Transport

CAR HIRE IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Carhire can be a hit or miss affair in the Czech Republic. Some of the smaller local firms do not have the best reputation, so it best to go through a car rental comparison site.
 
We do not supply car-hire directly. It is far cheaper for you to book directly.

If you are planning to drive extensively in the Czech Republic, we would recommend including a satnav in your hire. Czech roads are not as obviously signposted as in the UK and one can get lost. In addition you may come across major roadworks and diversions - especially in the northern part of the country which experienced severe flooding in 2010 which in turn damaged and even destroyed some roads.

DRIVING IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

You can drive in the Czech Republic on a UK Driving licence. You will also need to have your passport with you and car registration and insurance documents. Do not leave these in the car for obvious reasons.

The Czech Police have the right to pull you over and ask to see your documents, breathalyse you and inspect your vehicle. Police can issue on the spot fines for traffic violations

Basic traffic regulations

  • vehicles must drive on the right, British left0hand drive vehicles should be fitted with headlamp adapters
  • seatbelts must be worn when driving,
  • lights must be switched on all year round all day
  • children (under 150 cm in height) must be strapped into a car seat and may not sit in the front passenger seat,
  • speed limit: 130 km/h motorways, 90 km/h out of town 50 km/h in town (town boundaries are indicated by a rectangular sign with the town's name and when you exit by a similar sign with the name crossed out - unless otherwise stated these mean that the 50 km/h speed limit is in place)
  • pedestrians on a crossing always have right of way,
  • drivers must be over the age of 18,
  • it is forbidden to hold a mobile telephone while driving, telephoning is only possible with a hands-free set,
  • the level of alcohol permitted in the blood is zero per ml. Anything above this is considered violation of the law.
  • all private cars, including those of foreign visitors, must carry one of each of the following items: fluorescent green high visibility safety jacket, first aid kit, spare pair of prescription glasses kept in the glove compartment (if necessary), warning triangle, and complete set of spare bulbs.
  • Winter tyres are required when driving on snow.

Motorway Fees

Passenger cars must have a sticker on the windscreen to use the motorways (the so-called motorway vignette), which is proof of payment of the fee for use of motorways. Hire cars usually come with an annual vignette. But if you are driving to the Czech republic the motorway vignette (kupón) can be purchased at any filling station. Prices for vehicles up to 3.5t in 2011 are as follows:
  • annual (rocni) vignette – CZK 1,200
  • monthly (mesicni) vignette – CZK 350
  • ten-day (desetidenní)- CZK 250
Not all motorways require vignettes - check out this webpage for details http://www.motorway.cz/stickers
If you need to buy a vignette, it can be useful to print out the webpage and point at the relevant picture in the filling station

Accidents

The rule applies in the Czech Republic that if you estimate the costs for damage to the vehicles involved including transportation fees at less than CZK 100,000 (and if the participants agree on who caused the accident), you do not need to call the police. You are however obliged to draw up a record of the traffic accident on a special form (the standard European Accident Statement form – your insurance company will provide you with this). Both parties involved in the accident must then report the accident to their insurance company.

If the damage is greater or if any injury or damage occurs to the property of a third party (or for example to crash barriers etc.), you must always call the police. You are obliged to provide essential aid to injured parties and to mark the location of the accident.

Some non-legal advice

Be aware that some Czech drivers (especially but not exclusively male ones) regard overtaking as a competitive sport. They will come up behind you expecting you to pull over and slow down and that cars coming in the opposite direction will do the same thing. You are advised to do just that, if you can do so safely! It can be scary at first, but you do get used to it.

Not all Czech roads are in the best of condition, especially after winter when there may be potholes. Be careful when approaching bends as the camber is not always in your favour. Streets in many of the older towns are cobbled, which can be difficult to drive on in wet weather.

The larger Czech service stations often have a cafe area and toilets. There aren't motorway service stations as in the UK. 

The Czech word for petrol is benzin and for diesel nafta

TAXIS

Czech taxis in tourist spots, especially in Prague, have had a reputation for ripping off tourists. Use one of the larger taxi firms - such as AAA taxis in Prague - and get a quote before you get in the taxi. Prices per kilometre  should be marked on the side of the taxi. If you are booking a holiday with CzechTours we can arrange transfers for you from Prague airport and in Cesky Krumlov.




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