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Driving in the Czech Republic

Head east and explore this varied and exciting country for an unforgettable experience.

Signpost, Mezivrsi, Czech Republic

Getting started

First off, it’s an 800-mile drive from London to the Czech Republic, so if you’re not picking up a rental at the airport, make sure both you and your car are well prepared for the trip.

However you arrive, there'll be castles and gorgeous countryside galore. An in the capital city Prague you'll find one of Europe's most artistic and exciting cities.

Hit the road

The beautiful scenery is great to look at, but keep those eyes on the road.

The stunning views, along with a rapid rise in traffic following the fall of communism, may both be factors why the Czech Republic sits near the bottom of European road safety tables.

It’s a grim fact, but road fatality figures are roughly three times worse than the UK. Stay safe, and make sure that your car insurance policy allows you to drive on European roads. 

Where to go

fireworks above Prague castle

If you like your cars, head south to Brno. A few miles from the centre is the Masaryk Circuit, home to the epic street races of the pre-war era.

Each lap covered almost 20 miles and the roads still exist today, so you can retrace the wheel tracks of racing legends such as Hans Stuck and Bernd Rosemeyer.

However, you can’t head for the Czech Republic and not visit Prague. Thanks to the efforts of the government it’s a very safe city to explore, and its historic centre is a World Heritage site.

Luckily it missed the worst of the WWII bombing and hence much of its Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque architecture is still in place.

You could also try heading for the Karkonosze Mountains on the border with Poland. 

With two national parks, and the spectacular peaks and ridges punctuated by a series of waterfalls, it'll definitely reward your driving efforts.

Laws of the land

  • The minimum age for drivers is 18.
  • Vehicles must have dipped headlights at all times. Expect a fine of around £60 if you get caught with them off.
  • All occupants must wear seatbelts if fitted.
  • Children under 1.5m tall may only travel in the front or back of a car if fitted with an appropriate restraint.

Local knowledge

The Czech Republic has a zero drink drive limit. It’s treated as a criminal offence and can land you with a £1,500 fine.

There’s also a strict list of equipment that must be carried in the car at all times:

  • first-aid kit
  • warning triangle
  • spare bulbs
  • winter tyres between 1 November and 30 April
  • reflective jacket

Reflective jackets need to comply with EU standard EN741- the label on the jacket will tell you this. You also need to have the jacket in the car with you - not the boot

Should you be involved in a crash, you must not move the cars involved until the police have examined the scene.

If you have to move them for safety reasons you must mark the location of cars with chalk.

Czech Republic speed limits

Road type

Speed limit

Residential / built-up areas

50 kmh

Outside built-up areas

90 kmh

Motorways

Up to 130 kmh


Planning on driving to another country? Take a look at our section on driving in Europe.

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