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    Car hire in Berlin - Discover the German capital

    Car hire in Berlin

    Berlin is the largest city in Germany and also its capital, and as such it is a very lively city that attracts young and old tourists alike thanks to its art scene, historical monuments, colourful nightlife and alternative spirit. There are plenty of activities for visitors in Berlin from strolling around the different neighbourhoods, to visiting the modern parliament seat called Reichstag, to art, historical museums, or the zoo for children.

    A visit to some of the city´s most historic landmarks is also a must: Check-Point Charly, East Side Gallery with the remains of the Berlin Wall covered by graffiti and the Stasi museum (former headquarters of the Communist Secret Services). The river Spree flows through the city and one can have very nice walks along the river banks or even do some boat tours. For those looking for a peaceful spot for a picnic or just a breather while enjoying the scenery, the city offers plenty of green areas such as the park of Castle Charlottenburg and even bathing lakes, like the Wannsee. Entertainment at night is also first class with plenty of concerts, opera performances, international and local restaurants, bars and avant-garde dancing clubs.

    Exploring the capital city and its surroundings is ideal with a car hire from Berlin. Get out on the road for a day trip and discover the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), with fascinating cities like Potsdam with its royal castle, Dresden and Leipzig within easy reach. The border to Poland is also pretty close, just a 1,5 drive, and the capital of Czech Republic, Prague, is just a four hour drive away. For motor-enthusiast looking for a longer road trip you can get inspired by our 600 miles of German motorway trip that will take you from Cologne to Berlin. A one-way car rental is also the perfect solution for clients wishing to explore more of Germany with pick-up of the car hire in one destination and drop-off in another, enabling you to drive down to Munich and Bavaria, especially if you happen to be in Germany between the middle of September and the beginning of October, when the famous Oktoberfest beer festival takes place.

    Half a century of experience has made Auto Europe’s one of the major car rental brokers worldwide. We have a wide selection of offers in over 24,000 locations and can guarantee the very highest standards in terms of quality and service. To support our clients during the booking process, as well as during and after the rental period we have a dedicated team of reservation and customer service agents ready to help you with any enquiries. Do not hesitate to contact them under +44 123 3225 114 seven days a week.

    Auto Europe's primary goal is customer satisfaction and we have therefore prepared a dedicated page where you can read about other clients experience when renting a car through us on the Berlin car hire reviews pages.

    For more information about renting a vehicle in Berlin, click on the car hire related topics listed below:

    Suppliers Car Hire FAQs Travel Guide

    Where to Pick up a Car Hire in Berlin

    When hiring a car in Berlin through Auto Europe, you will find countless rental offers at the airport but also directly in the city, including the central station. In West Berlin there are offices in Charlottenburg and Spandau; in East Berlin you have the option of pick up close to Alexander Platz, in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin Mitte and Lichtenberg; to the south in Mariendorf, Steglitz, Neukölln; and to the north in Reinickendorf. Our booking engine has a map that will show you all of the available pick up locations during the required booking dates. You can also select preferred areas corresponding to specific point or select a specific supplier. This will help you find the best solution for you. Following we prepared two dedicated sections with information on airport and train station pick-ups.

    Berlin Airports

    At the moment Berlin’s airports are undergoing major changes. A new airport, the Berlin Brandenburg Airport, is scheduled to open by the end of October 2020, and the idea is that it will replace both the existing airports of Tegel and Schönefeld. It will then become the third biggest airport in Germany after Frankfurt and Munich. It lies 17 miles south-east of the city centre, quite close to Schönefeld airport. The construction began in 2006 and due to planning and construction problems its opening has been delayed for almost 9 years. As a modification to the original plan, the Schönefeld airport is being kept for a transitional phase as Terminal 5 of the new airport, besides terminal 1 and 2. The new airport will then have three terminals, 1 and 2 close to each other and terminal 5 on the northern edge. Terminal 1 and 2 have car hire desks on Level E 0 of Terminal 1 and cars can be picked-up at the P2 car park nearby. In Terminal 5 car hire desks are in front of area L and the cars are parked at walking distance. Be sure to confirm where you will land and how to reach the car hire desks before picking up your vehicle.

    Schönefeld Airport lies south-west of Berlin, close to the new airport, and will serve for a while as support as Terminal 5. It has four terminals: A, B, C and D. Most car rental desks are easily found at the car rental pavillon, which is a 5 minute walk from the arrivals. A car hire at Schönefeld airport is therefore a quick and comfortable way to start your stay.

