The simple answer is no, but that’s not the full picture. Technically, there is little to stop you from taking a rental onto a public session at the Nurburgring, however we’d strongly advise against doing so. Car rental terms and conditions have strict conditions setting out what the car can and cannot be used for and unsurprisingly, racing / time trials or off-road driving is prohibited. Whilst public sessions at the Nurburgring are not races or time trials, the fact that it’s on a race circuit will leave little wriggle room should something go wrong. And it so often does.
Insurance and indemnities are forfeited should you use the car in a manner not in accordance with the terms and conditions which could leave you liable for a lot more than the excess deposit you might otherwise be liable for under permitted use. Should you damage the car (which isn’t particularly uncommon at the Nurburgring) you’d find yourself liable for the total cost of the repair, or indeed total loss of the rental car. Any mechanical issues, which again wouldn’t be uncommon given the nature of driving at the Nurburgring compared to regular road use for which the rental car was intended, won’t be covered and you’ll likely find yourself liable for any damage.
Reasons you shouldn’t take a rental car on the Nürburgring
- You won’t be insured to drive the rental car
- You’ll be liable for any damage to the rental car
- You could be liable for the ‘total loss’ if the car is seriously damaged
- You’ll not be covered for any mechanical breakdown
- You could be liable to repair costs to the circuit itself
- You could be liable for costs / damages to other circuit users if an incident is deemed your fault
What is the Nurburgring?
Nestled in the Eifel Mountain region in Germany, the Nurburgring is arguably the worlds best known racetrack. The circuit comprises 2 sections, the infamous Nordschleife (often referred to as the ‘Green Hell’ for its notoriously difficult and dangerous 21km tarmac ribbon making its way through the forest) and the GP Track, a former Formula 1 circuit.
What are Nurburgring public sessions (Touristenfahrten)?
Whilst most racetracks are closed to the public with the exception of pre-booked ‘track-days’, the Nurburgring opens almost daily (evenings) for pubic sessions known as ‘Touristenfahrten’ and acts essentially as a toll road in Germany, where you pay the ‘toll’ and join the queue to enter the circuit. It can be very busy on the circuit and you’ll likely encounter all manner of vehicle, the only restriction being that it’s road legal, so don’t be alarmed to see a bus out there. There are speed limits at certain sections that you must abide by.
Can you rent a car at the Nurburgring?
Yes, there are specialist Nurburgring rental cars available from local suppliers near the circuit (such as Ringfreaks
), however don’t expect to pay the same rates to drive a Nurburgring rental car as you might to hire a car for general use. Specialist suppliers provide a range of models to use on public sessions and track days at the Nurburgring with rates starting from around 90 EUR for a single lap, or 21km, about the same as you could rent a similar car for a week with unlimited mileage!