Out and about by car

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Car sharing

Similarly to call-a-bikes, you can rent cars from various stations in town. This communal use of a car is called car sharing and is a practical solution for anyone who doesn’t own a car and just wants to rent one at short notice or for a short time.

There are many different providers, and in most cases you have to become a member and choose a specific tariff. This could be pay-as-you-drive or a regular fee irrespective of how often you use a car. Cars can be booked spontaneously or with a reservation, by phone, App or via the Internet. You don’t actually pay when you drive, but fees are booked off your account by way of direct debit.

These websites offer more general information about car sharing and help you choose the right provider:

Renting a car

There are numerous car rental agencies in Frankfurt, with service points for example at the airport or at the main train station. So if you want to go on a tour by car, here you can rent one.

There are various portals for comparing prices. Here are some of them:

It is worth your while to study and compare prices and conditions carefully. Insurance for accidents and other damages should always be included or booked in addition. Take care to check how high the excess (in German Selbstbeteiligung) in case of damage is. You also must have liability insurance. These insurances cover only the driver as named in the rental contract; if there are several drivers, it might be advisable to add these to the insurance cover at extra cost. Tariffs may also vary according to the driver’s age. Some providers offer student discounts. If you need a van for moving, you should always check out the KfZ-Referat on the Bockenheim campus first. They offer special tariffs for students.

Driver’s licence and driving permit

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If you have a driver’s licence from your home country and want to use it in Germany, different regulations may apply depending on the country. As a rule, the following applies:

Are you a citizen of an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland?

In this case there are no limits to using your driver’s licence here in Germany, no re-registration is necessary. The ADAC (the German automobile club) has detailed information about foreign driving permits and exceptions here:

Driver’s licences from EU or EEA member states 

You are not a citizen of one of the states mentioned above?

When you get to Germany, you can only use your driver’s licence for 6 months and you need a certified translation of the licence (e.g. by the German diplomatic mission in your home country or by an internationally recognised automobile club).

If you want to use your driver’s licence in Germany for longer, you have to exchange it for a German driver’s licence, i.e. you have to re-register it.

Click here to find information and conditions for re-registration of your driver’s licence by the city of Frankfurt:

Re-registration of foreign driver’s licences (non-member states)


It is not always necessary to take the theoretical and practical driving test again. The ADAC has detailed information: ADAC country list

It may be possible to extend the 6-month period if you can prove that you will not be living in Germany for more than 12 months. Information and further details are available here: Driver’s licences from non-EU or EEA countries