Video: Expat Couple Hauls Ass on the Autobahn in Germany

As you may already know, I am American and my wife is German (as all hell). We live in Hannover, Germany, and though we do not own a car, we sometimes get to borrow one from friends and family members. During the weekend of December 15th, 2012, we drove between the state of Hesse (Hessen) and Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) along the A7 Autobahn.

People in Germany often drive very fast on the Autobahn. We averaged 120 km/h during our journey, which is about 75 mph. In this video, you can see cars passing us at far greater speeds, especially the first car at the very beginning.

Listen, Germans, I know you want to make it home in time for Tatort and Wiener Schnitzel, but that’s no reason to wrap your Beemer around a tree.

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38 responses to “Video: Expat Couple Hauls Ass on the Autobahn in Germany

  1. Apparently I have been living in Germany too long, because I would have been one of those fools blowing past you!

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  2. We recently drove across Australia and the speed limit is 110 kpm and it was terrifying. Not so many cars overtaking us but a lot of animals trying to make it across the road!

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  3. Oooohhhhh. yes… how well I know!! – I like the video! :-)

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  4. 120 km/h is not a very fast Autobahn speed. In fact, even in the smallest cars I try to keep at least 130 km/h, which is the officially recommended speed, because I don’t want to obstruct traffic flow.
    Using my own car, I choose a speed somewhere between 130 and 200 km/h on long-distance rides, depending on traffic, weather, time pressure and mood, avoiding to brake and accelerate too much.
    Once I had an American couple as passengers on a ride share (Mitfahrgelegenheit) from Kassel to Berlin. It was late Sunday evening with very little traffic, so I went 200 km/h for longer sections using cruise control. They were just happy with that and felt safe enough to sleep most of the time in the back seat. Upon our arrival in Berlin, they complimented on the fast and safe ride and booked a ride back to Kassel right away.

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  5. You are not wrong. The driving in Germany was the only mad thing that I highlighted after my first 18 months in Germany. http://tinyurl.com/b3vl79y

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  6. The one thing I noticed about the Autobahn during my only trip (so far) to the Fatherland is how orderly it seemed to be. I mean i know they have traffic jams just like we do. Our driver even had to take a detour because of one, but on the whole it seemed like a ballet, and that everyone on the road knew their part to play. Yes, it is painfully obvious how much better–on the whole–the Germans are at driving, than us Americans. My God, if you took our speed limits away even for one day, it would begin to resemble Mad Max beyond Thunderdome! Also, I love riding the Autobahn over there, and just riding around in general, because all the cars are nice and new! I’m a car guy, so my head was on a swivel the whole time! Audis, Bimmers and Mercs, oh my! :-D (Again, I wasn’t driving! :-) )

    Loved the video, dude. Keep ‘em comin’!

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  7. Oh, wow! They are in a hurry. It’s not like their cars are geared for faster driving, right? I mean they’re not race cars…Be safe!!

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  8. It looked kinda like my parents’ car, a silver VW Polo, going about 160 kph, but they weren’t anywhere near Kassel and I am the only one in the family who drives that fast (which isn’t exactly fast, with those weather/traffic conditions I’d take her out to 180+)

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  9. I would say that 140 kmh is the average low speed when there is no speed limit. You may have noticed that you can only pass a car from the left. So if you only drive 120 kmh please stay in you far right lane.
    Do you have a GER/EU drivers license?

    LG Anja

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  10. Haha you reminded me of the first time I visited Germany. I was sitting in the back seat of a taxi and I felt as if he was going a little too fast. So I thought he was probably going about 120 or 130 kmh but then I looked and it turned out to be 170 kmh! So I started looking for the max speed and it turned out there is no max speed…

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  11. “We’re headed north…”

    Have you noticed that that means NOTHING to many (most) Germans? Particularly those who have not lived outside of Germany? My theory is that most of their roads (streets, bikepaths, etc.) are so old that it just doesn’t make sense to think in terms of compass points — those routes are not based on a grid carved into the land as the populations grew, but rather woven around existing pockets of people.

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    • My God, that explains it. Whenever The Wife and I are exploring our city, I always say “We’re headed west. Toward the river,” and she gets this blank look on her face. Then she responds in terms of landmarks.

      Great observation! Thank you!

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  12. Last time I was in Germany, 1997, I was in the backseat with my aunt and her German nephew was driving us to Stuttgart on the autobahn at speeds reaching 160 kph. Felt the same way as you.
    Later on, I found out that the German autobahns are built to much better specs than American highways and well-maintained, which partly explains why there are no posted speed limits.
    I guess high speed driving is something one gets used to if you grow up in Germany.

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  13. I thoroughly enjoy driving that fast, preferably 200 km/h. It’s not that we are reckless drivers, quite the contrary. The Autobahns are built for speed, very even, very safe. And usually Germans are really good drivers, our driving lessons are lengthy and damned expensive ^^. There’s no need to be scared, especially when a german woman is driving, we tend to be cautios, but boy do we like to but the foot down.

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