Highways in the Czech Republic / Vignettes, tolls and expressways

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Motorways in the Czech Republic are not appreciated by drivers at all – many of their users criticize the condition of the high-speed roads in this country, as well as the passenger service areas. The latter include both fuel stations and toilets, as well as gastronomic and commercial facilities. The condition of motorways in the Czech Republic is partly due to the fact that some express roads, without any modernization, have been included in the network of fast routes.

In addition, the construction of new highways is also dragging on, hence the criticism.

Before you go on a trip, make sure you have up-to-date insurance!

In the Czech Republic, 800 kilometers are still needed to complete the planned motorway network construction plan. 2030 was planned for the implementation of the entire project, but already in 2021 over 210 kilometers were to be put into use. Unfortunately, something went wrong, because currently only a few kilometers have been built. All this translates into lower comfort of traveling in the Czech Republic, not only from city to city, but also along the routes that are part of international transport corridors.

However, thanks to the tenders taken, the situation of Czech motorways is expected to improve, and even be developmental. After all, you have to pay for traveling with them in this country by buying an appropriate vignette.

Map of highways in the Czech Republic (motorway.cz)
Map of highways in the Czech Republic (motorway.cz)

Highways in the Czech Republic

The current state of the motorway network in the Czech Republic is 1,244 kilometers, of which over 70 kilometers are under construction. It includes the previously mentioned expressways, which are not always a shining example of the quality of high-speed routes that are known from other European countries. All this began in 2016, when the notion of expressways was abolished in Czech regulations. The existing ones were simply divided into highways (those with a better condition of the road and infrastructure) and roads intended for motor vehicles (those of a lower standard).

Ultimately, the length of motorways in the Czech Republic is to be 2,138 kilometers. The Czech expressway network is mainly concentrated in the western part of the country, around the capital – Prague. This is where most highways radiate outward. On the other hand, in the east of the Czech Republic, expressways are mainly concentrated in three cities: Brno, Ostrava and Olomouc.

You can recognize highways in the Czech Republic on the map by the capital letter D and the corresponding number. Their present condition is almost 60% of the planned expressways.

Highways in the Czech Republic / Vignettes, tolls and expressways in the Czech Republic
Highways in the Czech Republic / Vignettes, tolls and expressways in the Czech Republic

And so we have highways:

– D0 – Prague bypass, which will be over 80 kilometers long when completed. Nowadays, almost half is available for use.

– D1 – is the longest motorway in the Czech Republic with a length of 352 kilometers. Ultimately, it is to be extended by another 24 kilometers. It leads from the capital of the Czech Republic through, among others, Brno, Vyskov, Kromieryż, Ostrava, to Wierzniowice.

– D2 – this over 60 km section of the motorway leads from Brno to Brzecław and is fully completed (as it is part of the old Prague-Bratislava route).

– D3 – this motorway is to connect Prague with Linz (in Austria) in the future. Out of the planned 172 kilometers, 51 kilometers have been built so far.

– D4 – is a motorway that will lead from the Czech capital to Nova Hospoda.

– D5 – this route leads from Prague to the German border in Rozvadov and is part of the roads of Western Europe.

– D6 – after its completion, this motorway will connect the Czech capital with Karlovy Vary and Cheb up to the border with Germany.

– D7 – the motorway is still under construction and will ultimately lead from Prague to Chomutov.

– D8 – is fully completed and leads from the Czech capital to the German border.

– D10 – this highway connects the Czech capital with Turnov.

– D11 – this route is still under construction, but will ultimately connect with the Polish S3 in Lubawka. Thus, it will be a 154 kilometers long motorway leading straight to Prague.

– D35 – this motorway, when completed, will be the second longest route in the Czech Republic, connecting the west with the east of this country. Currently he runs from Ołomunica to Lipniki na Becvou.

– D43 – this route is still planned and will eventually lead from Brno to Moravská Trebova.

– D46 – is the completed connection of the D1 motorway with Ołomunice.

– D48 – this is another important section of the route for Poland, which in the future will lead from Belotín to Český Těąín, and then further through Poland.

– D49 – this motorway is another future connection of the D1 road with the border in Slovakia.

– D52 – will ultimately connect Brno with Vienna and run through the town of Mikulov.

– D55 – when completed, this motorway, which is over 100 kilometers long, will lead from Olomouc to Břeclav.

– D56 – this is only a 12 km section of the motorway that leads from Ostrava to Frydek-Misteka.

Also, check out the sights and attractions in Prague.

Map of the motorway network in the Czech Republic
Map of the motorway network in the Czech Republic / Source: Wikipedia

Vignettes in the Czech Republic

The vast majority of motorways in the Czech Republic are tolled. The entire system is based on traditional vignettes, the purchase of which is of course optional. However, to travel smoothly and comfortably in the Czech Republic, you need to buy it.

A major change in the current method of purchasing vignettes in the Czech Republic will take place in 2021, as the local government has adopted a new system that will be based on paying payments via the Internet and telephone applications. It will also be possible to enter your car’s registration number at stationary service points to purchase this electronic vignette. Currently, there is still a standard sticker that must be placed behind the windshield in the car.

