Driving Tips, Rules & Regulations in Poland

If you’re planning on driving in Poland, be ready to get a little frustrated, as the experience could be stressful and take lots of time. This is due to a lot of things, but mainly the way the locals drive, the absence of needed motorways, and the poor road quality. The road network in Poland isn’t as comprehensive and doesn’t always get to accommodate the actual traffic volume in the country. While there are roads that are under the works, the county still has the least kilometers in roadwork in Europe.

As an estimated travel time, 100 km of travel should take around 2 hours, taking into account the natural delays in the country’s traffic. This assumption can be doubled if you’re driving through larger cities. Generally, passing by cities will slow you down, and this will be the case because there aren’t very many motorways around them.

Statistics show that Polish driving-related accident rates are high compared to other European countries, and majority of motorists in the country aren’t exactly respectful on the road. You’ll encounter lots of aggressive driving plus strong and unsafe overtaking on the road. You will notice some cars overtaking from behind a slower vehicle and the latter is forced to move to the far right – even into the half lane for the pedestrians. This practice is illegal, so don’t do it yourself even if you see others doing that.

Polish drivers practice tailgating a lot. If you don’t want your spot to be taken, make sure you don’t leave gaps between you and the car in front of you – other drivers will surely try to fill that gap anyway.

You can park on most sidewalks in Poland, except when there’s a no parking sign.

The speed limit in the city is 50 km/h and 90 km/h outside. Outside peak hours (2300 to 0500), the limit inside cities would be 60 km/h. If the lanes are separated, the limit will be 100 km/h.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is actually a criminal offense, but you still need to be careful around other drivers yourself, as this rule is not effectively enforced.

You are not allowed to turn right on a red light, except when a green arrow is signaled so that you must yield to crossing pedestrians and traffic. Crossings that don’t have traffic signs usually have the right of way.

Some compulsory rules on driving in Poland include the use of dipped lights at all times, as well as carrying with you a warning triangle in your car always. When fueling, take note that a PB indicates unleaded gasoline, while ON means diesel. Both Petrol and diesel have the same price, but LPG, which is available almost everywhere, can be bought at half the price. Almost all stations accept credit and debit cards.

Lastly, you will encounter traders setting up shops on the road during Spring and Autumn seasons. While they sell some good stuff, you need to be careful when driving past these traders. As always, defensive driving in Poland should be the rule more than anything else.

Summary

The road networks are not great. More motorways are needed so driving can take time to get from A to B.
Driving-related accident rates are high compared to other European countries, so take caution.
Polish drivers like tailgating. . .
You are allowed to park on most sidewalks unless stated otherwise.
The speed limit in the city is 50 km/h in peek hours (2300 to 0500) and 60 km/h at other times.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is an offense like most countries.
You are not allowed to turn right on a red light (contrary to other European countries), except when a green arrow is signaled.
You must have dipped lights on at all times and carrying a warning triangle with you at all times.
When fueling, take note that a PB indicates unleaded gasoline, while ON means diesel.

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