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21. Cars and Driving in Germany

This section discusses some general topics on cars. For questions regarding moving to or from Germany and taking your car along, pleas look at the Moving chapter.

Additional information can be found on the websites of one of the German car clubs, like the ADAC, the VCD, the AVD or the ACE.

21.1 How much is Gasoline in Germany?

Go to Benzinpreis for the latest information on gas prices in Germany. You need it. Gas prices in Germany move almost as fast and in the same direction as stock markets. To give you an idea, in of early 2000 the various kinds of gas cost:

Diesel  DM 1,45/Liter Benzin bleifrei 91 octane unleaded  DM 1,83/Liter Super bleifrei 95 octane unleaded  DM 1,88/Liter Super plus bleifrei 98 octane unleaded  DM 1,92/Liter
These are among the highest in Europe, and about 3x of what you might find in the USA.

21.2 What's the typical Mileage of Cars on German Streets?

Actually, kilometerage would be more accurate. Consumption is measured in liters per 100 kilometers, which will cause transatlantic Nonmetrics (i.e., US Americans) some headache, since consumption there is measured in miles per gallon. To get a first, rough estimate of miles per gallon, divide 250 by the number of liters per 100 km. For example, a car using 7 l / 100 km gets a little less than 36 miles per gallon.

According to this article (in German) the fleet consumption of all new vehicles sold in Germany in 1998 was 7.7 l/100 km, while in 1988 it had been 8.7 l / 100 km. This means that the average consumption in city traffic is about 10 l / 100 km. The relatively high fuel consumption is mainly due to the popularity of large and heavy vehicles, especially all the nice and fast Mercedes Benz, Audis and BMW.

There are very fuel efficient cars on the German market, though. The hottest of them right now (early 2000) is the Volkswagen Lupo, dupped the "three liter car", because it supposedly needs less than three liters / 100 km.

An annual kilometerage of 12,000km/year is considered typical (less than the 10,000 mi/year average in the US; possibly because Europe is smaller;-) If you estimate costs for gas at around 1.60 DM per liter times 12,000 km times 6 liters/100km, you end up with some 1150,- DM per year.

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