Highways are in great shape, distances are short and routes are scenic: Slovakia is a good country for a road trip.
Car hire is readily available in Bratislava, Košice and Poprad. EU driving licences with photo ID are generally accepted in Slovakia. Otherwise check in advance with your rental outfit if you need an International Driving Permit (may be required for US driving licences).
Road Conditions, Hazards & Rules
- Speed limits are 50km/hour in towns, 90km/hour outside urban areas and 130km/hour on highways. Observe signs, as there may be seasonal changes (such as lower speed limits in winter).
- Driving offences include failure to wear a seat belt (driver or passengers) or driving with a blood alcohol level above zero. If fined for a traffic offence, ask for a receipt to ensure the fine is legitimate.
- Headlights stay on permanently and drivers must respect pedestrian priority at crossings.
- A nálepka (toll sticker) is required on all green-signed motorways. Fines for not having them can be hefty. Buy at petrol stations or border crossings (per 10 days/month €10/14) or online (www.ndsas.sk). Rental cars usually have them included.
- City streetside-parking restrictions are eagerly enforced. Always buy a ticket from a machine, attendant or newsagent in old-town centres. In some places you can pay by SMS (Slovak SIM cards only).
- Winter tyres are compulsory in destinations where roads are likely to have snow cover; check with your rental car agency, or buy chains for driving in mountainous destinations in winter.
Keep your driving licence and proof of third-party liability insurance close at hand. In the event of a collision with someone's property (such as a parked car or fence post) the onus is on you to seek out the owner.