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Slovakia’s small size (about 600 km east-west and 200 km north-south) and dense system of roads make it easy to see a lot in a short time.

Driving Rules

The whole continental Europe drives on the right side of the road and Slovakia is no exception. The usage of the right side in the Austro-Hungarian Empire was inspired by France. In 1918, when the Czechoslovak Republic was founded, the cars moved to the left side of the road. As of 1938, when Czech lands became a German protectorate and Slovakia became a German satellite, the whole area conformed to the German rule of driving on the right side of the road. Position of cars in the streets is a very good guide to estimating the approximative age of photos of Czech and Slovak towns from the pre-war and war years.

  • The headlights must be on all the time.
  • Speed limit in the build-up areas of towns and villages is 50 km/h.
  • Speed limit out of urbanized areas (except highways and expressways) is 90 km/h.
  • Speed limit on the highways and expressways is 130 km/h.
  • Driver must be at least 18.
  • Complying with the instructions of the traffic lights.
  • Alcohol tolerance is zero.
  • Seat belts has to be fastened for all passengers, for the passenger sitting on the back seats, too.
  • Eating and other activities interrupting driving are not allowed.
  • Using mobile phone or smoking during the driving is forbidden.
  • Children with age less than 12 have to sit in the rear seat.
  • Buses, trolleys and trams have always the right-of-way.
  • Pedestrians at the crossings have an absolute priority.

On the unlit country roads between villages, pay special attention to cyclists often wearing dark clothing and riding on either side of the road. And park your car only where parking is allowed.

The traffic lights are there for a reason and are, for the most part, fully respected. Some bored policemen watch them and when passing on the orange light they may stop you and engage in a short conversation.

Other drivers drive relatively safely and when they see you in a foreign car, they will usually prefer to keep a distance from you, especially in Bratislava. Many people from countryside say that drivers in Bratislava drive like mad. On the other hand, some drivers from small villages get confused in city traffic, so the Bratislavans prefer to give them plenty of room in order to prevent possible unpleasant situations.

You should also pay attention to some rare “brave” men in strong cars who think the road belongs to them. However, this phenomenon appears worldwide.

Driving on Highways

Car on the roadPayment for driving on highways and some express roads is required. A driver has to buy and display a sticker or a stamp. The price of the sticker is settled according to the weight of the vehicle and can be valid for different periods of time (from 7 days up to a year). They can be bought on a border crossing, post offices and petrol stations.

Police Checks

Policeman stopping a carPolice checks are not unusual on roads in Slovakia. All drivers have to stop in case of a Stop Signal coming from the police. They have the right to stop you for a random check, even if you did not break any law. The reason of this kind of check is mostly the vehicle’s papers checking. Occasionally (after dark) they may check the alcohol level of the passenger.

Documents necessary to show to the police upon request:

  • A valid driving license, Slovak or International
  • Registration papers of the vehicle
  • Insurance documentation
  • ID, passport – personal identification

Drivers, who ignore speed limits are invariably caught by radar traps. Many private radio stations regularly draw attention to their listeners to the places where a closer attention is to be paid.

If breaking any driving rule, driver might get a fine. Driver is allowed to defer payment until later, but in such cases the policemen can decide hold the driver’s licence untill the fine is paid. The highest fine a police officer can issue on the spot is 650 €.

Requirements for tourists

A driving license issued in the United States or other foreign countries is not valid in Slovakia until the driver does not have an International Driving Licence. This type of licence can be issued in several offices, for example in AAA offices in the USA. The application form for requesting the permit can be provided by the US Embassy. There is a possibility to request it by mail as well.


It is possible to get insurance in Slovenská kancelária poisťovateľov (Slovak Insurer’s Bureau). To purchase the insurance it is necessary to visit the office in person.

Documents required:

  • ID, passport – personal identification
  • Registration papers of the vehicle
  • Information about the car and its owner

Highways, Expressways, Roads


Highway sign in SlovakiaThese are the highways in Slovakia:

  • D1 (511 km) – Bratislava-Trnava -Trenčín-Žilina-Prešov-Košice-Border Checkpoint Záhor
  • D2 (80 km) – Border Checkpoint Brodské-Malacky-Bratislava-Border Checkpoint Čunovo
  • D3 (61 km) – Hričovské Podhradie-Žilina-Čadca-Border Checkpoint Skalité
  • D4 (50 km) – Border Checkpoint Jarovce (Bratislava)–Border Checkpoint Devínska Nová Ves


