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Driving in Potsdam

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Potsdam.
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1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Potsdam, is generally considered safe and efficient. The roads are well-maintained and the traffic rules are strictly enforced. However, it’s important to note that Germans are known for their fast driving, especially on the Autobahn (highway), so be prepared for this. Also, be aware that in Germany, you drive on the right-hand side of the road.

2. Recommended Car Type

There is no specific car type recommended for driving in Potsdam. It largely depends on your personal preference and needs. However, compact cars are often preferred for city driving due to their ease of parking and maneuverability. If you plan on exploring rural areas or going on road trips, a larger car or SUV might be more suitable.

3. Parking in Potsdam

Finding parking in Potsdam can be challenging, especially in the city center. It’s advisable to use public parking garages or designated parking areas. Parking fees vary depending on the location and duration, but generally, it’s not overly expensive. Always make sure to park correctly to avoid fines.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Germany with an international driving license, but only for six months from their date of entry. If you plan on staying longer, you will need to obtain a German driving license.

5. Obtaining a German Driving License

If you’re from a country outside the EU or EEA, you’ll need to apply for a German driving license after six months. The process involves a theory test, a practical driving test, and a first-aid course. It’s advisable to take a few driving lessons to familiarize yourself with the driving rules and culture in Germany. Note that the tests are usually in German, but some places offer them in other languages.

6. General Tips for Driving in Potsdam

Always adhere to the speed limits, which are clearly marked and vary depending on the type of road. In residential areas, the limit is usually 30 km/h, while on the Autobahn, it can be up to 130 km/h or no limit at all in some sections. Also, remember that it’s illegal to use a mobile phone while driving unless you have a hands-free system. Lastly, always wear your seatbelt and ensure all passengers do the same, as this is mandatory in Germany.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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