What are the speed limits in Europe?


Published 19/03/2020
limites de velocidad en Europa

Did you know that there are regions where there are no speed limits in Europe? There are 4 regions where you can drive at whatever speed you’d like, without limits. There are also limits of up to 140 km/h and other countries that don’t allow you to go above 90 km/h on motorways. Find out which countries they are below.

Maximum speeds in European countries

If you’re thinking of driving in Europe, you should know the speed limits in order to avoid accidents and fines. Because not all the countries share the same speed limits.

Countries with no speed limit

As we’ve explained, there are four regions in Europe that do not have speed limits:

  • Germany
  • Malta
  • Liechtenstein
  • Vatican City

However, this doesn’t mean that you can drive at the speed you want on 100% of the roads in these countries: there are sections on motorways in poor condition where you have to respect the speed limit, due to road safety reasons.

The most well-known case is always Germany, since it has a federal road network called the Autobahn, free of tolls, which today covers the country’s entire territory with more than 13,000 kilometres of roads with no speed limit. The speed on these roadways will depend, according to the country’s legislation, on weather or light conditions, or the characteristics of the vehicle. There is, of course, a caveat: trucks do have a speed limit of 80 or 100 km/h, depending on the section.

Countries with a limit of 140 km/h and 130 km/h

There is only one European country that has a speed limit of 140 kilometres per hour: Poland. In contrast, driving at 130 kilometres per hour is allowed in nine European countries:

  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • France: 130 km/h speed limit only if the weather conditions allow. That is, with snow or rain, the limit is set at 110 km/h, which must be respected by novice drivers who have only had their license for two years or less.

speed limits in Europe

Countries with a speed limit of 120 km/h

You probably already know that the speed limit in Spain is 120 km/h. But we also share this speed limit with:

  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Sweden
  • Portugal: trucks are allowed to drive at 100 km/h (in Spain and the rest of the countries, the limit is 80 km/h).

Countries with a 100 km/h speed limit

In order to minimise the number of accidents on the roads, there are countries that have a limit of 100 km/h:

  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands

In this case, the weather makes a difference, since there are two regions in which it tends to snow abundantly and the roads are usually not in optimal conditions. In summer, drivers can step on the gas a little more as the speed limit increases to 130 km/h in the Netherlands and 120 km/h in Switzerland. Therefore, if you visit both countries in summer, remember that the situation is radically different during the months with good weather.

Estonia, 90 km/h speed limit

In Estonia, highly concerned about road accidents, they have set the limit at 90 km/h. Of course, in summer, with better weather conditions, the limit rises to 110 km/h, but only on dual carriageway roads.

In addition, the country is implementing innovative measures to tackle the problem of accidents. Authorities are offering drivers caught speeding the option to pay a fine or stop their vehicle for 45 to 60 minutes. For example, if the driver, in winter, is driving at 110 km/h (20 km/h over the speed limit), they will be “punished” by having to wait for 45 minutes on the side of the road. Of course, only drivers who have not been penalised before can choose between one or the other.

Now that you know the speed limits in the different European countries, you can drive safely and avoid unnecessary penalties.

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