Your Guide to Driving in Belgium
By Dom at Compare Breakdown Cover,
04 September 2018
Waffles, chocolate, beer, fries. Is there nothing that the Belgians can’t do? After just a short drive through this beautiful little country, and you’ll soon learn that they’ve pretty much nailed their road network too. Whilst on the face of things it’s just a simple straight journey through to France or Germany, you’d be remiss if you didn’t stop to explore a stunning countryside, tucked away in the rolling green hills of northern Europe.
But before that, you’ve got a few hurdles to leap! No matter how long your stay in Belgium is, make sure you read our driving tips before you set off.
These are slightly different to France and Germany, the accepted motorway and dual carriageway speed limit is 120km/h. On A roads outside of urban areas the limit is 90km/h and in urban areas it’s 50km/h. If you’re driving close to a school (there will be signs!) then it’s 30km/h.
Typically, these are in French and Flemish, with the most dominant language for the area you are in being on top. This can get a little confusing, especially as the two languages look completely different on paper (or metal, in this case). For the most part, they follow similar patterns to French signs, with the colour blue signifying motorways and green meaning ‘A’ roads and other major routes and white used for local and small roads. Always be aware of your route plan, and my word, use GPS.
For minor traffic infringements, such as speeding, missing traffic lights and even failing to indicate, Belgian police are empowered to enforce fines for anything they deem to be an infringement. Fines begin at €50, so best not to do anything silly then. If you don’t trust yourself, then make sure you always carry enough cash around with you, as If you do get caught out, cards are unlikely to be accepted for payment.
Firstly, the signs are usually black writing on white background (these are what are known as standardised signs), the exceptions are Autobahns which, luckily, are set out very similarly to UK motorway signs; they have white writing on blue backgrounds.
German main roads that are not classed as Autobahns are displayed on yellow backgrounds.
It’s worth taking a comprehensive guide to German road signs if you’re particularly worried about them.
One interesting, and quite cool traffic law in Belgium is that idling cars must have their engines switched off. Whether you’re stuck in a traffic jam, outside a shop of just at traffic lights for a period of time make sure you switch off.
In some city centres, you can only park in designated "blue zones". You’ll need to buy a parking permit from a petrol station or garage. But to be on the safe side, it would be best to buy one first, so you don’t accidentally get towed!
Wherever you get to on your travels, make sure you get breakdown cover. Check out our European Breakdown Cover now. Our policies will save you time, hassle and a bunch of sleepless nights, so why not take a look?