Dreaming of hitting the Autobahn or going for a drive along the Rhine? Lots of people enjoy driving as well as talking about cars. Knowing some key phrases about driving will help you join in on different conversations and keep you safe while out on the road.

Below, we'll introduce you to important phrases that will be useful when talking about driving. Just have a look at the following tables and start getting ready for your next road trip!

Learning How to Drive

Getting your driver's license is an important step towards adulthood, and many German teenagers look forward to that moment. Below, you'll learn useful phrases for talking about learning how to drive.
   
 
   
 
Hast du schon deinen Führerschein?
 
Do you have your driver's license yet?
 
Ich habe nur den vorläufigen Führerschein.
 
I only have my permit.
 
Wie oft bist du schon gefahren?
 
How many times have you been driving so far?
 
Weißt du, wie man mit Gangschaltung fährt?
 
Do you know how to drive stick-shift?
 
Meine Führerscheinprüfung ist nächsten Monat.
 
My driving test is next month.
 
Ich muss meinen Führerschein erneuern lassen.
 
I have to go and get my license renewed.
 
Ich habe noch nicht geübt, auf der Autobahn zu fahren.
 
I haven't practiced driving on the highway yet.
 
 

Talking about Road Safety

Safety first! Knowing the rules and regulations of driving is the best way to keep yourself and others safe. The following phrases will help you discuss the rules of the road.
   
 
   
 
Ich schnalle mich immer an.
 
I always buckle my seatbelt.
 
Halte immer einen Sicherheitsabstand zu anderen Autos.
 
Always keep a safe distance to other cars.
 
Bei Stoppschildern halte ich immer an.
 
I always come to a full stop at stop signs.
 
Achte auf alle Verkehrszeichen.
 
Pay attention to all road signs.
 
Du sollst nicht SMS schreiben während dem Fahren.
 
You are not supposed to text and drive.
 
Alkohol am Steuer ist verboten.
 
It's illegal to drink and drive.
 
Ich habe einen Strafzettel wegen Geschwindigkeitsübertretung bekommen.
 
I got a ticket for speeding.
 
Wir müssen den Krankenwagen vorbeilassen.
 
We have to pull over for the ambulance.
 
 

Talking about Car Problems

Car troubles could happen at any time when we're driving. Get prepared for any emergencies with the following phrases! They'll help you describe car troubles so that you can get the help you need.
   
 
   
 
Mein Tank ist fast leer.
 
My tank is nearly empty.
 
Ich habe einen platten Reifen.
 
I have a flat tire.
 
Kannst du den Wagenheber aus dem Kofferraum holen?
 
Can you get the jack out of the trunk?
 
Mein rechtes Rücklicht funktioniert nicht.
 
My right tail light isn't working.
 
Die Klimaanlage ist defekt.
 
The AC is broken.
 
Mein Motor macht ein seltsames Geräusch.
 
My engine is making a weird noise.
 
Die Motor-Kontrollleuchte blinkt.
 
The check engine light is flashing.
 
Ich brauche einen Ölwechsel.
 
I need an oil change.
 
 

Answers to the Most Common Questions

What are the most essential German phrases for talking about driving?
  • Hast du schon deinen Führerschein?
    Do you have your driver's license yet?
  • Ich schnalle mich immer an.
    I always buckle my seatbelt.
  • Alkohol am Steuer ist verboten.
    It's illegal to drink and drive.
  • Mein Tank ist fast leer.
    My tank is nearly empty.
  • Weißt du, wie man mit Gangschaltung fährt?
    Do you know how to drive stick-shift?
  • Wir müssen den Krankenwagen vorbeilassen.
    We have to pull over for the ambulance.
  • Ich habe einen platten Reifen.
    I have a flat tire.
  • Mein Motor macht ein seltsames Geräusch.
    My engine is making a weird noise.
What do you have to do to get a license in Germany?
How you get a driver's license will vary depending on what country you're in. In Germany, for example, you have to turn 17 before you can apply to get your license. You must pass both a theoretical and a practical exam, and are then only allowed to drive with someone over 30 until you turn 18. After you receive your license, you go on a probation period for 2 years. If you break any major traffic laws during this time, then you have to go back for more driving lessons and pass another test. If you do not break any traffic regulations during this time, then you will become a fully licensed driver.
What are some of the most important things to keep in mind when driving in German-speaking countries?
Following all road safety laws is the most important thing to do when driving in a German-speaking country. Keep in mind that laws can be different depending on what country you're in. Make sure you look them up before you go driving anywhere new. Other than this, it's important to pay attention to road signs, like stop signs and speed limit signs. You should also always drive on the right side whenever you're in a German-speaking country.