunkt and rock-n-roll!!! (Yes they do have Polka on the Radio)
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 07:56 PM
  #13  
Ted
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Russ,

Appreciate your point of view on utilizing the trains. However, I wonder how one gets aroung in the Black Forest. I hear train availability is somewhat limited. Appreciate any insight/suggestions.


Ted
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 01:58 AM
  #14  
notsure
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You and your navigator should take a few minutes and brush up on your German geography, if you know where your cities are you will never get lost on the roads. You won't find N,S,E &W over here- only city names and KMs til you get there. We always take a look at the map when we road trip and note the cities in that general area so we know when we're getting close or going the wrong direction or already passed it! Driving over here is a pleasure, although inner cities tend to be crunched and "altstadts" are plagued by narrow roads. Watch for speed limit signs, the speed limit can change often(mostly around the construction zones and the long curves in the autobahn). and quickly within a short distance and the cameras are sometimes hidden and will flash you in a heartbeat. Actually getting pulled over by police is rare here.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 02:57 AM
  #15  
Julie
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If you plan to drive in the city or in towns, please acquaint yourself with the traffic signs. For example, the ones which mean "no parking." Otherwise you can end up with a fine or a locked wheel so you can't drive away. Driving on the Autobahn is not difficult as long as you are okay with fast driving, not less than 120 km/hr & normally around 180 km/hr in areas with no speed limits, and if you remember not to stay perm. in the left lane. However, it is helpful to have a navigator either GPS version or live in the passenger seat. have fun!
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 10:11 AM
  #16  
Russ
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Ted: for rail service in the Black Forest, check the following link:

http://www.rail-and-relax.de/index1.html

The southwest quadrant of the map comprises the Black Forest. As in most mountainous European areas, not every village has a station, but the best-known towns are generally served - Freudenstadt, Hausach, Titisee, Freiburg, Hinterzarten, Triberg are among these.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 10:34 AM
  #17  
Barbara
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We have driven around Germany many times.Have done two long rail trips. The Train trips we used for visiting large cities. Otherwise it is so much better to have a car for flexibility.We leave in two weeks for Ireland (Elderhostal) then Scotland, Germany north of France and Italy. We will pick up car at Hahn. Can't wait.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 01:27 PM
  #18  
deb
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Driving in Germany is great. As was said above, they obey driving rules to a T. My husband adores driving on the autobahn in a bmw or mercedes. I usually always play navigator, but enjoy it. I think the signage is much better than in the U.S., but as was said before, they do not use north, south, east or west on signs. Get familiar with the major cities that you're headed toward.
I've also driven and found it to be pleasurable. I love that no trucks are permitted on the left.
To experience small towns you definately need a car - it's fun.
Trains are wonderful for long distances such as Venice to Munich(gorgeous scenery-approx. 8 hours)The bar and restaurants are great.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 04:27 PM
  #19  
Harzer
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Russ!

This debate on car vs train has been thrashed out many times on this board.

How do you respond to the contention that train travel severely limits your choice of accommodation and can therefore interfere with your overall enjoyment of the trip?

Harzer
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 05:16 PM
  #20  
Adam
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I have driven quite a bit in Germany. The roads are at least as good as in the States and the drivers are better.

I did BMW European Delivery in June and it was an unbelevable experience. If Mike is still out there (the message was posted in March), e-mail me at the above address and I can tell you whatever you need to know.
 

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