Everything you need to know when motorhoming in Germany

Campercontact country information - Timbered houses in Melsungen, East Germany
Timbered houses in Melsungen, East Germany
Biergarten' in Bavaria

Going on a motorhome holiday to Germany? You’re sure to have a fantastic time because this country, with an area of 357,022 square kilometres, offers unlimited possibilities. Visit the capital Berlin, get active in the beautiful nature of the Black Forest or Sauerland and then enjoy a famous German 'bratwurst' straight from the barbecue. Oh, and are you a beer lover? Then a visit to one of the many beer gardens or breweries is not to be missed.

Take this information with you when you leave, and you'll have everything you need to know before you go motorhoming in Germany. You can also download this PDF and read the information at your leisure.

Overnight stops

Are looking to stop overnight in Germany during your motorhome holiday? You are allowed to stay overnight in Germany in specially designated parking areas for motorhomes and on campsites.

You can park on the street or in a regular car park for a maximum of 24 hours, provided there is no sign prohibiting this. You can also stay the night on private property if you have permission from the owner unless prohibited by the local government.

Emergency telephone number

Emergency telephone number: 112
Police: 110

Compulsory to bring

A warning triangle and reflective jackets for the driver and passenger(s).

Roads and traffic

Speed limit
The maximum speed limit for a motorhome in Germany:

  • Within built-up areas ≤ 3,5 t: 50 km/h
  • Within built-up area > 3,5 ton: 50 km/h
  • Outside built-up area ≤ 3.5 tons: 100 km per hour
  • Outside built-up area > 3.5 tons: 80 km per hour
  • Motorway ≤ 3.5 tons: no limit but 130 km per hour advised
  • Motorway> 3.5 tons: 100 km per hour

Speed camera warning

It is forbidden to have a radar warning in Germany. Even speed camera detectors in navigation systems or apps may not be used.

Driving in winter


Winter tyres and sufficient windscreen washer fluid are listed as requirements in winter conditions in the German traffic regulations (StVO). If you drive with summer tyres during wintery conditions, you can expect a fine of €60. And are you obstructing traffic because of incorrect tyres? Then this fine will be increased to at least €80. If winter conditions can be avoided, then summer tyres may be used. This is an exception for regions in Germany with less snowy conditions as well as for owners of multiple vehicles. In the event of an accident and the motorhome is not adapted to winter conditions, the driver may be held (partly) liable.

Which tyres are recognised as winter tyres?
Winter tyres can be recognised by the alpine symbol, a mountain with a snowflake (3PMSF). Until October 2024, tyres marked M+S (mud + snow) are also permitted if produced before 31 December 2017. You also need snow chains. These are mandatory in places where shown by signs. Motorists who do not live in Germany must also comply with the regulations.

Campercontact country information -  Rear warning sign
Rear warning sign

Additional load

No load may extend from the front of the motorhome. You can carry a load extending up to 1.5 meters at the back, but if the load extends more than 1 meter it must be indicated by a red and white striped panel measuring 30x30 cm.

Other traffic rules

  • If your motorhome weighs more than 3,500 kilos, the road signs for trucks apply to you in Germany.
  • Motorhomes that are wider than two meters must stay in the right lane at a ‘Baustelle'. If you get caught, it will cost between €20 and €75.
  • In Germany, the 'halber Tacho' rule applies when calculating the correct minimum distance (in metres) between your vehicle and the one in
    front of you. Divide the speed you are driving by two. If you are driving at 100 km per hour, then you must keep a distance of at least 50 meters.  Converted into time that is 1.8 seconds. Obviously, in poor visibility, slippery conditions or on poor road surfaces, you should keep a greater distance. 
  • Motor vehicles cannot be towed Germany. This is stated in the Straßenverkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung (StVZO).


Low Emission Zones

Some large cities in Germany have a low emission zone in the centre. There is a similar zone in the Ruhr area. Only vehicles complying with exhaust emission standards are allowed to enter this zone. Motorways running through the Ruhr area are excluded from the low emissions zone. You can recognise the low emission zones in Germany by the road sign 'Umweltzone'. The sign shows which environmental stickers you may or may not use to drive into the zone. For example, a German low emission zone may only be accessible to vehicles with a green sticker. Vehicles with a different colour sticker or without a sticker are not allowed in. More about the different environmental stickers below.

In this case, only vehicles without a sticker are not allowed to enter the area.

Travelling by motorhome
As a motorhome traveller, you are not as likely to be faced with a low emissions zone in Germany. That is if you stay on the motorway. None of the motorways in Germany come under the current Umweltzones.

German environmental stickers

The German environmental stickers apply to all vehicles that intend to drive in, or through, a German low emission zone. There are several types. The four categories have been defined based on European emission standards. There are three coloured stickers: red, yellow and green. It is also possible that a vehicle does not meet the standards and therefore does not qualify for an environmental sticker.

  • No sticker, Euro 1. These are generally the older petrol engine cars without a regulated catalytic converter and older diesel vehicles.
  • Red sticker, Euro 2. The red sticker is no longer issued, because the yellow sticker is the lowest level required for the current environmental zones.
  • Yellow sticker, Euro 3. This sticker is only valid for Neu-Ulm.
  • Green sticker, Euro 4-,  5- and 6-norm.

Motorhomes with a diesel engine that have been retrofitted with a particulate filter with KBA approval may qualify for a higher environmental sticker. The stickers can be bought online (Google is your best friend) or you can buy them in Germany, at the vehicle registration office, at all approval authorities ('TUV and DEKRA') and at authorised garages in Germany. If you drive in Germany with the motorhome, please take the original registration certificate with you. 😉 Place the sticker on the inside bottom right of the windscreen. The moment you enter an 'Umweltzone' without the required environmental sticker, you risk a fine of €80.

Report a change?

The information on this page is checked regularly. However, it is possible that the regulations have changed in the meantime. All information on this page is therefore subject to change. Have you discovered an error? Please let us know via our contact form and we will, if necessary, amend it as soon as possible.