DRIVING IN SLOVAKIA
Slovakia is fast becoming a popular travel destination, an unusual country filled with enchanting folklore, scenic national parks, mystical castles, charming towns, and breathtaking mountainous landscapes. The captivating mountain scenery dotted with sparkling glacial lakes and wildlife is a wonderful destination for a road trip adventure. Driver’s must have a valid driver’s license from the U.S. as well as obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Slovakia, these can be obtained from a AAA office in the states. A vignette (toll ticket) is required when driving in Slovakia, these normally come with any rental car, or can be purchased for one week cost around €10, or a month for about €14. In Slovakia, they drive on the right-hand side of the road and pass on the left.Road Conditions
The roads in Slovakia are usually kept in good condition due to the mandatory road tax which is common in Central Europe. Drivers in Slovakia tend to be aggressive speeders, tailgaters, and passers, and the country has one of the highest road death tolls in all of Europe. Be cautious when driving and drive defensively, take it slow and let the other drivers pass, be careful on unlit country roads at night. Winter tires are required during the winter months when the roads are often covered heavily in snow or ice, these will normally be provided by your rental car company.Road Signs
Road signs are well posted in Slovakia. However, they are posted in Slovakian and may be unfamiliar to you, it is always a good idea to read up on the signage before driving in another country.Speed Limits
The national speed limit in Slovakia is 130 km/h (78 mph) on the highways, 90 km/h (54 mph) on regional roads, and 50 km/h (31 mph) within towns.Documents and Laws
In Slovakia, headlights must be used all the time day/night even during summertime. Drivers must yield the right of way to all vehicles with flashing lights (police, ambulance, etc). A highway user decal/vignette must be used when driving in Slovakia (these are normally provided by your rental car company). A driver’s license issued in the United States, as well as an International Driving Permit (IDP), are required for driving in Slovakia. Seatbelts are required for all passengers in the vehicle, children under 12 years of age must sit in the rear of the vehicle, you cannot turn right on a red light, use of cellular phones is not permitted while driving (unless using a hands-free device).
Slovakia has zero tolerance for drunk driving, driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited and the alcohol level is 0.0%, anything above equals jail time. Refusal of a blood alcohol test may result in a hefty fine.
Driver’s should have a valid US passport, US driver’s license, an International Driving Permit, vehicle registration information, and proof of insurance.
You need to be at least 21 years of age to rent a vehicle in Slovakia and have held a valid driver’s license for at least one year prior to renting. It may be possible to rent if you are under 25, however, there will be higher fees added to your rental price. The great majority of vehicles to rent in Slovakia are manual cars, an automatic may be available but will cost you a higher price. The country offers major car rental companies at the airport and in major cities, these include Avis and Hertz.
There are plenty of petrol stations found along the main roads in Slovakia as well as through the cities and towns. Petrol stations are readily available around cities and villages. On the main highway, the petrol stops are clearly marked and often don’t offer a wide range of services like elsewhere in Europe, where you would have a resting place with a restaurant next to it.