Driving in the Czech Republic

With the driving licence in your wallet, ZERO blood alcohol concentration (as stated by law), seatbelt fastened and headlights on, you’re 100% ready to drive! Here are a few useful things to know when driving in the Czech Republic. Let’s go!

The speed limit in urban areas is 50 km/h, while outside town you can drive up to 90 km/h. On expressways, the speed limit is 110 km/h, while on highways, you shouldn’t go over 130 km/h. Respect these rules for your personal safety, and be aware of speed cameras placed along the roads. Moreover, the Czech policemen are very strict: can’t say you didn’t know!

The fee for exceeding 20-30 km/h beyond the speed limit runs from 500 to 2,000 CZK. If you drive under the influence of alcohol, you can be imprisoned for up to 3 years, with a 25-50,000 CZK fee attached.

To access a number of Czech highways, you must buy a sticker which you can get at almost every gas station, post office or when crossing borders. The sticker is called “Dálniční známka”.

There are 3 different stickers available:

Type of sticker

Validity period

Price

Annual (R)

14 months (valid from the 1st of December of the previous year until the 31st of January of the following one)

1,500 CZK

Monthly (M)

1 month from the day marked on the sticker

440 CZK

10-day (D)

10 days from the day marked on the sticker

310 CZK

Note that the sticker is valid for vehicles not exceeding 3.5 tonnes. For motorbikes, highways are free of charge.

Fill in the registration number of your vehicle legibly in the sections indicated on both parts of the sticker. The proof of payment issued when purchasing the sticker must be kept when driving.

The sticker must be placed at the bottom right of the windscreen and can be used for 1 vehicle only.

If you’re planning to come in winter, keep in mind that it’s compulsory for all vehicles to be equipped with winter tires on all wheels every year from the 1st of November to the 31st of March (and even after or before this period whether the temperature is less than 0°C) on all roads.

The minimum tread depth allowed is 4mm. Tires must bear the indication M+S, M.S. or M&S, where M means mud, while S stands for snow.

To conclude, have a look at the following vocabulary:

Free of charge: Bez poplatku
Highway: Dálnice
Speed: Rychlost
Traffic sign: Dopravní značka
Pedestrian zone: Pěší zóna
Pedestrian crossing: Přechod pro chodce
Police: Policie
Hospital: Nemocnice
Accident: Nehoda
Diversion: Objížďka
Caution: Varování
Petrol station: Benzínová stanice
Diesel: Nafta
Gasoline: Benzin
Delivery zone: Zásobování
Slippery road: Za mokra
Exit: Výjezd
Entrance: Vjezd
Give way to trams: Dej přednost tramvaji
Slow down: Zpomalte

With long days coming, you’ll probably want to drive out of town! If you wonder how to get a driving licence in the Czech Republic, Foreigners is here to help!

Photo source: motorway.cz

Camille Springaux

Camille Springaux

Hello dear readers, I am a French student living in Prague for a few months. In love with food and nature, I like to share my personal experiences and my travels with others! Enjoy ❤

5 thoughts on “Driving in the Czech Republic

  1. -Few- personal thoughts on driving here:

    Czech drivers are VERY aggressive.
    If you stick to the speed limits, specifically in 90km/h roads, expect to have a huge queue
    of angry Czech drivers behind you (most likely they are 20 seconds late to watch the
    hokej match v hospoda -at the pub- )

    Driving in the Highway is really like being in a madmax movie. 130 will keep you in
    the right line and good luck overtaking a truck, cause Czechs and Polish don’t know geography and they think they are in the autobahn… Czechs are okay-ish but polish are
    HORRIBLE, hitting 160km or more. Also, everyone seems to drive on the left lane. People
    complain about Ukrainians or Russians, but Polish are -generally speaking- the worst.

    The police doesnt seem to give a damn whether people drive fast or not. They don’t care
    (that’s czech’s default attitude). They just stick to a few places where there’s always
    a patrol hunting down people and thats it. SHAME ON THE POLICE. If they fined everyone
    driving these roads off-limit we wouldnt have the shittiest segments that D1 has, we would have -for once- roads like Germany has.

    Driving in the city: careful, be extremely careful with salinkas and buses. If you make a simple
    mistake, instead of helping you, they’ll be horning/chiming at you as if there was no tomorrow.
    I was in a trolley , and there was an old guy crossing a pedestrian pass -in red!- he was on
    the rush and he clearly wanted to reach the bus stop (zastavka) before the bus arrived (-just my judgement- there were a few cars on the road BUT at a safe distance , so even though the grandpa was wrong, he could have made it safely). Well, instead of slowing down, the bus driver accelerated just to get to where the guy was, break abruptly, and started horning the old guy. That’s -again generally- Czech spirit. Complain to the max — over time you’ll develop this special Czech trade, I guess you can see how pro I am at that 😀 —

    Also, you need to learn A LOT of Czech. Sometimes, if there are road or parking limitations,
    they write an epiphany in Czech which of course is unreadable specially if you’re driving.
    Beware of that…

    Coming from a southern country like Spain -and I bet to the surprise of everyone-, I consider this place VERY UNSAFE for inexperienced drivers. You can’t really have a calm drive, but
    be on the lookout for the next arse on the road. Every time I visit Slovakia or Austria I am
    shocked how easy driving there is, and it is because drivers not only stick to the rules, but also are more mature. You can make it with a 75hp Polo in Austria or Slovakia’s highways.. Here? Get a 150 horse car if you want to be on the safe side — (110kW, because Czechs always need to go against everyone else.. and they don’t use horsepower)

    It is a pity, because Cesko is a VERY VERY BEAUTIFUL country to visit. It has beautiful
    landscapes which would be amazing to drive through if you could simply relax and enjoy
    the ride..

  2. I agree whole heartedly. Not a pleasure drive even in the CZ countryside. Many Czechs tailgate and honk the horn behind you even if you are going speed limit. Citroen and BMW drivers the worst. Be careful in CZ!

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