DRIVING TIPS IN POLAND

Driving in Poland is as pleasurable as driving in your home country, as long as you know the regulation. Here is an overview of everything you need to know to drive in Poland with a light heart.

RULES AND REGULATIONS

  • You must drive on the right side of the road.

  • Seatbelts are always obligatory, also for passengers.

  • Strict alcohol laws. The acceptable limit of blood alcohol content is 0.02% (basically 0%, don’t drink and drive).

  • Headlights must be used all year long, also during the day (low beam or daytime running light).

  • Forbidden to use hand-held mobile phones while driving.

  • Children under 150cm need a special seat.

  • Cars must be equipped with a fire extinguisher and a hazard-warning reflective triangle.

  • In Poland, driving licenses are valid for 15 years.

  • Always have a driving license and insurance papers with you.

SPEED LIMITS

The speed limits differ in every country, these are the current speed limits in Poland for cars and motorbikes:

  • In urban/built-up areas: 50 km/h from 5 AM to 11 PM and 60km/h from 11 PM to 5 AM

  • on single carriageways 90 km/h

  • on dual carriageways or single carriageway expressways 100 km/h

  • on dual carriageway expressways 120 km/h

  • On motorways 140 km/h

Tips when driving in Poland

  • There are plenty of radar traps and police hiding behind corners, respect the speed limits. I can tell you from personal experience (sigh) that the radar is freaking scary as it flashes you twice with a super bright yellow light.

  • If a car flashes you twice it means that there is police ahead or that you have the headlights off.

  • In areas with regular fatal accidents, you will find black points signs (Czarny punkt). Be extra careful and slow down.

  • Get a GPS, driving in Warsaw is very tricky if you are not born here. The streets are very wide and give a “highway feel”. It’s pretty easy to miss your “exit”. I actually still do it all the time.

  • Buses moving from a bus stop have precedence, slow down! They WILL enter the traffic when you least expect it.

  • There are many petrol stations in Poland and the quality of fuel changes according to where you go. The worst fuel is offered by supermarkets or small/independent stations. These stations offer lower prices, but don’t fall for it. It is generally recommended to refuel at big companies stations like Orlen, Shell, BP, Statoil, Neste or Lotos.

  • Bus lanes can be used only by buses and taxis. This kind of lanes are common so pay attention to it.

  • Varsovians will pass you from the right-hand side, it is very common. It can be avoided by staying in the right lane.

  • Flashing hazard lights is a sign of gratitude or apology.

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