Vignette Control in Hungary - What You Should Know
Since the introduction of electronic vignettes, there have been stricter control measures for toll compliance in Hungary. All vehicles crossing the border to Hungary and travelling on Hungarian toll roads must have a valid e-vignette.
Those who travel on the Hungarian road network without an e-vignette may be subject to high fines. You may even receive several fine notices from a collection agency following your trip. In this article, you will learn all about how e-vignettes are controlled in Hungary and what fines you may face.
E-matrica in Hungary: how it works
Road use in Hungary is often subject to tolls, for cars you will need to buy a vignette for Hungary. This is how compliance with the toll is controlled:
Cameras along the motorways
The most common method for checking the use of vignettes in Hungary is permanently installed cameras along the motorways. Each vehicle’s license plate is scanned and checked in accordance with a database. If your vehicle is detected without a valid vignette, you will face a fine. The amount of the fine depends, among other things, on how long you have been driving on the motorways without a vignette.
Mobile vignette control
In addition to camera checks, mobile units are positioned along the roads to stop unregistered vehicles. Should you use the toll roads without an e-vignette, you will be charged an additional fee. This fee can either be paid on the spot or (if certain conditions are met) avoided by purchasing an e-vignette on the spot. This would apply, for example, if you are still within the 60-minute time limit or were unable to purchase a vignette in time due to a breakdown.
Ungarische Autobahn Inkasso GmbH
The Ungarische Autobahn Inkasso GmbH (UAI) is a company based in Germany commissioned by the Hungarian motorway company Nemzeti Útdíjfizetési Szolgáltató Zrt. (NÚSZ Zrt.). It collects an additional fee from vehicle owners who were caught during an inspection driving in Hungary without a valid e-vignette. UAI is a collection company audited by TÜV Saarland.
If you drive on a toll road in Hungary, you must purchase an e-vignette within 60 minutes. If you are caught without one or have bought a vignette with falsified information, you will have to pay 16,220 forints (about 41 euros). If you do not pay the fee within 60 days, it will automatically increase to four times the amount: 64,850 forints (around 165 euros). VAT and the collection agency's processing fee will also be added.
In addition, for each day your car was photographed by the video system without a valid vignette, you will receive another payment request. As an example: if you were photographed on three different occasions without a valid vignette, you will receive three individual payment requests. These must subsequently be paid in full. Most fines come due to an incorrect vehicle category so always double check which category you buy.
Each notice contains, as standard, details of all the parties involved, including the complainant and the defendant. The accusation of the violation as well as the time and place of the violation are also included. The actual dunning procedure is carried out by Ungarische Autobahn Inkasso GmbH, which is based in Eggenfelden, Germany.
If you are requested to pay and the fine notice is justified, you should pay the principal claim immediately. If reminder fees are also charged, you can file a written objection against these fees. The prerequisite for this is that you have not yet received a notice and that the reminder is therefore invalid.
Vignette control in Hungary: conclusion
To avoid fines, you can buy the Hungarian vignette online. If you try to avoid the toll, you will most likely receive a letter from the Ungarische Autobahn Inkasso GmbH after your trip.
If you do not file an objection or do not pay on time, the fee will be significantly higher. Since the control network with cameras and mobile controls has been greatly expanded in Hungary, you should ideally purchase an e-vignette before you start your journey. This way, you can avoid unnecessarily high costs.