Hungary's roads are well maintained, the road system consists of motorways and some toll roads. To travel on Hungary's motorways you will need a motorway authorization, known as a vignette. Driving certainly is the best way to make the most of your time here and we’ve got all the information you need in this guide.
Tips for driving in Hungary
Which side of the road do they drive on?
Drive on the right, overtake on the left. Unless otherwise indicated, vehicles coming from the right have priority.
If fitted, seat belts must be worn at all times by all occupants of the vehicle.
Driving with children
Children under 3 must be placed in a suitable child restraint system appropriate for their size and weight. This system may be placed in the front seat as long as it is rear facing and the airbag has been deactivated.
Children over 3 and taller than 135cm can travel in a rear seat using a seat belt. Children shorter than 135cm must use a suitable child restraint.
Blood alcohol limit
Hungary has a zero tolerance policy with regards to drink driving. Any drink puts you over the limit and at risk of a fine, suspension, or prison. It is also illegal to allow someone to drive if they’re drunk.
Can I use a mobile?
It’s illegal to use a mobile unless you have a hands-free kit. Fines can be as high as €730.
Reflective vests, triangles & other essentials
A reflective vest must be kept in the vehicle at all times and worn if you’re walking along the road side. It is also compulsory to carry a warning triangle, and first aid kit.
Do I need winter tyres or snow chains?
The use (or their presence in the car) of snow chains is compulsory under certain weather conditions.
In the event of congestion
It is compulsory to form an emergency corridor whenever traffic congestion occurs on motorways, dual carriageways, or highways regardless of whether emergency vehicles are already in the vicinity or not.
In most central-Budapest districts, you must pay to park on the street between 8:30am and 8pm on weekdays, while parking is free at night and weekends.
On the spot fines
Hungarian police can impose and collect on the spot fines. If the fine is to be paid on the spot, a receipt must be given. Alternatively, the police will give you a payment order which you must pay within 30 days.
Horns and headlights
Use of dipped headlights is compulsory at all times outside built-up areas. At night the use of full beam, in built up areas, is prohibited. Keep a look out for unlit vehicles such as farm vehicles and carts at night in rural areas.
Only use your car horn in an emergency, it is an offence to use it otherwise.
Do I need a vignette to drive on the motorway?
All vehicles using Hungarian motorways M1, M3, M5, and M7 must display a motorway tax sticker (vignette) – there are, however, some motorways where a vignette is not needed (see below). The stickers, which are valid for 10 days, 1 month, or 1 year, may be purchased in person at most petrol stations, online, or via a smartphone app.
The following motorways or sections do not require a vignette to be displayed:
M0: Between Main Road 1 and M5, between M4 and M3 and between Main Roads 11 and 12 (Megyeri bridge).
M4: Between Vecses and the road leading to Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc Airport
M9: Between Main Road 6 and Main Road 51 and on the Kaposvar loop (Main Road 61)
Trams, trains and buses
You must always give way to trams and buses at junctions and when they are pulling away from a stop. Always pass railway crossings slowly at walking pace.
What should I do if I breakdown?
If you breakdown, you must put on a reflective jacket and place the reflective triangle 30m behind the vehicle to warn other drivers. Call the car rental provider who will be able to advise you further.
It is recommended you contact ourselves at the same time to ensure you follow the correct procedure.
What should I do if I have an accident?
If you’re in an accident, you MUST notify the Police and the car rental provider and get an accident report for insurance purposes. Failure to do so may result in you footing the whole bill. If the vehicle’s bodywork is damaged during your trip, you must obtain a certificate from the police.
It is recommended that you contact us at the same time to ensure you follow the correct procedure.