Germany and the Enclave Tour Autumn 2015, Part 1: The German Driving Situation: the Autobahn

Germany and the enclave Tour 2015 autumn
Germany and the enclave Tour 2015 autumnOverseas drive-related

In addition to the sightseeing section, I’ll be writing a few other little stories over the next few posts. The first one is about « driving and road conditions in Germany ».

Speaking of Germany, « Autobahn

After all, this is it, isn’t it? First of all, let me write about this autobahn.


The Autobahn was originally built before World War II as part of Nazi Germany’s national policy. So, was it for military transportation purposes? But in fact, the focus was to improve new means of automobile transportation such as trucks and private cars, and from there, to spread economic and cultural influence through road transportation to the German sphere of influence. It seems that the military transport capacity at the time was inferior to that of the railways, and motorways were not yet regarded as the mainstay of transport.

The Autobahn was the world’s first fully-fledged motorway network. The construction of the Autobahn was undoubtedly a major cornerstone in the process of making Germany one of the world’s leading automotive powers in later years.


Is there really no speed limit?


The recommended speed is indicated by a blue square with white text.

That said, not all of the Autobahn is without speed limits.

  1. 大きなジャンクション付近
  2. 大きな都市の近隣
  3. カーブやアップダウンがきついところ
  4. 工事区間


Especially, I had an impression that there were a lot of construction works on the Autobahn, though it might have been a coincidence that I drove there this time. I have experienced many highways in various countries in Europe, but I think there were many in Germany.

How many kilometers per hour can you fly?

How much speed can you actually achieve?

Depends on the performance of the car


Brühl 20100814-IMG_0315

In 2010, I was able to rent a BMW.

Depends on the course layout

This is also obvious, but it depends on the layout of the Autobahn. If it’s a fairly long straight, downhill, and open, you can go very fast. Of course, there are not many such sections in reality. But they definitely exist. I tried my best to go 200km/h in such places. In addition, the width of the road is wide enough.

The average speed on the unlimited distance section is around 150km/h


You’ll end up catching up to the car in front of you or the speed limit section faster very soon.


You can enjoy a sense of speed that you cannot experience in Japan, but I think it is easy and safe to keep driving at 150km/h (still fast enough!) I think it is mentally easy and safe to keep driving at 150km/h (still fast enough!).

Other Features

Here are some other things I noticed.

Is the Autobahn free?

All lines are free. You don’t get « viniets » like in Austria and Switzerland.

What’s the service area like?

Of course, there is one every 50km or so, but I don’t think there are as many as in France or Italy. A service area has a gas station, a parking lot, a shop and a restaurant. There are also many areas with only parking. These areas are similar to other European countries.

On this trip, we stopped at a service area and had some currywurst.

Autobahn etiquette

I think it’s very good.

  1. 追い越し車線にずっといるクルマはいない ← すぐに速いクルマ(Audiやポルシェ)が迫ってきます
  2. 遅い車は積極的に右側(走行車線)に寄り、道をゆずる
  3. 必ず左側から抜く
  4. 車線変更がスムーズにできる、強引に割り込まれたくらいで怒る人やクラクションを鳴らす人は皆無

There are many things that the Japanese should learn from.