Last update 20.10.2017 | First Published 24.5.2004

germany_speeds_w500Germany is known as the country with ’no limits’ on their Autobahn.
But be aware that a not insignificant part of these roads (around 50%) now have a speed-limit of 130 km/h. And, even if the fines are very low compared to most of Europe, it is still possible to get your license withdrawn.



If you are a foreigner they will usually not withdraw your license: They will instead double the fine. It is possible to pay with a credit card but this comes with a rather hefty fee: I have been told that a fee of 20 Euro is the standard (needs to be confirmed). Speed limits are enforced with a small tolerance. Driving only 3 km/h above the limit is considered a punishable infraction in Germany.

The important numbers :
Limit – km/h
30 50 70 80 100 130(1
Fine +21km/h €80 €80 €70 €70 €70 €70
Fine +41km/h €200 €200 €160 €160 €160 €160
LICENSE – town. 1-3 months 61 81 101
LICENSE – country. 1-3 months 111 121 141 171
1) Around 50% of the motorway stretches have a limit of 130 km/h. The rest is Freie Fahrt – Free speed.
Wikipedia has an interesting entry on German speed limits and their history.
Did you know that the Nazi-era Road Traffic Act of 28 May 1934 imposed the first nation-wide speed limit: 60 km/h maximum in urban areas, but no limit on rural highways or autobahns? They then lowered them in 1939 to save fuel (40 km/h urban, 80 km/h rural). Then, in December 1952 the West German legislature voted to abolish all speed limits, seeing them as Nazi relics (East Germany did not follow). Later, of course, speed limits got more restricted due to high fatalities. In 1972 a general rural speed limit of 100 km/h went into effect — except on motorways.
The speeding-fines are relatively low in Germany. The checks of your distance to the car in front of you are, however, more prevalent and much more expensive than the rates for speeding.
By bad weather conditions, eg. when the visual sight is below 50 meters, the general speed-limit is lowered to 50 km/h.

If you want still more information on German fines, please visit Bußgeldkatalog (in German).

Germany in detail :
Violation Fine (Euro) Points
+ 1-10 km/h 15
(innerorts) + 11-15 km/h 25
+ 16-20 km/h 35
+ 21-25 km/h 80 1
+ 26-30 km/h 100 1
LICENSE: 1 month + 31-40 km/h 160 2
LICENSE: 1 month + 41-50 km/h 200 2
LICENSE: 2 months + 51-60 km/h 280 2
LICENSE: 3 months + 61-70 km/h 480 2
LICENSE: 3 months + 71 km/h and more 680 2
+ 1-10 km/h 10
(außerorts) + 11-15 km/h 20
+ 16-20 km/h 30
+ 21-25 km/h 70 1
+ 26-30 km/h 80 1
+ 31-40 km/h 120 1
LICENSE: 1 month + 41-50 km/h 160 2
LICENSE: 1 month + 51-60 km/h 240 2
LICENSE: 2 months + 61-70 km/h 440 2
LICENSE: 3 months + 71 km/h and more 600 2

  • These fines only apply when the visibility is not below 50 meters due to fog, rain or snowfall. In this case there is a common limit of 50 km/h on all roads – except for roads already marked at 50 or lower.
  • You may also lose your license if you break the limit with more than 25 km/h within a period of two years.
  • The measurement tolerance rules say that 3 km/h are deducted at speeds below 100 km/h, over this speed the deduction is 3%

Fines and reactions may change without any warnings.

About points:

In Germany you start with zero points and lose your license when you have accumulated eight points. You may get your license back after six months and a new test. You then start with 0 points.
In addition to the speeding offences above, there are lot of other offences that comes with points. The system is too complicated to present here. This is the complete list in German.


  1. TD
    04.01.2018 @ 20:03

    Hi, I received a fine for doing 50% over the speed limit in Germany in a hire car, I had not seen any signs indicating the speed so was driving at a speed I thought was for the condition of the road (wide, double lane each way) and anyway, I have received a letter from the Stuttgart Council, not the police. I am wondering what the repercussions are of just ignoring it. I actually don’t understand the letter as its written in German.


  2. JP
    15.11.2017 @ 23:07

    I got flashed at by a temporary camera. I was driving my own car from Sweden. I am a resident in Germany. How and when should I expect my letter?


