There’s really very little point in hiring a car if you are planning to stick to Budapest during your stay - traffic is often heavy, there’s a confusing system of one-way streets in places and, as in many capitals, parking is far from stress-free. Furthermore, the public transport system is good, and you are likely to spend far more on a daily rental charge for your car than it would cost you to get around by bus, metro or even taxi. However, if you plan to explore further afield then most of the big car-rental firms are represented in Budapest, both at the airport and in the city centre. Some will even pick up and drop off your car at your hotel. Use the booking tool above to compare prices.
Rental companies in Budapest include:
Avis: (+36 1 318 4240; www.avis.com) Has booths at the airport (Terminals 1 and 2B) and an office in the city centre at Szabadság tér 7.
Europcar: (+36 1 505 4400; www.europcar.com) Outlets at the airport (Terminals 1 and 2B) and an office in the Hotel Corvinus Kempinski at Erzsébet tér 7–8.
Fox Autorent: (+36 1 382 9000; www.fox-autorent.com) An excellent and helpful car-hire firm that I’ve used on several occasions. There’s a booth at the airport, as well as the main office at Nagytétényi út 48–50. They will drop off and collect the car from your hotel if you wish.
Hertz: (+36 1 296 7171; www.hertz.co.uk) Car hire available from several locations, including airport Terminals 1 and 2B and in the city centre at Váci út 135–139.
You have to be at least 21-years-old to rent a car, and must present a valid driving licence (held for at least a year) and passport. You will be required to provide a deposit when taking possession of the car (set against a credit or debit card).
Vehicles drive on the right in Hungary. You must wear a seatbelt and it is illegal to drive after drinking any alcohol. Cars should have their headlights on at all times, although this is frequently ignored in Budapest itself. Keep your vehicle registration documents to hand because police checks are far from unusual. To travel on the motorways, you’ll need a toll permit (vignette or matrica), which can be purchased from petrol stations and post offices. The speed limit is 50km per hour in towns and villages, 90km per hour outside built-up areas, 110km per hour on dual carriageways and 130km per hour on motorways.