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Belgium Driving Rules and Tips


Use the guide below to brush up on tips before you drive in Belgium. As a road traveller, you need to know the rules of the road.

Documentation

Be sure to take the proper documentation with you when you go. You’ll need:

  • A valid driver’s license from your own country
  • Official photo ID (passport)
  • Proof of insurance (Call your insurance company to make sure it will be usable in a foreign country)
  • Proof of ownership if you are bringing your own car or written permission from the owner
  • Can rental documents, if using a rented car

You may also need:

  • An International Driver’s Permit (IDP). While not required by law, it does make it easier if your license is in a non-official language, and you are stopped by the police. Also, some rental companies require you to have one.

Age Restrictions

  • You must be 18-years-old to drive. Children who are under the age of 12, must be in the backseat.

Driving Rules, Laws, and Regulations

  • Drive on the right hand side of the road; you will also find road signs on the right side
  • Do not honk in urban areas
  • Use dipped headlights during the day if conditions are bad
  • Always yield to trams
  • You must carry a warning triangle in the car, as well as a reflective jacket (for breakdowns) and deflectors for your headlights
  • When entering roundabouts, yield to the traffic
  • You must wear a seatbelt at all times, whether in the front or backseat

Speed Limits and Fines

Speed limits will be posted in kilometers per hour. However, as a general rule, speed limits will be as follows:

  • 50 km/h (31mph) in urban areas
  • 90 km/h (56 mph) in non-urban areas
  • 120 km/h (75mph) on highways that are 4 lanes or more

Be aware that the Belgium government employs speed traps and cameras to catch speeders. Some police may be in unmarked cars, and the police can demand fines on the spot.

Here is a list of fines by how much you are over the speed limit on regular roads:

  • 1-10 km/h (1-6 mph): 50 euros
  • 11-30 km/h (7-19 mph): 50 euros plus 10 euros for each km/h
  • 30+ km/h (19+ mph): must go to court

And on highways:

  • 1-10 km/h (1-6 mph): 50 euros
  • 11-30 km/h (7-19 mph): 50 euros plus 5 euros for each km/h
  • 30+ km/h (19+ mph): must go to court

Drunk Driving

The legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) for driving is fairly low in Belgium at 0.05g/100ml. That is the equivalent of 1 glass of wine per hour, depending on your weight. Police can demand a breath test at any time. If you are found above the legal limit, you may face one of the following:

  • Fines, depending on the amount of alcohol in your blood. In fact, you can be fined up to 10,000 euros.
  • License restrictions, including having your license confiscated.
  • Jail time, also depending on the amount of alcohol in your blood.

Also drivers, who have had their license for less than two years, will face harsher punishments.

Parking

You must pay to park in a blue zone. Other areas require that you purchase a parking disk, which you leave on your car with the time you left. Do not park close to a tram or bus. You also cannot park near a rail station or intersection.

Don’t forget to check for local signs whenever you’re parking, which will indicate what you need to do.

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