Sign of Expressway in SlovakiaThese are the expressways in Slovakia:

  • R1 – Trnava-Nitra-Zlaté Moravce-Žarnovica-Žiar nad Hronom-Zvolen-Banská Bystrica-Ružomberok
  • R2 – Trenčín-Bánovce nad Bebravou-Nováky-Prievidza-Handlová-Zvolen-Detva-Lučenec-Rimavská Sobota–Rožňava-Košice
  • R3 – Šahy-Krupina-Kremnica-Turčianske Teplice-Martin-Dolný Kubín-Oravský Podzámok–Polish Borders
  • R4 – Hungarian Border, Milhosť-Košice-Prešov-Svidník–Polish Borders
  • R5 – Czech Borders–Svrčinovec
  • R6 – Czech Borders, Lysá pod Makytou–Púchov-Beluš
  • R7 – Bratislava–Šamorín-Dunajská Streda-Nové Zámky-Šarovce–Šahy-Veľký Krtíš-Lučenec
  • R8 – Hradište–Partizánske–Topoľčany-Nitra

Hitchhiking in Slovakia

The cheapest way to travel is not always the best or fastest one. But hitchhiking in Slovakia is one of the possibilities to get to another place and get to know local people.

Hitchhiking in the Slovak language is called autostop and to hitch a ride is to stopovať. The hitchhiker is stopár. It is, mostly among younger people, one of the most popular ways of traveling in the country or discovering other places in Europe.

Random hitchhiking, as a rule does not involve financial compensation. If the journey is a longer one, the hitchhiker should ask the driver, whether he would like a payment for his kindness. Most drivers, however, are happy to have a companion for the trip and don’t ask for anything more.

Hitchhiking in Slovakia is relatively safe. Of course, one has to follow the commonsense rules: to be careful, to take note of the registration number of the car, not to get in a car if the driver or any of the passengers look strange, etc. Just the same rules as in any other European country apply. Although there are odd cases of violence involving hitchhikers, the numbers are very few considering the number of happy hitchhikers who got to their destination safely.

Of course, young couples with backpacks on sunny days on well frequented roads have much better chance to stop a car than individuals on dark, lonely stretches of highway.

The customery signal for a hitchhiker to use is a slightly raised straight hand with a raised thumb and closed fist.

If you are on a busier road or plan to travel to a more distant location, it is advisable to write the destination on a sheet of paper or cardboard. For foreign destinations, use WIEN for Vienna and PRAHA for Prague. Inside Slovakia, two-letters code of the district is usually the best way to communicate. The codes for the ten largest cities are the following:

  • BA – Bratislava
  • KE – Košice
  • PO – Prešov
  • NR – Nitra
  • ZA – Žilina
  • BB – Banská Bystrica
  • TT – Trnava
  • MT – Martin
  • TN – Trenčín
  • PP – Poprad

On local roads, you will be probably happy to get to the nearest larger town, so no identification of the destination is necessary.

55 Responses to Car

  1. Mahdi July 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

    I have an Indian driving license. Is it valid in Slovakia? If not, where in Slovakia I can get driving permit (I am currently in Slovakia as a tourist)

    Kind Regards

    [Reply] replies:

    No, unfortunately, it’s not. You should obtain an international driving licence, but you can only get it in the country of your residence/where the driving licence was issued.


    andy replies:

    hi did you find out if you can drive with your indian drivers licence here?thanks


  2. Husky July 9, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    I think that you can print here map with high/expressways from


  3. Hannu Halonen July 14, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    Just arrived from Slovakia with car. It was irritating how local police (Zilina, 11th of July) was handling foreigners. We had paid a motorway fee. The problem came, when we had a trailer behind our mobile home and the total weight was over 3,5 tons. Instead of giving advice and possibility to correct the mistake, the police officer gave 100 Euros fine (which is a lot more than the highest fine 66,35 Euros mentioned on the web page). A very expensive few kilometers!

    When bying the ticket, normally people selling them do not understand foreing language. They are not asking, what kind of car you are using. It is not easy to understand, what kind of motorway ticket you need.

    Our friends also got same kind of fines during our stay in Slovakia. We think, that the way we were handled, refers to a police state with no western ability of handling things. My aim is to plan future trips around Slovakia if there is a need to travel to tha region.

    Best regards,
    Hannu Halonen


  4. Georgina January 5, 2010 at 2:46 am #

    does the drivers license in Slovakia have a photo fo the licensed person.

