Hungary has a varied landscape of mountains and forests in the north and vast plans over much of the rest of the country. With Lake Balaton in the west and the Danube flowing through its heart, Hungary is a land of physical contrasts and rich cultural diversity from its history of Turkish, German and Austrian influences.
Hertz has more than 16 car rental branches in Hungary, all at key locations close to big hotels, railway stations and the airport. These make hiring a car whenever you need one a simple and stress-free matter.
Speed limits and traffic rules on Hungarian roads may be a bit different to what you’re used to back home, but there are certain regulations you’ll need to be aware of. You’ll be required to have a full driving licence that was issued in your country of residence, and you must be at least 18 to rent a car in Hungary. You will in addition need an International Driving Permit (IDP) if you are from a non-EU country.
Hungary is relatively tough when it comes to issuing on-the-spot fines and penalties, and even failing to carry certain items such as a warning triangle in case you break down can incur a hefty fee.
Hungarian roads in general are well maintained and the signage is excellent, and you’ll have little trouble getting around if you have a road map or GPS in the car. You need to be aware of a few of Hungary’s traffic rules, however, if you’ve not driven here before:
• Depending on the car you’re driving, you’ll need either to adjust your headlight beam manually or carry deflector stickers, by law.
• You must carry a warning triangle and a reflective jacket in your vehicle at all times.
• Passing on the right is not allowed. Slower vehicles are expected to move to the right to allow faster vehicles to pass safely.
• You need to carry a first aid kit in any private vehicle.
Tatabanya in the northwest of Hungary is home to the impressive First Hungarian Classic Car and Motorcycle Museum, with over 200 classic cars and motorcycles from the 1970s onwards restored and displayed. The Museum of Transport in Budapest has large-scale models of many historic trains and locomotives, as well as a collection of vintage motorbikes and early automobiles. A section of the museum is dedicated to flying machines and includes a Junkers F13, one of only three surviving.
If you’re interested in getting out of Budapest and seeing the glorious countryside of Hungary by car, then a road trip to Lake Balaton is recommended. Take the M7 motorway heading southwest towards Szekesfehervar and follow the road around the lake, one of the biggest in Europe, before heading back. The countryside here is dotted with medieval monasteries, remote farmsteads and the ruins of old fortresses, and is particularly attractive in the spring.
• Minimum car rental age: The minimum age to rent a car is 25 years old. Cars can be rented from 21 years old on payment of a young driver surcharge of €12.70 (including tax) per day to a maximum of €63.50 (including tax) per rental. Some cars such as Hyundai Elantra and Jaguar XE require you to have a minimum age of 25 or 30 respectively.
• Average speed limits: the average speed limit in Hungary is 50 km/h in cities and residential, and 130 km/h on motorways.
• Snow chains: Snow chains are compulsory in some weather conditions, and the speed limit then becomes 50 km/h whatever type of road you’re on.
• Required documents:
Renting a car and driving it in Hungary requires the following documents: A valid national licence that you’ve held for a minimum of 1 year, or an equivalent license that has been issued in the EU.
- It is recommended that you carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) to back up your non-EU licence in case it is asked for.
- You will need a valid passport and in addition a credit card if you plan to pay by card.
• Refuelling at petrol stations: Petrol stations in Hungary are open from 6.00am to 8.00pm during the week, and in major towns and cities 24/7. You can usually pay using cash or card.
• Travelling with children: When travelling by car in Hungary with children under the age of 3 years you must use child restraints. If travelling in the front, the child must also be facing backwards and the airbag must be deactivated.