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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 05-17-2009, 10:39 PM
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rahul09 rahul09 is offline
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Autobahn driving tips

Hello,

I went through the ED wiki and various threads on this forum regarding this topic. I continued my search for tips regarding driving in Germany, specifically Autobahns. I found this very useful and comprehensive site.

Brian's Guide to Getting Around Germany
The Autobhan
Driving

The following links provide further useful information on this topic.

Driving tips from US Embassy in Germany
Driving tips from about.com
This page has printable road signs
This page has driving related German terms

Do add links to resources that you might have found with your own research on this topic.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2009, 11:02 PM
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b-y b-y is offline
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I just read some of the U.S. Embassy's driving tips. If you have the right attitude, they can be a bundle of laughs. I particularly found this statement to be amusing--

Quote:
Autobahn Driving:
... Some impatient drivers flash their headlights, use their blinker, and tailgate to pressure slower cars ahead into moving out of the way. These practices have been outlawed recently, and it is best to ignore this behavior if it is directed at you.
Right. Just try that and see what happens.

I decided to re-write one of the entries on my own so that it more accurately reflects German policy. Original text--

Quote:
Loss of Vehicle Documents:
Although initial German documents are issued free of charge, replacement documents are subject to the following fees:

Title (Fahrzeugbrief) - EUR 23.60
Registration (Fahrzeugschein) - EUR 10.70
International Vehicle Reg. - EUR 10.20 (only issued with export plates)
German Drivers License - EUR 35.00
International Drivers License - EUR 13.00
My re-write:

Quote:
Loss of Vehicle Documents:
You will not lose the documents!
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Previous ED: 7 June 08, X3 3.0si in rosso corsa (*), then off to Italy, Austria, Slovenia. (*Note: A61 Crimson Red north of the Alps.)
Back-up vehicle (while waiting for re-deliveries): 1999 M Roadster in Estoril Blue.
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  #3  
Old 05-18-2009, 07:01 AM
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AggieKnight AggieKnight is offline
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Philippe has some good tips on autobahn driving in his video blog.

Overall, driving on the autobahn is easy - way easier than driving in on the autostrada. It is very well marked, road signs are clear, and the roads are overall very well maintained. There is a bit of construction that you'll doubtless run into, but aside from that...enjoy.

I would suggest googling "Autobahn signs" so that you can familiarize yourself with the important ones - unlimited speed here, speed limit is 120,100, etc. Beyond that, the signs are self explanatory.

The main thing to keep in mind is to only pass on the left and always move as far left as your speed allows. Left lane is for passing only. You can think you're moving fast on cruise control at 120 mph until a minivan cruises by you at like 140 (happened to me).
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  #4  
Old 05-18-2009, 07:31 AM
ms330 ms330 is offline
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+1 on the autobahn and expressways being an absolute joy to drive... I think that and the amazing scenery is a big driver of ED trips in the first place.

Sigh, if only American drivers were half as disciplined as the Germans.
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2009, 07:31 AM
j128i j128i is offline
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One thing I found stressful while driving on autobahn

is about speed difference, one is on left lane, the other is on right lane.
When I drove on right lane, simply those trucks/trailers (a lot) are too slow compare to the speed I want to drive with BMW. This is not significant on US highway since speed limit is low (55/65), car and truck may drive at the same speed so I dont feel that much frustrated (I'm not a speedy guy). On German autobahn, I have to change lane to left often.

When prepare for passing or driving on left lane during passing, the speed of car behind you on left lane usually like a bullet/rocket, for US driver that's another thing to adjust.
My experience is to check internal rear view mirror often.

So, it makes me stressful by changing lane back and forth and worry the car behind me may crash into my car (you usually dont worry about this on US highway) when driving on German autobahn.

