Driving in Belgium
Despite the ease of getting around, driving around Belgium does have some surprises you should be aware of.
Belgium has an impressive network of toll-free, well-lit motorways. But before you get going, there are a few rules of the road to be aware of.
What do I need to drive in Belgium?
Make sure you pack this essential documentation before you head off:
A valid UK driving licence.
Your insurance documentation.
Proof of ownership, the V5C certificate.
If you’re driving a vehicle that’s not yours, written permission from the registered owner may be required.
You also need to keep these items in your car:
Reflective triangle, this is compulsory for any vehicle with four wheels or more.
Headlamp deflectors to stop the drivers on the right side of the road getting dazzled. You may find you need to adjust your beams too.
Read more: A guide to holiday car hire
Motoring laws and restrictions in Belgium
When you're out there, remember these rules
Cars approaching from the right always have priority unless:
You’re on the motorway.
At a roundabout.
There is a road sign with an orange diamond within a white background.
There’s a driver attempting to join after driving in the wrong direction.
All car passengers must wear seatbelts if fitted.
When using a rear-facing child seat in the front, passenger airbags must be deactivated.
Horns should not be used in built-up areas, except in emergencies.
You must give way to trams.
You can be fined for using a phone whilst driving, though ‘hands free’ phones are OK.
Motorcyclists must dip their headlights during the day and wear crash helmets.
The blood alcohol level in Belgium is lower than 0.05% and the authorities make regular checks on drivers. Fines range from 1,100 euros to 11,000 euros and in some cases the driving licence has been confiscated immediately.
Read more: Avoid these common holiday motoring traps
Belgian speed limits
According to the government website, in 2016 there were 637 road deaths in Belgium, equal to 5.6 road deaths per 100 thousand of the population.
Because of this, Belgian police are hot on speeding. Speed traps, cameras and unmarked vehicles are in operation throughout the country.
Breaking the speed limit could mean a hefty fine of up to 2,750 euros and potentially a court appearance. So it pays to be mindful of the speed limits.
|Road type||Speed limit|
|School areas||30 km/h|
|Urban areas||50 km/h|
|Outside built-up areas||90 km/h|
|Dual carriageways with central reservation||120 km/h|
|Motorways||120 km/h (minimum 70km/h)|
Read more: A guide to driving abroad
In some built-up areas, you can only park in designated "blue zones". To use these you must first buy a parking disc from a filling station, garage or police station.
In Belgium, you won’t be clamped for parking illegally, but you will be clamped if your vehicle is uninsured.
If you’re sitting in stationary traffic with your engine idling you may get dirty looks from other drivers. The law says you should switch off unless "absolutely necessary".
You should also park in the direction of traffic, so facing the direction of travel on the right hand side of the road.