About Hungary (HU)
The central European country of Hungary is a landlocked nation bordered by no fewer than seven countries, including Slovakia to the north, Serbia to the south, Austria to the west, and Romania to the east. Its crowning jewel and main gateway for international visitors is the delightful city of Budapest, one of the world’s top 20 destinations for leisure travel, and a bustling center for commerce as well. In terms of natural beauty, Hungary is home to a diverse range of attractions, including the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, Balaton, and Hortobágy, the largest natural grassland in Europe.
Getting around Hungary by car hire is generally safe and practical. The country is served by a network of major motorways on par with any other European country, and linked to remote areas by a series of two-lane roads. Hungarian drivers, however, have a slight reputation for impatience in traffic. Aggressive driving, tailgating, and incessant use of the car horn are among the major gripes of respectable locals and visitors. Nevertheless, it’s a country where renting a car is by leaps and bounds the best way to explore all it has to offer. Of course, there’s daily congestion in the dense urban core of Budapest, but otherwise, nothing but open road awaits the traveler.
Choosing your car
The best way to see Hungary is to rent a car. Car rentals in Hungary are offered by all the major brands. Choose the perfect vehicle from Europcar, Hertz, Alamo, Sixt, Budget, or National. You’ll find cheap car rentals across all categories of vehicle, from 7-12 seater minivans, to SUVs, to premium and luxury sedans, and many more. Some of the lowest rates are found on compact and economy sedans, minicars, and intermediate 4-door sedans.
Tips and advice
Stop signs are not common in Hungary. Instead, you’ll find triangular red and white yield signs at intersections, accompanied by white-on-blue arrow signs indicating the direction of travel.
A yellow and white diamond-shaped sign indicates a main route, which give you priority to adjoining traffic at intersections. The end of the main route is marked by an identical sign with a black bar, indicating that you no longer have right-of-way.
Trams (light rail) are found throughout Budapest, and always have the right-of-way. Overtaking a tram must be done on the right.
On roads of two or more lanes, the left lane is for overtaking, but given the amount of truck traffic, you’ll probably find yourself in the fast lane for longer periods of time. This is not against the law, but you should move to the right lane as soon as traffic clears.
Left turns in central Budapest are practically non-existent for motorized vehicles, although trams are the exception. Don’t get tricked into following a tram on an illegal left turn.
Few bridges cross the River Danube, so your best bet is one of the more common ferries. Check with your Hungary car rental vendor about restrictions.