Resources Questions? Call (201) 851-7588  

  European Freeways

American mythology also reports that European freeways (autoroutes, autobahns, autostradas, etc.) are exceedingly dangerous. The fact is that they are no different than any interstate highway in the US save for the following: Europeans always pass on the left, never on the right; they generally always use their blinkers to indicate passing; they never drive in the left (passing) lane except to pass another vehicle.

Counter to what you may have heard, most all European freeways have posted speed limits, and this is also the case in much of Germany. Generally, 120 kph (70 mph) is the fastest you may drive on these roads and most Europeans adhere to speed laws. It should be noted that even on some German autobahns that don't have speed limits, the faster cars always pass to the left, leaving you to tool along at whatever speed you're comfortable with.

The freeways throughout Europe are conveniently supplied with full-service rest stops. Most have restaurants, shops and, of course, automotive service. Europeans pride themselves on cleanliness and rest stops are no exception. From the top of Sweden to the bottom of Italy, these rest areas are most often extremely clean and offer surprisingly good national foods. Germany, Austria and Italy offer inexpensive restaurants that will delight you and leave you wondering why we ever settled for our fast food establishments.

The freeways of Germany are, as their name implies, free. However in France and Italy there are toll booths. A nice feature however, is the the fact that most booths have automatic credit card machines allowing you to pull up, slide your card in and be off in seconds. In their never-ending attempt to be different, Switzerland and Austria uses a sticker which you must purchase prior to using any of their freeways. If you are picking up location is Switzerland, these stickers are available from the Peugeot representative.

Tip: Europeans take lunch seriously. The idea of eating in two minutes, thirty-one seconds mystifies them. You'll notice that at just about noon time until about 2:00 PM, these rest stops become quite busy, especially on the weekends. It's a good idea to pull in for lunch around 11:45 that should put you back on the road in about an hour's time.

Another Tip: It won't talk you long to figure out that many Europeans bring picnic supplies with them when they travel: luncheon meats, tomatoes, bread, tubes of mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, etc. They'll pull into a rest stop buy cold drinks and make their own sandwiches. It's a good idea and inexpensive. You might want to try it for a change of pace.