About the Czech Republic (CZ)
Once home to the Bohemian Kingdom, the Czech Republic (CZ) now officially, Czechia, is a historically important and landlocked country in the centermost of Central Europe, bordered by Germany, Austria, Poland, and Slovakia. The republic is loosely divided into eight regions, led by Central Bohemia and the urban focus of Prague; and to a lesser extent, West Bohemia and the city of Pilsen. Despite Czechia’s lack of coastline, the country offers a diverse range of natural and geographic attractions, including dense forestland, sprawling grassland, extinct volcanoes, a minor mountain range, and an extensive river system. However, most visitors come for the rich and varied history of landmarks left behind by the Hapsburg-Austrian Empire.
They say that all Czechian roads lead to Prague, but literally speaking, most major cities are in fact linked by a high-speed motorway ring-road system that originates in Prague. On the other side of the coin, the majority of the country that’s not in a major city is connected by a haphazard collection of second-class and third-class routes that are in the process of upgrades that many Czechians say will take decades to complete. The good news is that the first-class motorways will take you to the top destinations. The bad news is that congestion is common all throughout the country, as everybody is trying to avoid the construction delays and detours of lesser routes. Otherwise, a private vehicle is the most efficient and economically sound mode of transportation for visitors.
Choosing your car
Car rentals in the Czech Republic (Czechia) are furnished by the biggest names in the business: Europcar, Sixt, Budget, Avis, Hertz, and Thrifty. Choose from a wide variety of vehicle types, including minicars, the complete spectrum of 4-door sedans, estate wagons, SUVs, and 7-12 seater minivans.
Tips and advice
First-class Czechian motorways are indicated by one or two-digit numbers on a red sign with white typography. Second-class roads are three-digit, and third-class roads are four-digit. European motorways are the indicated by the standard E road signs (c.g. E65).
For driving on Czechia first-class roads and European routes, a vignette is required. Have a chat with your car hire provider if you plan on doing any kind of long distance driving. However, for stays within Prague, you generally can avoid using motorways. In any case, vignettes can be purchased a fuel stations throughout the country.
If other cars are flashing their lights at you, they’re trying to tell you that your daytime running lights aren’t on — which is mandatory in all of Czechia.
Getting a cheap car rental in Czechia is much more likely than most European countries — with the exception of Estonia, which has the lowest rates in the region. Meanwhile, fuel prices are also below the regional average. Two more economically sound reasons to rent a car.
Fines for traffic offenses in Czechia are generally due immediately. Some police cars are equipped to handle credit card transactions, but if not, you’ll be expected to produce cash on-the-spot.
Make sure your car rental in Czechia is insured for damage caused by road conditions. Locals emphasize the poor condition of many second and third-class routes.