Car Hire In Slovenia Hints, Tips & All You Need To Know
Slovenia is a beautiful country, packed with natural landscapes and history at every turn. Of course, significant spaces and distances between the major towns and cities make it challenging to get around by public transport.
If you’re staying in Ljubljana’s capital city, you can usually use buses or trains to get you to the closest cities, such as Postojna or Koper. But what if you don’t want to be at the mercy of a timetable and take things at your own pace?
Hiring a car in Slovenia is your best option if you want to visit any place that’s a little further away or somewhere more remote due to its natural location. Destinations such as Kranjska Gora, Vrsic Pass, Skocjan, the upmarket spa resort areas, or the Jeruzalem Wine Region are fantastic places to visit. Still, you cannot get there and back comfortably with public transport. So, again, having a car is a must.
Car Hire Companies In Slovenia
Remember to shop around for your car rental in Slovenia because prices vary widely. You will find most offices at the airport, but several are in the larger towns and cities, including many in Ljubljana.
Essential Driving In Slovenia Rules And Tips
If you’d like to explore Slovenia by car, which is always a good idea, make sure that you’re aware of the various (perhaps different than you’re used to) rules regarding driving in Slovenia. In general, however, driving in Slovenia is pretty easy and straightforward. Roads are typically in excellent condition, while Slovenia’s road signs are similar to those elsewhere in Europe.
Below, we’ve outlined all essential knowledge for a successful Slovenia road trip, including tips, the gear you might need, Slovenia driving rules, and other important stuff.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 1 – You Must Be 21 Years Of Age To Rent A Car
To rent a car in Slovenia, you must be at least 21. You must also have a driver’s license for at least two years.
On top of this, anyone under 25 may be subject to a surcharge for young drivers and the regular car hire cost. The company may also restrict the type of vehicle for drivers between 21 and 24 years of age.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 2 – You’ll Need A Credit Card To Hire A Car
This is the case in many countries, but in Slovenia, you’ll undoubtedly need a credit card to hire a car. This is to hold the charge, and a set amount will be set to one side on your card and refunded when the vehicle is returned undamaged.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 3 – Basic Insurance Needs
When hiring a car, you’ll be offered many types of insurance. Some you will need, some you won’t. The mandatory insurance you’ll need when hiring a car in Slovenia is ‘Slovene third-party liability insurance. This should be included when you hire a car but always double-check.
From there, it’s your choice which other types of insurance you take and what you feel comfortable with.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 4– Check if You’re Allowed to Cross Borders
Not all car hire companies will allow you to cross borders. If this is something you’re planning on doing, make sure you double-check beforehand with the rental company.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 5– Border Crossings May Require Documentation
As you are probably aware, Slovenia shares land borders with Croatia, Austria, Italy, and Hungary, and it is possible to visit these countries for a day. You need to be careful of border crossing requirements because these vary from country to country.
In some cases, you may require a Cross-Border Card (CBC). You will also need your passport and any visa paperwork, depending on your country of origin, as well as your driver’s license and insurance paperwork.
You should have the following documents with you at all times when driving in Slovenia:
The first two are your responsibility, while the Slovenia car rental agency should take care of the latter.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 6– Most Rental Cars Are Manual
In Slovenia, you’ll find the majority of rental cars are manual. You may find the odd automatic car out in the summer months, but you will need to pay more because they are so rare.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 7 – Any Car Will Work
You don’t need a 4×4 or any specific type of car in Slovenia; the mountains aren’t that steep, and you’ll find that the roads are in good condition throughout the country. However, don’t go for the smallest engine when choosing your hire car.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 8– Drive On The Right
If you are from a country used to driving on the left, remember that the Slovenia driving side of the road is the opposite (right) side! Take it steady at first, as getting used to this change can take a little while.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 9 – Be Roundabout Savvy
Many people get a little nervous about roundabouts, even in their own country, but the rules differ slightly from place to place. In Slovenia, you do not have to indicate your direction when you are approaching a roundabout. But when you are leaving the roundabout, though, you must.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 10 – Mandatory Equipment
Driving in Slovenia requires you to carry some specific equipment in your vehicle. You can get a painful on-the-spot fine if you’re not holding the following items:
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 11 – Spiked Tires Or Snow Chains Are Required During The Winter Months
From 15 November to 15 March, Slovenia is in the midst of winter. During this time, all vehicles on all types of roads must use snow tires or carry snow chains in the car. If you use snow chains, you shouldn’t go over 50 km/h.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 12 – Seat Belts Are Mandatory
The driver and all passengers must wear a seat belt at all times. There is no bend in this rule at all.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 13 – Seats And Belts For Children
Any child shorter than 150 cm tall must use a special seat belt that’s the right size for them, both in the front and the back of the vehicle. If you have a child in the front seat who is sat in a rear-facing restraint, you must deactivate the airbag.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 14 – Slovenia Speed limits
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 15 – Drunk Driving Is A Big No-No
Drunk driving in Slovenia is frowned upon in a big way, as is the case in most countries worldwide. So, it’s best not to drink at all when driving. Slovenia’s legal limit is 0.05% of alcohol in the blood, but the limit is zero for drivers with less than two years of driving experience.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 16 – Cellphone Use Is Banned
When driving in Slovenia, the use of a cell phone is banned. However, you can use it hands-free if you have a system installed in the car before you set off. If your phone rings, you must pull over in a safe and suitable place, turn off the engine and then answer your phone.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 17 – You Cannot Wild Camp In Slovenia
You cannot wild camp in Slovenia, but there are many camping sites around the country. Look for the one closest to you, and you can often book at short notice. If you’re planning on doing a lot of driving, it might be a good idea to look at vehicles with sleeping facilities.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 18 – Availability Of Fuel
You won’t struggle to find a fuel station within the capital, and they are usually open from 7 am to 8 pm, except on Sundays. If you are heading to a border crossing or into the capital, you will often find fuel stations open 24 hours a day.
All fuel stations have unleaded gasoline and diesel, and some locations also have LPG. You can pay with local cash. However, most stations do accept Visa and Mastercard as well.
You will find that most fuel stations have the English name for different fuel types, but some may only have it in their native language. In that case, the following applies:
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 19 – Roadside Assistance
In case of an accident, theft, or other unfortunate circumstances, you can call 112 for ambulances or fire trucks and 113 for the police (emergencies). If your car breaks down, you can either call the number provided by your Slovenia rental car company or the general, public Slovenia roadside assistance service at 1987.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 20 – Slovenia Toll Roads
There are no toll booths on Slovenia motorways. Still, you must have a so-called vinjeta Slovenia, essentially a prepaid vignette that allows you to use the highways. This is one of the essential Slovenia driving tips!
That DARS vignette can be purchased at various locations around the country, including all fuel stations (in Slovenia and its neighboring countries), post offices, automobile club branches, and certain kiosks near border crossings. We can’t stress enough how important this is, since the fine for not having one while using the Slovenia motorways is very high.
However, when you rent a car in Slovenia, your car should already have a valid vignette. But do make sure to double-check this or ask about it when picking up your vehicle.
Car Hire Slovenia Tip 21 – Beware Of Thunderstorms
It’s not unusual in the summer months for a random thunderstorm to come out of nowhere. This is a common occurrence in Slovenia, and it’s essential to be aware of it. If this happens and you do not feel happy driving in this type of weather, pull over and wait for it to pass. These storms tend to give quite quickly.
Now, you know everything you need to know about hiring a car and driving in Slovenia. When will you start your road trip?