    Tegel Airport is due to be closed soon. It lies 4 miles north-west of the city centre and is the capital’s main international airport with 5 terminals. If you take motorway A100 you can reach Berlin centre in approximately 15 minutes. The car rental desks are conveniently located in the terminals and the cars are picked up and dropped off at the car rental centre which lies a short walking distance on the lower floor in Terminal E and close to park P2.

    Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER)
    Website: https://ber.berlin-airport.de/en
    Address: Melli-Beese-Ring 1, 12529 Schönefeld, Germany
    Telephone: +49 30 6091 60910

    Schönefeld Airport (SXF)
    Website: www.berlin-airport.de/en/travellers-sxf
    Address: Flughafen Tegel, 13405 Berlin, Germany
    Telephone: +49 30 609160910

    Tegel Airport (TXL)
    Website: www.berlin-airport.de/en/travellers-txl
    Address: Flughafen Schönefeld, 12529 Schönefeld, Germany
    Telephone: +49 30 609160910

    Berlin Central Station

    A car hire at Berlin Central Station known as “Hauptbahnhof” is a strategic starting point for any city tour. It lies in the Moabit district and faces the Europaplatz, on the former border between West and East Berlin. This very modern building was inaugurated in 2006 on the site of the former Lehrter station. It represents the main hub for long-distance, regional and suburban (S-Bahn) trains. There is also an underground connection. It is close to the Zoo Berlin and the Museumsinsel. The car hire desks are either directly in the building on the ground floor or in the nearby streets. Check on the voucher for instructions and make sure you bring all the documents needed for the pick-up.

    Berlin Hauptbahnhof
    Website: www.bahnhof.de/bahnhof-en/Berlin-Hauptbahnhof
    Address: Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Europaplatz 1,10557 Berlin, Germany


    Book with the Best Car Hire Suppliers in Berlin

    Auto Europe works with many renowned car hire companies in Germany, and therefore the huge choice of cheap car rentals in Berlin is no surprise. We work only with reliable companies among which are the major international car hire groups but also low cost suppliers such as Budget, Buchbinder, Global, Interrent and Keddy. If you click on the below supplier logos you will be able to know more these companies, which are of course only a few examples of our cooperations.

    Enterprise - Car Hire Information Alamo - Car Hire Information Budget - Car Hire Information Buchbinder - Car Hire Information

    Frequently Asked Questions about Renting a Car in Berlin

    Contact Us

    Before booking a car in 3 easy steps on our website, we have prepared a small guide with our most frequently asked questions for clients wanting to rent a car in Berlin. Below you can find information on insurance coverage, traffic and parking, as well as useful details on renting a vehicle in winter and driving in winter conditions in Germany. If you still have doubts or questions you can call our reservations agents over the phone and even book your car hire directly with the help of them.

    Do I need a credit card to rent a car in Berlin?

    Yes, a car rental in Berlin or anywhere in the world requires a credit card for the safety deposit that will be blocked at the moment of pick-up. Please remember that only the credit card in the name of the main driver specified on the Auto Europe voucher will be accepted. You should also check that the card has enough credit to sustain the block. For in depth information please visit our dedicated page with credit cards and deposit FAQs or call us on the following number +44 123 3225 114.

     

    What insurance do I need for my car rental in Berlin?

    All car hire deals in Berlin on the Auto Europe web portal come with the legally required coverage, that is Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) with our without excess, third-party liability and theft protection (TP). Please note that CDW never covers damage to tyres, glass, wing mirrors, underside, the vehicle’s interior, roof, engine, locks and loss of keys. More information on car hire coverage can be found on our dedicated page.

    Having said that, for your car hire in Berlin we strongly recommend you our own Full Protection Package. This is extremely good value for money and covers damage to glass, wheels, roof, underside, towing fee, loss of key, mis-fuelling and any administration costs incurred. Please note that the rate depends on the location, rental duration, car category and supplier.

    The minimum legal driving age in Germany is 18 years old but car hire suppliers enforce their own age limitations. If the age of the main driver or of any additional driver is under 26 there is often a daily young driver fee to be paid.

    On our portal we sometimes have promotions with free additional driver. If you need to register one or more additional drivers look for one of these offers or check if some companies do allow one or more for free. Otherwise count on an additional driver fee to be paid locally.

     

    How is the traffic in Berlin?

    Driving your Berlin rental car will be easy, except during peak traffic times, which is understandable for such a big capital city. There are a few one-way roads, but Berlin has wide, multi-lane roads allowing traffic to flow through the city freely for the majority of the time. Should you need more information about driving in Germany we have a dedicated section.

