Glossary (Germany)



An emergency telephone number will be included in the documents you receive from Avis. Emergency phone calls can be made free of charge from any public telephone. Emergency phone numbers are:

Police: 110
Medical emergency: 112

German Automobile Club (ADAC):
- From a public phone: 0180 22 22 22
- From a mobile phone: 22 22 22


ATMs are widely available. All common international credit cards are accepted. English instructions are usually available.


Germany has a continental climate. The weather can be cool and damp in the spring and fall.


Although brief directions are included in your travel documents, we recommend buying a good road atlas. The best solution is always a GPS unit. While rented units are often available, the best solution is to buy your own unit, if you do not already have one, and download the map of Germany prior to departure.


Front and rear seat belts are obligatory in Germany. It is illegal to talk on a hand-held mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle in Germany.

Speed limits:
In towns: 50 km/h (30 mph)
On motorways: None unless indicated
On highways: 100 km/h (62 mph)

There is generally no speed limit on German Autobahns, although the recommended maximum speed is 130 km/h (80 mph). You should be careful when pulling into the left lane, as cars may be coming from the rear at high speed. Impatient drivers will flash their headlights, which means get out of the way. Most German motorways are toll-free.
Be careful about drinking and driving: A driver whose blood alcohol level exceeds 0.5 will be considered legally intoxicated.
Very little free parking is available in downtown areas. Parking along the street often requires feeding a parking meter, which may be located some distance from the car. After you' ve settled the required fee, the meter will produce a ticket that must be placed in the front windshield.
Be careful about observing no-parking signs, as violations may result in your car being towed away. The main parking signs are:


Driving License

An international driving license is only required, if the original driving license is printed in a non Roman alphabet or does not provide a photo.


Outlets in Germany are 230 volt. Most appliances will require adapters, which can be purchased at airports and locally.


The main choices are Bleifrei (unleaded), Super-Bleifrei (super unleaded) and Diesel. The German word for petrol is Benzin. A petrol station is called a Tankstelle.

Health insurance

Check to make sure your health insurance covers travel abroad. If not, you would be wise to take out travel insurance.


Stamps can be purchased in all post offices and many Kiosks.

Time zone

Germany is located in the Central European Time Zone. European Summer Time is used between the end of March and the end of October, meaning clocks are moved forward an hour during that period.

Time differences:
UK: - 1 hour
East coast: - 6 hours
West coast: - 9 hours.


Service is normally included in the restaurant check.
Nevertheless, it is common to round up amounts by about 10% or to the next euro for smaller amounts.

Using the telephone

Most public phones require telephone cards, which can be purchased at Kiosks.

Country codes for calls placed from Germany:
UK: 00 44 + phone number
USA/Canada: 00 1 + phone number

Country codes for placing calls to Germany:
UK: 00 49 + phone number
USA/Canada: 011 49 + phone number

Weights and measures

Long distances are measured in kilometres in Germany. A kilometre equals about 2/3 mile.

Shorter distances are measured in metres. A metre is 3.28 feet (1.09 yards).

Weights are measured in kilos. One kilo equals 2.20 pounds.