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Driving in Poland

by Maciek

General information on driving in Poland

If you plan to come to Poland with your own car, or plan to rent a car here, you will probably be interested in what driving in Poland looks like. Generally we are somewhere between Germany and Spain when it comes to obeying the rules.

Like almost everywhere in Europe, we drive on the right. Most of us use blinkers before changing lanes, but as everywhere – some of us don’t. We usually don’t obey speed limits very strictly and driving 20 km/h over the limit is considered normal, though the police has a different opinion on that.

And we never, never try to bribe the Police. Those time are gone and if you try, you’ll get into even bigger trouble.

Below you’ll find other useful information on driving in Poland

Speed limits in Poland

Speed limits are a bit complicated compared to other European countries. As you enter Poland, at the border you should see the following sign:

Speed limits in Poland
Speed limits in Poland

Bear in mind, that 60 km/h in built-up areas applies only from 11pm to 5am. Between 5am and 11pm maximum speed allowed is 50 km/h. Outside built-up area, the speed depends on whether the opposite directions are separated (100 km/h) or not (90km/h). The same applies to expressway – if it’s separated and there are two lanes in both directions, the maximum speed allowed is 120, otherwise it’s only 100.

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Maximus speed allowed on a highway in Poland is 140 km/h/

Alcohol limit in Poland

The level of alcohol in blood is lower than in most European countries. If its over 19 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (0,19%), but less than 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, it’s qualified as an offence. If it’s over 50 milligrammes, then it is a crime. The golden rule is: if you have drunk, don’t drive.

Highways and high-speed roads

There are only 4 highways in Poland, and all of them have a toll system depending on the distance driven. There’s no vignette that allows you using all the highways. Each time you need to take the ticket at the entrance and pay at the exit gate.

Toll gate on highway in Poland

Police controls in Poland

Police controls are quite common and may be carried out by marked or unmarked Police car. The Police are usually checking the speed and tests for drink-driving. Speed may be also checked by stationary equipment – both checking speed at the moment of measure and the average speed on a distance 1-2 km.

Useful Apps for driving a car in Poland

Except for Google Maps, which helps a lot while travelling in Poland, we recommend Yanosik. This App, with the help of community using it, not only helps to navigate through Poland, but also warns about unexpected incidents. Users also warn about the Police

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Petrol price in Poland

Petrol price in Poland is stable recently. It varies a bit in various regions, but generally expect to pay about 4,5 PLN (1 EUR)/ litre of E5 petrol. This is about 20% less than in Germany

Tips for driving in Poland

There are some signals that we use in Poland to communicate. For instance, flashing the headlights on the crossroad means “I give you the way”. Using both blinkers by the car driving in front of you without any incident visible usually means that you have forgotten to turn on your lights. The same if the car going in opposite directions flashes with the headlights – but this may also mean that there is police in front of you.

Using dashcams is legal in Poland, but it may not be accepted in court in case of any incident that brings you there.

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