Slovakia is famous not only for its stunning nature but also for a variety of entertainment. You can enjoy horseback riding, fishing, rafting on mountain rivers and much more. A road trip is the best choice if you prefer freedom of movement.
Slovakia is perfect for driving as it is small and you do not need to rush. Traveling in a car, you will be rewarded with amazing views of forests and meadows, you can visit authentic small towns and villages, and open other unexpected sights.
There are almost 700 kilometers of roads and highways in Slovakia, and you can easily explore the whole country within a week. But as everywhere else, there are some nuances to know if you drive here, especially if you are going to rent a car.
It is very simple to rent a car in Slovakia. Car rental is possible for drivers who have reached the age of 19. Young drivers under the age of 24 are subject to an additional charge.
You must provide an international driver’s license, ID document and a credit card for deposit booking. Most companies include the following services in the rent rate:
- basic coverage in case of theft and accident
- liability to third parties
- local taxes
- airport tax
- emergency roadside assistance
- unlimited mileage (depending on a rental agency)
Usually, an insurance policy is automatically included in your rental agreement. What does it cover? Here is a short explanation:
- CDW – collision damage waiver. 90% of rental agencies demand this insurance. Without it, you will simply not obtain a car. This policy is mandatory and protects you and your rented car from the most common damages in an accident.
- TW – theft waiver. It covers theft cases.
- TP – third party. It covers your liability to third parties.
All the above policies come with a deductible or excess fee. It is the amount of the deposit that will be blocked on your credit card in case of car damage or theft.
If you drove without accidents, the entire amount of the deposit will be returned to you. On the other hand, the deductible is the maximum amount you risk.
You should not necessarily buy the policy at the rental car counter. You can use your personal car insurance if it covers rented vehicles or protection available through your credit card. But you must check in advance the details before blindly relying on these options. Alternatively, you may purchase care hire insurance from independent companies, for example, Car Hire Excess Insurance.
In Slovakia, an electronic vignette is in use. You do not need to glue anything on the windshield as in some other countries. It is enough to enter all the data of the car on a special website and pay for a vignette.
You can pay for the roads not only through the website but also through a special application. The minimum term of a vignette is 10 days, and it will cost you about €10.
Road rules in Slovakia are similar to other European countries.
- Speed limits. You should not exceed 50 km/h in towns and villages, 90 km/h outside settlements, and 130 km/h on highways. The fine for excessing the speed limit starts from€20.
- Alcohol. In Slovakia, no alcohol is allowed while driving. And fines for violation of this rule start from €230.
- Dipped headlights should be always switched on. Otherwise, be ready to pay at least €20.
- Children under 12 cannot take front seats. The fine is €60.
- Seat belts should be worn by all passengers in the car. The violation will cost you €50.
- Talking on the mobile phone is possible via a hand-free system only. The fine is €60.
- You should also have an emergency stop sign, a first aid kit, a reflective vest and a spare wheel in the car.
Police officers have the right to ask you to pay the fine on the spot.
Incorrect parking is the most common reason for a fine. You always need a parking ticket that can be obtained in all the small shops around. In the capital, this service is the most expensive. One hour usually starts from €0.70.
But you can also find free parking options – check the information at parkovanieba. Incorrect parking can result in a very frustrating fine of €65.
Proper planning of your trip and observation of all the above rules will allow you to fully enjoy your trip to Slovakia and have warm memories for a long time after it.