Driving in Hungary

Driving in Hungary
Published 2018-09-26 07:14

Hungary has an extensive road network, big parts of which have been recently updated to facilitate traffic. The legal driving age is 17 years old, and the vehicles keep right-hand traffic. Expats coming to the country with a non-Hungarian drivers licence will not encounter any problems: if you are an EU/EFTA national, you can easily exchange your drivers licence for a Hungarian one. Third-country nationals can also exchange their drivers licence, but added fees and paperwork will apply. Alternatively, you can apply for a new, Hungarian drivers licence after six months in the country.

Exchange your driver's license for a Hungarian one

Since Hungary is an EU member, the authorities will exchange your driving licence if you're an EU/EFTA citizen ' with minimal paperwork. You can do that by visiting the Personal Customer Service Centre at the Central Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services, or any district government document office/government information centre. In general, the documents you need to have with you are the following:

  • your foreign driver's licence
  • a paper from a doctor deeming you fit enough to drive
  • proof of payment of the fee to issue your licence

Good to know: The fee for EU/EFTA nationals is 4,000 HUF (12 euros).

If you're a third-country national, you need to go to the central offices of the Administrative and Electronic Public Services in Budapest. You should provide the same documentation as in the case for EU/EFTA citizens (see above), as well as your residence permit.

Good to know: The fee for third-country nationals is 6,200 HUF (19 euros).

Useful link:

Europa: Driving licence recognition in Hungary

Getting a driver's licence in Hungary

If you don't have a driver's licence from your home country and wish to get one in Hungary, you should know that non-Hungarian citizens are only allowed to apply for Category A and B vehicles (aka motorcycles and cars). In general, you'll need the following:

  • your passport
  • your residence permit or your registration certificate
  • medical certificate of good health
  • to pass the theory exam
  • to pass a medical first aid exam by the Red Cross
  • to take practical driving lessons (30 lessons, 580 kilometres)
  • to pass the final driving exam

Once you get your driver's licence, it will be valid in Hungary for 10 years ' or five, if you are more than 50 years old.

Driving conditions

Hungary places a great importance on driving safely and minimizing accident risk. Every potential driver is required to take a medical first aid class organised by the Red Cross, whereas the penalty point system for traffic offences makes sure that a repeat offender will not stay behind the wheel for long. In fact, once a driver accumulates 18 penalty points they will lose their licence and will be banned from re-applying for one for six months (and even then, they will need to complete a driving course).

Good to know: Hungarian laws are particularly strict when it comes to drinking and driving. If you are caught driving under the influence, your driving licence will be immediately revoked, regardless of whether you have accumulated 18 penalty points or not.

Useful links:

Ministry of Transport

Interactive map

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.