Steer Clear of a Fine

spped-limit-kbyg

According to the latest research published by Post Office Travel Money*, the cost of fuel has fallen by 25% making self-drive holidays a popular choice among UK holidaymakers. Road speed limits and driving regulations differ across Europe and therefore Airport Parking & Hotels (APH) has created a guide highlighting the different rules and regulations across the top 20 European holiday destinations.

COUNTRY SPEED LIMITS FINES COMPULSORY EQUIPMENT STIPULATIONS
Austria Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 62mph

Motorways:

  • 80mph

Other:

  • A number of towns have a general speed limit of 18mph
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Austria
  • For higher fines  the driver will be asked to pay a deposit and the remainder of the fine within two weeks
  • First-aid kit
  • Reflective jacket
  • Warning triangle
  • Winter equipment
  • Tourists can drive in Austria with UK licence plates for any length of time
  • Third-party car insurance is compulsory
  • All vehicles using Austrian motorways and expressways must display a motorway toll sticker (vignette)
  • Between 1 November and 15 April vehicles must be fitted with winter tyres (which must be marked M&S on the side walls and have a minimum tread depth of 4mm) or all-season tyres which must be marked M&S (mud and snow)
Belgium Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 55mph

Motorways and Dual Carriageways:

  • 74mph

Other:

  • A limit of 18mph may be indicated at the entrance to a built up area and also applies in cycle streets
  • In residential areas the maximum speed is 12mph
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Belgium
  • Drivers refusing to pay on-the-spot fines are invited to make a consignation (deposit). If the driver does not pay a deposit the vehicle will be impounded by the police and permanently confiscated if the deposit is not paid within 96 hours
  • Fines can be paid in cash, euros or debit / credit card

 

  • First-aid kit and fire extinguisher is compulsory for Belgium-registered vehicles
  • Reflective jacket
  • Warning triangle
  • Third-party insurance compulsory
  • The police can impound an un-insured vehicle
  • A new road sign has been introduced banning the use of cruise control on congested motorways and can also appear during motorway road works
Cyprus Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph or 40mph depending on the road

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 49mph

Motorways:

  • 62mph
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Cyprus
  • Cyprus traffic police cannot collect on-the-spot fines this must be paid at a later day
  • Two warning triangles
  • Third-party insurance compulsory
  • It is forbidden to carry petrol in a can
  • It is prohibited to use the horn between 22:00 and 06:00, and in the vicinity of hospitals
Czech Republic Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 55mph

Motorways:

  • 80mph
  • On-the-spot fines can be up to £135 (5,000 CZK)
  • The maximum fine for a traffic offence is £2,693 (100,000 CZK)
  • A set of replacement bulbs
  • A set of replacement fuses
  • First-aid kit
  • Warning triangle Reflective jacket
  • Winter equipment – winter tyres are compulsory from 1 November to 31 March on all wheels of passenger vehicles and must be marked M+S when there is compacted snow or ice on the road. They are also compulsory whenever the temperature is lower than 4 degrees Celsius
  • Third-party insurance compulsory
  • The police are empowered to retain a driving licence if a serious traffic offence has been committed
  • Illegally parked vehicles, may be clamped or towed away
  • Motorway tax is payable for the use of motorways and express roads
Denmark Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • Between 49mph and 55mph

Motorways:

  • Between 68mph and 80mph

Other:

  • A speed limit of 24mph applies within the centre of Copenhagen
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Denmark
  • Police can take drivers to court if the on-the-spot fine is not accepted by the driver

 

  • Red warning triangle
  • Third-party insurance compulsory
  • Vehicles parked against regulations may be taken away by the police at the owner’s expense
  • In towns horns may only be used in an emergency

 

Finland Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • Between 49mph and 62mph

Motorways:

  • 74mph
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Finland
  • Police cannot collect on-the-spot fines at scene that are over £85 (€115)
  • Fines must be paid at a local bank within two weeks
  • Illegally parked vehicles can be removed, the release fee can be up to £122 (€165)
  • Reflective jacket
  • Warning triangle
  • Winter tyres marked M&S on the sidewall are compulsory between 1 December and the end of February

 

  • Temporary speed limits may be enforced on some or all roads by the local road districts
  • Reduced speed limits apply during the winter months, October to March generally 12mph less than standard limits
France Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 55mph

