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Driving in Dresden

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

Germany has strict driving rules and regulations. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these before you start driving in Dresden. For instance, you must always drive on the right-hand side of the road, and the use of mobile phones while driving is strictly prohibited unless you have a hands-free system. Also, the use of seat belts is mandatory for all passengers.

2. International Driving Permit

Foreigners can drive in Germany with an International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to six months. If you plan to stay longer, you will need to obtain a German driving license. The process involves a theory test, a practical test, and sometimes a first-aid course. It’s advisable to take a few driving lessons to get used to the driving rules and conditions in Germany.

3. Car Recommendation

Compact cars are recommended for driving in Dresden due to the narrow and busy streets, especially in the city center. They are also easier to park. However, if you plan to travel outside the city or have a large family, a larger car or SUV might be more suitable.

4. Parking in Dresden

Finding a parking spot in Dresden can be challenging, especially in the city center and during peak hours. Most parking spaces in the city are paid, and the cost varies depending on the location. There are also several parking garages available. It’s advisable to use a parking app to find and pay for parking.

5. Speed Limits

Speed limits in Germany are strictly enforced. In urban areas, the speed limit is usually 50 km/h, while on highways it can be up to 130 km/h. However, some parts of the autobahn have no speed limit. Always pay attention to the road signs indicating the speed limit.

6. Drinking and Driving

Germany has strict laws against drinking and driving. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05%. For new drivers who have had their license for less than two years and for drivers under the age of 21, the limit is zero. Penalties for drunk driving can be severe, including heavy fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment.

7. Winter Tires

Winter tires are mandatory in Germany during winter months or when there is snow or ice on the roads. It’s advisable to change your tires in late October or early November. Failure to use winter tires can result in fines and may also void your insurance in case of an accident.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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