Driving in Germany with a UK driver's licence

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So anyone know what to do to get on the roads here legally ? I got my FULL UK licence and am thinking about buying a car, but not quite sure if I need to do any formal cross over thing in Frankfurt / Hessen ?? I have only been here for 4 months and my UK licence expires in 8 years or similar.

 

thanks

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a european drivers licence is valid in all european member states. if you still have a paper license (as opposed to a "new" european one) you may need to get it replaced. remember to specifically ask for all the vehicle classifications that you are entitled to drive (Truck/Truck with Trailer/Bus etc) otherwise youll get the default licence which entitles you to a B class licence (up to 3.5t).

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If you've never driven a left-hand drive, I would suggest having a few practise lessons on some quiet country roads to start with. That way you won't have an audience or hold up the traffic every time you attempt to change gear and automatically wind down the window. Guilty as charged. :rolleyes:

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UK licence is valid. They won't actually check any of that when you buy and register a car anyway.

 

As for the old piece of paper licence that is also still not at all a problem as long as you can show your passport with it if you ever get stopped. This happened to my boyfriend and police were fine with the old paper one as it is still a valid EU licence.

 

One problem you might encounter is that they might not fully accept a UK no claims bonus certificate. The German insurance company were not happy that mine did not have a stamp on it so started me off in a higher percent group.

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One problem you might encounter is that they might not fully accept a UK no claims bonus certificate. The German insurance company were not happy that mine did not have a stamp on it so started me off in a higher percent group.

What you need in this case is a letter from your UK insurers stating how many claims-free years that you have driven. The percentage-to-years formula is different in UK & Germany so a UK letter saying "xx%" isn't much help.

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Yes this is what I had. Sorry I did not explain that properly. The letter I had stated the number of claims-free years I had driven but was still not recognised completely as it did not have a stamp on it.

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Ok thanks for tips people ! Good to know.

 

I got a new style licence, so no worries from what I can gather, although I have no "no claims" bonus, so will have to take the hit !

 

However I am quite concerned about driving on the opposite side ! Never done it before !

 

cheers,

 

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Well you could always bring a car over from the UK like us - that is if you can put up with people stopping and pointing at you everytime you drive by, trying to work out why the steering wheel is on the 'wrong side' and yet the car has German plates!!! It is really, really annoying!

 

Dale

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The old "paper" UK driving license was only valid for three months, at which time you had to change it for a German license. The old license was then returned to Swansea and, as they put it, destroyed.

 

Many years ago I had an English friend here who didn't do this, he kept his old licence and used it for years. But then one time he was driving into Austria (pre EU Austria) and the police at the German border noticed his license was now invalid. As he started the car to drive away from the border check they stopped him again, asking where he thought he was going. "To Austria!" he told them. "But not on that license you aren't as it is not valid". They made him push the car to the Austrian border, some one and a half kms distant.

 

All this is true, whatever that means.

 

And as for driving on the other side, can I suggest that it is a lot easier than it looks. Get in the car and start off and you will find that it is not as hard to do as it is to watch. But do check up on what the road signs mean. And remember that you are not allowed to drive past a tram at any time while it is stopped with its doors open.

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The old "paper" UK driving license was only valid for three months, at which time you had to change it for a German license. The old license was then returned to Swansea and, as they put it, destroyed.

Not true I have spent years looking for the right information on this and am still yet to find the exact rules. My boyfriend has never had any problems when asked for his old paper style license - it says EU on it after all! So I think the police officers who stopped your friend were probably misinformed.

 

My other tip for driving here is have your eyes wide open for cyclists in your blind spot - many more here than in the UK.

 

Actually I found the hardest thing getting used to driving a LHD car was to glance to the right to look out of window and look over right shoulder whilst reversing took a few times to remember to do it automatically.

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Your license is fine...

 

One thing that you should know though is that on smaller roads you have to give way to roads on the right.

I didn't find that out until I had been driving here for nearly two years and I spent most of my life honking at people and shouting at them out of the window :)

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I thought there is a problem with the DVLA accepting a non-UK address, if your permanent address is in Germany. Of course you could specify your parents address in the UK.

 

Also I had no problems transferring my Endsleigh Car Insurance to HDI in Germany, after I forwarded a letter from Endsleigh confirming my no claims bonus and other details like how long I had been with them.

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I thought there is a problem with the DVLA accepting a non-UK address, if your permanent address is in Germany. Of course you could specify your parents address in the UK.

Yes that is the problem both me and my boyfriend have. At the moment it is still registered with parents but of course this i not going to be a solution forever so we'll have to switch to German licenses at some point...

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Your license is fine...

 

One thing that you should know though is that on smaller roads you have to give way to roads on the right.

I didn't find that out until I had been driving here for nearly two years and I spent most of my life honking at people and shouting at them out of the window

Yep. Watch out for the Spiegelei! That sign just serves to remind me each time that I broke the law.

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I went with Allianz for my motor insurance and sent them the original "no claims" letter from esure. Allianz simply telephoned Esure to make sure it was valid and gave me the appropriate years no claims.

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One thing that you should know though is that on smaller roads you have to give way to roads on the right.

This is true in a majority of cases, but not always so:

 

 

The Germans also have a complicated right of way rule. Unless otherwise posted, the driver coming from the right at an intersection has the right of way. Just because you are on what looks to be a major road, you may not be on the "priority" road. A diamond-shaped sign (yellow in the center surrounded by a white border) tells you if you are on a priority road.

Source: Driving in Germany - some good info here but maybe out of date

 

Others you should be aware of is when turning left/right at a set of traffic lights pedestrains (and cyclists) normally have the right of way (look for the flashing yellow light); autobahn slip roads are much shorter than in the UK so you may have to brake quite hard.

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Your UK licence is only good for right hand drive cars but you should be okay if you drive a UK a car here providing you drive on the correct side of the road.

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Anyone know if it's possible to insure a British registered car here ( RHD ) - current UK insurance only allows it out of UK max. 120 days.

Yes it is my boyfriend has done it. There is more information on the process Registering a British car in Germany or possibly Bringing a British car to Germany

 

To the car itself you only need to change the lights and get a TÜV (the German MOT). It is not that complicated just need to get around the paperwork. Send me a PM if you have any problems.

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