     

    Where can I park my car hire in Berlin?

    Parking your car hire on the streets in the capital’s downtown can be hard. Many Berlin streets have parking for residents only, or offer a 2-hour parking stay where you must display a ticket. But don’t get anxious, because there are plenty of car parks, both underground and above ground.

     

    Do I need emissions sticker for my car hire in Berlin?

    As a measure against air pollution in the major German cities only cars with low emission can reach the central areas. Coloured emission stickers (“Umweltplaketten”) have been introduced and only cars with the required coloured sticker may access the restricted areas called “Umweltzonen”. In Berlin the Umweltzone corresponds to the central part of the city enclosed by the S-Bahn (sub-urban trains) ring line. If you book a car rental in Berlin and plan to drive around in the central districts, the only thing you should check upon pick-up, is if there is a green sticker on the windscreen. If it is missing, please speak with the staff at the pick up desks.

     

    Do I need extra equipment for my car hire in Berlin during winter?

    If you rent a car in Berlin or in the rest of Germany during the cold months the law states that winter tyres are required when snow, ice, frost or slush is on the streets. There are no fixed dates when winter tyres are required and please be aware that snow during Easter or even at the end of October is not to be excluded. If you plan to drive to mountainous areas winter tyres are strongly recommended and you should check if snow chains are also required. Auto Europe offers Free Winter Tyres Deals and can arrange snow chains on site. Ski racks are also on request and will be paid directly to the supplier, as the snow chains.

     

    Can I hire a motorhome in Berlin?

    Travellers who want to explore as much as possible of what Germany has to offer can opt for a campervan in Berlin. This is the perfect way to create memorable moments and take a road trip through the beautiful German hidden gems. Drivers can feel at home on the road, and benefit from the mobility and freedom that only a motorhome can offer.


    Berlin Travel Guide

    Berlin counts as one of the biggest and most important European capitals and a longer stay is recommended in order to be able to see most of the city sights. Its position on the border to Eastern Europe makes the visit even more interesting and calls for an exploration of the surrounding cities bordering to Poland. With your Berlin car rental you will be able to freely shape your itinerary and discover as much as you can.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Berlin

    Hiring a car in Berlin is really a good idea because it will give you the opportunity to drive around the former GDR and visit some nice spots and bustling cities. Below are our recommendations for some some day trips around the Berlin area.

    Schloss Sansouci

    Some 40 minutes by car south-west of Berlin, in the city of Potsdam, the Sanssouci Palace is awating for you. This rococo style summer residence of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, was built in the middle of the 18th century on a terraced hill. Its name comes from the French expression “sans souci” which means without concerns. As the name suggests this was a place of retreat and relaxation far from the court in Berlin, with a wonderful park. In 1990 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Leipzig

    Driving past Potsdam for 1,5 hours will take you to Leipzig, the largest and most populous city of the federal state of Saxony. Its urban region reaches 1 million inhabitants and counts to the one of the best liveable and fastest growing areas in Germany. Many define it as the “new Berlin”. It hosts a university and one of the two seats of the German National Library. Leipzig has a strong music tradition witnessed by the University of Music and Theatre Felix Mendelssohn and the famous opera house “Oper Leipzig”. Johann Sebastian Bach also lived here. On the city’s outskirts you will find the Monument to the Battle of the Nations (Völkerschlachtdenkmal) that commemorates the Battle of Leizig, known also as Battle of the Nations. In 1813 Napoleon was defeated here by most of the European states that united to block its advance.

    Dresden

    Two hours south with your rental car from Berlin, you will reach Dresden, the capital city of the federal state of Saxony, crossed by the Elbe river. The Kings of Saxony had their residence here and made it to an important cultural and artistic centre. The castle can be visited and hosts several collections. Another building not to be missed is the baroque palatial complex called Zwinger, where the architect Semper opened a gallery. The city centre has an exquisite baroque and rococo style that was almost completely destroyed by the World War II bombings. Fortunately it has been reconstructed, along with its symbol, the Frauenkirche. The ruins of this church were left on purpose for over 50 years as a memorial. After the reunification of Germany the reconstruction begun and in 2005 the first Lutheran service took place on the Reformation Day. With the reunification, Dresden has also gone back to its important role as cultural centre. Its Semperoper opera house and its university for technology enjoy a great prestige. As Leipzig, Dresden has also very good prospects for the future and is home to many high-tech companies.

