Car Rental Croatia & Driving in Croatia Tips
- Car Rental Croatia & Driving in Croatia Tips
- Things you should know when you rent a car in Croatia
- Rental car companies that service Croatia
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: One-way rental fees
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: What kind of car should you rent?
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: Reasons not to rent
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: Which lane is used when driving?
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: Toll roads
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: Motorway signs
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: Do you need a special border crossing card in order to enter Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: Headlights
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: Seatbelts
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: What is the alcohol limit on Croatian roads?
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: What documents do you need when driving in Croatia?
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: What driving license will you need?
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: What are the speed limits in Croatia?
- Car Rental Croatia Tip: Taking the car on the ferry
- Ask your car rental company in Croatia about…
- Car Hire Croatia – Avoid unexpected charges
- Driving in Croatia FAQ
- More Ideas For Things To Do In Croatia
- Ready to Pin!
Croatia is a country situated in southeastern Europe east of Italy. Being one of the most picturesque countries in Europe, driving in Croatia is highly recommended if you are planning a trip to Croatia: especially roads hugging the dramatic Adriatic coast.
There are numerous options when it comes to car rental in Croatia as well as several luxury car rental options for your to choose from. Whilst car hire in Croatia is easy, it is important to note that the traffic laws in Croatia may slightly differ with those of your own home country. If you’re looking to rent a car in Croatia here is our guide and tips to help you make an informed decision.
Things you should know when you rent a car in Croatia
Renting a car in Croatia, in fact in any foreign country can be a little scary. Here are just a few tips to get you started and take some of that fear factor away. As these tips are no way intended to be a complete list, and are subject to change, be sure to ask your car rental company for the latest information to make sure you stay across any new changes or local driving conditions.
First things first, if you plan to rent a car in Croatia in summer, book it now. With so many tourists, you’ll want to secure the size and model just right for you.
Rental car companies that service Croatia
- Rental Cars – easy to use search system (as seen above) and great customer service
- Auto Europe
- Economy Car Rentals
- Cheap-O-Air Car Rentals
- Hertz Croatia
- Oryx Car Rental
- Holiday Autos
- Best Rent Dubrovnik
- Kompas Rent A Car
- Kompas No. 1
- Last Minute Rental Car
Car Rental Croatia Tip: One-way rental fees
When renting a car in Croatia, be aware of one-way rental fees. For example, if you plan to pick your car up at Dubrovnik airport and then return it to Split, then be prepared to pay an extra fee. If you want to avoid this fee, think about your route and how you can circle back to the place of pick up and drop the car back there.
Car Rental Croatia Tip: What kind of car should you rent?
If you aren’t coming with just two people – go for the smallest car possible. Car spaces are tight here, so that’ll give you an advantage.
For families, you’ll need to go slightly bigger, and rent a car with adequate space for your luggage. Look for the display which shows you just how many bags and people can fit it.
Vans are available for groups, they do have the most room but remember they’ll be much harder to park in the cities.
Car Rental Croatia Tip: Reasons not to rent
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to renting a car in Croatia. The driving in Croatia can be scary for first-time drivers on the right-hand side of the road. Add to that that, drivers here are not as careful or considerate as in Australia or United States . Some drivers don’t signal, they love to pass even when it’s not allowed and many places don’t have accurate road signs.
However don’t let you put that off you renting a car in Croatia – as driving is a way that you can really the small towns and secret spots that you can’t get to by bus.
Car Rental Croatia Tip: Which lane is used when driving?
In Croatia, drivers are required to keep right when driving and overtake on the left. The general road conditions in Croatia are good. The A1 Motorway provides great access for long distance driving, between the major cities.
Car Rental Croatia Tip: Toll roads
Croatia has a number toll road systems and you are required to pay a fee when using roads that fall under this category. The costs are well worth the expense if you need to travel long distances. Although if you are in no hurry, when driving on your Croatia Holidays, I would suggest you use scenic routes along the coast where possible to get maximum visual pleasure. If you are worried about unknown costs use this calculator to determine fuel & toll road charges, or this price list for Croatian toll charges.
Car Rental Croatia Tip: Motorway signs
Croatia rental car companies will generally inform you of some of the unique road signs within Croatia. Motorway signs in Croatia generally have the letter A followed by two digits. They also have a green background and a motorway picture in white, country roads have a letter Z and four digits while state roads are denoted by the letter D followed by two digits.
Car Rental Croatia Tip: Do you need a special border crossing card in order to enter Bosnia-Herzegovina
Short answer. No. Both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro are included in the green card system that your car rental insurance company supply for travel within Croatia. Some rental car companies do try to charge you extra, but it is not required. You can read more about it on the website of the National Green Card Bureau to avoid being scammed into paying extra.
Car Rental Croatia Tip: Headlights
As a rule, headlights should be used at night and at instances when the visibility on the road is less than 100 meters. From October to March, the law requires that dipped headlights be used during daylight hours.
