Driving advice for every country in Europe

Find up-to-date driving laws and advice for any country in Europe before you visit, including any accessories you may need to purchase. Don't forget the RAC provides European breakdown cover while you're driving in Europe.

Driving in Slovak Republic

Slovak Republic
Population: 5.4m
Area: 49,036 square kilometres
Currency: Euro (EUR) € = 100 cents

Coronavirus update

Please be aware that driving in Europe may be restricted at the moment.

Check the Foreign travel advice section of the GOV.UK website for up to date advice on all European countries.

With its enchanting folklore, scenic national parks and jaw-dropping mountainous countryside, it’s little wonder that Slovakia has become such a popular destination for motorists looking for a new European adventure. 

But if you’re planning a road trip to Slovakia, it’s essential you’re fully prepared ahead of time as driving there has many differences to the UK. 

To make your trip to the Continent as safe and effortless as possible, we’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know before you go, from required documents to rules of the road.  

Driving a rented vehicle? Jump to the advice for driving a hire car in Slovakia section.

RAC European Breakdown Cover (Basic and Comprehensive) provides a wide range of benefits should you breakdown in Slovakia to ensure you stay safe. 

To supplement this, RAC also offers travel insurance. Cover will include medical expenses, baggage, personal money and belongings, among many other benefits.

European Breakdown Cover

Get covered from just £7 this winter. Plus, get a full refund if Covid-19 restrictions prevent travel.†

Things to take when driving in Slovakia

slovakia-driving-abroad-advice

Documents for driving in Slovakia

  • A valid, full UK driving licence (you must also be 18 or over)
  • A GB sticker (unless your car is equipped with EU number plates showing the country code in a circle of 12 gold stars on a blue background) 
  • Your motor insurance certificate
  • The V5 registration document for your own car or the hire car paperwork for a rental

Driving in Slovakia packing checklist

Aside from the documents above, there are some legally-required items you must bring with you to drive in Slovakia.

Unless your headlights can be adjusted, it's a legal requirement to carry headlamp converters (stickers for your headlights when driving on the right, so your lights don't dazzle motorists coming the other way).

A warning triangle is also compulsory to carry in vehicles in case of a breakdown.

It's also recommended to have:

  • Spare bulbs for your car's external lights
  • A fire extinguisher 
  • A first-aid kit
  • A reflective jacket
  • A Green Card (this is no longer a requirement, but it could be useful to back-up your insurance documents and show you've got the minimum legal level of cover. To find out more, contact your insurance company)

You can pick up all the car kit you need from RAC Shop.

Rules of the road in Slovakia

  • If you're taking your own car and it has damaged bodywork, get this officially certified when you enter Slovakia, otherwise you may have difficulty getting the go-ahead to take your car out of the country
  • Although in good condition, many main roads only have a single carriageway in each direction, so beware of cars overtaking, especially on bends
  • In Slovakia, you drive on the right and overtake on the left. Trams and vehicles from the right generally have priority
  • Horns should only be used to warn of danger or to signify your intention to overtake
  • If you’re involved in any sort of collision, you must notify the police and get an accident report for insurance purposes
  • You will have to pay to use the motorways - you'll need an e-vignette as proof of payment, which can be bought online or at petrol stations, post offices and border stations
  • Sat-navs must not be placed in the middle of your car windscreen or anywhere they could obstruct your view of the road. It’s also illegal to carry or use any radar detection equipment
  • If you're caught committing a motoring offence while driving through Slovakia, you could be given an on-the-spot fine of up to €650
  • Seat belts must be worn at all times in both the front and rear of vehicles equipped with belts
  • Child restraints must be used for children weighing less than 36kg. Children under the age of 12 and those less than 150cm in height are not allowed to travel in the front seat
  • Slovakia has a zero-tolerance policy on drink and drug-driving. The limit for all drivers 0.00%. Police can test any driver suspected of being over the limit, and refusing to take a test could see you fined up to €1,300

Slovakian speed limits

The speed limit is 50km/h in built-up areas, 90km/h on open roads and 130km/h on motorways.

Other things you should know when driving in Slovakia

driving-abroad-in-slovakia

  • Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are readily available throughout Slovakia. Most petrol stations will accept payment by credit card, and those located on the major highways are usually open 24 hours a day
  • Parking can be limited in built-up areas, with restricted zones signposted. Wheel clamps are used in the main towns and vehicles may be towed away if parked illegally

In an emergency

112 - Here's a really important bit of knowledge; you can dial 112 from anywhere in Europe and an operator will connect you to an emergency service in the country you're visiting.

Operators can answer your call in their native language, English or French.