Urban Motorways and Dual Carriageways:

  • 68mph

Motorways:

  • 80mph
  • On-the-spot fines or ‘deposits’ are enforced throughout France
  • Fines range from £3 – £277 (€4 -€375)
  • For a list of fines please click here
  • Vehicles parking contrary to regulations may be towed away and impounded
  • Breathalysers
  • Reflective jackets (EN471 specification)
  • Snow chains when necessary
  • Warning triangle
  • In built up areas the use of the horn is prohibited except in cases of immediate danger
  • Parking discs for ‘blue zone’ parking areas can be obtained from police stations, tourist offices and some shops
Germany Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 62mph

Motorways:

  • 80mph
  • On-the-spot fine or deposit are enforced throughout Germany
  • Fines vary from £29 – £434 (€40 – €600) depending on severity of the infraction
  • For full list of fine details and prices click here
  • If a driver refuses to pay the fine, the vehicle can be confiscated
  • Winter tyres equipment
  • Drivers can be fined for exceeding speed limits, using abusive language and making derogatory signs
  • Wheel clamps are not used in Germany but vehicles causing obstruction can be towed away
  • GPS based navigation systems which has maps indicating the location of speed cameras must have the ‘speed camera PoI (Points of Interest)’ function deactivated
Greece Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • Between 55mph and 68mph

Motorways:

  • 80mph
  • Police can impose fines but not collect them on-the-spot
  • Any fine must be paid at a Public Treasury office within 10 days
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First-aid kit
  • Warning triangle
  • Drivers can be fined for the unnecessary use of a car horn
  • Vehicles may be towed away if parked illegally, or if violating traffic regulations
  • The police are empowered to confiscate the number plates of illegally parked vehicles throughout Greece
Hungary Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 55mph

Semi-Motorways:

  • 68mph

Motorways:

  • 80mph

Other:

  • In city centres, areas with an 18mph speed limit are increasingly common
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Hungary
  • Fines must be paid within 30 days

 

  • First-aid kit
  • Motorway sticker / vignette
  • Reflective jacket
  • Snow chains when necessary
  • Warning triangle
  • The use of the horn is prohibited in built-up areas, except in the case of danger
Ireland Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • Between 37mph and 62mph

Motorways:

  • 75mph
  • A member of the Garda may hand a person a fixed penalty notice
  • Fines can be handed to offender directly or left attached to the windscreen
  • Illegally parked cars can be clamped and sometimes towed away
  • Fines must be paid within 28 days
  • If a fine is not paid within 28 days the fine increases by 50% of the original price
  • N/A
  • Horns must not be used between 23:30 and 07:00 hours
  • Distances are given in kilometres
Italy Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 55mph

Dual Carriageways:

  • 68mph

Motorways:

  • 80mph
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Italy
  • The police can impose the fine and collect one quarter of the maximum fine
  • Fines for speeding carry a heavy charge
  • Illegally parked vehicles can be clamped or towed away and a fine imposed
  • Reflective jacket
  • Snow chains when needed
  • Warning triangle
  • Fines for serious offences committed at night between 22:00 and 07:00 hours are increased by one third
  • Serious offences include speeding and going through a red light
  • In built up areas the use of the horn is prohibited except in cases of immediate danger
Latvia Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 55mph

Dual Carriageways:

  • 62mph
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Latvia
  • Police cannot collect on-the-spot fines
  • The fine has to be paid or an appeal lodged within 30 days
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First-aid kit
  • Reflective clothing
  • Warning triangle
  • Winter tyres when necessary
  • There are no motorways in Latvia
  • Speeding is highly controlled by police with fines being issued even by the smallest infractions
Lithuania Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 55mph

Dual Carriageways:

  • Between 62mph and 68mph

Motorways:

  • Between 68mph and 80mph
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Lithuania
  • Some fines may be payable at a local bank, dependent on the amount and traffic violation

 

  • Fire extinguisher
  • First-aid kit
  • Reflective jacket
  • Warning triangle
  • Winter tyres compulsory between 10 November and 1 April
  • It is compulsory to call the police to the scene of an accident
  • If drivers are staying over three months it is necessary to obtain a temporary registration certificate and plates, valid up to six months
Luxembourg Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 55mph

Motorways:

