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Road Rules and Traffic Regulations in Poland - Driving Nuances

1. The quality of roads in Poland will definitely please even most discerning drivers. Excellent asphalt, great informative support and road markings everywhere – these are the main distinctive features of local roads. Some local roads are, of course, not so excellent as main roads and highways. Nevertheless, their quality is still satisfactory.
2. A large part of local roads have only one lane in each direction. Taking into consideration the fact that freight vehicles often move on such roads, drivers can only dream about high speed.
3. When driving on a narrow road, you should be very careful when overtaking. As a rule, roads have special markings, which allow making a maneuver in turns on each lane. If a freight vehicle moves close to the road side, it means that it gives way to other vehicles so that they can overcome it.
4. Taking into consideration the abovementioned peculiarities, it is worth noting that traffic is usually heavy on narrow local roads. The distance between cars is usually less than two meters. Sometimes it is even less than a meter, so drivers always have to be very attentive.
5. Local drivers have already become accustomed to the peculiarities of roads in Poland, so overtaking with driving on the opposite lane is considered quite a normal and an ordinary maneuver for them. The drivers, who move on the opposite lane, will notice that driver and will certainly slow down, waiting for the maneuver to be completed.
6. Larger highways usually have at least two lanes in each direction. As a rule, counter lanes are usually separated by lawn or gardening. When moving on such routes, drivers should stay as close to the right side of the road as possible, because the left lane is used for overtaking purposes.
7. Note that major roads are rarely located through settlement centers. It is really convenient to use them, because thanks to this drivers are able to escape the main inconvenience – long traffic jams and endless traffic lights that are so common for cities.

Nuances of Car Rental in Poland

To save on your rental, we advise to book your car in advance. You will save the most if you do this several weeks or even several months prior to your trip. Rental offices in Poland usually raise rental prices over time, based on the number of cars left available for the accounting period.

When looking for an exotic car (cabriolet, minivan or limousine), we advise to check in the rental offices located at airports, as they usually provide much wider choice comparing to offices in urban areas.

Upon receipt of invoices, bills and documents for your car at the rental location, please compare the obtained data with your voucher. Quite often, employees of rental offices in Poland try to add optional charges or services without informing customers.

It is very important to pick up your car at the rental office in Poland in a correct way. Prior to leaving the office, carefully inspect the car for various defects, and ensure that all the discovered defects are mentioned in your rental documents. In case of a non-compliance found, place a demand for correction to the rental officer.

You can always check our car actual rental offers in Poland. Simply use the search form at the top of the page. We guarantee that you will not find better prices anywhere else!
8. As a rule, urban and suburban roads are most loaded on weekends and holidays. Polish motorists consider November 1 the “Black Day” as on this day the country celebrates a great holiday - All Saints Day. According to the tradition, on this day people should visit the graves of their relatives, so during the whole day all main roads of the country are heavily loaded.
9. November 1 is called the "Black Day" not by accident. According to the statistics, the majority of road accidents in the country happen on this day. Private car owners try to refrain from driving and tourists prefer walking on this day.
10. All major European traffic regulations are valid in Poland. Speed limits in the country are also standard. In the city the speed limit is 50 km/h, and on country roads the limit is 90 km/h. On freeways, there are other speed limits. As a rule, drivers are allowed to increase the speed of up to 110 km/h.
11. Polish drivers also have some unspoken rules. If drivers on the opposite lane “wink” with their beams, that means they want to warn others either about the radar installed ahead or about the presence of the road patrol. If you want to ask the vehicle in front your car to give way, you also need to turn on and off your car’s headlights.
12. There are some quite unusual laws in Poland, the ignorance of which often brings problems to foreign visitors. For example, in the period from early October to early March all vehicles must move with lower beams turned on regardless of the time. Despite the fact that rows of cars with lower beams working on sunny days look pretty ridiculous, ignoring traffic regulations is not accepted.
13. Local drivers are well-aware of the familiar concept of «teren zabudowany» or “the built-up area”. If there are at least three buildings along the road, it is considered the «teren zabudowany» area. At such parts of roads, as well as in the territory of settlements, the maximum allowed speed is 50 km/h.
14. Children under 12 can be transported in a car only if it is equipped with a special child seat. It is important to select the seat depending on the height and weight of the child. The fine for breaking this rule is 150 zloty.
15. Exceeding the maximum allowed number of passengers inside the car is also considered a serious violation. We must mention that this rule applies to taxis as well. The penalty for the violation of this rule is 100 zloty.
16. Do not forget some basic road rules. Just like in many other countries, in Poland, drivers are not permitted to talk on the cell phone while driving. If there is an urgent need to make a call or answer an incoming call while driving, you must use the phone with a headset.
17. In addition to informal light signals, Polish drivers actively use signs to communicate with each other. They can show with their hands that they give way to other vehicles, or wave to thank other drivers. Of course, there are other ways to thank. For example, you can turn on and off fault signaling quickly a couple of times.
18. Local drivers are distinguished by quite a relaxed driving style. When driving, they are always very attentive to the situation on the road. However, they rarely drive slowly on highways. On the road Polish drivers are usually very confident and restrained.
19. Foreign drivers should remember that the public transport always has the advantage on the road. This particularly concerns unregulated intersections. If you do not give way to a tram on such an intersection, you are likely to face a large fine.
20. The two-wheeled transport is very popular in the country. You will see numerous cyclists in all cities of Poland. On unregulated crossroads, cyclists should always give way to vehicles. However, if the bike has already appeared on the road, all vehicles must give way to it.
21. Until recently, pedestrians in Poland had almost no restrictions. They could easily start crossing the road at any place, even if there were many cars near them. However, the traffic regulations have become stricter, and now pedestrians are forbidden to cross the street in the wrong place if there is a crosswalk within 100 meters.
22. Drivers treat pedestrians with care and respect. In Poland, there is a rule that says “pedestrian (or cyclist) is always right”. When approaching a pedestrian crossing, drivers certainly need to slow down, and directly at the crossing they need to wait patiently for all pedestrians to cross the road.
23. The implementation of traffic regulations is strictly controlled by cameras and radars. You will often see the police patrolling the streets on weekends and holidays.
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