Breaking down in Slovakia

RAC offers great-value, flexible RAC European breakdown cover tailored to meet your needs. We also offer comprehensive travel insurance, including cover for medical expenses, baggage, personal money and belongings.

Driving a hirecar in Slovakia

Not all of the information in the guide above will be relevant to those looking to rent a hire car in Slovakia.

Though it might be a good idea to read through everything anyway, here are the most important things to know for drivers of rental vehicles:

Rental information

  • The minimum age to hire a car is 21
  • You need a full, valid UK driving licence and usually a second proof of ID (passport)
  • Some car rental companies ask that you have held your licence for a minimum term of one year
  • Some companies require you to use a credit card for deposit
  • You may not be able to drive outside of Slovakia unless planned in advance - check with your hire company first
  • Make sure you get car hire excess insurance before your trip to protect yourself from unexpected costs. It's almost always cheaper to do this with a separate insurer and in advance

Hire car driving tips

  • Slovaks drive on the right and overtake on the left - the opposite to the UK
  • The national speed limit on Slovakian motorways is  50km/h in built-up areas, 90km/h on open roads and 130km/h on motorways.
  • Dial 112 in an emergency
  • It’s compulsory to wear seat belts in the front and rear seats
  • The blood alcohol content limit for drivers of private vehicles is strictly zero

Car hire excess cover

Protect yourself from unexpected excess costs when hiring a car.

Driving in Slovakia FAQs

  • Can you drive in Slovakia with a UK licence?

    Yes. You can legally drive in Slovakia with a full and valid UK driving licence for up to six months. You do not need an International Driving Permit, although it could provide extra peace of mind if you have one.

  • Do I need a green card to drive in Slovakia?

    Like the UK, Slovakia is a member of the Green Card System, a Europe-wide scheme that allows countries to recognise foreign vehicle insurance policies of visiting motorists.

    UK motorists are no longer required to carry a green card to drive in Slovakia, but you should check that your policy will cover you in all countries you plan to visit before setting off.

  • What side of the road do they drive on in Slovakia?

    Like the vast majority of European countries, motorists drive on the right-hand side of the road in Slovakia.

  • Do I need a GB sticker for Slovakia?

    If your number plate does not have an EU symbol with GB national identification on a blue background, you’ll need to attach a GB sticker to the rear of your car when travelling in Slovakia.

  • Can I drive my car in Slovakia?

    Yes, although before driving your car to Slovakia it’s important you follow all legal requirements to ensure you are safe and legal on the roads, including having sufficient insurance cover.

    You should also ensure you have all the required items needed for your journey in Slovakia (such as a warning triangle and first-aid kit) as well as for any other country you’re planning to drive through.

  • How do I drive to Slovakia?

    Getting to Slovakia from the UK is relatively straightforward, but not the quickest journey in the world. Catch the ferry to Holland from either Newcastle, Hull or Harwich and drive through Germany and Austria until you reach the Slovakian border. The journey from Amsterdam to Bratislava, for example, takes around 12 hours by car non-stop.

    Alternatively, you can take your car across the Channel to Calais on the Eurotunnel and drive east through France, Belgium, Germany and Austria.

  • What age can you start driving in Slovakia?

    To legally drive in Slovakia as a visitor, you must be 18 years or older and in possession of a full valid driving licence.

  • Do I need winter tyres to drive in Slovakia?

    Slovakia is a mountainous country, which can pose problems in winter. When there is snow and ice on the roads, you’re required to use winter tyres marked M&S (mud & snow) with a minimum tread depth of 3mm.

    Snow chains are also permitted, but you’re not allowed to use spiked tyres.

  • Do I need a vignette to drive on the motorway in Slovakia?

    All vehicles using Slovakian motorways must have an e-vignette that is valid for either a year, month or 10 days.
    E-vignettes, which have replaced the old motorway tax stickers, cost €10-€50 and may be purchased online or at petrol stations, post offices and border crossings bearing the e-znamka logo.

European Breakdown Cover

Get covered from just £7 this winter. Plus, get a full refund if Covid-19 restrictions prevent travel.†

UK Government travel advice

See up-to-date travel advice


Information in this guide is subject to change

British Embassy Bratislava

Panská 16
811 01 Bratislava
Slovakia

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: +421 2 5998 20 00

Fax: +421 2 5998 22 37

† Price for 1 day cover for up to 9 people travelling in a vehicle up to 1 year old in Zone 1. For more information visit rac.co.uk/breakdown-cover/european-breakdown-cover

† Price for 1 day cover for up to 9 people travelling in a vehicle up to 1 year old in Zone 1. For more information visit rac.co.uk/breakdown-cover/european-breakdown-cover