The network of motorways and expressways in Slovakia is quite unevenly distributed. We have more fast routes in the western part of this country, although many of them are still under construction and planning.
Of course, we can easily reach all cities and tourist attractions here, simply by national roads.
Nevertheless, we will move faster and more comfortably around Slovakia on highways. At the same time, as in other European countries, you have to pay for better quality. The toll system for motorways and expressways in Slovakia is based on vignettes, which have been available only in electronic form since 2016.
The times of stickers on the windshield are gone.
Vignettes in Slovakia
Vignettes in Slovakia are not mandatory. This means that if we do not use highways and expressways, we do not have to pay tolls. For example, if we go to Slovakia to the high mountains, we can easily get there without paying toll sections. Traveling from north to south of this country also does not require the purchase of vignettes either.
However, if we come to Slovakia to, for example, visit the capital – Bratislava and other attractive cities, then it is worth considering such a purchase.
Vignettes for driving on motorways and expressways in Slovakia must purchase:
- two-track vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes (including cars with trailers, if their total weight together with it does not exceed 3.5 tonnes)
- two-track vehicles of category M1, regardless of their maximum mass
- sets of two-track vehicles, which includes a vehicle from the categories: M1, N1, M1G and N1G, regardless of the total maximum mass of the entire assembly
As for motorcyclists, in Slovakia they are exempt from tolls on motorways and expressways. On the other hand, trucks are subject to a different fee system – see here.
Where to buy a vignette in Slovakia?
Vignettes in Slovakia can be bought in one of the many selling outlets. Usually these are gas stations, border places with self-service vending machines and interestingly post offices. However, the most convenient way to buy a vignette in Slovakia are here or here.
An electronic toll system for the use of Slovak motorways and expressways was introduced in 2016. Since then, you no longer have to stick the physical vignette proof to the windscreen. By buying it online, our car registration number is automatically added to the operator’s database.
We receive confirmation by e-mail or text message.
Another, even simpler way to buy a vignette in Slovakia is to keep up with the times – a telephone application. Just download it on the appropriate phone model: for Android → https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eznamka or for iOS → https://apps.apple.com/sk/ app / eznamka / id1040605704? ign-mpt = uoD4 and make a purchase there.
Toll roads in Slovakia
The expressway network in Slovakia is over 250 kilometers long. This condition is barely 20% of what is planned, and most of the routes are still under construction. Traveling on expressways in Slovakia requires the purchase of vignettes, which we have already said.
Expressways in Slovakia are marked with a white car symbol on a dark blue background. However, the signposts are green on them. Expressways in this country are marked with a capital letter R and the corresponding number: R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7 and R8. They connect the largest Slovak cities and provide access to the border with the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Poland.
See also our guide in which we discuss vignettes and highways in the Czech Republic.
What differs expressways from highways in Slovakia is their slightly lower standard. You can also move on them up to a maximum of 130 km / h. On the map their markings are white marks on a red background. And so in Slovakia we have express roads:
- R1 – connecting Trnava with Rużomberg
- R2 – which leads from Chocholna to Kosicke Olsana
- R3 – leads from Trzciana to the border in Sahy
- R4 – which runs from the border in Vysny Komarnik, up to the border in Milhost
- R5 – which leads from the border in Mosty near Jabłonków to Świerczynowiec
- R6 – leads from the border in Strelna to Belus
- R7 – connecting Bratislava with Łuczeńiec
- R8 – which leads from Nitra to Banovce nad Bebravou
The construction of another expressway in Slovakia – R9, which is planned from Lipniky to Sninu – is also planned. As for the fast route R7, it is said that by the end of 2021 a section connecting the capital – Bratislava with Košice will be built.
Highways in Slovakia
There are over 460 kilometers of motorways in Slovakia. This is just over 66% of the planned routes that are still under construction. Only the D2 motorway has been fully completed. It runs from the western border with Austria and connects the road network Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic.
See also our guide in which we discuss vignettes and motorways in Austria.