At the same time it is exciting!
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2009, 08:45 AM
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STE92VE STE92VE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieKnight View Post
The main thing to keep in mind is to only pass on the left and always move as far left as your speed allows. Left lane is for passing only. You can think you're moving fast on cruise control at 120 mph until a minivan cruises by you at like 140 (happened to me).
+1
Quote:
Originally Posted by j128i View Post
i

When prepare for passing or driving on left lane during passing, the speed of car behind you on left lane usually like a bullet/rocket, for US driver that's another thing to adjust.
My experience is to check internal rear view mirror often.
I would like to add that when you check your mirrors before attempting to pass and you see a car already in the left lane, don't get in his way. He is traveling at a high rate of speed and will be up on you in no time. I only got into the left lane to pass when I didn't see anyone in the left lane behind me and never had any issues.
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2009, 10:22 AM
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Grentz Grentz is offline
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Brian's Guide is a good in depth read. Really describes clearly how the signs and markings are laid out which I think is quite helpful.
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2009, 01:01 PM
ms330 ms330 is offline
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@steve92, that's very true. there were several times i would follow a fellow BMW or porsche or whatever in the left/passing lane and a less-than-attentive right-lane driver would suddenly dart over (switch lanes) to overtake but would only be going aroudn 70 mph. the braking from 120 down to 85 or whatever was quite sudden and a bit dangerous.

that being said, for the most part everyone on the road was highly attentive and very disciplined. (i.e. not your typical driver on I-95 yapping on a cell phone, text messaging, eating/drinking, putting on makeup, etc.)
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2009, 05:39 PM
dm5272 dm5272 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ms330 View Post
@steve92, that's very true. there were several times i would follow a fellow BMW or porsche or whatever in the left/passing lane and a less-than-attentive right-lane driver would suddenly dart over (switch lanes) to overtake but would only be going aroudn 70 mph. the braking from 120 down to 85 or whatever was quite sudden and a bit dangerous.

that being said, for the most part everyone on the road was highly attentive and very disciplined. (i.e. not your typical driver on I-95 yapping on a cell phone, text messaging, eating/drinking, putting on makeup, etc.)
MS330 - Do you or Steve92 twitter? I just noticed the @ - or was that an accident?

Just in Case - Im @techdio
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2009, 07:39 PM
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STE92VE STE92VE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dm5272 View Post
MS330 - Do you or Steve92 twitter? I just noticed the @ - or was that an accident?

Just in Case - Im @techdio
I don't twitter and if I hadn't gotten hoodwinked onto facebook, I wouldn't be there as well. The only person that really wants to know what I'm doing every minute of the day is my mother and I don't even let her know what I'm up to....
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  #11  
Old 10-17-2013, 12:24 AM
D young D young is offline
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Smile Euro delivery

Today is the day I have been waiting for some time to arrive. Pick at welt 650 gran coupe. Hoping the driving for the next 10 days is decent weather. Any suggestions as to route. Am planning to go Munich to Salzburg . Salzburg to Vienna. Vienna to Prague . Prague back to Munich. Thanks
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2013, 05:17 AM
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STE92VE STE92VE is offline
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We did Munich to Amsterdam but your route should work just as well. You'll have a blast. Enjoy!
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2014 E84 xDrive28i 8AT-Alpine White/Black Nevada/Silver Matte w/ZMV,ZLP,494 - DD 3/14/14
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  #13  
Old 10-17-2013, 08:42 AM
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Popoemt Popoemt is online now
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Boom... 4 year old thread resurrected...!
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  #14  
Old 10-17-2013, 11:18 AM
ktula ktula is offline
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Before my ED, i was already driving the way most folks drive on the Autobahn - using the left lane for passing only - so it didn't take long at all to get used to it. The difference between driving on the Autobahn versus driving on Interstate 5 is i didn't have to pull my hair out for being stuck behind some passing lane hoggers. After spending almost two weeks driving on European roads, it's really a torture to come back home to drive on passing-lane-hoggers and potholes filled roads.
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  #15  
Old 10-18-2013, 11:58 PM
Markus_OS Markus_OS is offline
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Some hints for your Autobahn experience if you are going on the Autobahn for the first time in your life:
1) before you change the lane (right to left or middel to left), observe at first the traffic from the rear about fast approaching vehicles, then use the blinker and change! Also minivans and little trucks, we call them "Sprinter", driving very fast on the Autobahn. Speeds between 100 and 110 mph are normal!

2) before you try the topspeed of your new BMW drive some miles with moderate speed to see how it "works" on German Autobahn and when you got the idea then speed up and have fun.

3) pay attention to setted speedlimits, some areas are strictly photo-enforced! Depending to the speedlimit situation driving 5 - 10 km/h over the limit are tolerable. In construction areas I would suggest not more than max. 10km/h over the limit. Sometimes the Police is enforcing especially the access to the construction area.

4) In Germany sometimes the Police enforce the distance between the cars in one lane! The rule is: the number of speed shown on your speedometer divided through 2 is your designated distance in meter. Example: you are driving 180 km/h, your designated distance to the car in front of you is 90 meter! To get an idea how much is use the the white/black side marks on the Autobahn, the distance between them is 50m.

5) Don't feel uncomfortable driving fast with your car, because your car can handle the speed very well! Much better than some drivers :-)

The rest is pure adrenalin and joy to feel the new BMW in its natural enviroment LOL
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  #16  
Old 10-19-2013, 01:18 AM
D young D young is offline
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Euro delivery

Thanks for all of the tips and suggestions. The trip from Munich to Salzburg was beautiful as well as thrilling. The car as well as the autobahn was all that I expected it to be. Fortunate to be sharing such a beautiful country
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  #17  
Old 10-20-2013, 10:22 AM
Chineksican Chineksican is offline
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Only thing I would add for Autobahn first timers is that there can be a LOT more speed limit changes than I notice here in the States - probably depends on the route and how many urban areas it goes by (taking the A3/A9 from Frankfurt to Munich was probably a rookie mistake on my part).
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  #18  
Old 10-20-2013, 11:54 AM
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sno_duc sno_duc is online now
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We took a non-ED European vacation in 2010 with my wife's sister and her husband.
My BiL ask about driving the autobahn, I knew that he rides street bikes and has taken the MSF course.
So I told him it is like riding in the sense that you want to be aware not just of your immediate surroundings but what's way down the road (10 to 15 seconds ahead) and what's behind you.
To many American drivers are only aware of 50 yards or so directly in front of them, forgetting about the other lanes, side roads, entrance ramps, exit ramps, behind them........

Try driving using only the cruise control, it can be done if you pay attention and anticipate slow-downs / speed-ups early enough.
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  #19  
Old 10-25-2013, 02:48 PM
Texan Engineer Texan Engineer is offline
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agreed on the speed limit changes! they're literally everywhere...i was doing a top speed run on the A9, when i saw a speed limit sign blur past me. i jumped on the brakes hard and switched back to the right. then the next (repeat) sign came up - "bei nasse" -___- (it's the rain/bad weather speed limit). rookie mistake, but being a first timer, i was pretty jumpy at anything that looked like a speed limit sign. they're hard to read at 140+ afterall...

but studying everything you can helps. i used one of the us military driving guides for german (link is somewhere on the wiki i think).
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  #20  
Old 10-25-2013, 10:03 PM
Markus_OS Markus_OS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan Engineer View Post
agreed on the speed limit changes! they're literally everywhere...i was doing a top speed run on the A9, when i saw a speed limit sign blur past me. i jumped on the brakes hard and switched back to the right. then the next (repeat) sign came up - "bei nasse" -___- (it's the rain/bad weather speed limit). rookie mistake, but being a first timer, i was pretty jumpy at anything that looked like a speed limit sign. they're hard to read at 140+ afterall...

but studying everything you can helps. i used one of the us military driving guides for german (link is somewhere on the wiki i think).
Well, a lot of speedlimit signs are combined with an additional information, like: "bei Nässe" (if it is wet on the surface) or "6 - 20h" (between 6am and 8pm). Some tell the driver that the speedlimit zone cames up in a certain distance, those signs have an arrow left and right of the distance number. A information about a distance under the speedlimit sign without the arrows tells you how long the speedlimit zone is. Normally it is not necessary to step on the brake like crazy if there came a speedlimit-zone. Just release the accelerator and slow down. The Police will observe the speedlimit earliest 200m (660 ft) after the first speedlimit sign.
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