Speed limit-free highways in Germany?


I heard some of the highways in Germany have no speed limits… provided the weather’s fine and there’s no traffic, in which case it can get down to eg. 80km/h.

I’d like to use OverpassTurbo to query OSM, find those highways, and see how many kms they represent.

Anybody knows?

Thank you.

Edit: No matter how many times I read this, I’m still struggling to understand what the speed limit is on German highways:

“German autobahns are famous for having no universal motorway speed limit, although slightly more than 50% of them have posted speed limits[14] and about 10% are equipped with motorway control systems that can show variable speed limits.[15] There is no national speed limit, either, for cars and motorcycles on any highway outside of towns if it has a central reservation or a minimum of two marked lanes per direction. Due to this it is common to be overtaken by cars or motorcycles travelling over 200 km/h (125 mph). On such roads, as well as motorways, a recommended speed limit (Richtgeschwindigkeit) of 130 km/h (81 mph) applies. While driving at higher speeds is not punishable, the increased risk induced by higher speeds (erhöhte Betriebsgefahr) may result in partial liability for damages. Moreover, the law forbids travel at speeds that would extend the vehicle’s minimum halting distance beyond the driver’s line of sight.[16] On all German roads, there are speed limits for trucks, buses, cars towing trailers, and small motorised vehicles (Mopeds, etc.).”


Well, it’s quite simple actually. Generally, the speed limit is 50 km/h within city limits (marked by a certain sign), 60, 80 or 100 km/h outside city limits depending on vehicle class. For those vehicles where the 100 km/h limit applies there is no limit on “Autobahnen” (motor ways) and highways outside city limits that are dual carriage ways with a physical separation or have at least two lanes per direction.
All these limits as well as the “no limit” can be overridden by signage.


“For those vehicles where the 100 km/h limit applies there is no limit on “Autobahnen” (motor ways) and highways outside city limits that are dual carriage ways with a physical separation or have at least two lanes per direction. All these limits as well as the “no limit” can be overridden by signage.”

I guess it means that if I drive a car, I can drive as fast as I want, provided there’s not explicit speed limit.

How would I use OverpassTurbo to find how many kms of such highways are available in Germany to drive a car with no speed limit?

I don’t think it would be a realistic query to make because it assumes that every road had explicit speed limit data unless it has the default limit for the class of road. I think it unlikely that the speed limit tagging is anything like that complete.


So there’s no way to know how many kms of highways in Germany have no speed limits for cars.

those highways are tagged with maxspeed=none, see e.g. https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/276279089#map=16/50.8094/6.0395

BTW, I believe you are only insured up to 130 km/h.

For the info.


//51477 = Germany

//62611 = Baden-Württemberg
//2145268 = Bavaria
rel(2145268);map_to_area -> .searchArea;


out body;
out skel qt;

No, insurance is not affected by the speed itself (at least in standard contracts). If you drive negligently by driving faster than conditions safely allow an insurance might not pay for the damage at your own car, even if another party caused the accident. But that is true for any speed limit. IANAL.

edit: corrected quote author

Not to name names, but it was escada who wrote this :wink:

BTW, even when limiting search by land, OverpassTurbo times out. Is there a more efficient way to retrieve speed limit-free Autobahnen?

And since you’re from Germany, I heard that only 5% of the whole highway network has potentially no speed limits, weather and traffic permitting. However, when the above query worked, I could see that Bavaria seems to have quite a lot. Does it mean that 5% figure is totally wrong?

Also check https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:maxspeed for various types of variable speed limits on German motorways.



Whole country queries are always going to be slow.

I think you are still relying on the none speed limit actually having been set everywhere that it applies. My guess is that, if it has, it will have been imported from elsewhere, and you would be better off starting from the upstream source, as it may well be authoritative.

Also note that your query will almost certainly return two results for every stretch of autobahn, and may return more.

I queried the small Land of Saarland, and checked one of the results:


It has no Survey I could use to know where the data came from. I’ll google to find if there’s an authoritative map of limitless segments on the Autobahn.

Why do you think that ?

For the information to be complete someone must have traversed all the autobahns and actually recorded the speed limits. Unless only one person does it, there is no guarantee of complete coverage. The alternative is that the information has been obtained from some other source.

Maybe use this query and zoom in to south germany.
I drive prefereable at ref=“A 7” with my motorcycle. ref=“A 9” is well-known by experienced drivers (>200km/h) and some youtube videos.
→ “Never drive faster than your guardian angel flies.” and never during rush hour. Both motorways are also known for traffic jams.

Most maxspeed tags are sourced from GPS and OSM navs error reports by mappers. I know no imports.

Surely, there’s a public authority somewhere in Germany that knows precisely how many kms are limitless, from which reliable data could be obtained and uploaded to OSM.

I’m just curious to know how many kms are limitless out of the whole Autobahn network.

Of course, we Germans have a statistic for this. On page 4 of http://www.bast.de/DE/Verkehrstechnik/Publikationen/Download-Publikationen/Downloads/V1-BAB-Tempolimit-2015-Kurzfassung.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=4 you can find that in 2015 18115 km of Autobahn don’t have a speed limit, additionally there are also divided highways without speed limit. But you also have to substract the many speed limits due to construction works. :wink:

Another option is to just download the data and extract things from it - the subregions at http://download.geofabrik.de/europe/germany.html might be a good start. Various command-line tools exist, such as osmfilter, osmconvert and the others at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Category:OSM_processing .