Driving in Poland
Poland has many amazing places to see but not all of them are easy to see without a car. Most people experience Poland for the first time as a long weekend city break but if you want to see just how beautiful this country is then you will have to get out of the city and do some driving.
Most of the major car rental companies operate in Poland with offices at all of the international airports.
You can drive in Poland with a valid UK driving licence but it is a legal requirement that you always carry your licence, passport and proof of insurance wherever you drive.
By renting a car you can assume that some of the legal requirements are met by the hire company but it is still good to know what is required and check beforehand for example, a warning triangle is compulsory in every car as is a reflective jacket.
In Poland it is also a legal requirement to use dipped headlights night AND day throughout the whole year-you can be fined for not doing so.
All passengers and drivers must wear a seat belt with the only exclusion being a car that may not have rear seat belts fitted.
In recent years Poland has drastically improved the road infrastructure and now benefits from many miles of motorways. Some of these are toll roads so it is also advisable to check your route before setting off and have some spare change and notes beforehand. A good reference site is http://www.viatoll.pl/en/home.
It is also a good idea to ensure you have a sat nav system in the car either via the car rental company or by bringing your own (don’t forget to check you have Polish maps installed on your device).
The speed limit on Polish motorways is 140 km/h (87 miles p/h) however, as in other countries, the speed limit changes depending on the type of road you are travelling on. When driving abroad it is important to pay particular attention to road signs and especially speed limit signs.
In order to familiarise yourself with Polish road signs then I recommend visiting this page http://www.adcidl.com/pdf/Poland-Road-Traffic-Signs.pdf
Poland has one of the highest accident rates on the road in the world and despite tough penalties against drink driving there remains an element of Polish society that think it’s acceptable to drink and drive. Another possible factor for this statistic is that many of Poland’s minor roads are lined with very old trees, right by the side of the road surface punishing any errors with sometimes fatal consequences.
Please be vigilant when driving.