Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Tips for a 1st time driver in Germany? Anyone?

Tips for a 1st time driver in Germany? Anyone?

Jan 31st, 2005, 02:09 PM
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,450
We are used to driving in Dallas, Denver, Milwaukee, Chicago - big cities.

Thanks for the suggestions of alternate routes.
The only trains we will take are from FRA to Wurzburg, and from Bamburg back to FRA. All the rest will be driving
If there are any other places of interest in the area we'll be in, I'd love to hear about them. This is DHs first trip to Germany, and my first where I have had any say about what I got to see ;-)
TexasAggie is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 02:28 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 31
I suggest always having your seat belt fastned. A friend of mine who is German sent his assistant to the train station to get a visiting American. As the German driver pulled out of the parking area with his passenger, a policeman stopped the vehicle and told the driver in German that his passenger's seatbelt was not fastened. The American did not understand the German, and the German driver did not know how to translate the phrase into English. So it came out, "You need to be fixed."

Al_Godon is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 02:52 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 117
You have received great advice from all posters esp. Rufus T. Print out the signage IN COLOR, not B&W as the signs you will encounter will be in color, particularly where you can and cannot park. Try to travel the greatest distances on sunday like back to the airport for example because trucks are not allowed sunday travel on the autobahn with few exceptions. And the germans are arguably the finest drivers I have encountered in Europe. And you truly must concentrate on the autobahn watching your rear view mirror almost as much as the windshield.
hardwater is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 03:10 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,472
Well, I've driven in Chicago, Dallas, Milwaukee,and Denver; I'd rather be on the autobahn at 110 mph than an interstate around those towns at 78 mph. (and on I-80 or I-95, I won't go faster than 85) In Europe you know what to expect of other drivers (if they're in the left lane, they intend to pass; if in the right lane, they intend to be passed); in the US a left lane rider could be intending to get off at the next ramp, as soon as he passes one more car. You'll find the German drivers may pass fast, but they get it over with fast, rather than cruise in the left lane going 1/2 mph faster than the car in the right lane. Just stay right, you'll get there soon enough at 80 mph.
Although your route won't require an autobahn, I would not avoid them. To drive defensively, you must be able to anticipate what other drivers will do. It's more chancey to do that here in the USA.
tomboy is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 03:34 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
Check the tire pressures in any rental and inflate to the max cold recommended pressures for driving on die Autobahnen.
Watch your rear and side mirrors religiously.
There are still more than a few Eastern European "junkers" on the roads which may change lanes without warning so be prepared to do some heavy braking.
M
mikemo is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 03:56 PM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,450
I know this is a bit off subject, but how much should we expect to spend on gas for this trip?
Driving: Wurzburg--Rothenburg
Rothenburg--Dinklsbuhl and back
Rothenburg--Bamberg

I have about 100E in my budget spreadsheet currently, though I have a feeling this is unrealistic! I know gas (petrol) is much more expensive in Europe. Are the petrol stations self service, full service, or do they vary?
TexasAggie is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 04:07 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
Depends on the car: last I saw premium fuel was about 1.11 Euro/Liter - nearly $100. US a tank full.
M
mikemo is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 06:00 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,472
As described, your itinerary is about 225 km, or about 1/4 tank. In Sept/Oct, our rental's diesel fuel was about a 60€ fillup, so that would be about 15€, or $19. Figure 10% more for gasoline, or $21, and 10% more for premium, or $23. I don't recall anything other than self-service.

Not to dwell, but if you ARE a driver who gravitates to the left lane at a speed 1/2 mph faster than the right, I don't think you'd be comfortable on the autobahn, as it's disturbing to have a Porsche 3 inches from your rear bumper at 100 mph (when he wants to go 130)
tomboy is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 06:03 PM
  #29  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,450
Wow, thanks for the info on gas prices. More money for shopping, I hope
LOL about the Porsche on my bumper! I plan to let my husband do the driving on the autobahn. He is the speed demon of the family. I will make sure he stays in the RIGHT lane though!
TexasAggie is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 06:25 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 299
In Europe the price for fuel in Sept was about 1.10 euro per litre in france and germany, 1 gallon = 3.8 litres = about $4.20 USD we drove a VW bug with a fuel tank that held 14 gallons so a full tank was about $59.00 not $100.00!
In austria the price was about .95 euro per litre, 1 gallon = 3.8 litres = about $3.70 per gallon x 14 = about $53.50! Our car got 29 MPG.
jeffwill4you is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 03:23 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
JeffWill,
I think you forgot to do the additional step for conversion to USDs.
That would be maybe $79. per tank in a "bug".
1.1 Euro per liter X 3.8 Liters/gal X 1.35 + USD/Euro X 14 gal = $79.+ USDs.
M
mikemo is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 03:40 PM
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,450
Thanks M

I left $100 in my spreadsheet anyway, just in case we decided to do any more driving than is already planned.

It is a good thing DH is also an accountant or I would drive him crazy with my forecasting to the $!!
TexasAggie is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 04:05 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 299
Oops! You're right I forgot to convert
USD to EURO. Sorry. At todays rate it would be like 1 Euro = $1.29 USD, 1.10
Euro per litre would be about $1.42 USD
per litre x 53 = or about $75.00 USD
14 US gallons = 53 Litres. When I was there is was 1.10 Euro per litre,
1 Euro = $1.22 or 1 litre = about $1.34
USD x 53 = about $71.20 USD
jeffwill4you is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 04:37 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 299
In Austria fuel was .95 Euro per litre
x 53 litres, at todays rate would be about 1 euro = $1.29 USD so .95 Euro =
about $1.22 USD x 53 = about $64.00 USD
jeffwill4you is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 04:38 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,244
This is a no-brainer. Rent a diesel -- great mileage, cheaper fuel -- from the "what it's worth department" and personal experience.
Budman is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 04:43 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 299
In Austria fuel was .95 Euro per litre
x 53 litres, at todays rate would be about 1 euro = $1.29 USD so .95 Euro =
about $1.22 USD x 53 = about $64.00 USD,
at 1 Euro = $1.22 USD like when I was there, it would be .95 Euro = $1.16 USD x 53 = about $61.50 USD
jeffwill4you is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:50 PM.