  • 80mph
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Luxembourg
  • Fines can be paid using cash or card
  • Unauthorised and dangerous parking can result in the car being impounded or removed
  • Reflective jacket
  • Tyres – all tyres on a car must be of the same type and standard
  • Warning triangle
  • Winter tyres when necessary
  • Any vehicle immobilised on the motorway must use warning signals, a warning triangle and a flashing light at the rear
  • In built up areas the use of the horn is prohibited except in case of immediate danger
Netherlands Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • Between 49mph and 62mph

Motorways:

  • 80mph
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Netherlands
  • If drivers have illegally parked, police may impose and collect on-the-spot fines or impound the vehicle
  • Vehicles can be confiscated in cases of heavy excess of speed
  • Drivers must pay traffic fines through the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice website found can be here
  • N/A
  • Horns should not be used at night and only used in moderation during the day. High penalties are incurred for none compliance
  • Warning triangle or hazard warning lights must be used in case of accident or breakdown (recommended that warning triangle always be carried but is not compulsory)
Poland Built Up Areas:

  • 37mph from 23:00 to 5:00
  • 31mph from 5:00 to 23:00

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 55mph

Express Roads:

  • 62mph

Motorways:

  • 86mph
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Poland
  • Police are authorised to request foreign motorist to pay their fines in cash
  • If the fine is not paid on the spot the case can be brought to court and must be paid within three days
  • Illegally parked cars causing an obstruction may be towed away and impounded

 

  • Electronic toll box
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Warning triangle
  • If a fine is not paid within the three days a 30 day prison sentence can be imposed
  • The use of the horn is prohibited in built up areas except to avoid an accident
  • Since July 2013 an electronic toll system has been in force in Poland for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes – this includes cars towing caravans
  • Vehicles have to be equipped with an electronic device, called a viaBOX, please click here for further information
  • Low-beam headlights must be switched on at all times when driving
Portugal Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • Between 55mph and 62mph

Motorways:

  • 74mph
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Portugal
  • Fines must be paid in Euros
  • Most traffic police vehicles are equipped with portable ATM machines for immediate payment of any fines

 

  • Photographic proof of identity
  • Reflective jacket
  • Temporary Electronic Toll Device or Pre-Paid Tolls

 

  • Foreign motorists refusing to pay an on-the-spot fine will be asked for a deposit to cover the maximum fine for the offence committed. If a motorist refuses to do this, the police can take the driving licence and / or registration document, failing that they can confiscate the vehicle
  • For more information on Temporary Electronic Toll Device (DEM) or Pre-Paid Tolls please click here
  • It is illegal to carry bicycles on the back of a passenger car
  • In built up areas the use of the horn is prohibited during the hours of darkness except in the case of immediate danger
Spain Built Up Areas:

  • 31mph

Outside of Built Up Areas:

  • 55mph

1st Category Roads:

  • 74mph

2nd Category Roads:

  • 62mph

Motorways:

  • 74mph
  • On-the-spot fines are enforced throughout Spain
  • Fines are reduced by 50% if paid within 20 days
  • Visiting motorists failing to pay on the spot may have their vehicle confiscated
  • Illegally parked vehicles can be towed away

 

  • Reflective jacket
  • Spare tyre
  • Warning triangle

 

  • In some cities in one way streets, vehicles must be parked on the side of the road where houses bear uneven numbers on uneven days of the month, and on the side of even numbers on even days
  • The use of earpieces or headphones while driving is banned. Failure to comply carries a fine of £174 (€200)
Sweden
  • Speed limits are not based on the type of road, but on the quality and safety of the actual road itself
  • Drivers are recommended to pay particular attention to road signs as this vary greatly
  • Police can impose but not collect fines on the spot for minor traffic offences
  • Fines must be paid at a local bank within 2-3 weeks
  • Illegally parked vehicles may be towed away and the release charge is up to £108 (1,400 SEK)
  • A shovel
  • Antifreeze
  • Winter tyres – compulsory from 1 December to 31 March
  • Congestion charges in Stockholm and Göteborg will apply to foreign registered vehicles from the 1st January 2015
  • In some towns and suburban areas, parking restrictions are regulated by the date ‘Datumparkering’. On odd days parking is not permitted on the side of the road with odd numbers. On even days, parking is not permitted on the side of the road with even numbers

 

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