    [Reply] replies:

    Hi Georgina, yes, of course, the Slovak driving licence has a photo of the licence holder on the front side. Maybe, you have seen this page of the Ministry of Interior? and it confused you? There is white space under the EU flag where the photo should go.


  5. Gabriela January 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    I am holding a permanent residence card from Slovakia, but I don’t understand very well the slovak language. Is it possible to get a drivers licence presenting the test in English?


    [Reply] replies:

    Dear Gabriela,

    yes, it is possible. You have to find an appropriate driving school.


  6. Al March 8, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    As Hannu mentioned above, I had a very bad experience with Slovakian Police whilst driving there.
    Three times out of three driving in Slovakia I had to pay a fine fpr travelling their territory, first starting from 150 Euro then down to 30/40 Euro.
    As the site mentions, I asked to defer the payment of the fine, but the officers always threaten me to
    take me to the Police station and keep my driving license, which then meant the inability to drive
    drive at all, aka you pay the fine or you are screwed.
    I am still believing they do this especially with foreigners, as they are sure a foreigner will
    not argue and also another thing I noticed is that they do not release any report or contravention with
    what happened, names of the officers, date and time, etc. Probably they take those money for themselves
    and go for a beer celebrating or something.
    Thanks Slovakia for being so nice to us!

    [Reply] replies:

    Hi Al, by no means I would like to defend Slovak Police, it certainly has some issues to improve, but I would like to correct you:

    1. Why do you violate the driving rules in the first place? You will pay a fine in every country for that.
    2. Defering payment vs. keeping the driving licence… well, it’s not threatening, it’s just how the Slovak law dictates and no matter whether you are a foreigner or Slovak. How else can they be sure that you’ll pay?
    3. Report or contravention… first, I guess, they asked whether you want to see the picture with your speed on their computer in the car (a proof). Then when you paid, they should have given you a ticket stating how much fine you paid.
    4. Names of the officers, numbers, etc. … according to the law, they are not obliged to inform you about these beforehand, but you have the right to ask and then they have to inform you.

    I just wanted to ensure you that this is not only against foreigners… Also, I got a fine in Austria and it was pretty the same – they showed me the proof and gave me a small ticket stating how much I paid for it.


  7. Kayla May 20, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Hello. I am moving to Slovakia and I want to import my car to the country. Do you know where I can find information about how to do this? If there are any taxes or fees that need to be paid upon my auto’s arrival? Thank you for any information.

    [Reply] replies:

    Thanks for the question about importing car to Slovakia. As we think this would be a valuable information for many users, we added it right on the page above.


  8. Zarzilla August 7, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    Hi, i’m also importing a car to Slovakia (from Germany). The steps are EXTREMELY useful… but unfortunately, once you arrive to the official sites, the administrators and police officers do not speak english (or german, or italian, or…) :-( so it has been a little bit of a war. And I have lost :-( do you know of anybody that (for a fee, of course) could handle the import for me? i understand you might not recommend publicly people/business – but i’m desperate!

    [Reply] replies:

    Zarzilla, try to contact one of the car dealers in Slovakia, maybe someone can help you:


  9. Gregg Losinski August 23, 2010 at 2:13 am #

    I want to rent a car in Prague, drive to the Tatra region of Slovakia and return to Prague over 4 days at the end of September 2010. Questions:

    1. Can I take a rental car from Prague into Slovakia and back?

    2. What special Stickers will I need or special insurance.

    3. If so, what will these cost and where can I get them?

    Thanks – Also, because I am from USA, I understand I will need to get an IDL before I leave, correct?

    [Reply] replies:

    1. Yes, if the rental agency in Prague allows it (usually they have no problem with it).
    2. No special insurance, but you might need a sticker for Slovak highways, if you are planning to use them.
    3. Depends on the time lenght you want to use the highway. It is 4.9 EUR for one week.
    4. IDL… correct.


  10. Sandra September 2, 2010 at 8:30 am #


    My husband is a diplomat and we are moving to Bratislava at the end of the month.
    Can I bring over my right-hand car?
    Is it allowed to drive this type of car in your country, and if not, is there some form of
    exemption for diplomats?

    Thank you for your help.

    [Reply] replies:

    Hi Sandra, it is allowed, but only untill the car insurance is paid in your home country (I guess it’s UK). If you’d like to insure your car in Slovakia, the technical conditions (right-hand car) would not allow you to do so and therefore you could not use it on Slovak roads.


