What can be useful for car travels throughout Europe? Information about speed limits or about tolls on highways in various countries can be. It is also good to know whether it is allowed to drive to the city centre and potentially under which conditions.
Speed on highways
In the countries with speed limits different from the Czech Republic we cannot drive more than 120 km per hour in Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal, Romania and Sweden (however, in Sweden in some areas only 90 km/h is allowed). Some drivers look forward to unlimited speed in Germany, but they should be aware that 130 km per hour are recommended. Cyprus, where you drive on the left, does not allow more than 100 km/h, Malta and Norway 80 km/h, however in Norway you can drive up to a hundred if announced by traffic signs.
In Estonia and Iceland, 90 are permitted the same as in the Great Britain where however the limit is defined in miles per hour, i.e. 112 kilometres per hour. Due to fuel save policy in Spain, maximum speed limit on highways is 110 km/h until next June; otherwise the maximum speed limit is 120 km per hour.
One can drive faster than in the Czech Republic when driving in Poland where the speed limit is 140 km/h.
One doesn’t pay any fees for driving on highways for example in Cyprus, Malta, Germany, Luxemburg, Romania, Estonia or Finland. On the contrary, relatively high toll is paid in France where various amounts are defined for various stretches of highways (more detailed information on www.aprr.fr). Similarly in Italy, fees depend on classification of the particular highway, but the average is about 0.10 EUR per km (more detailed information onwww.autostrade.it). On Polish A1 highways you pay 17.50 PLN for 90 km; on A2 highways it is 13 PLN for 50 km and on A4 highways it is 8 PLN for 60 km. In Norway, toll is 30 NOK.
In Belgium, a drive through a tunnel close to Antwerp is paid; in the Netherlands there are two such tunnels where you have to pay to drive through. In Denmark you pay toll only at two bridges – Storebæltsbroen and Øresundsbroen.
Some countries use various systems of vignettes. In Austria, a 10days highway vignette costs 7.90 EUR, a vignette for 2 months cots 23 EUR. In Slovakia, a weekly vignette costs 7 EUR and a monthly one 14 EUR. For 4 days in Hungary you would pay 5 to 6 EUR and for a week it is 10 EUR. In Slovenia, 7 days cost 15 EUR. For driving on highways in Bulgaria it is necessary to buy an annual vignette for 67 Leva (34 EUR).
In Germany, remember that to enter some city centres it is obligatory to buy a so called Umweltplakette, i.e. “environmental vignette”. We speak about Berlin or Köln for example. Some Italian cities enable only cars with permission in city centres, e.g. Rome, Pisa, Florence, Bologna, Milano, Torino and others (more at ztl-italia.blogspot.com). Due to traffic jams prevention, London requires a so called London Congestion Charge in the price of 10 pounds per day in the time between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
In some countries it is not obligatory to have lights on in the day time or to have any reflexive jacket in the car. Nevertheless, with your lights on during the day time and with a reflexive vest you don’t spoil anything. Equally, absolute abstinence before driving is in place also in countries where a little amount of alcohol in blood is permitted when driving.
From July 1, 2012, it is obligatory to carry breathalyzer in every car in France. Drivers caught without the test will face a fine of 11 Euros. Beathalyzers are available at supermarkets, pharmacies and gas-sations for a price between 1,5 – and 5 EUR.