Bicycle Hire Services in Germany

Find out about the public bike sharing service in Germany: how to register, pay for, use and return rental bikes and where to find stations...

Germany has several bicycle-sharing companies which operate either across the country or in particular cities. Account holders can rent a publicly available bike from a cycle rack terminal for a low hourly or daily fee, and return it to another terminal belonging to the same company. The largest schemes are:

Registration and Pricing

New users can create an account online, and will be asked for their contact details and payment details during setup. Providers may charge an initial registration fee, a monthly fee, or a monthly fee that may be deducted from the cost of the journeys made in that month.

The cost per journey varies between providers, and according to the duration of hire. Bicycles can be hired on an hourly or daily basis, and shorter periods are often free.

Using the Bicycles

Each bicycle-sharing company has a different procedure for hiring and returning bicycles, details of which are available on their websites:

Before taking a bike, registered users must identify themselves at the terminal screen via a smartphone app, by entering personal details, or by using a password. Then, they will have to unlock the bike they wish to hire and identify it to the system, if this is not done automatically.

It is always necessary to return the bicycle to a terminal belonging to the same company. It may also be necessary to notify the bicycle-sharing company that the bicycle has been returned. While StadtRad Hamburg will automatically detect that a bicycle has been returned when it is locked correctly into a rack, other companies must be called, notified via the terminal or notified by app.

It is advised that all users of a bicycle hire scheme familiarise themselves with its specific return procedures.

Most cycle-sharing companies allow users to book out several bikes at once.

Theft or Loss

In the event of theft or loss, contact the relevant cycle-sharing company and the police.