  3. NV
    06.11.2017 @ 12:48

    Hi there, I had a mishap in Germany a couple months ago where I misunderstood the autobahn rules and have been caught for some traffic violations according to my rental company (Avis). Avis issued my details to the authorities apparently (within 2 weeks of the alleged offence), but I am yet to hear anything from authorities. It’s rather nerve wrecking waiting for something to drop through the post… is there a maximum time which they have to issue the penalty by?


  4. james
    23.09.2017 @ 14:28

    I have been caught speeding in Germany. The speed limit was 100 km/h i was speeding with 149 km/h.
    I live in the United Kingdom and fully licensed .
    What are the fines?
    Can i get my licence taken away?
    What happens if you don’t pay the fine?


    • Al
      05.10.2017 @ 13:48

      first you have to comment if you have driven the (rental?) car, if you agree that is you on the b/w photo taken then you will receive the penalty of approx. 200-300 EUR incl. a ban from driving a licensed vehicle in Germany for at least 1 month. If there were dangerous circumstances the penalty can be extended.
      but you do not have to send your driving licence to Germany a copy should be sufficient and don’t forget to specify which entire month you would like to chooce for the driving ban. e.g. you receive the penalty during october driving ban could start within November 2017, or December 2017, or January 2018, …. if you get caught driving a vehicle during that specified period you will be in real trouble! The driving ban in Germany should have no impact to your UK licence.
      Other possibility is to send your UK driving license to Germany but in this case you are not to drive in UK.


      • Alonzo
        17.10.2017 @ 00:03

        Thats really helpful, thanks. What about the points?


  5. Vedran
    26.11.2016 @ 23:32

    Dear ,
    1.) Is German police connected with Polish police for speed tickets ?
    2.) Are they making 10% reduction of speed as machine mistake tolerance ?
    ( I had a blitz by radar = 120/h km was rule, I drive 143 km/h )
    Thank you for reply


    • Potocki
      03.02.2017 @ 10:29

      1) Definitely no. If you get a ticket in Poland, its Polish police to to take care of it, if in Germany, its the German police. They both may however send you the ticket home to both Germany and Poland. (in this sense its a link).
      2) I think so. I got calle by blitz radar, then they closed the motorway. I was 25 kmh over the limit, but they told me the tolerance was 4 kmh, so I had to pay 95 EUR for +21kmh.
      Speed safely!


      • JK
        15.06.2017 @ 13:35

        This makes me very happy. I have just been caught doing 22kmh over a 60kmh speed limit. So in theory, this subtraction of 3kmh would put me in the 16-20kmh threashold meaning I wouldnt get any points


  6. Maxim
    07.11.2016 @ 13:32

    Hi there,

    can you please advice advocate in Germany to close traffic /speed fine



  7. marc andre
    28.07.2016 @ 00:14

    The German motorways are generally intended to be without speed limits, unless otherway stated by means of a speed limit sign or through a Autobahn lcd panel above which in this case has priority over a standard metal speed limit sign.
    The speed limit is intended to be lifted after a white metal sign with a Black traverse sign , meaning all speed limits canceled.
    If you see the white sign it is strongly suggested by my experience to stay as soon as possibile on the right or middle lane, since the drivers as they respect the speed limits when present, do promptly return to quite High speeds.


    • Torben
      15.10.2016 @ 16:41

      In Germany, you do not loose your drivers license by speeding km +40 outside City.
      As german citizen you loose the right to drive a car for xamble for 4 weeks by speeding more than km 41-50 outside City limits.

      As german citizen you turn in your license by post to the Police within six months, when you want and after four weeks you receice by post your drivers license aut. without any test etc.

      As a tourist speeding km +40-50 etc. you just pay a fine in cash and continue your travel…
      Important to know. The Police check distance and the fines for lack of distance to car in front of you is much higher than for speeding. I think a lot of countries could learn from this…


      • Potocki
        03.02.2017 @ 10:26

        “The Police check distance and the fines for lack of distance to car in front of you is much higher than for speeding. I think a lot of countries could learn from this…” Very, very true! Unfortuantely most of the countries see only one danger SPEEDING….


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