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A coastal country.

There are lots of places to explore in Latvia, and a car is the best way to get to them; beautiful coastal towns and beaches, the caves and castles of the Gauja valley, and the capital of Riga are all worth a visit.

The Gulf of Riga and the Baltic Sea both offer fabulous beaches and a wonderful coastline. There are countless nature parks to explore, with picturesque forests and lakes to enjoy.

Latvia's attractions are ideal for exploring by car and the driving conditions are quite good. The roads are generally in good condition and car ownership in Latvia is among the lowest in Europe so traffic levels are low.

Read our Latvia travel guide, you may also like to view information about destinations in Latvia.

Tips for driving in Latvia

Driving licence

A UK paper driving licence is only valid when accompanied by photographic proof of identity, e.g. passport.

Which side of the road do they drive on?

Drive on the right, overtake on the left.

Seat belts

If fitted, seat belts must be worn at all times by all occupants of the vehicle.

Driving with children

Children shorter than 150cm must use a child restraint system suitable for their size and weight or the lap strap of an adult seat belt.

Blood alcohol limit

The blood alcohol limit is 50mg alcohol per 100ml blood if you have been driving for two years or more. For those who have been driving for less than two years, the blood alcohol limit is 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood.

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 warning triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and reflective vest are compulsory. It is recommended you carry spare lights bulbs.

Do I need winter tyres or snow chains?

Winter tyres are required between December 1st and March 1st. Studded tires are legal under certain restrictions from October 1st to April 30th.

Parking

You must pay for parking between 8am and 8pm unless you use a secure car park in which case you must pay at all times. A pay and display system is used.

On the spot fines

The Latvian police can issue an on the spot fine. The fine must be paid or an appeal lodged within 30 days. Police control speeds closely and they give fines for even the smallest of speeding offences.

Horns and headlights

Dipped headlights must be used during the daylight hours.

Variable speed limits

Drivers who have held their licence for less than two years must not exceed 80kph.

Do I need a vignette to drive on the motorway?

A vignette is required for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes.

What should I do if I breakdown?

If you breakdown, you must place the reflective triangle 30m behind the vehicle to warn other drivers. Call the supplier 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. It is recommended that you contact ourselves at the same time to ensure you follow the correct procedure.