Cheap Car Hire Offers
From

Awali € 0
Pago Pago € 0
Adelaide € 26
Saint Petersburg € 27
Moscow € 32

 

 

Driving Guide for Bulgaria

The driving culture and road conditions might be vastly different than what you are accustomed to. Many of the rural roads are in tough shape from years of wear and tear. Recently, there have been efforts to fix major problems. The European Union provides funding to increase the road standards. However, it will take a long time to fix thousands of kilometers of roadways. Avoid driving at night and follow the rules or the road for a safe driving holiday.

Driver’s License

Type of License

Requirements

EU license

All EU licenses are valid in Bulgaria

Non EU license

Most are valid in Bulgaria

All drivers

Are recommended to have an international driving permit (IDP)

Must be at least 18 years old

Any license with English text is supposedly acceptable for use in Bulgaria. All licensed drivers are strongly advised to get an IDP. Click here if you want to learn more about IDPs. If you are from the United Kingdom, use this link to get more information.

 Speed Limits

Type of Road

Speed Limit (km/h)

Urban roads (built up areas)

50

Rural roads (one lane)

90

Major highways

120

Do not exceed the posted speed limit. Many foreign drivers have been pulled over for speeding and given on the spot fines. These type of fines are not legal in Bulgaria, but the police will sometime do it anyway. The language barrier with English makes it very difficult to pled your case.
If you are stopped by police and they make you pay a fine, it is best to do as you are told. After the encounter, if you feel you have been served an injustice, you should take your case to the local police station. All of this might be for nothing because it will be hard for you to prove anything. Make sure you have extra cash when you drive in case you are pulled over.

Rules of the Road

Category

Description

Flow of traffic

Drive on the RIGHT side of the road

Give way to traffic on your right

Give way to public transportation

The driver

May not have a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .05%

May not use a handheld mobile phone

Passengers

Must wear seatbelts at all times

Children must be in the proper safety seats

The same general driving rules are used in Bulgaria as in the rest of the EU. The difference is that many drivers blatantly disregard these laws. You must be cautious of all the cars around you and assume that everyone is a potential hazard. Defensive driving will greatly reduce your risk of being involved in an accident.
You need to understand the general traffic signs in Europe before you drive in Bulgaria. It is a good idea to rent the GPS navigation unit because the place names are only shown in Cyrillic script. The GPS will have the English place names and it will be easier to find your way.

Parking in Country

Day

Hours

Price

Monday – Friday

8:00 – 18:00

1.00 BGN/hour

Saturday and Sunday

All day

FREE

(1.00 BGN = 0.50 EUR, 0.45 GBP, 0.70 USD)
It can be confusing to find parking places in the big cities. In Sofia, you need to look for the blue zones and purchase parking vouchers from an attendant wearing the bright yellow vest. The parking time limits range from 2 to 4 hours. It is also possible to pay for parking via mobile phone SMS. This is not recommended for first time users.
The public parking lots near the Sofia city center are scarce. The most economical option is to leave your car outside the city at a park and ride. From there you can take the public transportation to the center.
*Information on this page is accurate as of May 29, 2009