Continental Driving Advice

driving rules in europe


The speed limit in Europe is most often as follows:

  • the city – 50 km/h;
  • suburban – 80 km/h;
  • less often – 90 km/h.

On multi-lane suburban highways, the speed is limited to 100 – 130 km/h. Everyone knows that in Germany, high-speed autobahns are supposedly unlimited. But in fact, in many areas signs are present that limit the permissible speed. Keep in mind that in many countries there is also a lower speed threshold on motorways. In different countries, it varies from 40 – 80 km/h, that is, you cannot drive slower than this term either.

In some countries (for example, Britain, France), the permissible speed on the highway decreases in bad weather conditions or with the onset of winter (Estonia). In Poland, the speed outside the city depends on the number of lanes on the road, and the permissible speed in the city at night is higher (60 km/h) than during the day (50 km/h). In addition, in European cities, there are often residential areas with a speed limit of 30 km/h, or even 20 km/h, and the speed limit may not be directly indicated on such signs.

Unpunished speeding in European countries is either absent or does not exceed 3 – 10 km/h. Therefore, it is so important to thoroughly study the traffic rules of those countries that you are going to travel to.

On some roads, even minor ones, automatic radars can be applied that do not transmit police data, but display your speed on a large display – for self-monitoring, so to speak. But the radar detectors in cars in Europe are often prohibited, even for the presence of such a device in the glove compartment of the car can be fined for a noticeable amount – up to 1,500 – 2.800 euros.

The fines for exeeding the speed limit are among the highest, and for significant excess they simply take away the rights: for example, in Belgium it is enough to exceed the speed by 20 km/h, in France – by 40 km/h, in the Netherlands – by 50 km/h, in Italy – at 60 km/h. The speed limit in Germany is the most loyal, and the “speed” penalties are the lowest.

Priority on the crossing point

In Europe, not only signs can guide the order of driving at the intersection, but also only markings – for example, Stop signs and lines on the road will be enough to make you skip vehicles moving along the intersected road. In France, in order to indicate the difference between the intersected road and the exit from the yard or parking, in the second case, a thin border is built into the asphalt.

In a roundabout (which is very popular in Europe), usually the “main road” is for those who go around the ring, although traffic signs may prescribe a different driving algorithm. In some countries (for example, in France), there is the concept of “vulnerable participant in the movement”. These are cyclists and motorcyclists, which are recommended to be skipped even if, on other grounds, they do not have priority.

In almost all of Europe, you can make a right turn when the red traffic light is on – naturally, if you do not interfere with other traffic participants.


Speed limits in Europe is not the biggest problem for the traveler. Parking is a real “headache” for those who decided to visit the old cities of Europe on their own. Briefly say that parking in the center of European cities will always be paid.

You will need to study the payment method in advance, stock up on a disc-clock and a parking scheme in the city you are interested in. Also take an interest in whether the parking time of a car with a running engine is limited in a given city. For example, in Denmark and Finland, it is only 2 – 3 minutes, so it is not always possible to warm up in the cabin or to cool the cabin air conditioning.

Keep in mind that there are several types of parking in Europe (paid, free, preferential, daily, etc.), and proper knowledge of information about them will help to save a considerable amount of money.

Category: Cars

Tags: auto, driving, roads