Driving in Belgium

When driving in Belgium, remember that you need to drive on the right side of the road, which is something you will need to get adjusted to quickly if you are coming from a country that drives on the left.

Speed Limits in Belgium

Speed limits vary depending on where you are driving in Belgium. The speed is measured in kilometers per hour (kph), which might be a bit confusing for someone who's not used to the metric system. Speed limits in Belgium are:
  • Urban areas: 50 kmph (31 mph)
  • Open roads: 90 kmph (55 mph)
  • Motorways or Expressways: 120 kmph (74 mph)

Recently, in the past few years, the Belgian Government introduced certain equipment to improve road safety. Speed traps, cameras and unmarked vehicles are now operating throughout the country.

Roads

Highways in Belgium are well built and maintained with good lighting. However, rain and fog can reduce visibility.

Although most of the roads in Belgium are toll free, only the use of Antwerp’s Liefkenshoek Tunnel requires the use of toll.

Driving age

The minimum age requirement for driving in Belgium is 18 years.

Drinking and Driving

The amount of legally allowed alcohol in the blood is 0.5 mg/ml. When police request an alcohol test, you are allowed to refuse according to the law. However, in doing so you might get arrested.

Mobile Phones

Documentation

Remember to carry important documentation with you at all times. Documents you should have with you:
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Owner's Permission - If the vehicle is not registered in your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive.
  • International Driving Permit (IDP) - must be accompanied by a valid driver's license from your home country.
  • Driver's license - The information in your driving licence must be written in a Latin alphapet or accompanied by a translation by a reliable source or an international driving licence. If your license does not incorporate a photograph, ensure you carry your passport to validate the license.
  • Certificate of Motor Insurance

Right of way

Safety Belts

Belgium requires the use of either seatbelts or a safety seat for everyone in the car, both at the front and back.

Driving with Children

Children under 18 years of age and below the height of 1.35m are prohibited from travelling in the front seat, and must be seated at the rear with a seatbelt tightly fastened or in a safety seat (depending on the child&9;s age).

The Police

The police have the authority to collect fines and press charges on the spot. If you decide to pay the fine on the spot, make sure you get a receipt from the official. If for any reason, you are not willing to pay, you will be asked to pay a security deposit, in which case you have a specific time period (usually two weeks) to pay your fine.

Additional Required Equipment

All cars in Belgium must be equipped with the following equipment:

  • Warning triangle

Parking

There are several parking areas known as Blue Zone parking areas in Belgium that feature parking meters or similar facilities. Parking discs are also used in some cases which can be obtained from police, service stations etc. According to the law, you are not permitted to park within 15 meters of a tram, bus or rail stop or intersections.

Additional Issues

In Belgium, trams have priority over cars.

The horn is only allowed to be used outside built up areas. Horns may be used during times of danger or during low visibility.

Dipped headlights or day-time running lights must be used in poor daytime visibility.