Need for speed: All you need to know about speed limits.

Speedlimits_EN

Many of us already know this situation: Everything is ready for the perfect road trip – the bike is packed, the route checked the tank full and the excitement is building up. But when you arrive in the next country at the latest, you often have to ask yourself what maximum speed limit actually applies on the current section of the road or what fine you have to expect if you exceed it. The long-awaited adventure can quickly become a financial debacle, especially if you are traveling on a motorcycle and indulge in your thoughts when you see the new and often impressive surroundings. The annoying thing about it: Even if you own a navigation device that shows the permitted maximum speed, it does not mean that this value also applies. Although it is extremely rare for a country to change its own requirements, there are numerous additional bids that must be observed – bids that differ significantly from country to country. So always keep yourself informed about the current conditions and never blindly trust your navigation system. Everything you need to know for the perfect road trip in Europe can be found here.

Need for speed... Or not?

Admittedly, it is a great asset to discover the most beautiful streets and landscapes in the seat of a motorcycle. So that it stays that way and you are not unnecessarily prevented from doing so by a sudden encounter with the police, you should familiarize yourself sufficiently with the applicable regulations in advance.

Most countries regulate or divide the maximum permissible driving speed based on the section of the route (highway / expressway, country road and local area) on which you are. So far so good. Most European countries levy their own toll or highway fees and the models can vary widely.

In Italy, for example, the toll system or highway toll is mostly based on the distance actually traveled. There are also motorway sections for which a certain lump sum has to be paid. And that can often be expensive. Anyone who drives without a Telepass (automatic system for collecting entries and exits) must take a ticket when entering the motorway, keep it carefully and present it again when calculating the road toll, to pay the amount due by credit card, ViaCard or cash to settle. It is different with the Telepass toll box: the barrier at the toll station opens automatically, both when entering and exiting. This means that Telepass users drive through the toll station non-stop, often on specially reserved lanes that lead past the traffic jams in the other lanes. This is often much faster. While Italy does not offer a flat rate and the price is calculated, among other things, from an annual equipment rental (toll box) and the effective use, numerous European countries offer a lump sum over a certain period of time. You can often choose between daily, weekly or annual use. The amounts that are collected by the countries are calculated on the available road kilometers, sometimes very different. The following European countries levy a toll or motorway fee:

  • Czech Republic
  • Austria
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Slovenia
  • Hungary
  • Slovakia
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Belgium
  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • The Netherlands

Often you have to rely on the motorway or expressways if you want to get from A to B as quickly as possible – and not infrequently at the expense of driving pleasure. But now back to the streets that are also interesting for us motorcyclists.

Other countries, other manners?

In short: Yes.
A factor that significantly reduces a motorcycle rider’s driving experience is of course the weather. In addition, sudden rain, for example, is a constant companion and additional risk factor for an extensive and possibly cross-border tour. However, it is often overlooked that the permissible maximum speeds in the event of rain differ significantly from the regular limit in some countries. For example, the permitted limit on French and Italian motorways is significantly reduced – namely from 130 kph to 110 kph. Speed ​​limits are also often the case in underpasses and tunnels: Austria, for example, reduces this to 100 kph, a regulation that is not found in Italy with a few exceptions. Even in good weather, it has recently become law (since July 1, 2018) in France that the speed on country roads does not exceed 80 kph. The vehicle may only be moved at 90 kph on a two-lane country road with a fixed separation such as a guardrail. Who can possibly be aware of that?

Also to be noted is the fact that young drivers with less than 3 years of driving experience in France, Italy and Croatia sometimes have to adjust their speed considerably. In Italy, a maximum speed of 100 kph on motorways and 90 kph on expressways applies in the first three years after obtaining a license on motorways. Young drivers take note: In Croatia, young drivers up to the age of 24 are only allowed to drive 120 kph on motorways, 100 kph on expressways and 80 kph out of town. Not bad either.

Also note the applicable regulations if you are traveling with a sidecar or motorcycle trailer. In Germany, for example, the latter may only be moved on the motorway at 60 kph.

A summary of the permissible maximum speeds (as of 2019) on the different road sections in Europe can be found here:

Country

Motorway

Speedway

Extra urban

Belgium

120 kph

120 kph

90 kph

Denmark

130 kph

80 kph

80 kph

France

130 kph

110 kph

80 kph

Great Britain

112 kph

112 kph

96 kph

Italy

130 kph

110 kph

90 kph

Ireland

120 kph

100 kph

80 kph

Croatia

130 kph

110 kph

90 kph

Luxemburg

130 kph

90 kph

Netherlands

130 kph

100 kph

80 kph

Norway

100 kph

100 kph

80 kph

Austria

130 kph

100 kph

100 kph

Poland

140 kph

100 kph

90 kph

Portugal

120 kph

100 kph

100 kph

Sweden

See signage

See signage

See signage

Switzerland

120 kph

100 kph

80 kph

Slovakia

130 kph

90 kph

Slovenia

130 kph

110 kph

90 kph

Spain

120 kph

100 kph

90 kph

Czech Republic

130 kph

110 kph

90 kph

Hungary

130 kph

110 kph

90 kph

 

What costs do I have to take into account in the travel expenses?

