Renting a car in Bulgaria is a fantastic way to explore the country's diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage. To ensure a safe and enjoyable journey, familiarize yourself with local traffic rules.
Traffic Rules in Bulgaria
When driving in Bulgaria, you must adhere to the following traffic rules:
- Drive on the right side of the road.
- Seat belts must be worn by all occupants.
- Using mobile phones while driving is prohibited, except for hands-free devices.
- Children under 12 years old or shorter than 150 cm must use appropriate child seats or booster cushions.
- Headlights must be used during nighttime and in poor visibility conditions, such as fog or heavy rain.
- Alcohol consumption rules: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05% for all drivers.
- Be aware of unique traffic signs, such as the "No Overtaking" sign, which features a red car on a white background with a black diagonal line.
- Exercise caution, as Bulgarian drivers may not always follow traffic rules and road conditions can vary.
Speed Limits in Bulgaria
Speed limits in Bulgaria vary depending on the type of road:
- Urban areas: 50 km/h (31 mph)
- Non-urban roads: 90 km/h (56 mph)
- Highways: 140 km/h (87 mph)
Fines in Bulgaria
Fines for traffic violations in Bulgaria (in Bulgarian lev and EUR equivalent) include:
- Speeding: 20 to 1,000 BGN (€10 to €500), depending on the excess speed
- Not wearing a seat belt: 50 BGN (€25)
- Using a mobile phone while driving: 50 BGN (€25)
- Parking violations: 20 to 200 BGN (€10 to €100), depending on the severity of the offense
- Running a red light: 150 BGN (€75)
- Drunk driving: 200 to 2,000 BGN (€100 to €1,000), depending on the blood alcohol level
- Children without child seats: 50 BGN (€25)
Fines can be paid at the nearest police station, post office, or bank within 14 days from the date of issuance.
Road Police in Bulgaria
There are numerous cameras on Bulgarian roads, and the road police, known as "KAT" (Kontrolno-Arestuvalen Trud), are responsible for maintaining traffic safety and enforcing traffic rules. If stopped by road police, remain calm, provide the requested documents, and follow their instructions. Do not attempt to offer bribes, as this can lead to more severe penalties. The emergency phone number to call for road accidents is 112.