Driving guides

Driving to Germany from the UK

Cities like Cologne and Düsseldorf are only a few hours drive from Calais. Here’s all you need to know about a road trip to Germany.

LeShuttle is truly the gateway to Europe – when you leave our terminal at Calais you are not only on the doorstep of Belgium and the Netherlands, but Germany is only a few hours drive away.

Yes, Germany – with its stunning architecture, fairytale castles and majestic landscapes, so close you could be there by lunchtime!

Preparing for your journey to Germany

Do all the normal checks on your car you would before any long drive – oil, screen wash, tyre pressure and depth, amongst others. Make sure you are equipped with everything you might need in an emergency, such as a working torch and extra supplies of food and water. The following emergency items are mandatory in Germany –

  • Warning triangle
  • Two hi-vis jackets
  • First aid kit

Colourful medieval houses and two cobbled lanes in an old town

How long does it take to drive from Calais to Germany?

So many wonderful German cities are within a short driving distance of our terminal at Calais. The Rhine valley is the most populous area of Germany, full of memorable places to visit – Cologne, Düsseldorf and Bonn are all under five hours away. Here are the driving times to some popular German cities within a day’s drive of Calais:


Driving time from Calais


4h 50 mins


4h 30 mins


4h 50 mins


10h 30 mins


8h 45 mins


5h 20 mins


6h 45 mins




What documents do I need to drive from the UK to Germany?

These are the documents you should carry with you in your car at all times while driving in Germany:

  • A full valid UK driving licence
  • Passport
  • Evidence of insurance cover
  • V5 (logbook)

You will need to have European breakdown cover in place. A policy provides roadside assistance should you break down in Europe, and English-speaking customer phone support.


A stretch of road going downhill, with hills and a thick forest in the distance on a summer’s day

Is it easy to drive to Germany from the UK?

If you are an experienced driver in Europe, your road trip to Germany should not pose too many problems. The quickest route from Calais is along the A16 coast road. Within an hour you are across the border, so here are some tips on driving in Belgium. You may have a short section in the Netherlands, but within around four hours you will be driving in Germany.

German roads are among the best maintained in Europe, and as long as you respect the speed limits you will enjoy driving from France to Germany.

The Autobahn network is toll-free and usually free flowing. It has a reputation for speed, so keep to the right hand (slow) lane where possible. There is no speed limit on over 10% of the Autobahn, but where there are speed limits (usually 120 km/h) they must be adhered to. You can be fined if you are caught exceeding the speed limit by less than 10 km/h.

Driving in Germany

Frequently asked questions


A: Cars driving on a three lane city centre road in Europe

The benefits of driving to Germany

German roads are some of the best in Europe. It’s a wonderful way to explore the country, from the stunning scenic routes of the Black Forest to the high speed Autobahn. Plus, you won’t have to pay tolls if you are driving a car, and generally German cars are safer than elsewhere in Europe.

Drive to Germany with LeShuttle

Why take the train, coach or plane to Germany when you can drive and just stop wherever takes your fancy? Your journey to Germany starts with a 35-minute crossing from Folkestone to Calais with LeShuttle.

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Drive to Germany with LeShuttle

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