In addition to the classic travel costs such as those for fuel, meals and accommodation, as well as the tolls already paid for the use of the motorway, the toll payment decisions made for pass roads or the directional sections also need to be considered. In most cases, access has to be paid on site, but there is also the possibility to see it in advance in the form of a digital route, as is the case in Austria. The number plate of your bike is usually received at a designated terminal when passing through. Find out in advance about the applicable tariff provisions. When visiting or driving over a pass and a welcome change from the otherwise rather dreary kilometer eating on the highway – all the more under optimal conditions.

What should I expect when speeding?

Even if it can often go fast on a motorcycle in particular: keep an eye on the choice of driving speed, because the penalties for exceeding the applicable speed limits can differ drastically in the various European countries and can sometimes lead to the confiscation of your own vehicle. You should always keep an eye on the speedometer needle, no matter which country you are traveling in.

You have to dig deep into your pocket, for example, in northern Europe, such as Norway or in car-loving Sweden if you exceed the top speed by 20 kph. Here fines are threatened from € 375 or € 250. Exceeding is also very expensive in Italy (from € 170), in Switzerland (from € 155) and in Great Britain (from € 115). In countries like Lithuania you can get away relatively cheaply from around € 12 and Latvia from € 20.

As already mentioned, there are differences on expressways, motorways and out of town, the speed limit in Europe is largely the same within cities and municipalities. As in Austria, a speed limit of 50 kph applies here in most countries in Europe and applies to all vehicle classes in Europe.

If you get caught too much at 20 or more than 50 kph, you can expect the following fines:

 

Country

Until 20 kph

Above 50 kph

Belgium

From 100 Euro

From 300 Euro

Bosnia and Herzegowina

From 50 Euro

From 200 Euro

Bulgaria

From 25 Euro

From 120 Euro

Denmark

From 135 Euro

From 300 Euro

Germany

Till 35 Euro

From 240 Euro

Estland

Till 120 Euro

Till 800 Euro

Finnland

200 Euro

From 14 daily rates

France

From 135 Euro

1.500 Euro

Greece

100 Euro

350 Euro

Great Britain

From 115 Euro

Till 2850 Euro

Ireland

From 80 Euro

From 80 Euro

Island

From 120 Euro

From 400 Euro

Italy

From 170 Euro

From 530 Euro

Croatia

From 65 Euro

From 400 Euro

Lettland

From 20 Euro

From 240 Euro

Lithuania

From 12 Euro

From 450 Euro

Luxemburg

From 50 Euro

From 145 Euro

Malta

From 70 Euro

From 70 Euro

Mazedonia

From 20 Euro

From 300 Euro

Montenegro

From 40 Euro

From 100 Euro

Netherlands

From 165 Euro

From 660 Euro

Norway

From 375 Euro

From 900 Euro

Austria

From 30 Euro

Till 2.180 Euro

Poland

From 25 Euro

From 120 Euro

Portugal

From 60 Euro

From 120 Euro

Romania

From 60 Euro

From 280 Euro

Sweden

From 250 Euro

From 420 Euro

Switzerland

From 155 Euro

From 60 daily rates

Serbia

From 25 Euro

From 50 Euro

Slovakia

From 35 Euro

From 350 Euro

Slovenia

From 80 Euro

From 500 Euro

Spain

From 100 Euro

From 600 Euro

Czech Republic

From 40 Euro

From 195 Euro

Turkey

From 50 Euro

From 100 Euro

Hungary

Till 95 Euro

From 195 Euro

Cyprus

From 35 Euro

From 85 Euro

What else do I have to carry with me?

Many are of the opinion as motorcyclists that it is enough to carry the same items as a bandage abroad as well as domestically, but that’s far from it. Here you can find out why you should keep a little more space in your luggage:

  • Bandages

Motorcyclists must have bandages on board in Albania, Montenegro, Austria, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Hungary. In Latvia only if the motorcycle has a sidecar.

  • Obigation to carry bandages

France, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Hungary.

  • Obligation to wear a vest

In Belgium, Bosnia / Herzegovina, Bulgaria, France, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic and Hungary, you have to wear a safety vest when getting off your motorcycle in the event of a breakdown or accident . In Finland, the obligation to carry also applies to passengers, but there is no obligation to carry one.

  • Warning triangle

In Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine and Malta, a warning triangle is a mandatory basic equipment for all motorcyclists. In Hungary this only has to be on board a motorcycle with a sidecar.

  • Replacement lamps

Replacement lamps must be carried in France and Croatia if the motorcycle does not have xenon or LED lights.

  • Green insurance card

It is compulsory to take it with you in Albania, Bosnia / Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro (a validity for Montenegro must be listed on the card), Romania and Ukraine.

  • Duty to wear gloves

Hard to believe: Only in France do motorcyclists and co-drivers have to wear gloves with a CE standard and the corresponding CE mark, as is also known from helmets.

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