Hiring a car in Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt is a huge international airport, with excellent facilities, and you will find many options when it comes to hiring a car.
If you are arriving in Terminal 1, the rental desks are in the Airport City Mall, on Level 1 in the Arrivals Hall, Section A. Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, National Car Rental, Sixt and Advantage all service this terminal.
For passengers arriving in Terminal 2, you must head to Section D, Level 2 of the Arrivals Hall. You will find Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, National Car Rental, Sixt, Global Drive, Buchbinder Rent-a-Car and Advantage operate out of this terminal.
There is a comprehensive range of car types available through these car hire companies, from compact to premium, hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs and minivans. Most economy options will come with a manual transmission, so please be aware that if you want an automatic transmission you will have to pay more for the rental agreement.
Leaving Frankfurt Airport
The road systems in Germany are renowned for their excellent design, and Frankfurt is no exception to the rule. You’ll find that travelling by car in this country is easy to get the hang of quickly.
Frankfurt Airport is only 12km from the city centre, a journey by car should only take around 20 minutes, depending on traffic. There are a few routes into the city, the most straight forward of which is to take the A3 motorway to the B43/B44 to to Wilhelm-Leuschner-Straße, then take the Theatretunnel to Braubachstraße.
Or take the A5 to Schwanheimer Ufer, to the Niederräder Ufer (which turns into Theodor-Stern-Kai) and then onto Braubachstraße.
If your car hire company requires you to return the vehicle with a full tank of petrol, you can find an ESSO petrol station right outside Frankfurt Airport on the B43 highway.
Driving in Frankfurt
Like most of Europe, Germany drives on the right, but the town planning across the country is superb and easy to follow. Though it is true that some Autobahns (motorways) do not have a speed limit, many of them do and are well signposted. Speeding in Germany is heavily fined, and you can be notified of a ticket up to three months after the incident. Avoid driving in the rush hour periods of the city, these are typically 8-9:00am and 5-7:00pm.
Parking is in general considered to be quite difficult in Frankfurt, especially if there are conventions going on. The way the city has combated this is by implementing accessible park-and-ride systems, where you park slightly out of the city centre, and are given free transfers into the downtown area. It is recommended that if you are going to rent a car, that you ensure that your hotel, or booked accommodation offers free parking, so that you do not have to rely on street parking, which you will find tough to secure.
It is recommended that you get an International Driving Permit (IDP) as this helps to legitimize your license when abroad, please make sure you carry your IDP, passport and license with you when you are driving abroad.
What can you see and do in Frankfurt?
Due to its central location, both in Germany and Europe as a whole, Frankfurt has become a global city, and as a result there are lots of things to see and do here.
Within the confines of the city limits there is the magical Old Town, where colourful buildings crowd around this picturesque square. See the Old and New Town Halls, and the Gothic St. Nicholas church. For a little culture, you can’t go wrong visiting the Goethe Museum, which showcases the home this famous writer was born in, as well as artworks contemporary to his lifetime.
However, if you’ve rented a car the likelihood is that you want to explore all the Hesse region has to offer, and there is plenty to explore. South of the city, about a 30 minute drive away is Darmstadt, nicknamed the ‘City of Science’, this town is more laidback than flashy Frankfurt, and is in within close reach of some of the region’s best attractions. Such as Grube Messel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important fossil site in Europe, and the Abbey of Lorsch, a beautiful Benedictine church founded in the middle ages.
Driving east for about two hours will take you to Würzburg, the traditional start of the Romantic Road. From here, you can travel south along this road to Munich on one of the most spectacular drives of the Continent, though be warned, this is a proper road trip, and you will need to allow for a few days to appreciate it fully.
Please note all information is current as of October 2015.