Hungary has developed a very good highway system over the past years and has put a lot of time and money into the highways. All highways in Hungary are marked with the letter M, followed by the number of the highway, and the kilometers are counted from the 0 kilometer stone which is on Clark Adam Ter on the Buda side when you get off Lanchid.

At the moment there are 6 main highways, which are leading in all directions from Budapest, the M1 towards Vienna and Austria, the M2 to the North, the M3 to Debrecen and Romania, the M5 to the South East to Szeged, Serbia and Romaina, The M7 to Lake Balaton and further to Croatia as well as the M6 to the South to Pecs. Also probably one of the most frequented highways in Hungary is the M0 which is the highway around Budapest. The reason is to redirect traffic around Budapest especially of course the trucks.
Additionally there are many smaller highways in Hungary that go off one of the big highways such as the M19, M15, M9, M8, M43, M30, M35, M60, M70 which are very short highways connecting larger highways with bigger cities for example Pecs and the M6.

Highways Fees / Vignette (Matrica) in Hungary

Basically you can say that all highways have a highway fee however some parts near bigger cities are not included, the best example is the M0 which is still free of charge. Depending on the category of vehicle you are driving there are different periods you can purchase a Vignette ranging from 1 day to 1 year.
For regular cars the choice is between 10 days, 1 month and 1 year, whereas trucks can also purchase a 1 day Vignette.  Here are the prices for regular cars:

  • 10 days: 2.975 HUF
  • 1 month: 4.780 HUF
  • 1 year: 42.980 HUF
There are static controls for the highway fee that read your licence plate which you need to state when purchasing the vignette and match them. Also there are mobile highway fee controls so the chance to get caught without paying the road tax. And you can be sure that you will pay a lot if you drive without.
If you pay within 30 days the fine ranges from 14.875 – 79.375 HUF depending on the type you should have bought. In case you take your time and decide to pay after 30 days you will spend 59.500 – 317.500 HUF. Yes, that is mor than 1.000 Euro that you need to pay.

Speed limit and other rules on Hungarian Highways

The general speed limit on Hungarian highways is 130km/h for cars. There are not many speed controls but of course you need to be careful all the time. There are static speed traps but also policemen with traps in their cars so it is not enough to slow down on the static ones and get back to full speed in between. Keep the speed at 130 and you will be perfectly fine.

Since January 1st 2011 there is a general ban on passing for trucks above 7.5 tons between 6am and 10pm on highways with 2 lanes on each side. This of course is not always kept, just like speed limits, but it gives a good driving experience where you don’t need to slow down and accelerate again all the time.

More questions about the Highways in Hungary?

There are official websites in many languages which you can check online such as motorway.hu in English, autobahn.hu in German, autopalya.hu in Hungarian and many more for information that you might need upfront.

If you come by car 2 things are important, pay your highway fee and keep the speed limit, with that you will be fine.

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