Parking in Germany
This page contains topics:
- Parking Signs in Germany
- Parking Management Zone
- Parking on Sidewalk
- Parking Signs with Arrows
- Parking in a One-Way Street
- Parking Disc in Germany
- Long Parking or Short Stopping
- No Stopping / No Parking Signs
- Parking Restriction Zone
- General No-Stop / No Parking Areas
- Penalties for Wrong Parking
Parking Signs in Germany
Like in other European countries, most people in Germany park their vehicles on roadsides. As parking on the roadside is the most common and cheaper option. There are some other facilities also available, like open parking ground (Parkplatz), underground parking facility (Tiefgarage) and covered parking facility (Parkhaus).
Parking along the roadside is only allowed in the direction of traffic on that side. On one-way streets, parking is allowed in both the right and left side, because both sides have the same, unidirectional flow of traffic.
A parking area is indicated by sign 314.
General parking sign in Germany
This sign marks the area where parking is permitted and is also used to give directions to parking areas. This sign is normally accompanied by additional signs, indicating additional parking conditions, for example, the duration of parking allowed, who is allowed to park here, or additional parking requirements like discs etc.
Below are few examples of parking signs with additional parking information.
Parking is allowed only within marked parking areas.
Parking is allowed only in marked areas.
Parking is allowed only with purchase of a parking voucher ("mit Parkschein" means with Parking voucher)
Parking is allowed only with parking disc. Here in this example it’s 2 hrs. "Std" means "hrs".
Parking is allowed only with parking disc in marked areas and for 2 hrs.
Parking is allowed only for indicated vehicle class. In this example only allowed for passenger cars.
Parking areas where caravans may be parked longer than 14 days.
Parking areas where trailers are allowed to park longer than 14 days.
Parking for vehicles with a maximum authorized mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes, including their trailers and tractors, excluding passenger cars and buses.
Parking only allowed for people with handicap permit.
Residents with parking permit No. ....
Perpendicular parking to the road.
Parking inclined to the road.
Parking Management Zone
These are the areas with sign 314.1. Parking in these areas is permitted on all streets with parking disc or voucher as indicated by additional sign, till the sign 314.2 that indicates end of parking management zone.
Start of parking management zone.
End of parking management zone.
Parking on Sidewalk
In old towns and cities of Germany, most of the roads are too narrow to park a vehicle. Hence vehicles are allowed to take some space from pedestrian walking areas like footpaths / sidewalks, but parking on bicycle lane is strictly forbidden.
Parking on a sidewalk can have following conditions:
Important to note that all the following conditions are applicable on vehicles having weight category equal to or less than 2.8 ton. Heavier vehicles than this category are not allowed to park on sidewalks.
Parking on sidewalks half left in driving direction.
Parking on sidewalks half right in driving direction.
Parking on sidewalks completely left in driving direction.
Parking on sidewalks completely right in driving direction.
Perpendicular parking half on the sidewalk and half in the street on left side of the road.
Perpendicular parking half on the sidewalk and half in the street on right side of the road.
Perpendicular parking completely on the sidewalk on left side of the road.
Perpendicular parking completely on the sidewalk on right side of the road.
Parking Signs with Arrows
Start of a parking area. The arrow pointing towards the road indicates start of parking area.
End of a parking area. The arrow pointing away from the road indicates end of parking area.
Parking is allowed before and after this sign. This sign is placed in middle of parking area, between start sign and end sign.
Arrows on parking and no-parking signs have similar meanings. Please read the below article for details.
While traveling on highways outside city limits, following sign indicates an extra wide shoulder for Emergency and breakdown stop.
An emergency stop and breakdown bay is a short lane on the right side of the road. Its usage is only allowed in emergency. Often these can be found on tunnels ends, on heavily traveled roads without side stripes, in the area of road construction sites or on mountain passes.
Parking in a One-Way Street
In the one-way street, vehicles may be parked on both sides, if there is enough space and no other vehicle/emergency vehicle is obstructed. Parking in opposite to the direction of travel is forbidden.
If no parking sign is installed in one-way street, then parking on opposite side of the street is allowed (No parking is only applicable on the side on which no parking sign is installed). No parking sign doesn't remain applicable after a junction or crossing. All other parking rules are similar to two-way street.
