Car Hire in Berlin
This information is correct as of July 2015.
The capital of Germany makes one of the most cosmopolitan cities to check out in Europe. The city has a vast range of attractions catering to almost every preference and budget, such as tiny basement clubs to fancy bars, wide gardens and historic buildings. Schloss Charlottenburg, East Side Gallery, and Reichstag are only some of the beautiful landmarks here, which can be delightful to visit and view. Go to these places and more through driving with car rentals!
Where to hire a car in Berlin
Going around Berlin can be possible with a car rental. There are various companies offering several models in the city, with some located in major train stations. Avis Autovermietung Berlin, Europcar Autovermietung GmbH, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hertz, and Sixt all have branches here with local operators available. You may rent a car as long as you are 21 years old and have the appropriate documents. If you are 17 years old, you are allowed only to drive the car.
The usual documentation necessary for car rentals includes a licence from your home country. You may also have to get an International Driver's Permit (IDP), if you are not a holder of an EU or EEA licence. This can be valid for one year, which can be suitable enough for a holiday in Berlin. After finalising the terms and conditions, you should also check if the car you will be getting has the proper transmission. An environmental badge and sticker called 'Umweltplakette' is also important, which indicates that the car meets certain exhaust emission standards.
What to expect when hiring a car from Berlin
Driving in Berlin can be more hassle than it is worth, but it is sometimes more convenient if you have your own vehicle. The city has an increasing trend of congested roads in its peak hours, which generally occur in the commuting times of the morning and afternoon. This makes it necessary that you avoid travelling at these hours to avoid getting caught in traffic.
You should take note of the major roads and motorways, such as the A100 urban motorway, also known as the Stadtring (ring road). It encloses two-thirds of downtown Berlin, while the A10 'Berliner Ring' motorway completely encircles the city. All the roads connect there, such as A2, A9, A11, A12, A13, A24, B1/B5, B26n, and B101n, among a few.
Preparing for tolls is also essential when laying out travel funds, so you can pay the appropriate fund when passing through certain roads. Some sources indicate, though, that the toll charges are not taken for autobahns or motorways. Congestion charges do not apply, but you will pass through a designated Environmental Zone (Umweltzone). You should have a sticker on the car, as you will be fined around 40 euros if you do not have one.
One-way streets and cycling lanes can be found in Berlin, which makes it important to drive carefully. Trams (Strassenbahn) additionally operate in the eastern districts, so you should watch out for posted directional signs on the roads to take when going around in these areas. Parking can be difficult to manage, so you should arrange for an available spot at a nearby hotel. If you are in luck, you can check out the parking zones in the inner-city areas, the old town centre of Spandau, and around the shopping mile in Schlosstraße, Steglitz.
Getting to your destination
A pretty town 50 kilometres west of Berlin, Brandenburg is shaped by water with its pastoral landscape of lakes, rivers, and canals. It features fine examples of northern German red-brick architecture such as Dom St Peter und Paul, the Archaologisches Landesmuseum Brandenburg, and Katharinenkirche.
Get on A100 from B2/B5 and then follow A115/E51, A10, and A2 to B102 in Kloster Lehnin. Take exit 78-Brandenburg from A2. Follow B102 to Magdeburger Str. in Brandenburg an der Havel. The trip can be made in an hour and 10 minutes, depending on the flow of traffic.
Called as the 'City of four gates on the Tollensesee Lake', Neubrandenburg has a largely intact medieval wall with four gates encircling the ancient Altstadt. Other attractions to check out here include the Regionalmuseum and the Fritz Reuter Exhibition.
From the city, continue to A114 and take A11 and A20 to B197/B96 in Glienke. Take the exit for B197 from A20 and go onto B197. Take B104/B96 to Brunner Str. in Neubrandenburg. The drive can take about two hours, if the traffic conditions are light.
Although not as beautiful as other cities, Magdeburg is one of the oldest parts of the country. One will find here some attractions, such as the Grune Zitadelle (Green Citadel), the Elbe River, and the historic Hegelstrasse and the nearby Hasselbachplatz. Get on A100 from B2/B5 and follow A115/E51, A10, and A2 to Halberstadter Str. in Magdeburg. Take the exit towards Hasselbachplatz/Freie Platze from B71. Drive onto Hallische Str. and then drive to your destination. The drive can take around an hour and 35 minutes if there are no traffic disruptions along the way.