London, 11 December
This is a TISPOL country driving guide to help drivers visiting Hungary.
- Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe. It was founded in 896, before France and Germany became separate entities, and before the unification of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
- Hungary has around 10 million inhabitants and 3,778,002 registered vehicles, of which 3,107,695 are passenger cars.
- There are nearly 3.35 million licence holders, along with 194,452 kilometres of road.
- A total of 1,365 road kilometres is made up of motorways and express highways.
- Hungary is situated in East-Central Europe and shares its borders with Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.
- Budapest, the capital of Hungary, consists of the districts of Buda and Pest, separated by the River Danube. Nine bridges connect the two halves of the city.
- The international vehicle ID code is ‘H’
- In a breakdown call your Assistance Club number if you have one. If not, you should use one of the SOS phone facilities placed at every few kilometres on the motorway. The telephone number of the Hungarian Automobile Club is 188.
- In a collision you are obliged to call the police if there are injured persons. If no one is hurt, and you agree with the other involved driver(s) on who is to be blamed, just exchange your insurance cards. If you do not agree or there are injured persons, call the police: the number is 112.
- Hungary has a zero tolerance policy on drink driving, which means that no amount of alcohol is to be consumed before taking a vehicle onto the roads.
- The driving licence is withdrawn from the driver on the spot if there is grounded reason to believe that he is under the influence of alcohol (registers a breath alcohol concentration of more than 0.5 mg/l = 0.8 ‰ BAC). This offence qualifies as traffic crime and the fine and punishment (11 penalty points or a driving ban of 1-10 years and/or imprisonment for up to 1 year) is decided upon by the judge. Up to 0.8‰ BAC, the offence qualifies as public administration offence, is punished by up to 200,000 HUF and 6-8 penalty points.
- It is forbidden for a 7.5-tonne truck to overtake on two-lane motorways and expressways between 6 am and 10 pm.
- In Hungary there is owner/holder responsibility principle in the case of some offences. Is such cases, the owner/operator of the vehicle is responsible for all traffic offences committed with his/her vehicle, unless a document signed by the driver other than the owner proves that in the relevant period the vehicle was driven by him/her.
- Since October 2014, the Hungarian Police have been using the possibility offered by the CBE Directive (2015/413EU) to obtain the data of the non-resident owner/holder in the case when a traffic offence committed with a foreign registered vehicle is recorded by automatic speed cameras and the police do not carry out a roadside control by stopping the vehicle.
- In case a vehicle is stopped and a traffic offence is detected, the police have the right to issue on-the-spot fines, however, the fine cannot be paid to the police officer (except in special cases), but only via postal cheque payment or bank transfer. In the case of foreign registered vehicles it is also possible to withhold the vehicle until payment is made.
For more information about driving in Hungary please see the European Commission Road Safety website - 'Going Abroad':