Hungary Road Network

By | October 31, 2022

The autopályá and autóút with 2×2 lanes in Hungary.

According to wholevehicles, Hungary has an extensive and well-developed road network. The country is one of the most important links for through traffic between Western and Central Europe to Southern and Eastern Europe. The Hungarian motorway network has been adequately developed and is still being expanded. The radial system is clearly visible in which Budapest forms the center of the connection with the various parts of the country. The starting point for the kilometer count of the Hungarian roads is the zero kilometer stone at the Clark Adam Square in Budapest, between the Chain Bridge and the Clark Adam Tunnel. Tangential highway connections are largely lacking, as are high-quality connections Between the parts of the country, which means that all through traffic has to pass through Budapest.

The many single lane roads with slow traffic are not an attractive alternative. Motorways and expressways are numbered with an M prefix, but are called an autópálya or autóút. Until the end of the 1990s, the motorway network was limited to the M1 from Vienna to Budapest, the M7 from Budapest to Lake Balaton and the M3 from Budapest to Gyöngyös, but the network has expanded considerably since then. The M3 now extends to Vásárosnamény and has branches to Miskolc and Debrecen. The M5 runs to the Serbian border, the M6 ​​extends to Szekszárd and Pécs. The M7 has now been completed to the border with Croatia. In addition, Budapest has a ring road, the M0, which has been completed with the exception of the northwestern quadrant. The Hungarian motorway network is connected to Slovenia by the M70 and to Romania by the M43. Hungary plans to expand its highway network towards the border with Ukraine, via the M3. Tourist traffic from Austria to Lake Balaton has to do without a highway for the time being, or make the detour via Budapest.

Hungary’s secondary road network consists of numerous main roads with a one, two or three digit number. These main roads serve all major centers of the country, and their quality is fair to good. Motorways have been built over new routes, so that there is usually a parallel main road next to the motorway. Until 2008, through traffic to the east of Hungary still had to pass through the capital, but that has become superfluous due to the completion of the eastern ring. Hungary has eight highway border crossings, the M1 to Austria, the M5 to Serbia, the M7 to Croatia, the M15 and M30 to Slovakia, the M70 to Slovenia and the M4 and M43 to Romania. Border controls are in place with the southern and eastern neighbours. Border controls to Ukraine and Serbia are fairly strict, those to Romania and Croatia are looser.

Motorways and expressways in Hungary
M0 • M1 • M2 • M3 • M4 • M5 • M6 • M7 • M8 • M9M10 • M11 • M15 • M19 • M25 • M30 • M31 • M34 • M35 • M43 • M44 • M49 • M51 • M60 • M70 • M76 • M80 • M83 • M85 • M86 • M87 • M100
Major Roads in Hungary
1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 16 • 21 • 22 • 23 • 24 • 25 • 26 • 27 • 31 • 32 • 33 • 34 • 35 • 36 • 37 •38 • 39 • 40 • 41 • 42 • 43 • 44 • 45 • 46 • 47 • 48 • 49 • 51 • 52 • 53 • 54 • 55 • 56 • 57 • 58 • 61 • 62 • 63 • 64 • 65 • 66 • 67 • 68• 71 • 72 • 73 • 74 • 75 • 76 • 81 • 82 • 83 • 84 • 85 • 86 • 87 • 88 • 89
European roads in Hungary
E60 • E65 • E66 • E68 • E71 • E73 • E75 • E77 • E79 • E573 • E575 • E579 • E653 • E661

Road management

The national road authority Magyar Közút. Közút manages nearly 32,000 kilometers of public roads. The development of new infrastructure is carried out by NIF (Nemzeti Infrastruktúra-fejlesztő Zrt.). Since September 1, 2022, a large part of the highway network has been managed by MKIF (Magyar Koncessziós Infrastruktúra Fejlesztő). The toll system is operated by Nemzeti Útdíjfizetési Szolgáltató Zrt. (NÚSZ). Both are 100 percent owned by the Hungarian government.

Magyar Kozut

Magyar Közút is the general national road authority in Hungary. It was established on October 1, 2005 as a public agency and manages nearly 32,000 kilometers of road. Originally Magyar Közút was also the manager of the highways and expressways. Magyar Közút will have a few more motorways since 2022, such as the M0, M2 and M43.

Magyar Koncessziós Infrastruktura Fejlesztő (MKIF)

Magyar Koncessziós Infrastruktúra Fejlesztő (MKIF) took over the management of the motorways and expressways on 1 September 2022. It has a 35-year concession and the task of constructing 272 kilometers of motorway and widening 273 kilometers between 2022 and 2032. At inception, MKIF managed 1,237 kilometers of motorway, which was at that time the largest part, but not all motorways in Hungary, as a number of other motorways were still under the management of another concessionaire, at that time the entire M5 and M6, the M43 and M60.

PPP concessions

  • The M5 is operated by Alföld Koncessziós Autópálya (AKA).
  • The M6 ​​is managed by several PPP contractors, namely M6 Duna Autópálya Koncessziós, M6 Tolna Autópálya Koncessziós, and Mecsek Autópálya Koncessziós. who all manage their own route of the M6.
  • The M60 is operated by Mecsek Autópálya Koncessziós.

