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Renting a car in Germany

We will be traveling to Germany in July, and plan to take a train from Bacharach to the Rothenburg area. We would then like to rent a car to travel the Romantic Road. Where would be the logical place to rent a car? I understand the train route from Bacharach goes to Mainz, Wurzburg, and Steinach. We plan on returning the car in Munich.
Another question I have is, will we be able to take the rental car into Austria for a day trip? Will we need any special permit?
Thanks!

Posted by
12040 posts

"Another question I have is, will we be able to take the rental car into Austria for a day trip? Will we need any special permit?"

If you take the car onto the Austrian Autobahn network, yes, you need to purchase a vignette. You can buy this at petrol stations near the border.

PS- The Romantic Road is no more scenic that any secondary route in that area of Bavaria. If towns along the route interest you, visit them. But the road itself is just a conveyance. If time is tight, take the A7 Autobahn and exit at the appropriate points.

Posted by
48 posts

That's good to know, Tom. Thanks! We don't necessarily need to travel the Romantic Road. We just wanted to combine car travel with train travel, and that seemed like a good area to drive in.
Any thoughts on where we might find a car rental? There doesn't seem to be one in Rothenburg. We'll be spending the night there.

Posted by
782 posts

Mainz has a Hertz car rental location at the train station,I will be returning my car there to catch a train to Nurnburg.
Mike

Posted by
32269 posts

lab,

You might want to contact GEMUT as they'll be able to provide all the information you need for car rental in Germany. I've found them to be very responsive to E-mails.

Posted by
7209 posts

Romantic Road is not quite so romantic if you're susceptible to car sickness. It's a winding, slow moving 2 lane road that just doesn't quite live up to its name. About 30 minutes on the Romantic Road is quite enough. It's really no more scenic than any other rural countryside road.

Posted by
2935 posts

Hi,

Check with Andy Bestor at www.gemut.com. We rented our cars through them for our last 4 trips to Germany and Austria. The Austrian Vignette is a toll sticker, that you stick to the windshield, that allows you to drive on highways in Austria. Cost is under 9 Euro. You can buy them at gas stations in Germany by the Austrian border.

Posted by
48 posts

Thanks, all!
Useful info, for sure. I've been hearing this about the Romantic Road a lot lately. it's probably filled with us American tourists!

Posted by
12040 posts

Increasingly Asian tourists too.

I don't want to give the impression that it's a torture to drive. It isn't at all. It's just that in a country with over 100 officially designated themed roads, the Romantic Road simply isn't that special in the larger perspective. But I guess the term "romantic" is just too irresistable.

At least the far southern portion gives you a magnificent view of the Alps on a clear day...but so will any road heading south, including the Autobahn routes.

Posted by
2935 posts

I agree, the Romantic Road isn't worth driving unless there are places along it you want to see. Very generic, forgettable scenery.

Posted by
48 posts

Thanks again, guys!
The reason we would even be on this stretch is because we will be driving from Rothenburg to Munich. Seemed like the logical path. Good to know, though!

Posted by
6805 posts

"We don't necessarily need to travel the Romantic Road. We just wanted to combine car travel with train travel, and that seemed like a good area to drive in.... we will be driving from Rothenburg to Munich."

You're making the R'burg - Munich journey in one day, right? So you're thinking of renting a car for just 1-2 days? Probably not worth the trouble of picking up, dropping off, contracts, insurance, or the expense, just to drive. You already know the route to Rothenburg from Bacharach. Two can get from R'burg to Munich on a Bayern Ticket day pass for €28. The pass lets you make stopovers and detours wherever you wish. You could spend several hours in well-known Nuremberg, or a village like Pappenheim or a the walled town of Weißenburg or in Bad Windsheim, which has a fantastic open-air museum, the Freilandmuseum. If bags are a problem, use lockers in Nuremberg or drop them with the local TI office, which normally will hold bags for visitors where lockers aren't available. You'd miss all these places if you traveled the Romantic Road with the rest.

Posted by
48 posts

Time to re-think my plan! Good thing that leg is still open to suggestion! All good ideas here!

Posted by
19170 posts

When I did the Romantic Road using public transportation in 2007, I took buses from Nördlingen to Feuchtwangen with a stopover in Dinkelsbühl. The bus followed the main road, Hwy 25, but turned off every few km to service a village not on the main road. At one point, when we returned to the Road, we had to wait to turn onto it while a Lorry passed by, with about 20 cars stuck behind it, unable to pass. And this was in mid-October, not heavy tourist time.

Posted by
7209 posts

Yep - it's just not worth it. We've also been behind several farm tractors for a while without being able to pass.