Rules of the road in Poland.

Tips for Driving in Poland. Road Rules in Poland.

Driving in Poland.


Driving in Poland.


Poland is a beautiful country in parts and is fairly easily accessible by car from the UK. However, it unfortunately has a fairly high number of road deaths – around 14.3 per 100,000 of population in comparison to only 5.5 per 100,000 of population in the UK. Poland also has some of the worst roads, largest number of low skill drivers and high number of car thefts in Europe. It isn’t a perfect place to take your own car and you should be aware of this before heading there. This means that you must be extremely alert and educated about driving there, so it’s important to learn as much as you can before you go.




Tips for Driving in Poland


Driving Tips in Poland.

As a visitor to Poland, keep your registration papers, insurance document and driving licence safe and have it on your person if you’re in the car. The high number of car thefts in Poland mean that it’s not safe to leave your valuable documents in the car, so keep them on your person. If you’re taking your own car with UK plates, be wary about where you leave it in Poland. Many car hire companies outside of the country won’t allow their cars to enter due to the high possibility of theft or break-in, so keep this in mind when you’re taking your own car.

Documentation: always carry your driving licence, vehicle registration document (V5), and certificate of motor insurance. If your licence does not incorporate a photograph ensure you carry your passport to validate the licence. If the vehicle is not registered in your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive.

In order to drive legally in Poland you must have your full UK licence. The modern EC format pink or green licence is acceptable in Poland, but if you only have an old style paper licence you must ensure that you also have an International Driving Licence with you. You can easily apply online for an International Driver’s License at There is no way to rent a car in Poland without having a document International Driving Permit .This means that driving any car without the IDP/IDL is illegal in Poland.

Always remember to drive on the right hand side in Poland and of course overtake on the left. It is illegal to use your mobile phone while driving in Poland, unless you’re using a hands free kit.

Drive on the right in Poland!
  • Be especially careful when setting off from service stations or restaurants on the left side of the road.
  • Take care when overtaking - allow more space between you and the car in front so you can see further down the road ahead.
  • Poland has strict drink driving laws, only allowing 0.2 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood - much stricter than the UK where the limit is 0.8.
  • Seat belts front and rear are obligatory everywhere.
  • Speed limits are implemented rigorously. Expressways – 110 km/h or 130 km/h dependent on are-Outside Built Up Areas – 90 km/h-Built-up Areas – 50 km/h or 60 km/h dependent on area. Radar traps are frequent in Poland, and heavy on-the-spot fines can be levied.
  • Remember - Speeding and other traffic offences are subject to on-the-spot fines, with a maximum equivalent to about 300 euros.
  • When approaching a roundabout give way to traffic already on the roundabout, on your left, unless signed otherwise. Be aware that roundabout etiquette is not well-observed in Poland, so be alert for traffic from all directions.




Road Rules in Poland


Polish driving laws are strict, but that doesn’t mean that local drivers are always going to abide by them. The roads are generally of a fairly poor quality and junctions and crossroads are often not marked with stop lines. Roundabouts can be difficult to spot as they’re not actually round, so many drivers just continue through as though they weren’t there. There are also some other important Polish road tips to consider before driving there:

  • Be aware of people overtaking in the face of oncoming traffic
  • Watch for people who red light jump – many drivers in Poland only stop at a red light if there’s another vehicle obstructing your path or you’re likely to get caught
  • Don’t assume that drivers will stop at a zebra crossing. Although you’re meant to, many Polish drivers don’t stop unless someone is on the middle of the crossing
  • Watch out for tailgaters. Try to keep a good distance between yourself and other cars
  • Most petrol stations are open 24 hours and sell diesel and both unleaded and super-unleaded petrol
  • You may pass trams on the right, but if it’s stopped and passengers are disembarking, you must yield to them
  • Watch out for horse drawn vehicles, especially in the harvest months
  • Traffic signals are often ignored and indication on direction is rarely given
  • Headlights should be on at all times, even during the day.