The construction of expressways in Slovakia began in the 1930s. The first of them led, and how could it be otherwise, to the Czech capital – Prague. Today, highways connect the largest Slovak cities and border areas. Currently, construction works are focused on these strategic places.
A vignette is needed to navigate the highways in Slovakia. Only some of their fragments, mainly bypasses around major cities are free. Highways differ from expressways in Slovakia in that they have at least two lanes in one direction plus, of course, a third, additional, i.e. emergency.
In Slovakia, as in other countries, the sign informing that we are entering the highway is a symbol of a white viaduct over a two-way road, painted on a navy blue background. Each of them is marked with a capital letter D and the corresponding number: D1, D1, D3 and D4. On the map we will find them as white symbols on a red background. Signposts, similarly to expressways, are placed here against a green background. We have highways in Slovakia:
- D1 – which leads from Bratislava to the border in Zahor
- D2 – which leads from the border in Brodske to the border in Cunovo
- D3 – connecting Hricovske Podhradie with the border in Skalite
- D4 – leading from the border in Jarovka to the border in Devinska Nova Ves
The longest highway, of course, will ultimately be the D1, which will connect the capital with Kosice. Construction is currently underway there, as well as on sections D3 and D4.
Road tolls in Slovakia
The fees for using motorways and expressways in Slovakia have not changed since 2019. The vignette prices depend on the time for which we buy them, and so we can choose:
- 10-day vignettes in Slovakia, valid from the indicated date, for the next ten days. The cost is exactly 10 euro.
- Monthly vignettes in Slovakia, which are valid from the indicated date, for the next thirty calendar days. This means, for example, from March 5 to April 4, 23:59. The cost of this vignette is currently 14 euro.
- Annual vignettes in Slovakia, which, for example, have been purchased on January 1 this year, are valid until January 31 the following year. If the annual vignettes are purchased at any other date, they can normally be used exactly for 365 consecutive days, as the name suggests.
- The cost of an annual vignette in Slovakia is 50 euro.
The case of the trailer in Slovakia is so solved that if we drive a car with one and the whole exceeds the weight of 3.5 tons, then you need to buy an additional vignette. Their price is exactly the same as for a passenger car, i.e. 10 euro for 10 days, 14 euro for a month, and 50 euro for a year. This applies to both O1 trailer categories (up to 750 kg) and O2 (750 kg up to and including 3.5 tons).
It is worth knowing that if they catch us in Slovakia, the lack of a purchased vignette can be punished with ten times its value, of course looking through the prism of our vehicle category and the length of our stay.
What else is worth knowing about driving on the roads in Slovakia?
You cannot drive a car under the influence of alcohol in Slovakia. In the breath we breathe out, the breathalyser should show 0.0 mil.
Crossing the speed limits on Slovak roads may also result in a fine. We travel around Slovakia:
- in built-up areas up to 50 km / h
- in undeveloped areas up to 90 km / h
- on highways and expressways up to a maximum of 130 km / h, but not slower than 80 km / h
- on highways and expressways, in built-up areas up to a maximum of 90 km / h, but not slower than 65 km / h.
Exceeding these values in Slovakia may cost us from 800 euro or more. We have up to 15 days to settle the penalty if we are unable to pay it on the spot.
As for the duties of every driver in Slovakia, then:
- seat belts must be fastened on all passengers, with the driver in the front
- children up to 1.5 meters tall must ride in special or child seats
- in this country driving and talking on the phone are forbidden
- the passing beam must be on all year round
- each car should be equipped with: first aid kit, warning triangle, spare wheel and jack, and reflective vests
- when it comes to the obligation to drive in winter tires, you must have them when there is ice or a coherent layer of snow on the road
- Slovak police also require a sticker with the symbol of the country where the driver comes from
Useful phone numbers in Slovakia
- Worldwide emergency number – 112
- Police – 158
- City guard – 159
- Ambulance service – 155
- Fire brigade – 150
- Mountain Rescue Service – 18300
What are your thoughts on vignettes and highways in Slovenia?
Map of highways in Slovakia
Check the location of motorways in Slovakia on the map: