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Driving Laws in Hungary

Car & Motorcycle

Of the 70 border crossings Hungary maintains with its seven neighbours, 15 (mostly in the north and north-east) are restricted to local citizens from both sides of the border. Fortunately, that no longer includes the Esztergom-Sturovo ferry crossing, which is now one of the easiest and most central ways to enter Hungary from Slovakia.

There is virtually a 100% ban on alcohol when you are driving, and this rule is very strictly enforced. Do not think you will get away with even a few glasses of wine at lunch if caught and found to have even 0.008 alcohol in the blood, you will be fined. If the level is higher, you will be arrested.

In order to drive a car in Hungary you will need the following documents:

  • Driver`s license
    Insurance papers
    The so called “green card”

The motorways are marked with the letter M and international roads with the letter E. 7 out of 8 main roads start from Budapest (these are numbered in a clockwise direction). The 8th road starts at Szekesfehervar and goes towards Rabafuzes. Secondary roads are numbered with two or more digits.

Motorways:

  • M1 Budapest – Hegyeshalom
    M15 Hegyeshalom – Rajka (still under construction)
    M3 Budapest – Gyöngyös – Füzesabony
    M5 Budapest – Szeged / country border
    M5 Érd – Dunaújváros
    M7 Budapest – Balatonkersztúr

more information on motorways

You have to buy a sticker in order to go on M1, M3 and M5. These can be bought for a year, for a month or for 9 days.
They can be bought in larger cities, near the motorways ,at petrol stations and at the 50 offices of Magyar Autoklub and in 35 larger post offices.

Validity of the stickers:
Weekly sticker: valid from 00:00 of the day of purchase until 24:00 of the 9th day.
Monthly sticker: from the first day of the month at 0:00 until the 5th day of the next month at 24:00.
Yearly sticker: from the first day of the year at 0:00 until the 10th day of the next year at 24:00.

As for M0 there are only certain parts of the motorway where you have to pay Click here for Prices

In case of an accident you will have to call the police first (107). If it was your (the foreigners) fault then call the Hungaria Insurance Company`s Auto Insurance department (1113 Budapest Galvani ut 44 Tel.: 421-1421, from Mon-Fri at 8:00 a.m. until 20:00 p.m.)

Dented cars can only leave the country with official papers stating the cause.

Type of car Motorway Auto Route Other Roads Inhabited Areas
 

Motorcar

Car & Trailer

Motorcycle

Bus

Truck

 

130

80

130

80

80

110

70

110

70

70

90

70

90

70

70

50

50

50

50

50

Fines:
In more severe cases the police might take the drivers license on the spot. The allowed amount of alcohol in blood: 0.00%!! This is taken very seriously!!

Help on the roads:
On M1, M5 and M7 there are telephones every 2 km.
The Hungarian Autoclub operates a help service known as the “Yellow Angels” (Sarga Angyal). Some of them are on duty on the roads, some at petrol stations and car-repairs. Their phone number is 188 all over the country.

The Hungarian Autoclub has a help centre at Budapest 2nd district Romer Floris str 4/a.
Services include: immediate assistance, towing, letter of credit, technical and legal advice.

No car entries at the following places:

In the castle district: there is a part which is closed down by a crossing gate. Cars can only traverse by paying the parking fee.

No cars can enter the Margareth Island from the Margareth Bridge.

Cars can drive onto the island through Arpad Bridge but only until the parking places of the hotels.

Cars cannot enter the Obuda Island, Romai part (Romai “beach”), Nepliget and Varosliget.
Entry is forbidden into pedestrian`s roads.

Parking:
In the inner parts of Budapest you will have to pay for the parking. There are machines on the sides of the streets. You can buy a ticket for a maximum of 2 hours. These parking places are not guarded!

Your car wheels will be clutched if you do not pay the parking fee or if you overlap the parking tiem. The wheel-clutch can be asked to be removed through the phone number that you will find on the ticket machines or personally at the 5th district at Gerloczy street 2 form
9 a.m until 20 p.m.. There is night duty after 20p.m.

There are guarded parking places throughout Bp with similar prices. All malls (shopping centers) have guarded parking houses. P+R (park and ride) policy is becoming more popular. There are special P+R signs letting you know where you can park.

Registering and keeping a car in Hungary (for foreigners)

Importing a car into Hungary and keeping it here can be a headache for ex-pats. A few who have tried to register their car without expert aid have described it as “impossible”, “catastrophic” and “complicated”.
Foreigners without a residency permit may enter Hungary by car as a tourist, but if they have a residency permit they must obtain a “V” number plate.
This involves a complicated customs (VPOP) procedure, not to mention a bank deposit roughly equal to the value of the car, as decided by a local dealer.

The VPOP registers the car in a preliminary registration procedure valid for 6 months. No customs fee is required, but a guarantee deposit or customs bond must be laid down, which foreigners can reclaim when leaving the country.

However, they also must pay an excise fee (illeték) of 40% to 120%, depending on the vehicle.
A V-plated car cannot be sold in Hungary and just one car per residence permit is allowed.
In addition, local laws can be discriminatory. If a foreigner (with a valid residency permit) pays all the customs and excise fees (like any Hungarian national) they still receive a different number plate starting with CA. Unfortunately many highway robberies occur to cars with a foreign plate (V or CA)

One Hungarian-Swedish dual citizen who has live in Budapest for five years said that she could avoid red tape by showing only her Swedish passport to officials who stopped her for questioning.

However, police said V-plates showed how long foreign nationals had been in the country and, if the plate has expired, action could immediately be taken.