Car Rental Croatia Tip: Seatbelts
As is the case across all of Europe, wearing a seatbelt, at all times is compulsory. At the time of publication, the fine for not doing so was 500 HRK / 65 EUR /84 USD.
Car Rental Croatia Tip: What is the alcohol limit on Croatian roads?
Previously, the alcohol limit when driving in Croatia was 0.15 percent but following strict government guidelines, it was downgraded to 0.05% percent for those over 24 (0.00% for those under 24). To be safe try not to drink anything whilst driving in Croatia.
Car Rental Croatia Tip: What documents do you need when driving in Croatia?
You will need to keep the car registration and insurance paperwork in the car at all times. Leave them in the glove box for easy access should you be asked for them.
Car Rental Croatia Tip: What driving license will you need?
International licences are valid within Croatia when used in conjunction with an international driver’s permit. In my experience (and many others I know) rental car companies in Croatia don’t ask for the international driver’s licence, but I would not take a risk and obtain one before you start your vacation. Also, these licenses are valid for the first six months only. If you plan to stay longer each individual is required to obtain a Croatian driving license after this grace period has lapsed.
Car Rental Croatia Tip: What are the speed limits in Croatia?
Speed limits in Croatia exist and are clearly marked out, for instance,
- In built-up areas is generally 50 km/hr
- Open roads up to 80 km/hr
- 130 km/hr on motorways
At the time of publication the fines for speeding varied from, 500-15,000 HRK / 65-2,000 EUR /84-2,500 USD. Now that would sting your holiday budget!
Car Rental Croatia Tip: Taking the car on the ferry
Your rental car in Croatia is permitted on the local ferries, ie: those going to and from the mainland to the islands. However, you can not take your rental car across to Italy by ferry. Valid registration papers are required to be in the drivers name for international ferries.
Local Tip: Book your car ferry tickets as soon as you arrive in Croatia, they fill up so fast and you could be left waiting behind.
Ask your car rental company in Croatia about…
- If the car requires diesel or petrol. Trust me, it’s an expensive mistake to make.
- Local tips and suggestions when it comes to the scenic routes for your journey
- Additional expenses (if any) for driving across the border to Italy, Hungary etc
- Ask about road signs that you need to be aware of
- Discount car rental companies often have offices at each airport, ask about the one way drive fee if you don’t plan to return the car to the place of hire
Car Hire Croatia – Avoid unexpected charges
The costs of hiring a car across the globe can be expensive, do your research to avoid getting caught out with extra or unknown charges where possible, especially with discount car rental companies. Be sure to ask upfront about;
- One way hire fees
- Out-of-hours pick up and return
- Extra driver charges
- Exclusions for taking the car off-road
- Last minute cancellation fees
- Extra costs for GPS’ and baby-car-seats
- Compare car hire companies. When we first hired our car in Croatia, I was shocked to see the price ranges. Now I always tell everyone to be sure to spend the time comparing costs between suppliers of rental cars. Even the cheapest car rental companies here in Croatia offer great well-maintained vehicles.
By considering the above tips, you are assured of a much better stay in Croatia
Download this FREE app from iTunes from Hrvatski Auto Klub (Croatian Auto Club). It provides detailed traffic and travel information, as well as roadside assistance services and is available in English, German, Italian and Croatian.
Driving in Croatia FAQ
I am often asked about factors related to driving in Croatia. Ultimately I tell everyone that you can drive in Croatia, you just need to be aware of a few factors:
- Lots of roads in villages are often narrow, unpaved, and have room for one-way traffic. Take your time and be prepared to reverse.
- There are plenty of places to stop and rest along the way. Croatia has some of the best gas stations we’ve encountered on our adventures across Europe. Including some with kids activity centres and healthy food.
- Driving in the country is always on the right-hand side of the road. So those from Australia or United Kingdom always find it a little tricky to begin with.
- Drivers in Croatia go fast. Far too often ignoring speed signs and overtaking on corners and across double lines. Stay focused and be extra alert.
- Turning right when the red light is on is strictly prohibited unless there is an additional arrow that is on green.
- If your violate the rules you may be asked to pay a fine, which can be done on the spot. Be sure to ask for a receipt.
HELP is at hand!
- Contact the Croatian Auto Club Emergency Service on 987 if you have an accident or require emergency support on the road.
- Police 192
- Fire Brigade 193
- Ambulance 194
- You can also tune into 98.5 Croatian Radio 2 for traffic updates.
What has been your experience with car rental Croatia? What was your experience like driving in Croatia? Let us know in the comments we’d love to hear from you.
More Ideas For Things To Do In Croatia
Are you traveling to Croatia? Great, we’ve got a stack of suggestion – here are just a few:
- A Massive List of Things to do in Croatia
- What to Pack For Croatia: The Ultimate Croatia Packing List
- Top Croatia Travel Guides & Books
- The Ultimate Guide to Croatia
- Best Things to do with Kids in Croatia
- See which tours of Croatia we Recommend