Parking Disc in Germany
Parking disc is used in conditions when parking is allowed only for a certain maximum period. The word ANKUNFTSZEIT on the parking disc means "Arrival time". Numbers in small font represent 24 hrs time format. Time intervals are divided into half hours (30 minutes).
The use of a parking disc is prescribed through a supplementary sign under the main parking sign. The supplementary sign indicates the maximum allowed time for parking and other necessary information. Please see the below example illustrations.
Start of parking, half on sidewalk. Maximum parking time is 2 hrs.
Arrow pointing away from the road indicates end of parking.
Time Setting on Parking Disc
As the disc has only intervals of 30 minutes, it is allowed to round the arrival time to the next line on the disc. For example, your arrival time at the parking place is 10:16, now the next available line on the disc is 10:30. If you arrive at 11:44, you can set it to 12:00. The maximum rounded time availability is 29 minutes. For example, if the arrival time is 9:01, you can set the disc to 9:30. The disc should be placed at the dashboard, where it must be visible to authorities. If the parking disc is placed in a way that the controller can't read it properly, he/she would issue a ticket.
Long Parking or Short Stopping
A vehicle is considered parked when the driver leaves the vehicle or it is stopped for longer than 3 minutes. It is legal to stop on the left side, unless stopping is prohibited by traffic signs.
If a vehicle is undergoing parking maneuver, vehicle on the road must give it time to park and allow passengers to get on and off.
No Stopping / No Parking Signs
These signs are applicable only on the side of the road on which they are installed. Other side of the road may have different signs applicable.
Absolute No parking / No stopping
Here neither parking nor short stopping is allowed.
Beginning of the NO STOP area. Neither parking nor holding is allowed.
Neither parking nor holding is allowed on the right side of the road. Arrow pointing towards the road shows start of a stopping prohibited area.
Arrow pointing away from the road indicates end of a stopping prohibited area. End of NO STOPPING / NO PARKING area on right side of the road, which was earlier started by the sign 283-10.
Similar to sign 283-10: Beginning of the NO STOPPING / NO PARKING area.
Neither parking nor holding is allowed on the left side of the road.
End of NO STOPPING / NO PARKING area on left side of the road, which was earlier started by the sign 283-21.
This sign is placed in between the "NO STOP BEGINS" (Sign 283-10) and "NO STOP ENDS" (Sign 283-20). Sometimes the stopping prohibited area on a road may be lengthy, then this sign is placed in between the start and end signs at some intervals. It indicates, stopping or Parking on the road is prohibited before and after this sign. Application on right side of the road.
Same as last sign 283-30. Installation on left side of the road.
Restricted No Stopping. Indicates parking prohibited, but drivers may stop up to 3 minutes. This sign can also have white arrows same as shown in "stopping prohibited" category (sign 283 with its subcategories).
Continuation of sign 286. No parking. A short waiting stop up to 3 minutes is allowed. Arrow pointing towards the road shows start of waiting zone. This sign is placed on the right side of the road.
Arrow pointing away from the road indicates end of no parking zone. This sign ends the parking prohibition that was set earlier by sign 286-10 on right side of the road.
No parking. A short waiting stop up to 3 minutes is allowed. This sign is placed on the left side of the road.
End of no parking on the left side of the road.
This sign is placed in the middle of no parking area. No parking or a more than 3 minutes longer stop is not permitted before and after this sign. This sign is placed on the right side of the road.
Please go through this page to see the full list of German traffic signs.
Taxi Parking Only. Indicates area reserved for taxis.
Posted at official stopping places for buses and streetcars. This sign will specify (with a picture) whether the stop is for buses or streetcars. Parking or stopping within 15 meters of this sign is prohibited.
Explanation of White Arrow on NO STOP / NO PARKING Sign
First of all: All no-stop signs (all signs in category 283, 286, all bus stop and taxi stop signs) are only applicable on the side of the street on which they are installed till the next junction or crossing. A crossing or junction automatically cancels any previously installed NO STOP or No Parking sign.
The white arrows on the signs always indicate the beginning, end or continuation of the No Stop/No Parking. They may seem confusing but actually they are easy to understand.
