Rent a Car for Travel in Berlin

Renting a car enables traveling at your own pace to see more sights in Berlin and surrounding Germany. With the right planning, renting a car in Berlin can be easy and stress-free. Follow this guide to everything you need to know.

Finding a Berlin Car Rental

Start by finding a rental car provider. Consider:

International Rental Companies

Major agencies like Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Europcar and Budget operate locations across Berlin including both Tegel (TXL) and Schönefeld (SXF) airports.

Local German Companies

Local brands like Buchbinder, Sixt, and Flinkster often offer lower rates than big name companies. Research policies and reputability.

Peer-to-Peer Rentals

Services like Turo allow locals to rent out their personal cars. Verify insurance coverage when using peer rentals.

Rental Aggregator Sites

Compare rates across providers using aggregators like, Kayak, Expedia. Watch for hidden fees.

Berlin Car Rental Companies

CompanyPick Up Locations
HertzTegel Airport, City Centers
SixtTegel Airport, City Centers
AvisTegel Airport, City Centers
BudgetTegel Airport, City Centers
EnterpriseTegel Airport, City Centers

Choosing a Rental Car in Berlin

Consider the following when selecting a rental car in Berlin:

  • Rental duration – Are you renting for a day or longer term?
  • Number of passengers/luggage – Choose a car size that fits all passengers comfortably.
  • Locations – Will you stay central or take road trips outside Berlin?
  • Fuel efficiency – Opt for diesel, hybrid, or smaller petrol cars.
  • Transmission – Manual is more common than automatic. Ensure you can drive stick.
  • Features – GPS, Bluetooth, ski racks, child seats etc.
  • Cost – Balance size and features with rental fees.

Insurance Needs for Berlin Car Rentals

Insurance for Berlin rental cars is crucial. Ask:

  • Is basic insurance included or will you need to add CDW (collision damage waiver)? Know what’s covered.
  • Should you purchase supplemental liability insurance for extra protection?
  • Does your credit card provide rental coverage? Understand the specific benefits.
  • Are there exclusions like damage to windows, tires, the roof or undercarriage?

Purchase adequate insurance to avoid large out-of-pocket expenses for damages or theft. The minimum liability may not be enough.

Pick Up and Drop Off Locations

When booking, choose convenient rental locations and times. Options include:

  • Tegel (TXL) or Schönefeld (SXF) airports – Easiest for flying into Berlin.
  • Berlin Central Station – Pick up a car downtown right at the main rail station.
  • Inner city rental offices – Major agencies have locations across central Berlin.
  • Flexible return – Return to a different approved branch for a small fee.

Review opening hours to avoid after-hours return fees. Factor in connections to/from rental locations.

Driving Tips for Berlin

Driving in Berlin requires caution. Be prepared with these tips:

  • Use GPS and offline maps to navigate unfamiliar areas. Mobile data is inconsistent.
  • Watch for pedestrians, cyclists, trams – they have the right of way.
  • Parking is limited. Reserve ahead if possible.
  • Avoid restricted areas like Mitte without proper credentials.
  • Follow speed limits. Enforcement cameras issue costly tickets.
  • Check narrow side roads and reverse angle parking.

Rules of the Road in Germany

Follow these general rules when driving in Berlin and Germany:

  • Drive on the right side of the road.
  • Seat belt use is mandatory for all passengers.
  • Children under 12 years and under 1.5 meters must be in approved safety seats.
  • Headlights must be on at all times.
  • Yield to traffic from the right at intersections.
  • Strict 0.05% blood alcohol limit when driving.
  • Completely hands-free mobile phone use only while driving.

Refueling Your Berlin Rental Car

  • Review whether you must return the car full or can pay for unfilled fuel.
  • Refill close to your drop off location before returning the car.
  • Keep fuel receipts as potential proof of fill level.
  • Most stations are self-service. Have cash/credit card ready.

Dropping Off Your Berlin Rental Car

When it’s time to return your rental car in Berlin:

  • Return during office hours or you may face after-hours return fees.
  • Inspect the car fully and note any new damages on the return form.
  • Keep your rental agreement in case of disputes over later damages or fees.
  • Have fuel receipt ready to show fuel level on return.
  • Get a $0 balance receipt from agent upon safe drop off.

Helpful Berlin Car Rental Resources

With proper preparation, renting a car enables easy travel around Berlin or greater Germany. Use this guide to start planning your Berlin road trip!

Frequently Asked Questions about Renting a Car in Berlin

What documents do I need to rent a car in Berlin?

You’ll need a valid driver’s license, passport, and credit card in your name. Some companies require an International Driving Permit.

What is the minimum rental age in Berlin?

The minimum age is usually 18-25 years depending on the company. Underage renters incur young driver surcharges.

Can I take a rental car from Berlin to other European countries?

Yes, but notify the rental company ahead of time. Extra insurance fees or restrictions may apply outside Germany.

Is automatic or manual transmission more common for Berlin rentals?

Manual transmission is much more common than automatic in German rental cars. Ensure you can competently drive stick shift.

How expensive is rental car insurance in Berlin?

Required basic insurance averages 10-20 EUR ($10-$22 USD) per day. Supplemental coverage can be 20-40+ EUR ($22-$44+ USD) extra per day.


Renting a car enables you to visit top sights at your own pace when traveling in Berlin. With the proper vehicle, insurance coverage, and knowledge of local rules, you can comfortably navigate the city by rental car. Use this comprehensive Berlin car rental guide to start planning your Germany road trip!


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