As for the parts of motorways in the Czech Republic exempt from the vignette obligation, these are:

  • section of the D6 motorway, from Karłowe War to Cheb
  • part of the D8 route, more precisely from Usti nad Labem to the border in Germany
  • ring roads of the cities of Pilsen, Brno, Ostrava and some sections around the Czech capital

It is also worth knowing that motorways in the Czech Republic are managed by the Directorate of Roads and Motorways, which can be found here.

See also motorways in Germany.

Vignettes in the Czech Republic / Price / Where to buy? Where to stick a vignette?
Vignettes in the Czech Republic / Price / Where to buy? Where to stick a vignette?

Where can you buy vignettes in the Czech Republic?

There should be no problem with buying vignettes in the Czech Republic. We can get them at gas stations, shops and service points with their markings on the doors, as well as at post offices. The full list of places where we can buy vignettes in the Czech Republic is available on this website, you only need to enter the name of the city there.

It is also worth being aware of the fact that many companies selling foreign vignettes usually impose a large margin on us. However, in the Czech Republic we will certainly get a vignette at the applicable prices, as their amount is legally reserved.

What to do with the purchased vignette?

The traditional form of a vignette requires following the instructions in order to make it valid afterwards. For this purpose, you need to fill in the registration number field of our vehicle with a pen. In addition, it must be punched on the date when it is to apply. Unless the seller did it for us earlier. Remembering that the annual vignette does not require it, because it has a specific time frame.

The next step is to place it on the windshield of the car we are driving. The best place to stick it on is the lower right corner. The point is that the vignette should be visible. We must keep the lower, smaller part of the vignette for inspection.

It is also worth adding that the vignette must not be pasted over or re-applied under the pain of a fine (from CZK 5,000 upwards). It will also be invalid if we do not write the registration number on it or we do it with an erasable pencil. The vignette must also be stuck on the glass, hidden in a purse or in a pocket does not count. You also have to keep an eye on this smaller part and tear off the glass, all other, unimportant copies.

Types of vignettes in the Czech Republic

When it comes to the type of vignettes in the Czech Republic, we have three options to choose from. They are all related to the time we want to use the local highways. And so we have:

  • The annual vignette, marked with a capital letter R. It is valid as the name suggests for 12 months, but if purchased in December 2020, it will be valid throughout 2021 until the end of January 2022.
  • Monthly vignette marked with a capital letter M. It has a validity that begins exactly on the date chosen by us and expires on the same day of the following month (e.g. from March 3 to April 3). However, if the next month does not have such a day – e.g. when buying on January 31, then its validity expires on the last day of the month – February 28.
  • A 10-day vignette marked with a capital letter D. It is valid for exactly ten consecutive calendar days from the selected and marked date.

    Vignettes in the Czech Republic.
    Vignettes in the Czech Republic.

Also check out the prices in Prague.

Vignette prices in the Czech Republic

As announced by the government, vignette prices in the Czech Republic remained unchanged. The Minister of Transport himself explained that until the end of repairs on one of the most important motorways in the country – D1, raising costs for tolls with handicaps or in traffic jams is not fair.

The vignette prices in the Czech Republic are as follows:

  • an annual vignette costs CZK 1,500
  • You have to pay CZK 440 for a monthly vignette
  • while a 10-day vignette costs CZK 310

See also other prices in the Czech Republic.

What else is worth knowing about motorways in the Czech Republic?

When traveling by car in the Czech Republic, we need a domestic driving license and a document confirming our identity (ID card or passport). For this, we must have a valid civil liability insurance and a registration certificate with the current technical inspection of this vehicle. If we are driving a company car, then the authorization of the leasing company in English or Czech will also be useful.

When it comes to the mandatory equipment of our car, a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, warning triangle, reflective vests for all participants of the ride, a spare wheel with a jack and a key to unscrew it, as well as a set of spare bulbs are required. In addition, winter tires are compulsory from November to March.

In the Czech Republic, it is definitely worth complying with the applicable speed limits, as the police in this country pay attention to it. Exceeding even slightly above the norm is severely punished with high fines. Just like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The permissible speed standards on Czech roads are:

  • up to 50 km / h in built-up areas
  • up to 90 km / h outside built-up areas
  • up to 80 km / h on highways, but in built-up areas
  • up to 110 km / h on highways

However, the blood alcohol limit when driving in the Czech Republic is zero – you cannot drive after drinking an alcoholic drink, even weak 1-2% beer. Moreover, seat belts must be fastened compulsorily, and children up to 36 kilograms or 150 cm tall must be transported in appropriate child seats. The dipped beam is used all year round. Conversely, phone calls while driving are permitted in the Czech Republic only through a hands-free kit.

Highway tolls in the Czech Republic
Highway tolls in the Czech Republic

Important phone numbers in the Czech Republic

  • 112 – emergency number
  • 150 – fire brigade
  • 155 – ambulance service
  • 158 – police
  • +420 800 280 281 – roadside assistance

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