  11. Moss September 3, 2010 at 10:45 pm #


    I am currently staying in Slovakia and I have a residence permission, but I dont understand Slovak for 100%
    as mentioned above by Gabriela, can you please advise on some certain school which might be able to give the course/exam in english


    [Reply] replies:

    Sorry Moss, I couldn’t find any. I guess you just go through the car schools and ask them whether they speak English.


  12. Lee Harkness September 15, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Hi, i am moving to kosice, slovakia in about 12 months time with my fiance as she is finishing her vetinary medicine education here. i have i UK Registered 2001 BMW X5 which i am currently using here in Norway where i am temporarly living. Basically, as long as i pay all required fees and provide correct documention and fit the vehicle with the correct lights etc… it has a clean record not involved with any criminal activity etc… would there be any problem registering it in slovakia? as i will be staying here for three years and i would like to kep my car.

    kind regards

    Lee Harkness

    [Reply] replies:

    Nope, it won’t be a problem unless the driving wheel is on the left side. If on the right, it does not fit the technical specifications for Slovakia and as far as I know it won’t be approved.
    You just need to pay a fee (last time I checked, it was around 50 EUR) for “originality check”:


  13. Moss October 19, 2010 at 12:18 pm #


    Would appreciate if you can help advising if it’s possible to take the driving exam in English, as I have been advised that the exam can only be in either Slovak or hungarian

    Many thanks for your help


  14. Simon November 17, 2010 at 10:14 pm #

    Dear Administrator,

    is there currently any mandatory vehicle inspection present in Slovakia (roadworthiness inspection) and/or emission tests for resident cars?
    If yes: Which company or state department conducts these?
    Thank you for your kind answer.

    [Reply] replies:

    Only for the cars 4 years of age and older. In any city, you have several companies doing these tests. Look for “STK ” on Google.


  15. Marcelo Grisolia November 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm #


    I’m Brazilian and about to travel to Bratislava for business and I can’t find the information if I’m allowed to drive in Slovak.

    I just see an information about US issued permits but there is nothing mentioning other nationalities.
    Will I to be allowed to drive in Slovak carrying my passport and Brazilian driving license?


    [Reply] replies:

    You need the international driving licence.


  16. Mian January 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    I’m on visit visa and i’ve international driving license do i need insurance if i will drive my wife’s car?Dakujem

    [Reply] replies:

    Hi, no. The car is most likely insurred on your wife’s name, that is enough.


  17. Andy February 7, 2011 at 1:43 am #


    I am moving to Slovakia (non-EU citizen), I guess I can use my international driving license (please confirm that).

    Can I buy a car in Slovakia?


    [Reply] replies:

    Yes, anyone can buy a car in Slovakia and register it if he has a residence in Slovakia. And the international driving licence is enough for you to drive in Slovakia.


  18. Benson Alumbasi February 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    Thanks alot for the information about cars in Slovakia.
    I am a kenyan, but currently leaving in Slovakia. I have parmanent leaving ID for leaving here and I would like to buy a second hand car.
    I would like you please to advise me on how to go about it.
    I would like to buy the car directkly form slovakia.
    -I have a kenyan driving licence
    -If I consider the kilometer that the car has made, what should be the number approximately, and the year best year of manufacture
    -what are the requirements for re-registration and other documents like road licence and insurances.
    -Is it easier to buy from my town of leaving or I can also get the car from other towns within Slovak Republic.
    -which is the best model ie, Nissan, škoda, Ford etc.
    I will be very thankful for your assistance.
    Looking forward for your kind reply.
    Prajam vam pekny den

    [Reply] replies:

    – You should have an international driving licence, however, for buying the car you don’t need it.
    – For the years and kms… the less the better, of course. Watch out, many second hand car dealers use to sell cars with changed kilometers. Best is to have the car checked in the authorized car repair shop before buying.
    – The info about requirements for registering a car are here (use a translator):
    – It is a bit easier to buy a car from your district, but it is no problem to buy it from other districts as well. Read the link mentionned above.
    – Regarding the car brands… depends on how much money you have and what you expect from your car.

    Nice days to you, as well.


  19. Michael April 9, 2011 at 3:32 am #


    As a US citizen without Slovakian residency, can I purchase and register a car in Slovakia on anything other than temporary plates?

    With thanks,

    [Reply] replies:

    Unfortunately, no. The car has to be registered on an address in Slovakia.