A hint, which is always applicable, if the white arrow points towards the road and away from the footpath, the no-stopping / no parking zone starts here. If the white arrow on the no-stopping / no parking sign points away from the road and towards the footpath, then the no-stop area ends here.
A second hint, which some people use for two-way street / road is top arrow shows the beginning of NO STOP or No Parking area and a bottom arrow indicates the end of NO STOP or No Parking area. One-way-street installations are a bit different. The earlier mentioned hint is easier and always applicable on all no-parking as well as on parking signs, "ARROW TO THE ROAD IS START".
Please see the below illustrations for more clarity.
No parking signs are set up so that you can look at them directly when you approach them from right side. If you simply mentally turn the parking prohibition signs clockwise towards the street, the prohibition is between the arrows.
No parking in One-Way Street (Einbahnstraße)
One-way street sign
As in one-way street parking is allowed on both sides of the road, so the No Parking signs are also a bit different.
In one-way streets on the left, the signs are the other way around. However, the rule "Towards the road is the beginning" remains same. Also, if the traffic signs are turned towards you on both sides of the road, this is an indication that you are in a one-way street.
Please see the below illusrtration for more clarity.
Parking Restriction Zone
Posted at entrances to a neighborhood or area where parking is prohibited on all streets in the area until the "End of parking restriction zone" sign is reached.
Indicates start of Parking restriction zone.
Indicates end of Parking restriction zone.
General No-Stop / No Parking Areas
Apart from these signs, basic no-stop zones are also always as follows:
- In tight spaces and at blind street locations.
- In the range of sharp curves.
- On threading and threading strips
- On railway crossings, 5 meters within city limits and 50 meters outside city limits.
- Within 15 meters of bus stop sign (also streetcar stop sign).
- Before and in officially marked fire service access roads. The sign may have different texts like Feuerwehr! Ausfahrt freihalten (Fire Department! keep the exit clear) or Feuerwehr Ausfahrt (Fire Department access /exit) or just Feuerwehrzufahrt (emergency access road for fire department).
- Within 5 meters of an unmarked junction.
- In front of the driveway to a property or a house. There would a sign in the German language: Ausfahrt Freihalten (Exit, Keep it clear) or Einfahrt Freihalten (Entrance, keep it clear).
- With a lowered curb there is usually always a parking ban or restricted stopping ban.
- If the road is too narrow then also the opposite side of exit/entrance is a No-Parking area. German sign for this would be Ausfahrt Freihalten auch gegenüber.
- On bicycle lane.
- Adjacent to a traffic island (Verkehrsinsel in German).
- On priority road (Vorfahrtstrasse) with sign.
- Double parking is not allowed (parking of two adjust vehicles).
- Parking above manhole covers is not allowed.
Below are some examples of signs in front of an entrance or exit. As these entrances or exits can be to private properties or governmental services, so these signs may have a variety of texts, but generally, words like Ausfahrt (exit) or Einfahrt (entrance) are there.
Time-limited No-Parking Signs
On certain occasions, such as house moving, filming, any event or construction work, temporary stopping ban signs can be applied from the respective road traffic authority (Straßenverkehrsbehörde).
All road users must comply with these stopping restrictions. These signs must be set up four days before the event. Any vehicle not considering these temporary signs can be towed away, especially if there is a traffic obstruction by the vehicle. Owner of the vehicle would pay the towing cost and NO STOP or No Parking fine, whatever the violation may be.
Penalties for Wrong Parking
A parking offender commits an administrative offense in Germany. Verwarnungsgeld (on the spot warning fine) can be up to 30 Euros. In the absence of the driver, a wrongly parked vehicle is towed away through a private firm, which can be very costly, depending upon size of vehicle.
If the vehicle is parked in way of fire brigade vehicles, there can be a penalty of 60 Euros and one point in the driving license.
If the vehicle has towed away, the owner must also pay the cost of towing service, which can be at least 250 Euros, depending upon the size of vehicle. If the towing service arrived but haven't towed the vehicle yet and owner arrives the owner must pay the traveling expenses or service charges, which are significatly lower than above mentioned 250 Euros.