Nemzeti Infrastruktúra-fejlesztő (NIF)

Nemzeti Infrastruktúra-fejlesztő (NIF) was founded in February 2007 under the name Nemzeti Autópálya, mainly as an investor in motorways and other roads. Later in 2007, however, the development of railways also became part of the range of tasks and it was given the name NIF.

Motorways

On June 14, 2021, a tender was launched to place the motorway network in Hungary under a concession with availability fees. In May 2022, the Hungarian road network was brought under a 35-year concession. The concessionaire is a consortium of Hungarian construction companies called Themis. The public name is Magyar Koncessziós Infrastruktúra Fejlesztő (MKIF). The concession also included the widening of 273 kilometers of motorway, the construction of 272 kilometers of new motorway and the rehabilitation of 538 kilometers of motorway.

Speed ​​limits

The M4 at Albertirsa.

Trucks are allowed 70 km/h outside built-up areas, this also applies to cars. Trucks are only allowed 80 km/h on the autopálya.

Congestion

There is usually not much congestion in Hungary. However, there are strong traffic flows during the weekend between Budapest and Lake Balaton. Also, the southern bridge over the Danube in Budapest is overloaded. Also, around holidays, one can be confronted with long waiting times at the borders with Romania and Serbia when countless guest workers in Southern and Western Europe return to Romania or Bulgaria. It is true that the highways are gradually becoming busier, there is also a lot of freight traffic.

Toll

An E-vignette is mandatory for the use of the highways in Hungary, just like in neighboring Slovakia. This is in contrast to the vignettes of neighboring countries such as Slovenia, Austria and Romania. Those vignettes are pasted on the windshield. When purchasing the Hungarian vignette, the registration number is registered. The road user is obliged to show the purchase receipt on request. The license plate control is automatically enforced with cameras on the driveways. There is no need to put a sticker on the windshield. Passenger cars fall into class D1. These road users can only buy a weekly, monthly or annual vignette. Trucks pay according to the distance driven via the HU-GO system.

Road numbering

The Hungarian road number zones.

Hungary’s road numbering system is in principle radial. There is a separate system for motorways, which follow the numbering of the main roads, for example the M1 runs parallel to the main road 1. The motorways have the prefix “M”, which stands for “Magyarország”, the Hungarian name for Hungary. The other main roads have no prefix, not even in the spoken language, they are called “weg 10”, or “10-es főút”. főút means main road, it is made up of the words fő and út. Hungary is one of the few countries where no prefix is ​​used at all for the main roads.

The main roads 1 to 8 run from the capital Budapest. The main road 9 currently does not exist, the M9 is planned. The two-digit numbers start from the one-digit numbers, so they are zoned. The main road 2x runs from the main road 2, but never further than the main road 3, when a new series of 3x roads starts. This system is very similar to road numbering in Romania. Three digit numbers are again derived from the two digits, with a 3rd digit being added to the end, e.g. the highway 543 is a branch of the highway 54, which in turn branches off the highway 5. The road numbering continues to 4- and 5-digit numbers, but these are not indicated, and are in fact only administrative. They often only fulfill a very local function.

Signage

Hungary has well-developed signage. There are green signs on the underlying road network, blue signs on motorways. Road numbers are indicated in a green or blue box with a white square frame that runs with an arc at the bottom. This makes it fairly unique in Europe. E-numbers are indicated integrated in the usual way. Especially around Budapest, the many E-numbers provide a lot of road numbers on the signage. Hungary also uses country codes in a white oval, as can be found on cars. For example, the city of Nyíregyháza is indicated in combination with a UA oval, so that it is clear that this is the main road to the border with Ukraine.

Exits are announced on the remote signs and at the exit itself by a blue square with an almost filling white circle containing the exit number in blue letters. The next exit is indicated on the distance tableaux. The advance announcement of the exit itself takes place at a distance of 1000 meters with the exit number and some exit targets with the distance below. Only the most important road numbers are indicated. This sign is repeated 500 meters away, and is also located at the exit itself. Intersections of highways are in principle signposted in the same way, although around Budapest the signs are very full with country ovals, E-numbers, road numbers and relatively few local targets. The arrows are very simple and comparable with those on the German secondary road network and to a lesser extent on the Dutch oneRedesign.

The font seems to be derived from the German DIN 1451 and also has an Engschrift, as well as the usual deviating letters in Hungarian.

The signage on the secondary road network is very reasonable but contains quite a lot of colors around the highway connections. The road numbers are integrated in the arrows on pre-announcement signs for roundabouts, for example. Toll roads are indicated by a white box containing “Matrica” ​​and “Vignette”.

Road safety

Year Road fatalities
2010 740
2011 638
2012 605
2013 591
2014 626
2015 644
2016 597
2017 624
2018 633
2019 602

In 2010, there were 74 road deaths per 1 million inhabitants in Hungary, a decrease of 40 percent compared to 2001. This makes the country one of the less safe countries in the European Union, with a higher number of road deaths than the EU average. In 2015, there were 66 road deaths per 1 million inhabitants. Since 2011, there has been no clear decrease in the number of road deaths, a phenomenon that is visible in more and more EU countries during this period.

Hungary Road Network