Advice for driving in Hungary
7 February 2023
Tips, Checklist & Legal Requirements
The minimum age at which a UK driving licence holder may drive a car or motorbike in Hungary is 17. All valid UK driving licences should be accepted in Hungary.
If you are stopped by the Police and charged an on the spot fine, the police must hand over a payment order with instructions on how to pay the amount within 30 days. Credit cards are not accepted and you must use local currency only . It is not usual to give cash to a policeman at the roadside so be wary if they ask for cash. Maybe a scam.
Credit cards are accepted at some petrol stations only, so check before you fill up the car. Cash is the most usual form of payment and it may be embarrasing if you don't have the cash to hand.
Traffic will be restricted from entering Budapest when the air in the city becomes too polluted. Licence plates ending in odd numbers will be permitted to enter Budapest on odd numbered days, even number on even days. The restriction also applies to UK registered vehicles.
What do I need to drive in Hungary?
- · Valid driving licence
- · Proof of identification (passport)
- · Insurance documents (third part or above)
- · Proof of ownership (registration certificate)
If you do not own the vehicle you are driving, you are advised to obtain written permission from the registered owner.
In 2012 there were 605 road deaths in Hungary. This equates to 6.1 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares poorly to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2012. If you are driving long distances then care should be taken to plan your journey and to take regular breaks. Enjoy the magnificient views and please don’t become a statistic for the sake of a break.
Hungary Driving Laws
It is compulsory for passengers in cars to wear seatbelts in the front and rear of vehicles. Child under 3 years of age may only travel in a vehicle if using a suitable safety chair. Children under 1.5m and over 3 years of age must use a suitable safety chair and be seated in the rear of the vehicle.
Kit You Need to Carry On Board
It is compulsory in Hungary to carry the following safety equipment within any vehicle with more than 2 wheels:
- · A Warning triangle
- · Reflective Jacket
- · First-aid kit
- · Spare bulb kit is recommended (compulsory for Hungarian cars)
Standard speed limits (km/h) unless otherwise stated by traffic signs:
Urban roads (31 mph).
Non-urban roads (56 mph).
Motorways / expressways (80 - 68 mph).
Motorway tax is payable for the use of many of the major "M" routes and an electronic vignette needs to be bought. Credit cards can be used and the vignette can be purchased in person, online, or by telephone. This document must be kept for one year after the expiry of validity. The motorway authorities check all vehicles electronically, and verify the registration number, the category of toll paid and the validity of the e-vignette. Fines imposed for non-display.
Do not drink and drive. The legal limit is zero!
Motorbikes must use dipped headlights at all times and the wearing of crash helmets is compulsory for both driver and passenger.
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.
General Driving Advice
So to recap here is our checklist for driving in Hungary:
- Ensure you have proper documentation: valid driving licence, ID, driving insurance covering driving in Hungary, proof of ownership (registration certification).
- Take plenty of breaks when driving long distances.
- Ensure rear passengers are wearing seat belts and remember children 3 and under 1.5m are not allowed to travel in the front seat and must use a suitable safety chair./li>
- Ensure your car is equipped with the following safety equipment: A Warning triangle, Reflective Jacket and First-aid kit. An spare bulb kit is recommended.
- Check fuel compatibility as some fuels may not be compatible with your vehicle.
- Do not drink and drive.
- Observe local speed limits – as a general rule built up areas have limits of 50km/h (31 mph), outside built up areas are 90km/h (56mph). In car radar detectors are illegal.
- Dipped headlights are recommended in even in daytime conditions.
Driving through Hungary to another destination? You might like to read our guides to:
Need breakdown cover for Hungary? Eurobreakdown.com can provide you with comprehensive single trip breakdown cover or annual multi trip breakdown policies with a best price guarantee.
Reference: The statistics mentioned on this page were sourced from the Reported Road Casualties Great Britain:2012 Annual Report and, to the best of Eurobreakdown.com’s knowledge, are correct at the time of publication (June 2014).
For general European driving tips click here