The wearing of front and rear seatbelts is compulsory when fitted.
There is a front seat minimum of 12 yrs unless using a suitable child restraint.
Drink Driving Limits
50mg/100ml (UK 80mg/100ml). Drunk drivers will be breathalysed. A blood sample will be taken from those who refuse to be breathalysed. Fines are heavy depending on the degree of intoxication and range from € 1,100 / £ 730 to € 11,000 / £ 7,300. In certain cases driving licences will be confiscated immediately.
Minimum Driving Age
The minimum driving age using a full UK licence is 18
Urban kph (mph)
Open Road kph (mph)
Motorway kph (mph)
Speed limits are implemented rigorously. Radar traps are frequent and heavy on-the-spot fines can be levied.
Dipped headlights must be used in poor daytime visibility. Motorcycles must use dipped headlights during the day at all times.
All grades of unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are available as well as lead substitute additive. Leaded is getting hard to find. It is allowed to carry petrol in a can. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, although they probably won't work at automatic pumps, which are often the only pumps open out-of-hours. Filling stations are often closed on Sundays.
Belgian motorways are toll-free.
Blue zone parking controls operate in most towns. Check for signs indicating that cars should park either fully or partly on the pavement. It is illegal to leave a dog unattended in a parked car.
On-the-spot fines are issued. Ensure an official receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine. As a foreign motorist you could refuse to pay the fine, but if you do you must offer a surety or run the risk of having your vehicle impounded.
On 1 March 2004, the Belgian Government introduced a new law to improve road safety. Speed traps, cameras and unmarked vehicles are operational throughout the country. Fines have increased dramatically (eg up to €2,750/£1,830 for exceeding the speed limit by 40 kph). Visitors to Belgium will have to pay on-the-spot. Vehicles may be impounded if they are unable to pay.
It is illegal to use a phone without a hands-free kit while driving in Belgium. A hand-held phone can be used in a stationary vehicle but not where the vehicle is stationary at traffic lights or in a traffic jam.
Dial 112 anywhere in the EU to reach the emergency services.
Ambulance – 100
Fire – 100
Other Useful Information
Drivers should be aware of the ‘priority to the right’ rule: drivers must stop for traffic joining from the right, except on motorways, roundabouts, and roads sign-posted with an orange diamond within a white background.
Trams have priority over other traffic. If a tram or bus stops in the middle of the road to allow passengers off or on, you must stop.
Useful Words and Phrases
Two languages are spoken in Belgium, Flemish and French. This can prove confusing for visiting drivers because road signs in the north of the country are in Flemish while those in the south are in French.
essence sans plomb
huile de motor
bureau de location de voitures
autoroute a péage
Note 1: UK registered vehicles displaying Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national identifier on blue background) no longer need a GB sticker when driving in European Union countries. Countries outside the EU still require national identification.
Note 2: Regardless of local requirements it is always a wise precaution to carry a spare set of vehicle bulbs and adjust headlamp beams for driving on the right. A spare bulb kit will not prevent a fine if you are travelling with faulty lights, but it may avoid the cost and inconvenience of a garage call out. On some cars it is inadvisable or impossible for anyone other than a qualified technician to change a headlamp bulb or lamp unit e.g. high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and carrying spare bulbs is not an option. However, it is recommended that spare bulbs are carried for any lights which may be easily and/or safely replaced by the owner/driver. Do not forget to ensure that you also carry any tools that might be required to change the various bulbs.
Disclaimer EUroadlegal has made every effort to ensure that the information contained on this page is accurate and up-to-date. In most instances the information has been collated from either an official document from the country concerned or from two or more reliable sources. EUroadlegal cannot be held responsible for any actions resulting from the adherence to or ignoring of the information contained on this page. If you would like to contribute by adding, removing or modifying the data on this page based on your own experience, please us.