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Munich - Airport and Car Rental questions

Munich - Airport and Car Rental questions

Old Mar 29th, 2019, 08:33 AM
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Munich - Airport and Car Rental questions

My husband and I are going to Munich for three days in May - flying in and out of MUC. We would like to visit Dachau and Neuschwanstein Castle. I know there are tours and train transport options for both, but we enjoy driving and having the ability to stop if somewhere looks interesting along the way.

We are US citizens and have no familiarity with car rental in Germany. Is there anything specific we need to know (we drive standard shift cars so that's not an issue) about the rental, whether to pick up at the airport or elsewhere, or in general about driving in Germany? We haven't booked a hotel yet but I was assuming downtown Munich would make the most sense - is that assumption incorrect or any other suggestions of areas to stay?

Thanks very much!
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 08:55 AM
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Driving in Germany is very similar to driving in the US, but there are a few particulars to pay attention to. here are a few things I've noted over the years.

1. Driving on the Autobahn - unless actively passing you stay to the right. You do not pass on the right. period.
2. No right turn on red.
3. Familiarize yourself with speed limit signs, including leaving a speed limit zone, reduced speed coming up, etc. I've frequently seen speed traps in small towns just past the start of a slower speed limit, and the "I didn't know the speed limit" is not a valid excuse.
4. Familiarize yourself with yield /right of way signs. Many roads/intersections have signs telling you who has the right of way. Know the right of way rules, and obey them. Waving someout out in front of you when you in fact have the right of way isn't helpful, even if you think you are being helpful.
5. Parking - a lot of towns have buy a ticket/put on your dash parking systems (which are now more common in the US as well). Always check if parking is paid, and figure out how to pay.
6. Familiarize yourself with what type of fuel (diesel or gas) you need, and what that's called at a german gas station.
7. Stoplights are normally positioned at the near side of an intersection. Creeping past a stop light (as is common in the US) and you'll have no idea when it changes color.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 11:49 AM
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We were in Bavaria a month ago.

We had a terrible experience with Budget/Avis at Munich airport. Had a great rate on an expensive car but had to wait TWO HOURS to be served.

Southern Bavaria is stunning, had a great time in Garmisch. However, Neuschwanstein is just a diabolical tourist trap. Just full of international tourist taking selfies and bad food.

Can’t recommend enough a day trip up Zuchspitze mountain using the train and cable cars.

J62 is right, just be careful on the Autobahn driving can be an education. With no speed limit it is entirely expected during quiet times to be approached by cars doing 150mph. Just need to be aware of what is around you.

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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 07:28 PM
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If you are arriving from the US on an overnight flight, I would not pick up a rental car at the airport upon arrival. You will be jetlagged and most likely unsafe to drive. Take the bus or train into Munich and pick up a car when leaving there. Besides being safer, it will save rental and parking costs for a few days.
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 02:41 AM
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I’m getting increasingly puzzled why posters are instructing other posters that they will be jet lagged and not safe to drive.

Some of us don’t suffer, particularly after sleep deprivation relationg to babies and many cross longitude flights.
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 05:29 AM
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Sleep deprivation can have similar effects on your body as drinking alcohol.

I usually feel like I've been hit by a truck after an overnight flight. Only the OP knows how they will feel, but it's a valid consideration.

Last edited by Melnq8; Mar 30th, 2019 at 05:34 AM.
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 08:51 AM
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Thank you all for the very helpful advice! Good news on the jet lag issue - we'll already have been in Paris for a few days prior to this. We're actually arriving late evening on a direct flight from Paris.
The responses have generated some new questions from me. Is there a car rental agency that is "best" given the bad experience with Avis? And, now reconsidering the Neuschwanstein visit which honestly was something I was "meh" about. Our one must do is Dachau. For scenery and getting a Bavarian town experience, what town would any of you specifically recommend as a must do?

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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 09:40 AM
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Garmish partenkirchen is great. 2 hours drive ?

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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 12:06 PM
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For car rentals, I always use Autoeurope.com or Kemwel.com
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 03:28 PM
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You can take the train to Garmisch and rent a car there if you feel the need. Germany has some of the best public transportation.
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Old Mar 31st, 2019, 02:33 AM
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I have used gemut. for years. GO on web and read all their helpful data. Call Andy or book on their web site.
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Old Mar 31st, 2019, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by BritishCaicos View Post
Iím getting increasingly puzzled why posters are instructing other posters that they will be jet lagged and not safe to drive.

Some of us donít suffer, particularly after sleep deprivation relationg to babies and many cross longitude flights.
I see it all the time. It is annoying. I haven't seen people harping on people flying into the US and driving on the wrong side of the road after drinking G&Ts the whole flight. The majority have rental cars waiting for them and Fl is horrendous to drive even if sober. I feel horrible on return since we arrive at what would be 2 am in Europe. We drive home from the airport. I am not spending the night there.
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Old Mar 31st, 2019, 06:34 AM
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The sites you are both posting arenít car hire companies, they are consolidating sales companies who off load capacity. In fact, they havenít done that very well over the past 6 months. It is now frequently more cost effective to book direct,y with car hire companies like

Sixt
Alamo
Budget
Enterprise
Eurocar
Avis
Hertz

lf those usually Budget/Avis are cheap and offer a poorer quality service, Sixt for us have always been more expensive but offer a professional service.

Donít look at the the review sites unless there is a common theme, as at Munich Airport where many, many people complain about the wait times at the Budget desk. I should have checked their reviews.

Invariably, people will moan and post negative reviews if they have a bad experience but not have the time to post a 5 if their experience is positive, this is after all a basic form of service. Consequently, low scores on review sites may not represent the true picture.
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