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Average rating: 9.4 of 10 Number of customer reviews: 5
Average rating: 9.4 / 10
Number of reviews: 5
Customer Riga International Airport
“Excellant service”

“Excellant service, good rates”

15-09-2017 11:30

Latvia Guide

Driving

Latvia is among Europe's fastest growing tourist destinations. It wows visitors with its mix of urban and rural offerings, including World Heritage cities such as the country's capital, Riga, and Liepaja, an ex-military town that plays host to a mesmerising beach. By car, visitors can enjoy these hot spots in addition to a series of un-spoilt coastal towns bordering the Baltic Sea, vast forests and nature parks where trails can be embarked on.

Driving Tips for Latvia

Road conditions are varied and signage can be scarce. Drivers are advised to plan trips before hitting the road. Drivers should ensure that they carry a warning triangle, a fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit, headlamp converters and spare bulbs in case of an emergency.

Driving licences: UK drivers can drive here as long as they have a valid UK licence including both the photo and paper parts.

Which side does Latvia drive on: the right.

Speed limits:
Motorways: 52-62mph (90-100kph)
Rural areas: 56mph (90kph)
Built-up areas: 31mph (50kph)

Alcohol limits: 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood for those that have driven for over two years. Those that have been driving for under two years are allowed 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. This is more stringent than Britain's limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Driving age: 18 years.

Seatbelts: compulsory in both front and rear seats, if fitted. A child seat is required for those under 12 years of age or under 4.9 feet (1.5m) in height.

Mobile phones and GPS: talking on a mobile phone while driving is strictly prohibited unless a hands-free kit is used. GPS is allowed and can be useful given the lack of signage on some motorways.

Cost of fuel in Latvia: petrol is slightly cheaper than in the UK.

Car hire and fuel payment: car hire suppliers require a swipe of your credit card before releasing the car. Credit cards are accepted at the majority of petrol stations, many of which are automated.

Insurance: third-party insurance is included with car hire but arranging excess insurance is recommended.

Traffic and parking: many areas of Latvian towns and cities have ‘Pay and Display’ parking areas where tickets must be displayed on the vehicle's dashboard after being purchased from a meter. Parking in a prohibited area, especially in Riga, could result in your vehicle getting clamped.


Transport

Trains
Overnight trains run internationally to and from Riga terminal from Moscow and Saint Petersburg (Russia). Latvian rail travel is more affordable than travelling by bus. For timetables and reservations, visit Latvijas Dzelzcels, Latvia's official rail provider.

Taxis
Tourists are advised to make sure they only use major taxi companies such as Rigas Taksometru Parks or Baltic Taxi, which have officially registered vehicles that are easy to identify by their yellow number plates. Even in officially registered taxis, it is wise to determine a price beforehand to avoid being overcharged. For example, a journey from the airport into central Riga should cost around £7.00.

Buses
Latvia boasts a vast network of coach and bus connections, and tickets can be purchased either at bus stations or upon boarding. In Riga, combined tickets for the tram, trolley and bus network can be purchased for 80 pence, and three- or five-day passes are on offer for between £6.60 and £11.00. Express bus connections, usually provided by Autoosta and Nordeka, from one major town to another are considered by many to be the fastest way to travel and are affordable.

Ferries
The port at Riga receives ferries and cruise ships, often provided by Tallink Silja Line, from European locations such as Stockholm (prices start at around £22.50). Ventpsil’s port receives Trans Russia Express services from Lubeck in Germany and St Petersburg in Russia. It is also possible to travel to Ventspils from Nynashamn in Sweden and Travemunde in Germany.

Airports
Latvia’s principal international airport is Riga International Airport, which lies about 10km from the capital city. It had a terminal upgrade in 2006 and receives services from a range of carriers from different UK cities.

Explore

Exploring Latvia

Most visitors to Latvia start their travels in Riga, the nation's capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, many of the nation’s most famous architectural wonders, including the Freedom Monument, the House of Blackheads, St Peter’s Church and Triangular Bastion, can be found.

Liepaja is a Baltic Sea coastal town which is famous for its music while it also provides access to the unique town of Karosta – once a military settlement and the location of an unspoilt and soft white sand beach where famous summer parties are held and the largest pipe organ in the world can be found.

Less popular with tourists than Karosta but no less beautiful is Madona, eastern Vidzeme's most scenic town and a winter sports capital surrounded by a vast array of forests, lakes and hills.

If they haven't had their fill in Riga, history enthusiasts usually head to Sigulda to marvel at the numerous castles and historical points of interest that can be found in the town, which is just an hour’s drive from Riga.

Weather

Spring, which runs from April to May, is considered to be the best time to visit Latvia, with the summer months of July and August acting as the main tourist season. During these periods, temperatures can reach highs of 20°C. Heavy snowfall should be expected through the winter months of November to March.

Frequently asked questions

Is Carrentals.co.uk the cheapest? Yes, we offer a guarantee of the lowest price - because we compare various retailers, we can always offer you the best price in town. What do I need to do when picking up a car? To pick up your car, you will need your voucher, passport, driver's license and a credit card. It is very important that your driver's license and credit card are in the same name as the main driver. Keep in mind that the local rental company will reserve a certain amount on your credit card as a deposit. This requires the PIN code for your credit card. If your driver's license is foreign (for example, in Chinese), you must bring a translation with you. Only your original passport and driver's license will be accepted - a copy is not sufficient. Are there any additional costs? In general, our rates are all-inclusive. Should there be any additional costs, our booking department will get in touch with you before issuing the invoice. Should you object, you can always cancel your reservation with no obligations attached (at least 48 hours in advance). What kind of insurance is applicable to my car rental? In general, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, All-Risks Insurance and Theft Insurance are included in the cost of your rental car. What is a worry-free label? This label indicates that a rental car satisfies the following requirements: Unlimited kilometers, no excess liability (and no excess cover available), sustainable energy policy, and that the car rental company has a good reputation. Availability of cars satisfying these four requirements will speed up the selection of a suitable vehicle for you. How can I change or cancel my reservation? You can cancel your reservation through "My Account". We recommend contacting us by phone if your changes to your booking or cancellation takes place at short notice (48 hours or less). When will I get a confirmation of my booking? Most reservations will receive confirmation within minutes after payment takes place. We recommend contacting our Booking Department for last minute reservations (pick-up within 48 hours). Which car rental companies are compared by Carrentals.co.uk? at this location
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All cities in Latvia

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