Speed Limit in Germany | Everything You Need to Know

Car Driving on German Interstate

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Speed Limit in Germany

Despite popular belief, Germany does enforce speed limits on almost all roads. Just like in any country, speed limits are based on the type of road, the condition of the road, the area (residential, industrial, city, town, etc.) and the state in which you are driving. The Autobahn is famous for not having a speed limit on certain stretches of road, meaning that drivers are allowed to drive as fast as they want. This is the German interstate system and whether an unlimited speed limit is allowed depends on all of the above mentioned factors. If you do not see a speed limit sign (very unlikely) or if you simply cannot remember the speed limit for the Autobahn, then a good rule of thumb is not to exceed 120 KPH. This is the lowest standard speed limit among the German states. The standard speed limit on the Autobahn in most German states is 130 KPH. If you find yourself in a construction area, then it is extremely important to note the speed limit signs as Germany strictly enforces the speed limit in work zones.

Speaking of speed enforcement, it’s important to understand that German police are very unlikely to pull you over for speeding. The reason for this is because Germany has speed traps set up at random locations that will measure your speed and take pictures of the driver and license plate, so that they can send you a ticket in the mail. If you are in a rental car, then you can expect an additional fee from the rental car company if this happens.

Speed Limit Signs in Germany

The speed limit signs in Germany look a bit different than those found in North America and it’s important to know what each one means. There are two types of speed limit signs in Germany:

  • The first type clearly states the speed limit in the form of a black number. The number is on a white background and the entire sign is outlined in red. The shape of speed limit signs are always circles.
    Speed Limit 50 Sign in Germany
  • The second type of sign is a white circle with a black outline and 3 gray diagonal stripes across the middle. This means that the current speed restriction is lifted and you can proceed at the maximum allowed speed for this type of road. The next section is extremely important in this regard.
    Unlimited Speed Limit Sign in Germany

Maximum Speed on German Roads

The maximum speed on German roads differs based on the type of road.

If you are driving on the Autobahn and you see the second sign mentioned above, then that means you can drive as fast as you want.

If you are on a country road and see the unlimited speed limit sign, then that means you can only drive up to 100 KPH. That is the standard maximum speed limit for country roads, i.e., not highways or interstates.

Speed Limit 100 Sign in Germany

If you are in a city or village, then the maximum speed is typically 50 KPH unless otherwise posted. If you are driving in a residential area of town, then it doesn’t hurt to go a bit slower than this, as there may be children present.

We hope this short article clears up any of your questions about the speed limit in Germany. If you have any other questions or if something was unclear, just leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you as fast as possible!

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About the Authors

Authors Ryne Cook and Denise Braun from He Said or She Said

Ryne Cook and Denise Braun have been living in Germany for over 30 years, combined. This makes them experts on Germany and gives them unique insights into the country and culture. They’ve traveled throughout Germany using all possible modes of transportation, also making them experts on this topic.

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