Highways in Germany are a brand in itself. They are the benchmarks of quality all over the world. An interesting fact is that there is still no speed limit on them, but only a recommendation to drive up to 130 km / h and the fact that they are free.
Often, highways in Germany are misrepresented as the initiative of Hitler himself, and in fact their construction began a little earlier. This may explain the slightly more familiarity of German drivers on highways, they simply use them longer.
But let’s move on to the current state of highways in Germany.
Highways in Germany
The motorway network in Germany is the second longest in the European Union. Currently, it is over 13,000 kilometers. Germany is only overtaken by Spain, which also has a larger area.
The highways in Germany allow you to comfortably reach all corners of this country, as well as easy transit on your vacation to other countries. The more so because they are still free to use.
See also what the matter of highways and vignettes in the Czech Republic looks like.
German highways are marked with a capital letter A, from the word Autobahn, and the corresponding number. As it happens in this country, everything is logically created and yes, after the issue itself, we can tell the direction of their course. Even numbers are for east-west highways, and odd numbers are for north-south highways. It is also worth knowing that the main transport corridors in Germany are marked with numbers from 1 to 9.
Routes of regional or local importance are usually marked with a two or even three-digit number. In this simple way, you know how and where to find them on the map. The longest section is the A7 motorway, which is 962 kilometers long.
Motorways in Germany in numerical order:
- A1 – connects the Baltic Sea coast in the city of Heiligenhafen with the French border in Saarbrücken.
- A2 – called the “Warsaw Avenue”, which leads from Oberhausen to Berlin. This is one of the most important roads connecting the West with the East.
- A3 – runs from the Dutch border in Elten to the Austrian border in Pocking.
- A4 – connects Aachen on the border with the Netherlands and Belgium with Görlitz, located on the Polish border.
- A5 – abbreviated as “HaFraBa” (from the cities of Hamburg, Frankfurt and Basel), which leads from Hattenbach to the Swiss border in Weil on the Rhine.
- A6 – runs from the French border in Saarbrücken to the Czech border at Waidhaus.
- A7 – it is the longest motorway in Germany, connecting the Danish border at Handewitt with the Austrian border at Füssen.
- A8 – starts right on the Luxembourg border in Perl and ends in Piding, on the border with Austria.
- A9 – runs from Potsdam to Munich, connecting these two large cities in Germany.
- A10- is the motorway (Berlin Ring) that surrounds Berlin and Potsdam.
- A11 – the “Berlin” motorway, which runs from the Berlin ring to Penkun, where it joins the Polish A6 in Szczecin.
- A12 – called the Freedom Highway, starts on the Berlin Bypass and ends in Frankfurt (Oder), where the border with Poland passes, and continues as the Polish A2.
- A13 – runs from the Berlin ring road all the way to Dresden.
- A14 – is divided into two sections. The first runs from Wismar to Schwerin, the second from Magdeburg to Nossen. Part of it is still under construction.
- A15 – known as the Spree Motorway, connects Lübbenau / Spreewald with Forst, and from there to Wrocław in Poland.
- A17 – runs from Dresden towards the Czech border in Bad Gottleuba.
- A19 – This motorway connects Rostock with Wittstock / Dosse and the A24 motorway.
- The A20 leads from Bad Segeberg to Prenzlau.
- A21 – will ultimately connect Kiel with Handorf.
- A23 – runs from Heide (Schleswig-Holstein) to Hamburg.
- A24 – connects Hamburg with the capital of Germany.
- A25 – leads from Hamburg to Geesthacht.
- A26 – starts in Stade and ends in Horneburg.
- A27 – leads from Cuxhaven to Walsrode.
- A28 – runs from Leer (Ostfriesland) to Bremen.
- A29 – connects Wilhelmshaven with Oldenburg up to the A1 road junction with the A29.
- A30 – runs from the Dutch border in Rheine to Bad Oeynhausen and on to the A2.
- A31 – starts in Emdem and ends in Bottrop.
- A33 – leads from Osnabrück to Borgholzhausen, and then from Bielefeld to Paderborn.
- A36 – runs from Brunswick to Bernburg (Saale).
- A37 – another two-part motorway that connects Burgdorf with Misburg and two parts of Hannover.
- A38 – leads from Nordhausen to Leipzig.
- A39 – starts in Hamburg and goes to Lüneburg and also from Wolfsburg to Salzgitter.
- A40 – runs from the Dutch border at Moers to Dortmund.
- A42 – connects Kamp-Lintfort with Dortmund.
- A43 – leads from Münster to Wuppertal.
- A44 – starts at the border with the Netherlands and Belgium in Aachen and will ultimately connect with Hessisch Lichtenau.
- A45 – runs from Dortmund to Aschaffenburg.
- A46 – connects Heinsberg in three sections with Brilon.
- A48 – leads from Koblenz to the AD Dernbach junction.
- A49 – starts in Kassel and ends in Neuental.
- A52 – runs from the Dutch border in Mönchengladbach to Essen and then from Gelsenkirchen to Marl.
- A57 – connects Goch on the Dutch border with Cologne.
- A59 – leads from Dinslaken, in three steps to Bonn.
- A60 – starts at the border with Belgium in Winterspelt and ends in Rüsselsheim am Main (two sections).
