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Road network condition

The international U5 motorway links Bulgaria with Europe and with Asia Minor. It forks at Sofia, and its southern branch proceeds to Greece as U5N, while the second called U5S leads to Turkey. Most of the countrys road network is first and second class. Problems may arise at roads under repair and local stretches of poor condition due to the agricultural vehicles using the same roads.

Drivers are advised to take special care of their cars and trucks in winter. Adequate tyres shall be used as well as wheel chains when driving in high mountain passes, attention and cautious proceeding at sharp turns and serpentines are required, particularly along ice-bound stretches.

The national radio and national TV broadcast daily reports on the road conditions in the country, which as a rule is listened to by most Bulgarian drivers. Visitors to the country and professional drivers could obtain information on the road conditions at the larger hotels and at the reception desks, where they would be supplied data from the daily papers.

Hitchhiking is not advisable in Bulgaria. Pedestrian movement on the first-class roads and motorways is forbidden, and bicycles are not allowed to use the high-speed lanes either. There are no tolls-roads in the interior of the country so far. They would be introduced gradually up to 2004.  The only road fee is paid at the point of entry into the country. Paid parking lots are available in bigger settlements and in the resorts. The prices per hour vary from 0.8 Leva to 2 Leva depending on the season and from 7 Leva to 18 Leva for 24 hours. Security is ensured.

Drivers can often use roadside facilities to relax there are sites with drinking-fountains, catering establishments, stands selling fruits, vegetables or souvenirs, roadside motels, etc. Filling stations are available at about every 30 kilometres of first-class roads, and in the larger settlements along second-class roads. The price of fuels and lubricants are close to European rates.

Petrol, OMV, Shell, Castrol have their filling stations, where, along with Bulgarian products, one can buy or have fixed world-class tyres.

In every bigger town one can find car-washing stands and repair services, with shops for car spares. Cars are exibited and sold in specilised shops in more than 20 towns and cities, and in more than 100 towns one can buy second-hand car. International and Bulgarian rent-a-car companies have representative offices around the country. The major hotels offer this as an extra service.

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