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
14 months (valid from the 1st of December of the previous year until the 31st of January of the following one)
1 month from the day marked on the sticker
10 days from the day marked on the sticker
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
Traffic sign: Dopravní značka
Pedestrian zone: Pěší zóna
Pedestrian crossing: Přechod pro chodce
Petrol station: Benzínová stanice
Delivery zone: Zásobování
Slippery road: Za mokra
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
14 thoughts on “Driving in the Czech Republic”
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Hi All im newbie here. Good post! Thx! Thx!
-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
very nicely explained, couldn’t have said it better
I’ve lived in Vysocina for 14 years and I live near the D1. Driving here isn’t so bad as you are saying. Sometimes drivers don’t like being overtaken and accelerate when you are passing them, but not often. I like the Police here, if you speak Czech to them and you are polite they are friendly and helpful and will go easy on you. I’ve been stopped a few times over the years for speeding, turning left at a (temporary)no turn left sign, driving in a bus lane, driving up a restricted no entry road and they let me off with a warning. They can also stop you for no reason, I just accept that. Yes the D1 is busy and scary with lots of foreign trucks but if someone is tailgating you at 130kph, stick on your 4 way flashers, they will back off. Off the highway round here is very pleasant and relaxing to drive, I can’t say I’ve ever had anybody honking at me. And no, I’m not a fast driver and I have VW Passat.
Funny you say that about Polish…I think Spaniards are the worst and most aggressive drivers in the world
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!
Thanks for share the information about Driving in the Czech Republic.
Hello, wonder re speed radar, that works in automatic regime. If a driver didn’t had any points, and exceed speed limit, is there is a chance that driving license could be suspended?
I’m afraid so. Drivers always need to drive according to the rules, otherwise driving licence could be suspended.
The thing is that speed meters in cars overmeasure; experienced drivers know this, and they may know how much in their cars. Another thing is that speeding by less than 10 km/h outside town is tolerated and not prosecuted; the least fine you can get is for speeding at least that. (The tolerance is only 5 kmph build-up areas.) So, all in all, an experienced Czech will drive just under 100 (up to 110 on his speedometer!) outside town on a regular two-lane highway. If a rookie sticks to his 90, he may be going slightly over 80 in reality, and thus be slowing everybody down massively. In the US, they say, go with the flow of traffic. Do the same here.
On the expressway with the 130 speed limit, the tolerance band goes under 140, and the police are known to stop only those whom they can measure to speed at 143 or more, to give themselves extra tolerance with regard to radar accuracy. Mind you, if I drive my little car at actual 130, my speedometer shows almost 145, and when I drive just under 140, as I do, my speedometer shows about 155.
Thanks for the note!
Thanks for this Info! I was able to use this info to go around town! Keep up the good work.
We’re glad to have been of service!