Xpat Opinion: Top 7 Tips For Renting A Car In Budapest

  • 5 Feb 2014 8:00 AM
Xpat Opinion: Top 7 Tips For Renting A Car In Budapest
Budapest, Hungary is an idyllic destination, with plenty to offer for all, from the avid traveller to the ardent businessman. Renting a car whilst in Budapest enables you to experience this city at your own liberty and travel around at your own leisure. Before renting a car, read these seven tips which will ensure your trip is full of adventure yet stress-free.

1-Driving laws

When renting a car, it is advisable to familiarise yourself with the driving regulations of the area. In Hungary vehicles drive on the right side of the road and seatbelts are mandatory. Budapest exercises a zero tolerance policy for drinking alcohol and then driving. Any infringement of this law, no matter how small, will result in arrest and a fine. Mobile phones are only permitted in vehicles when used in conjunction with a headset microphone or loudspeakers. In Budapest cars should have their headlights on at all times on roads outside towns, and this law applies even during the daytime.

2-Travel documents

Police are known to regularly check driving certificates so make sure that you keep your vehicle registration documents and with you whenever you drive your vehicle. If you wish to travel on the Hungarian freeways (M1,M3,M5 AND M7), you will require a toll permit which you can purchase from petrol stations and post offices. It is referred to as a vignette or matrica. Depending on which car hire company you use they may provide you with one on arrival and include it in your rental price but it is always important to check.

3-Age Requirements

In order to rent a car in Budapest you must be at least 21 years of age and possess a passport. You must also have a valid driver’s licence which you have held for at least a year. Moreover, when you hire a car, you will require a debit or credit card in order to pay the deposit before you are allowed to collect your vehicle.

4-Speed Limits and Road Markings

The Hungarian speed limit is 50km per hour in towns and villages, 90km per hour outside built-up areas, 110km per hour on dual carriageways and 130km per hour on freeways. Hungarian traffic signs and road markings are similar to those of other European countries so it may be wise to ensure you are familiar with these before travelling. When driving make sure you take precautions as speed limits are not always followed and there are no right of way laws for the merging of traffic.

5-Weather conditions

If you are intending to travel to Budapest between November and February it is strongly recommended that your vehicle should be equipped for severe snow conditions. Also it is advisable to make sure you have bottled water, food and blankets in your vehicle in case of emergency breakdowns.

6-Type of car

Due to the wide range of car rentals in Budapest, you have the luxury of choosing the type of car which suits your trip best. Models range from small vehicles to large SUVs with additional comforts such as GPS navigation and air conditioning.

7-Domestic and International Rentals

There are a variety of domestic and international car rentals in Budapest, many of which have booths at airport terminals or nearby hotels. When renting your car make sure you check out all of the options available, as many rental companies offer the luxury of dropping off and collecting your vehicle from your hotel or other chosen location.

Words by Bradley Taylor for XpatLoop.com

Bradley is a freelance writer from England, a motoring enthusiast who loves writing about cars and everything automotive but he is versatile and he also writes across a variety of other topics.

You can find him on Google+ and follow him on Twitter.

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