In Hungary, most highways are toll roads, meaning you need to pay a toll while driving them. That is done easiest by buying a toll sticker for the vehicle, which can function as a weekly, monthly, or yearly turnpike pass for your company car.
Toll stickers in Hungary
In Hungary, there are not really toll gates on highways. Instead, originally you were supposed to purchase stickers at gas stations which you could put on the windscreen of the vehicle, and these could be checked by overhead cameras. Although other options have become available since, paying for a highway pass is still referred to as buying toll stickers or vignettes (“autópálya-matrica” in Hungarian). These days when you buy a motorway vignette, the registration number of the vehicle is entered in the database of the road operator, so when your car passes under a camera, its eligibility for using the given road gets checked against the database.
Currently, you can buy motorway vignettes at gas stations, online, in various mobile apps, and even in a text message (SMS) from your mobile phone operator. If you are buying the motorway sticker for your Hungarian company car and you want to record it as an expense, it is best to do so on a platform where you can easily get an invoice for the purchase.
Types of highway passes
The type of pass you need to purchase will depend on three factors.
1. Time period
Toll stickers come in yearly, monthly, or weekly editions. Choose the one that suits your business needs the most.
You can get toll stickers that cover the entire territory of Hungary or just one county. Short time passes always cover the entire country, while yearly passes may be chosen for just a specific county.
3. Vehicle category
To determine the right category for your highway sticker, consult the information in the registration document of the vehicle. You will need fields J for type, such as motorbike, passenger car, or other; field F.1 for the weight of the vehicle (when loaded); and S.1 for the number of passengers including the driver.
The category most relevant in the case of company cars is either D1 for passenger cars under 3500kg that seat no more than 7 persons, or D2 for passenger cars that can seat more than 7 persons or trucks that weigh more than 3500kg.
As a result, you should expect the following prices depending on the toll stickers you want:
|Sticker type||For the whole country||County pass|
|Weekly (10 days)||Monthly||Yearly||Yearly|
|D1M||HUF 2,750||HUF 4,450||HUF 49,190||HUF 5,720|
|D1||HUF 5,500||HUF 8,900||HUF 49,190||HUF 5,720|
|D2||HUF 8,000||HUF 12,600||HUF 69,830||HUF 11,450|
|B2||HUF 17,730||HUF 25,150||HUF 228,850||HUF 22,890|
|U||HUF 5,500||HUF 8,900||HUF 49,190||HUF 5,720|
When to buy toll stickers in Hungary?
You are supposed to buy your toll sticker before you start driving on the toll road. Toll roads are listed in government decrees, but you can also find a map of toll roads on the website of the public road operator, while toll roads are also normally included in GPS machines and navigation apps. The list is different for vehicles above and below 3500kg, so make sure to indicate this piece of information in the settings of your navigation tool if you are planning a route that avoids toll roads.
If you realize you are driving on a toll road without having bought a toll sticker, you can still avoid the penalty if you buy your pass within 60 minutes. Ask your passenger to take care of it, or stop at the first rest area or gas station. If you are not sure if your vehicle has a pass, e.g. because it might have been purchased by a colleague, you can check it online based on the registration number of the vehicle. The database of the road operator includes all valid motorway passes regardless of where they were bought. (The databases of individual sellers only include toll stickers they sold themselves.)
When not sure about a purchase, consult your accountant
How and whether toll stickers can be booked as an expense at your Hungarian company depends on various factors. Consult your accountant to see what is the course of action that makes the most sense for your business. Helpers Finance offers services to small and medium-sized businesses to let you make informed decisions and focus on growing your business.
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