Away from the city centres, driving on the motorway can be a pleasant experience especially in the spring, summer and autumn. Most motorways are two lanes wide with an occasional third lane where traffic is at its heaviest. In summer, the M7 motorway traffic is particularly heavy at the weekends and holiday periods because it links Budapest with Lake Valence and Lake Balaton, major tourist attractions. It is also a main feed to the Slovenian border.
Accidents when they do occur can result in a rapid build up of traffic. Do not feel tempted to drive along the hard shoulder as there are large fines for those caught doing so by the police.
With the exception of the MO (which is the Budapest Ring Road) you will need to purchase an e-vignette available from most petrol filling stations in close proximity to the motorway. Rates vary according to the season but they are usually for 10/30 days. Rates can be found in our section dealing with e-vignettes.
If you are driving a commercial vehicle such as a large van or lorry, you may also have to pay a fee to use some major roads and motorways which are normally free for car drivers. For more information about fees visit the Hungarian Motorways website.
Avoid sharp braking!
It's hard thing to drive on snow because by its very nature it is slippy! However, there is a misconception that the more slowly we drive the safer we are. Even at speeds at low as 30 km/hr the wheels may lock when we brake, so our car is immediately converted into a mass of steel weighing several tons, sliding over the snow waiting for a possible impact to happen! But by taking control of the way you brake, a simple accident can be avoided. If the car wheels are locked because you have applied your brakes too sharply you will be unable to control the car. A locked wheel does not rotate, so is no longer steerable. (ABS - antilock brake systems can help improve this situation but only up to a certain point.
The key is careful utilization of the brake pedal on slippery roads, applying a little at a time, releasing and then applying some more (even cars with ABS). Gradually reducing speed will decrease the length of the braking distance. Also, take your foot off the accelerator to reduce engine speed whilst still in gear (engine braking). It takes some practise and a little courage, but it is well worth the effort. The alternative option is far worse!
Aquaplaning (Water surface skidding)
Aquaplaning can occur when heavy rain covers the road with water. The tyres can no longer displace the surface water on the road and this can easily be recognized by the loud splashing sound that the water is making.You should keep a safe distance from the car in front and if you have to brake, hold the wheel and brake in a straight line, taking your foot off the accelerator and using the engine to help slow you down.If your tyre pressures are too low this can make the situation much worse as your tyre treads are not able to eject the surface water. It is important to make sure that the car's tyre pressures are correct.
Avoid making driving mistakes!
On a slippery surface, the secret is to avoid having to brake every time the car in front puts on its brake lights! The mistakes of others should not influence the way you drive. It is important in winter to keep a much longer distance between you and the car in front than is the case in summer. This will give you more thinking time and more control when deciding what you should do. The constant braking caused by driving too close to the car in front could result in wheel locking and the potential of unwanted accidents.
Let's break the old bad habits! Often many motorists drive too close and too fast during the summer months and continue to do this in winter. Winter driving requires a different set of attitudes and a realization that our reflexes have to be adjusted for winter driving especially in snow and ice. Driving into bends too fast, braking sharply, failing to underestimate other drivers' reactions can result in skidding, spinning and at worst, very severe accidents with a potential loss of life! If you find it difficult to make these adjustments it might be better to stay at home!
Practice is the mother of all knowledge
The driving tips given above can rarely be mastered at a first attempt. We do not recommend anyone to try them out for the first time in a real situation! Traffic Safety Professionals suggest that you should take a training course for at least a month on a practice course to learn the techniques of handling a car when braking, skidding or spinning. There you will learn correct techniques that will give you the confidence to deal with such situations if they ever occur for real!
In foggy conditions drive very carefully
Roads that pass through forests or close to marshes and streams are prone under certain conditions to be covered with fog which can make driving very difficult and hazardous. In cold conditions, fog can also cause ice to form on the road surface. It is therefore essential to reduce the speed. For guidance the following should apply:
If visibility is only 50 meters - do not go faster than 50 km/hr! If visibility is 100 meters - up to 80 km/hr. Never overtake the car in front.
If you have a rear fog lamp fitted, it should only be activated if it does not blind the driver travelling behind you. It is not allowed to use the rear fog light in urban areas.
Winter journey tips:
- Always use winter tyres
People who say that a summer tyre is just as good as a winter tyre are misguided. Both have the separate purpose of meeting the needs of the different road conditions that seasonal change brings. All our rental fleet has winter and summer tyres as the seasons demand.
Tip: If you are driving long distance, even in mid-October, you should let us know and we can exchange your tyres slightly earlier than normal. This will ensure your safe arrival irrespective of what weather conditions you encounter on your journey.
- Do not drive when wearing a coat in the car
Although it is tempting to do so when you first sit in the car, you should take off your coat which will give you greater freedom to manoeuvre if a winter driving emergency occurs and also if you need to get out of the car fast!
- Your car should not be a sauna!
Excessive heat and the continual roar of the car heating fan can have a marked hypnotic effect on your driving ability causing you to loose vital concentration and maybe risk a fatal incident. Keep the heat at a moderate level.
- Be prepared for slippy conditions when you are driving
In winter this is normal. If you are afraid of driving in these conditions, we strongly advise you to stay at home! If you need to make the journey however, try as quickly as possible to acclimatize yourself to the weather and road conditions. Drive carefully, drive safely!
- In severe icy road conditions avoid driving unless you really have to!
There are no really better tips we can give apart from this advice!
Ideas to promote eco-friendly driving
FOX AUTORENT is an advocate of protecting the environmental. We strive to find car solutions and appropriate models that are carbon emission friendly and will reduce exhaust fumes.
When cleaning our car fleet, we also use environmentally friendly detergents and systematic waste management as well as avoiding the use of environmentally harmful substances and practices when servicing our vehicles
Here are some tips for those who are environmentally conscious and wish to maintain a 'Green' approach to their fleet management:
- Do not waste unnecessary fuel
- Try to avoid using full throttle and observe the speed limits to conserve fuel. Remember however, that the faster you can go, the better the car's aerodynamic performance.
- When possible, try to ensure that you apply your 'engine brake' smoothly
- What is "engine braking"? This is when you take your foot off the accelerator pedal and allow the engine to naturally slow down before using your clutch pedal to disengage the gears. This helps to conserve fuel. The car can then be bought to a stop by putting the gears into neutral and using the brakes to finally stop the car.
- Do not use roof racks unnecessarily
If you use a car roof rack, you should take it off after use. A vehicle roof rack decreases aerodynamic efficiency, thus increasing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.