AP Photo/Michael Probst.

Berlin - An 8-year-old boy took his mom's car and went for a nighttime joyride on a highway in western Germany.

Soest police said the boy's mother called them early Wednesday after she noticed that both her son and her Volkswagen Golf had disappeared.

Mother and police eventually found the boy at a highway service area where he'd parked the car, turned on the hazard lights and put up the warning triangle.

According to police, the boy said he started feeling "uncomfortable" once he hit 140km/h on the highway.  

The boy's mother said her son regularly drives go-carts and bumper cars and has in the past practiced driving a real car on private property.

The legal age for driving in Germany is 18, just like it is in South Africa.

Some stretches of German highway system, more commonly known as the autobahn, have no speed limit, although environmental groups are working to put an end to that.

AP