  20. Don July 30, 2011 at 3:57 pm #


    I am currently working in Bratislava and I have been since August 2010.

    I have a 5 year ID card which I believe means that I am resident here?

    I am going home to collect my new driving license as exchanging the papers from the UK driving authority as proof of license was very difficult here. So I was told its better to obtain a photocard and exchange that for a slovak license.

    As I am going home I was considering buying a UK car and driving it back here for general use. The second hand cars here are crazily expensive and low quality, so this would be the cheaper option for me.

    What restrictions will I have?

    I was told my car can only stay here for 3 months then it would need to touch UK soil again before returning which i wouldnt mind as i visit home regularly anyway. But another source said it can stay here for as long as required.

    Of course the TAX, MOT and INSURANCE would be in date.

    Any help and advice would be appreciated!


    [Reply] replies:

    It can stay here in Slovakia as long as you want to, but you can’t have it registered in Slovakia.


  21. Bk August 24, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    I am going to hire a driver from Slovakia to come to Canada to work, he is currently living in Ireland. He has an EU license issued in Slovakia. Can he get a copy of his driving record that shows his traffic violations? If so who does he contact in Slovakia and can he do it from Ireland via fax? Thanks

    [Reply] replies:

    Yes, he can, but only in person at the police station where he got the driving licence.


  22. hosaam August 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    I have 5 years permanent resident in Slovakia.
    I would like to know how i can replace my driving license that was issued by Egypt to Slovakian one? required papers and condition.

    [Reply] replies:

    According to the law, after 180 from issuing your permanent resident, you have period of 90 days to replace your local driving license with Slovak one. You have to bring your license and international one as well issued from your country and paper stating that you carry driving license and you need to translate them to Slovak and to go to your local police department that responsible for issuing license. They will take your license and in two weeks you should receive Slovak one. Fees about 6 euro.


  23. khalid September 6, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    hi i want drive car from bratislava to franfurt how is the road ther which good reod drive . thanks alot

    [Reply] replies:

    I can tell you the road till Pilzen in Czech Republic, it’s OK and fast… highway all the way. Use Google maps – get direction function:


  24. Jovan September 8, 2011 at 3:34 am #

    Ahoj,I have student residence permit and I want to arrive and drive my own car with foreign registered plates.For how long may I drive it in Slovakia and are there any restrictions regarding this?

    Dakujem, Pozdrav

    [Reply] replies:

    If the car is in order with the conditions needed in Slovakia, there are no restrictions.


    Jovan replies:

    I forgot to mention that I come from a country that is not EU member. thanks

    [Reply] replies:

    That doesn’t matter… What matters is whether it has everything that the Slovak legislation needs – technical conditions of the car.


  25. con giomakis October 6, 2011 at 3:34 am #

    Hi, I want to purchase a car privately in slovakia how can i find out if there is any money or a loan outstanding on the car any help would be much appreciated thanks kindly Con.

    [Reply] replies:

    As far as I know there is no such registry, but you can at least verify the vehicle here:


  26. Diego Sanchez December 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    I am planning to move to Slovakia permanently next year. I am spanish with spanish driving licence. Can I get the slovak licence straight away or I need to pass the exam again? What papers will I need to present?

    Thank you for your help,

    [Reply] replies:

    After 180 from issuing your permanent resident, you have period of 90 days to replace your local driving license with Slovak one. You have to bring your license and international one as well issued from your country and paper stating that you carry driving license and you need to translate them to Slovak and to go to your local police department that responsible for issuing license. They will take your license and in two weeks you should receive Slovak one. Fees about 6 euro.


  27. Mian January 31, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    I need to know i’m going to change my driving license into Slovakian one as i’m permanent resident my Local driving license is valid till 2013 but my international driving license is expired since 1 year can i still get slovakian license or ??Please guide me asap Dakujem


  28. Rob James April 7, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    I have a Motorcycle, Car,HGV, and PSV all types UK licence and am moving to Slovakia. How can i exchange for a Slovak licence? Do i just go to police station and what is the cost?

    [Reply] replies:

    According to the law, 180 days since issuing your permanent resident, you have a period of 90 days to replace your local driving license with Slovak one. You have to bring your license and international one as well issued from your country and paper stating that you carry driving license and you need to translate them to Slovak and to go to your local police department that responsible for issuing license. They will take your license and in two weeks you should receive Slovak one. Fees about 6 euro.


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