Planning a Road Trip to Hungary: What You Should Know Before You Go

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Hungary is located in the very heart of Europe. This country has a rich history, colorful culture, and healing balneological resorts. Every tourist can find what they want here – exciting sights, delicious cuisine, affordable prices. 

A road trip is an excellent opportunity to see Hungary and its surroundings and not be tied to the train and bus schedule. Even if you cannot travel to the country in your own car, you can easily rent it on the spot. Many companies are offering this service here. 

However, to make your trip comfortable and exciting, you should learn all the requirements for a road trip in Hungary.

Renting a car in Hungary

You can rent a car in advance through a booking service, having selected it on the website. Alternatively, you will find plenty of rental offices in the airport.

You should have the following documents for renting a car:

  • international driving license;  
  • passport;
  • a bank card for reserving a deposit;

To rent a car in Hungary, a person must be at least 21 years old and no older than 85. Drivers under 25 can only rent an economy class car. This limitation applies to many companies. However, by paying a so-called “young age” fee, you can take any car you like. Another important thing to know – to rent a car in Budapest, you must submit a hotel guest card. A rented car can be used only inside the country. If you plan to cross the border, the tariff will immediately increase.

What kind of insurance do you need?

To rent a car in Hungary, it is not enough just to pay only service costs – you will have to purchase car rental insurance. You can choose one of the following policies:

  • CDW – insurance that protects against damage with a deductible;
  • TPL – insurance in cases when the driver creates a traffic accident;
  • TP – protection in case of car theft.

Please note that some companies do not include insurance in the indicated price, but they may ask you to compensate for this cost after returning the car. If you have not been involved in such things before, get in touch with CarInsuRent.com to take out a policy to protect you in all situations.

Speed limits

Usually, the speed limit is indicated on the road signs. Hungary allows the following speed modes:

  • 130 km/h on autobahns
  • 110 km/h on highways
  • 90 km/h outside settlements
  • 50 km/h in cities

Since speed is the most important condition for traffic safety, there are many video cameras installed to control it on the roads, both inside settlements and outside them.

Toll roads

Some of the Hungarian roads are paid for. To use these toll roads, you need to purchase a vignette. The price of the vignette will depend on the vehicle category and the period of use of the sticker. 

Today it is €11.27 for a period of 10 days or €18.11 for a period of 1 month. There is also an annual option, but it is unlikely that travelers will need it. The Hungarian vignette is electronic, and no stickers are needed on the car. 

The confirmation of payment is a check received upon payment or a special receipt that can be printed when paying via the Internet. 

Note that you need to pay before entering the toll road. An electronic vignette can be purchased at electronic terminals, retail stores, and gas stations. You can also get it online, at ematrica.nemzetiutdij.hu.

Car equipment and road etiquette

Make sure to have the following items in the car:

  • fire extinguisher;
  • first-aid kit;
  • spare bulbs;
  • emergency triangle;
  • reflective vest

There are a whole bunch of traditions that you have to follow on the Hungarian roads. For example, you should never rush slow pedestrians on the crossing. 

The old quarters are characterized by one-way traffic, and the left turn is not allowed at every intersection.  Alcohol is completely banned for drivers in Hungary.

Parking in Hungary

As elsewhere, parking in Hungary can be both paid and free. It directly depends on the city, days of the week and the distance from the city center. 

The center of Budapest is divided into several parking zones, for which different fees are provided (from €1 per hour). Payment is due on weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm. Parking is free on Sunday. A parking ticket is purchased at the nearest machine and placed under the windshield. 

The minimum parking time is 15 minutes, and the maximum is 2-3 hours. In smaller towns, you can find parking options free of charge.

A road trip to Hungary does not need any special planning – you will find amazing places and a huge number of attractions in any part of the country. All you need to do is to follow the above rules to make your adventure even more memorable.