Recent years have seen the widespread standardisation of rules of the road throughout much of the Continent. Even with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU – Brexit – that remains largely true but local and regional variations may still apply, depending on the country through which you are driving. So, don’t be one of those to be caught off-guard by the differences.
Since it is one of the favourite destinations for British caravanners – not least because of the accessibility of its free-to-use motorway network and the high standards of its campsites – let’s look at some of the things you need to know about taking your touring caravan to Germany.
Documentation and equipment
In practice, you will find that very little has changed. The AA has published a checklist of documents and equipment you need to carry with you when towing a caravan in Germany. A quick review highlights that:
- you must hold a valid UK driving licence and be at least 18 years of age – but, as currently (as at January 2022) an International Driving Permit is not required;
- the government website, updated on the 28th of September 2021, also confirmed that you do not need a green card confirming your insurance meets the minimum third-party insurance requirements throughout the UK;
- tourer insurance is essential, however, if you want to protect your caravan against accidental damage, fire and theft – so contact your caravan insurance provider for cover that remains valid for driving in both the UK and in Europe;
- the original registration document of the towing vehicle;
- if the gross weight of your caravan is more than 3,500kg beware that it must be registered if you are towing it in Germany (you can check the registration process here);
- the towing vehicle and the caravan must both bear GB stickers;
- headlamps on the towing vehicle must be correctly adjusted for driving on the right – and daytime headlights must be used when visibility is poor.
Driving through France to get to your destination?
Unlike many other European countries, German rules recommend but, do not make compulsory, that you carry onboard an accident or emergency warning triangle, reflective jacket, first aid kit or fire extinguisher – or, for that matter, the breathalyser that is required in France.
On the road
If you have had to fiddle with change to pay the tolls on many motorways in France, Italy or Austria, it will come as a welcome surprise that none of Germany’s excellent motorways (autobahn) have tolls.
Beware that you may face on the spot fines for some motoring offences, however, and do not be tempted to use radar detection devices – they are illegal in Germany.
We hope this brief blog is useful. If you are going to Germany, please do check the official websites for the latest documentation, towing and driving requirements as these may change.
For further information and destination ideas, please read our Guide to caravanning in Germany.