- A61 – runs from the Dutch border in Viersen to Hockenheim.
- A62 – connects Nonnweiler with Pirmasens.
- A63 – leads from Mainz to Kaiserslautern.
- A64 – starts in Trier and ends in Langsur, where it joins the A1 motorway in Luxembourg.
- A65 – runs from Ludwigshafen on the Rhine to Karlsruhe (border with France).
- A66 – connects Eltville on the Rhine in two stages with Fulda.
- A67 – leads from Rüsselsheim am Main to Viernheim.
- A70 – starts in Schweinfurt and ends in Bayreuth.
- A71 – runs from Sangerhausen to Schweinfurt.
- A72 – connects Hof with Borna.
- A73 – leads from Schleusingen to Feucht.
- A81 – starts in Würzburg and ends in Singen (near the Swiss border).
- A92 – runs from Neufahrn bei Freising to Deggendorf.
- A93 – connects Hof with Rosenheim (Austrian border).
- A94 – leads in stages from Munich to Malching.
- A95 – starts in Munich and ends in Partenkirchen.
- A96 – runs from Lindau on Lake Constance to Munich.
- A98 – connects Weil on the Rhine, in stages with Stockach.
- A99 – this is the Munich ring road.
The remaining highways were marked with numbers from 100 to 999, respectively.
Vignettes in Germany
Despite the announcement of the introduction of vignettes at the turn of 2019 and 2020, there are still no tolls charged in Germany for using motorways. For now, nothing indicates otherwise, because in June 2019, the Court in Luxembourg ruled that the planned tolls for driving on German expressways are contrary to European Union law.
There were plans for short-term vignettes divided into five categories, depending on engine capacity and exhaust emissions. Each group could purchase vignettes: 10-day, bimonthly and annual. However, it was planned not to charge fees from native Germans, because they were to deduct the sums from the road tax, which they pay anyway. Thus, the cost of maintaining motorways in Germany would be borne by the foreigners passing through, and the EU did not agree to this.
Check also what are the vignettes and motorways in Austria.
Highway tolls in Germany
The use of motorways in Germany is free of charge for motorbikes and passenger cars as well as for vans with a total weight of up to seven tons. Since 2018, the number of federal roads for which users of cars over seven tons have to pay for this has increased. So far, the only tolls in Germany that have to be paid are tunnels: Herrentunnel and Warnowtunnel. Their price lists are as follows:
- Motorcycles, passenger cars and cars with a trailer up to 1.30 meters high – 1.90 euro.
- Cars over 1.30 meters high and up to two axles – 3.50 euro.
- Cars over 1.30 meters high and with three axles – 9.10 euro.
- Cars over 1.30 meters high and with four axles or more – 14.50 euro.
Motorcycles, passenger cars and cars with trailers up to 2.05 meters high
– in winter from November 1 to April 30 – EUR 3.50,
– in summer from May 1 to October 31 – 4.30 euro.
Cars from 2.05 meters to 2.60 meters high and up to two axles
– in winter from November 1 to April 30 – 4 euro,
– in summer from May 1 to October 31 – 5.40 euro.
Cars over 2.60 meters high and with two axles
– in winter from 01/11 to 30/04 – EUR 8.70,
– in summer from May 1 to October 31 – 11.60 euro.
Cars over 2.60 meters high and with three axles
– in winter from November 1 to April 30 – EUR 12.10,
– in summer from May 1 to October 31 – 16.30 euro.
Cars over 2.60 meters high and with four or more axles
– in winter from 01/11 to 30/04 – 15.90 euro,
– in summer from May 1 to October 31 – 17.90 euro.
What else is worth knowing while driving on motorways in Germany?
Speed limits and limits on motorways in Germany
First of all, when it comes to the speed with which you can drive on German highways, by definition there is no upper limit with which you can travel on them. However, in many sections, we can find information about the maximum recommended speed, which is usually 130 km / h. And here’s the catch, because if an accident occurs and we drove more than this recommendation, our fault may be found, even if the other side was to blame.
In addition, it is worth knowing that only drivers with at least two years of experience can drive on German motorways without restrictions. Younger ones should not exceed 100 km / h.
In addition, it is worth mentioning the speed limits on motorways in Germany due to repairs and other road works, in areas located near cities or before dangerous turns. Reportedly, up to 40% of German expressways have such restrictions.
One should also be aware that there is no discussion with the German police and that trying to do so can only make matters worse. In Germany, we drive with seat belts fastened, and children under 1.50 meters in special child seats. In the car, we must have a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, warning triangle, plus a yellow mobile lamp and reflective vests. You cannot talk on the phone while driving, not even through the speakerphone. The dipped beam headlights must be on in tunnels and in bad weather conditions, as well as winter tires, which are needed when there is snow or ice outside. If the police find that our vehicle is in poor technical condition, it will be towed to the workshop. We will receive the registration certificate for the time of repair and we will be fined. It is also better not to repair the car yourself, in a place not allowed for that.
Important telephone numbers in Germany:
112 – European emergency number (fire brigade, ambulance)
110 – police
+49 180/222 22 22 – ADAC roadside assistance
+49 180/234 35 36 – ACE roadside assistance
Map of highways in Germany
Locate all motorways in Germany on the map: