Anyone who loves Christmas and everything surrounding it should definitely visit a Christmas market in Germany. In addition to the most beautiful Christmas decorations, you will also find delicious bratwurst, hot-smoked salmon and heart-warming mulled wine. Are you going by car? Then take advantage of these 8 tips to avoid fines and hassle.
After a number of mild winters, the winter tire hype in the Netherlands is over. There are no special rules regarding winter tires in our country. In Germany it's a different story. If there are winter conditions, you are obliged to drive with winter tires. This applies not only to Germans, but also to Dutch and Belgians. According to German law, winter conditions are: black ice, slippery conditions due to snow, snow mud or slippery conditions due to ice or frost formation.
With our free newsletter you will receive all the important traffic tips!
Not yet ready for the switch to electric driving?
With Private Lease you can get into the iconic Fiat 500 Hybrid from just €279 per month.
If you do not comply with the German rules regarding winter tires, you can expect a fine of 60 euros. And if you hold up traffic because you are not driving on the right rubber, the fine is 80 euros.
In this context, it is also important to know that German regulations regarding winter tires have changed. Until January 1, 2018, you were still allowed to drive on all-season tires or winter tires with only an M+S marking in winter conditions in Germany.
The rules have been stricter since January 1, 2018. Only (all-season) tires that, in addition to the M+S marking, also bear the snowflake symbol or 'three mountain symbol' are still considered full-fledged winter tires. There is still a transition phase until September 30, 2024. If you purchased the M+S tires before January 1, 2018, you will be allowed to drive them in winter conditions. The difficult thing is that you have to be able to prove that you purchased them before January 1, 2018.
Germany has a long list of cities that have an environmental zone (Environmental zone) hanteren: Berlijn, Bonn, Bremen, Darmstadt, Dortmund, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Gelsenkirchen, Hanover, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Keulen, Krefeld, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Mainz, Mannheim, Mönchengladbach, Munich, Münster, Neuss , Neu-Ulm, Oberhausen, Osnabrück, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden and Wuppertal.
If you want to visit a Christmas market in one of these cities, purchase an environmental sticker. The same environmental stickers are used for the entire country: green and yellow. The former red sticker no longer allows you to enter an environmental zone and it is therefore no longer for sale. Most online providers charge one German environmental sticker between 12.50 and 14.95 euros.
If it snows heavily, in Germany you are obliged to turn on your low beam or fog lights. In heavy snowfall and visibility of a maximum of 50 meters, you may not drive faster than 50 km/h. If you go to a Christmas market a little further south in Germany and the circumstances require the installation of snow chains, please know that you are also allowed to drive a maximum of 50 km/h.
German Christmas markets are popular and therefore busy. Avoid parking stress and find out in advance where it is best to park in the city where you will visit the Christmas market. It is often difficult to find a spot in the center during the Christmas market. A transferium on the outskirts of the city can be a good and stress-free alternative. After you have parked your car here, you can usually easily get to the center by public transport.
Many Dutch people see no problem in letting their car engine warm up while idling while scratching the ice. This also warms up the interior nicely... In Germany, however, letting your car idle unnecessarily is prohibited. If you get caught, you could be fined 80 euros!
Just like in the Netherlands, it is not permitted in Germany to drive with windows insufficiently cleared of ice or snow. Depending on the danger setting, fines ranging from 10 to 35 euros can be issued.
It's the Christmas market, it's cold, what could be better than warming up your body a little with mulled wine? We understand the temptation, but depending on the recipe, one cup of mulled wine can sometimes result in a blood alcohol level of 0.3.
In addition to the potential danger to which you expose yourself, your passengers and fellow road users by getting behind the wheel while drinking, you risk hefty fines. If you are stopped with 0.3 per mille of alcohol in your blood due to 'remarkable' traffic behavior or cause an accident, this will result in a severe sanction. From 0.5 per mille you can count on a fine of more than 528.50 euros. And with a second cup of mulled wine you already cross this line.
This post was last modified on December 5, 2023 10:28 am
It seems as if the Smart #1 does not exist, so rarely do you see… Read More
Text and pictures/Tong Bingfeng Xie Li/KW Taiwan Branch – Dekai Automobile (04) 2473-2575 Vehicle/Yantai professional… Read More
Still photo - Yakusho Kojiyou plays Nakano Arisa's uncle in "My Perfect Everyday" The Oscar-nominated… Read More
Since its introduction in 2019, TOYOTA HIACE has been deeply favored by Taiwanese consumers for… Read More
From left: Ineos Automotive Head Of APAC – Justin Hocevar, Yongsan International General Manager Mr.… Read More