Hungarian motorways and roads are in good condition. The motorway network is not as extensive as in other western countries, but the existing ones cover the key touristic routes. You will be able to get to almost any destination of touristic importance by using them, therefore you rarely need to worry about driving on other types of roads.
The speed limits are 130 km/h on motorways, 90 km/h outside cities and 50 km/h in cities. The speed is checked by fixed cameras and police cars, so our advice is not to drive faster, as you are almost guaranteed to get a fine.
Drivers must pay for using the motorways. The toll is about €6 for 4 days or €10 for 10 days. These prices are valid for cars and motorcycles, while bigger vehicles pay more. For some years, this vignette is electronic, meaning that your licence plate number is entered in the relevant database when you buy it. You don’t need to stick anything on your windshield. This electronic vignette can be bought from gas stations or from some shops at the borders.
Motorways start from Budapest and reach various parts of the country, also connecting Hungary to neighbouring countries. The name of each motorway stars with an M followed by a number. You can find a lot of useful information on Hungarian motorways on the official website.
M1 goes from Budapest to Gyor and further to Vienna and Bratislava. M3 goes from Budapest to Nyíregyháza and has two ramifications, M30 to Miskolc and M35 to Debrecen. M5 goes from Budapest to Szeged, connecting Hungary with Serbia and with Romania. M6 goes to the southern part of the country. M7 runs from Budapest to Croatia, being very crowded during summer when everybody drives to the Balaton lake. M0 is the ring road of Budapest. It is not a proper motorway, but has two lanes in each direction.
Driving is not different from any other European country. Most drivers are polite, drive correctly and observe the speed limits. You may also come across some impolite drivers, flashing their lights on the motorway to signal they want you to get out of their way. It’s best to ignore them, they are not so many and it’s not worth to get annoyed in your holiday.
In contrast to other countries, Hungary does not allow alcohol at all while driving. Don’t drink anything, otherwise you may face serious consequences. The headlights must be used also during daytime.
Gas stations are rather frequent on motorways and they also have shops and often restaurants. Gas prices are usually similar to neighbouring countries and they tend to be a little higher on motorways.
All in all, driving in Hungary is generally pleasant. As a final piece of advice, use a good GPS with up to date maps. Since the roads are being continuously extended, many new sections appear each year.