    What to do in Berlin

    Berlin is a city of culture, politics, and architecture. There are plenty of museums, art galleries, festivals and restaurants to keep you busy. You can visit it any time of the year, in autumn, the trees change colour and give the city a whole new look, and at Christmas the atmosphere is magic with the Christmas markets scattered all around town. Moreover the surrounding area and the proximity to Eastern Europe and the North and Baltic Seas represent a perfect opportunity for nice explorations.

    • Brandenburg Gate: Every sightseeing tour in Berlin should start here, in front of the huge Brandenburg Gate. It was built back in 1791 and in front of it you have the elegant Pariser Platz with the luxurious Hotel Adlon and the Akademie der Künste (Academy of the Arts).

    • Reichstag: One of the most distinctive buildings in Berlin is the seat of the Bundestag (Parliament). The construction dates back to the end of the 19th century and the structure has undergone a lot of changes due to the bombings during World War II. The last renovations where made by the architect Sir Norman Foster back in 1992. Due to measures against terrorism advanced booking is required to be able to visit it and go up to the iconic glass and steel dome.

    • Berlin Cathedral and the Museums’ Island: The city’s Cathedral known as “Berliner Dom” was built towards the end of the 19th century and strikes to the eye with its majestic dome. On the corner you have the Museumsinsel, which is a complex of five museums built on an island in the Spree river. Since 1999 it is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The five museums cover most of the history and art of humanity: Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode-Museum and the Pergamonmuseum, centred on the altar of the old city of Pergamon in Anatolia. Most of the artefacts come from private collections of the Prussian royal family.

    • Fernsehturm and East Berlin: The Berlin TV tower stand outs in the city skyline since 1960. With is 368 metres, it is indeed the tallest building of the capital from which visitors can enjoy a breath-taking view. At its feet there is the large Alexander Platz, a square that represents the heart of the former East Berlin and is a transport hub and home to department stores and shops as well. Many people use the Urania Weltzeit Uhr, a world clock where you can determine the time in 148 cities in the world, as a meeting point. And this is indeed a perfect start of a walking tour of the Eastern part of the city and of a ride back in the days where more than a half of Berlin was under the Russian influence. After having taken some pictures and done some shopping, take the Rathausstrasse leading to the Rotes Rathaus, the red-bricked town hall. This used to be the town hall of the former Soviet sector of Berlin and since 1991 was chosen as town hall of the reunited city. Proceed then down the Holzmarktstrasse lining the Spree River to reach the “East Side Gallery”, a one mile long open air graffiti art gallery on a surviving part of the Berlin Wall. This works of art realised shortly after the fall of the wall tell the story of this barrier and of the Cold War period. Among some of the most famous pieces are the fraternal kiss between Honecker and Brezhnev, and the Trabant breaking through the wall. If you still have time you can the Stasi Museum, hosted in the former headquarters of the GDR Ministry for State and Security (MfS). Here you will have an idea of how the secret police worked and of the methods they used to spy over people and prevent the flight to the Western sector and repress political opponents.

    • Potsdamer Platz : This square has a very eventful past. Before the World War II it was the heart of the capital city but after the end of the war and the dividing of the city in two, its location right on the border line made it to a no man’s land. As the Berlin wall was erected it ran through the square cutting it in half. As a memorial you can see some parts of the wall still standing. Now the square has been rebuilt and has a very modern appearance with the Sony Center, skyscrapers and many shops.

    • Western Berlin: A good afternoon or even a whole day can be dedicated to the West part of the city. The tour will start at Breitscheidplatz, right at the beginning of the Kürfurstendamm, where you will see a building that will move you a lot. The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, best known as Gedächtniskirche, serves indeed as a memorial but also as a warning for the future. This building was almost completely destroyed in a bombing raid in 1943. The reconstruction has been partial on purpose to remind of the dread of war. The damaged spire of the old church has been kept and its base hosts now a memorial hall. After this moment of reflection you can start to walk down the elegant Kürfurstendamm, shortened also in Ku’damm, which is the elegant shopping mile home to major brands. On the way you will encounter Europe's biggest department store KaDeWe. If you have children with you, close to the memorial church there is the famous Berlin Zoo. And if you like royal palaces not far away you will have the Schloss Charlottenburg. This magnificent building is named after Sophie Charlotte of Hanover that married Friedrich III, the Elector of Brandenburg and the then Duke of Prussia. Her husband let her build this summer residence back in 1699 where she could enjoy her hobbies, mostly concerning art, music and culture. You can visit the palace or simply stroll around the lush garden next to the Spree river bank.

    Useful links

    Travel tip - Berlin Festival of Lights

    Official Tourism Website - Visit Berlin