Every country has its own customs. The same can be said about tolls. In Poland, motorway tolls are determined, for example, by the location of the road section in question. In Hungary, the procedure is not so complicated, as such charges are standardised. Every traveller should therefore secure a valid vignette.
Hungary – you can’t drive there for free
Driving on motorways, expressways is an extremely convenient way of travelling. It saves time, but also reduces the costs associated with time-consuming side roads. It is therefore no surprise that more and more people are opting for this type of route. This also applies to Poles who travel across Hungary, including professional drivers and tourists.
However, one should remember to read the road legislation when preparing to cross the border. It turns out that in Hungary drivers who want to travel on the motorways have to pay a fee. What car vignette rates apply in Hungary in 2023?
In this country, the charges vary depending on the type of vehicle and the period for which the vignette is valid. The best thing to do is to buy such a vignette online, from a verified website, such as this one: https://electronic-vignettes.com/en/hungary-vignettes/, https://electronic-vignettes.com/en/. Why is this convenient? We do not have to worry about choosing the wrong vignette. All you have to do is enter your vehicle registration number, select the expiry date of the vignette and you’re done! No unnecessary calculations, no detailed checking of the tariffs. Of course, you can also purchase it in the traditional form, ordering it from the PZM, buying it at a border crossing or at a petrol station.
In Hungary, as in Slovakia or Bulgaria, for example, there is an electronic motorway toll system, so we do not even have to carry a sticker or proof of purchase. The system, monitoring using cameras located at motorway gates, reads the registration number of the vehicle and checks whether we have paid the toll. If the vignette is valid, we can drive on the motorway without any problems. But what if we forget the vignette?
Fines in Hungary for not having a vignette
If the system records that our vehicle is moving on the motorway, we can expect to be stopped by the Hungarian motorway police, and they will not only confirm the status generated by the charge system, but they also have the right to check, for example, the technical condition of our vehicle. Hungarians are very strict when it comes to adhering to the law, so in most cases it will definitely not end with a warning.
The fine for not having a valid vignette or not buying one is 13,750 forints (HUF), which is about 200 zlotys. Which is, for example, 2 times more than buying a monthly vignette for a passenger car for 7 people. On the other hand, lorries with trailers may pay as much as PLN 800 in fines for not paying the toll. Let us not forget that a driver who has not fulfilled the obligation to pay for a motorway toll will also pay for any administrative measures, so the amount may increase. If the police officers prove speeding, poor technical condition of the car or the use of a phone while driving, the penalties may be more severe.
Hungary is an attractive country for tourists who appreciate good food, fragrant drinks and historic monuments. For professional drivers, on the other hand, it is an easy route to Croatia or Romania. However, in order to enjoy its charm, one should always pay a vignette before travelling, take the necessary documents with them and remember to obey the law.