For many years, I thought renting a car in a foreign land is something as quick as swiping a credit card to pay your bills. However, the trip I made to Germany was a hectic one, especially when I needed a car to take me around to the places I wanted to visit. I realized I was always mistaken to think that renting a car in Germany is something that only takes a few minutes just by paying the rental fees to get going. Further, the mentality I had that being a foreigner will warrant me special treatment was a big disappointment. It was a nasty experience, and below are four important lessons learned while visiting Germany.
You must have a map, passport/visa, official translation of the license and US driving license
Well, back at home, I don’t need any map to go around the country or to visit any town or city; I know my way around, and I don’t need a passport either. However, driving in the city of Germany was a shocker. Being a foreigner, having a passport was not enough. It was a requirement that I have detailed map of the city and an official translation of the license with the license itself. At some point, it became so difficult to drive myself since it was not easy with the traffic rules.
The manual Transmission vehicle was a shocker.
Being used to driving automatic transmission cars can be your biggest undoing when you rent a car in foreign countries like Germany. In fact, you must always be able to show that you are able to drive a manual transmission car. This is the ultimate driving test I had to go through in order to be allowed to rent a car.
The New Traffic rules
Back at home, I am always told to keep left while driving while pedestrians keep the right on the pedestrian walk. However, my stay in Germany was quite a shocker. I had to keep left all the time and this meant being extra vigilant and conscious regarding the new traffic rules was as necessary as the driving test itself.
High occupancy lanes
Using the high occupancy lanes was something peculiar. In fact, my inability to use them for the first time having crossed the buffer pavement almost landed me a fine suit for breaching traffic rules. Worse still, since rules regarding high occupancy lanes are different from the general traffic rules, it was hectic learning the same.