By Car

At a glance

If you would like to drive in Germany, you will find information about the validity of your driver's licence, how to rent cars, car sharing options, and more on this page.

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 Please find an overview of things to keep in mind if you'd like to drive in Tübingen below.

Driver's License

A driver's license from your home country is generally valid in Germany, but in some cases must be converted into a German license and/or translated.

  • If you do not have an International Driving Permit, you may be required to carry a translation of your driver's license with you. Please ask the local authorities of your home country whether this rule applies in your case.

  • If you are a citizen of the European Union or the European Economic Area you are not required to carry a translation of the driver's license with you, and your national driver's license remains valid in Germany until it expires.

  • If you are not a citizen of European Union or the European Economic Area, your driver's license is valid for 6 months from the date of your arrival in Germany. If you wish to continue driving after this 6-month period, you will need a German driver's license. How your license can be converted to a German license depends on the country from which you have a driver's license. Driver's licenses from so-called "list states" can usually be converted without the need to take a theoretical und practical driving examination, but only as long as you apply for conversion before the 6-month validity period expires.

  • For more information about the conversion of your driver's license please contact the District Office ("Landratsamt"). The processing time for the conversion of your driver's license varies and can take around 8 weeks. If you have to do a theoretical and/or practical test before your license can be converted, the whole process will take around 12 weeks to complete.

  • For driving permits from states outside the European Union or the European Economic Area and not belonging to the "list states", the only way to get a German driver's license is to go to a German state-certified driving school and take the theoretical and practical test. Be aware that driving school in Germany is quite costly: The total cost for theoretical and practical lessons and exams is usually 1,500 EUR or more.

International Driving Permit (IDP)

The International Driving Permit is issued by the driver's license bureau in your country of residence and is valid for up to 3 years, but expires as soon as your regular driver's license does.

More information about foreign driver's licenses and the so called "list states" can be found on the website of the District Office ("Landratsamt"), which also handles the applications for the conversion of foreign driver's licenses.

Please note: If you have a driver's license for cars, it does not automatically allow you to drive a motorcycle in Germany. If you would like to ride a motorcycle you will need a special motorcycle-class license. Check here for an overview of the different license classes in Germany.

Please contact your personal support whenever you have further questions concerning your driver's license.

Car Rental and Car Sharing

There are several car rental companies in Tübingen.

Car rental companies in Tübingen

There are also some car sharing providers. The fee is usually calculated based on how many hours/days you rented the car as well as kilometers driven. In order to use their cars, you must become a member of the car sharing association and pay a small yearly membership fee.

Car sharing companies in Tübingen

Bringing Your Own Car

Registering your car: If you will be staying in Germany for more than one year, you must register your car. In Tübingen, you can do this at the District Office.

The following documents are necessary for the process of registering your car at the District Office (Wilhelm-Keil-Str. 50, 72072 Tübingen):

  • your passport
  • German car insurance policy
  • confirmation of your address registration with the town
  • current license plates
  • all car documents
  • for cars older than 3 years: a valid mandatory car inspection (Hauptuntersuchung)
  • direct debit authorization (for car tax)
  • environmental badge

The registration fee is about 28 - 54 EUR.

Taxes and insurance: If you stay in Germany for more than one year, you will need to pay car tax (KFZ-Steuer). The amount depends on the kind of car you drive. When registering your car, you can fill in a direct debit authorization form for collecting the tax.

You must also have valid car insurance. There are different types of insurance: There is full comprehensive (Vollkasko; covering damage to your own car as well as other cars or a person or object). This provides good cover, but can be quite pricy. Another option is partial coverage (Teilkasko; covering fire, theft, damage to windshield, damage due to strong weather or animals etc.). While the basic fee is cheaper than Vollkasko, Teilkasko usually comes with deductibles.

Mandatory car inspection (Hauptuntersuchung, ASU): Another requirement for driving your own car in Germany is passing the mandatory car inspection every other year.

Environmental badge (Umweltplakette): In order to ensure good air quality, Tübingen is a so-called environmental zone. This means that if you want to drive in Tübingen, your car will need an environmental badge certifying that your car is sufficiently environmentally friendly. There are several ways of getting an environmental badge:

  • You can order the badge from abroad by sending a copy of your car documents (with information on construction year and type of drive: fuel, diesel,...) by email to or by fax to +49 7071 207-4399. The badge and the invoice (6 EUR) will then be sent to you via mail if your car is eligible. You will also be notified if your car is not eligible for an environmental badge. Shipping takes about two weeks.
  • If you need to register your car in Tübingen, you can get the environmental badge at the time of car registration.

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