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Speed Limits in Miles and Speeding Fines in Bulgaria

Updated February 2024

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Speeding frequently occurs on roads and can affect anyone. It often results from exceeding the posted speed limit or failing to notice a speed limit sign, especially on rural roads. With many cars capable of reaching high speeds, the temptation to test limits on highways is significant. Yet, speeding carries steep financial and legal repercussions and significantly affects traffic deaths in Bulgaria. Authorities set speed limits based on road type and vehicle to ensure your safety. Remember, the posted speed limit signifies the top allowed speed, but driving at this speed might not always be safe under all conditions. Continue reading to discover more about Bulgaria’s speed limits and the associated fines.

Speed limits in Bulgaria

Here’s a quick guide to speed limits in Bulgaria for cars and vans: On motorways, the limit is 87 mph (140 km/h); on expressways, 75 mph (120 km/h); on main and minor roads outside urban areas, 56 mph (90 km/h); and within built-up areas, 31 mph (50 km/h), unless traffic signs indicate otherwise. Remember, speed limit signs in Bulgaria show speeds in kilometers per hour (km/h). The infographics to the right translate these limits into miles per hour (US-style signs) and the original kilometers per hour (EU-style signs). Adapting to Bulgarian speed limit signs might be challenging, but it’s essential when driving in Bulgaria.

The table shows speed limits in kilometers per hour (km/h) in Bulgaria:

Road Type Motorcycles* Cars & Vans* Cars/Vans + Trailer* Trucks** Buses***
Urban roads 50 50 50 50 50
Non-urban roads 80 90 70 80 80
Expressways 90 120 90 90 90
Highways 100 140 100 100 100

* Motorcycles, Passenger cars, Vans with or without trailers below 3.5t (7 716.2 pounds).
** Heavy goods vehicles over 3.5t (7 716.2 pounds) that do not carry dangerous or hazardous materials or goods.

  • Urban roads: 25 mph (40 km/h) – maximum speed for vehicles carrying dangerous goods.
  • Non-urban roads: 43 mph (70 km/h) for heavy goods vehicles with semitrailers or trailers (Type O3, O4).
  • Non-urban roads: 31 mph (50 km/h) for heavy goods vehicles carrying dangerous goods.
  • Motorways & Expressways: 56 mph (90 km/h) for heavy goods vehicles with semitrailers or trailers (Type O3, O4).
  • Motorways & Expressways: 56 mph (90 km/h) for heavy goods vehicles carrying dangerous goods.

*** If Busses with trailers driving on Non-urban roads – 43 mph (70 km/h) speed limit.

Speeding Fines in Bulgaria

Driving Speed Checks

Speed checks are initiated ad hoc by road patrols from stationary or moving vehicles. Speed can be measured from a parked police car. Fixed speed traps are also used in the cities and on other roads.

Speed Check Tolerance and the Safety Margin

A safety cushion is deducted from the speed measured in a radar speed check, allowing for a 1% to 5% margin. This method accounts for possible inaccuracies in the car’s speedometer and the measuring equipment. For maximum safety, it’s advised to consider that there is no safety cushion at all.

Fines and Penalties Applied to Apeeding and Repeat Offenses

Comparatively limited fines and administrative penalties apply to serious speeding and repeated offenses in Bulgaria (compared to other European countries):

Speeding Fines Regulations (based on Article 182 of the Road Traffic Act)

  1. Within City/Town Limits
    • Over by 6 MPH: Fine of 20 BGN
    • Over by 7-12 MPH: Fine of 50 BGN
    • Over by 13-18 MPH: Fine of 100 BGN
    • Over by 19-25 MPH: Fine of 400 BGN
    • Over by more than 25 MPH: Fine of 600 BGN
    • Over by more than 31 MPH: Fine of 700 BGN and suspension of driving privileges for 3 months. An additional 50 BGN fine for every extra 3 MPH over 31 MPH.
  2. Outside City/Town Limits
    • Over by 6 MPH: Fine of 20 BGN
    • Over by 7-12 MPH: Fine of 50 BGN
    • Over by 13-18 MPH: Fine of 100 BGN
    • Over by 19-25 MPH: Fine of 300 BGN
    • Over by 25-31 MPH: Fine of 400 BGN
    • Over by more than 31 MPH: 600 BGN fine, plus 50 BGN for every extra 3 MPH over 31 MPH.
  3. For Public Passenger and Hazardous Goods Vehicles
    • Over by 6 MPH: Fine of 20 BGN
    • Over by 7-12 MPH: Fine of 50 BGN
    • Over by 13-18 MPH: Fine of 150 BGN
    • Over by 19-25 MPH: Fine of 500 BGN
    • Over by 25-31 MPH: Fine of 800 BGN
    • Over by more than 31 MPH: Fine of 1000 BGN and suspension of driving privileges for 3 months. An additional 50 BGN fine for every extra 3 MPH over 31 MPH.

Repeated Offenses (as per Article 182 of the Road Traffic Act)

  • Double the fine for repeat offenses from points 1-5 in the categories above.
  • For repeat offenses, as per the 6th point in the 1st and 3rd categories, double the fine and a 3-month suspension of driving privileges.

Systematic Offenses

  • For systematic offenses from points 4-6 in all categories: Double the fine and a 6-month suspension of driving privileges.
  • A “systematic offense” is defined as 3 or more violations within a year since the first penalty ticket or electronic slip for the same type of violation.

Interfering with measuring devices

A driver who uses a device to interfere with the instruments used to measure the motor vehicle’s driving speed pays a fine of BGN 50.

Paying Fines and Tickets

All fines can be paid in cash, via bank transfer, EasyPay outlets, or online at Epay.bg. You will need to retain the ticket and bring it with you. If you pay the penalty on the spot, the police officer will provide you with a payment receipt. By the book, fines above BGN 50 can be disputed. However, chances to dispute a penalty are comparatively low if you only visit the country briefly.

Speed Limits in Km/h and Speeding Fines in Bulgaria

Link to the official Road Police fines resource (in Bulgarian language only)

Essential details

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