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Want To Rent A Car Bosnia & Herzegovina? Driving In Bosnia Guide (Updated For 2020)
If you want to truly explore a country, there is no better way than doing it on your own steam and hiring a car. It’s always worthwhile doing some research on the driving rules of that particular country before your trip, so you don’t run into trouble.
If you’re considering visiting Bosnia & Herzegovina, you have plenty of destination options in front of you. Because distances can be great and there are many off-the-beaten-track destination that aren’t always well-served by public transport, hiring a car in Bosnia is a wonderful way to see the passing landscapes. This way, you can explore at your own pace, and won’t be rushed or feel pressured to leave at a certain time.
Many people begin their tour of the country in the capital, Sarajevo, and there are plentiful historic places to check out here. In addition to that city, there are many other places of interest, including Jajce with its huge famous waterfall, Mostar and its symbolic bridge, Teslic and its huge spa resort, and Bihac, the border town known for its stunning natural landscapes, and Una National Park.
Put simply, hiring a car and heading off on a road trip around Bosnia & Herzegovina is a wonderful experience.
Car Hire Companies Serving Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Enterprise – various locations including Sarajevo Airport
- Carrus Rent a Car
- City Rent a Car
- Doo Lav Car
- Sixt Rent a Car
- Hertz Rent a Car
- City Group Rent a Car
- Control Car
- NUR Rent a Car Mostar
Again, the capital is where you will find most offices renting cars. However, other bigger towns, such as Mostar, also have rent-a-car offices and facilities.
Car Hire Bosnia & Herzegovina Tip 1 – You Will Require An International Driving Permit
If you hire a car outside of the country or you’re using your own vehicle, your regular driving license is enough. If, however, you have hired a car in Bosnia & Herzegovina, you will need an International Driving Permit to go alongside your regular license document and passport. This should be kept with you at all times.
Car Hire Bosnia & Herzegovina Tip 2 – Border Crossing Documentation
If you are crossing borders, make sure you have the vehicle registration and rental papers with you, as well as the insurance documents as the customs guards will certainly want to see them.
Car Hire Bosnia & Herzegovina Tip 3 – Winter Tires Must Be Used During The Winter Months
From 15 November to 15 April, you are legally required to use winter equipment, and that means all tires must be MS, M+S, or M&S mark with a 4 mm tread at least. Check this when you are hiring your car. You should also have snow chains in the car because they are required in ice and snow, if you see the sign on the road telling you to use them.
Car Hire Bosnia & Herzegovina Tip 4 – Use Dipped Headlights At All Times
Even during day time, you should have your headlights dipped.
Car Hire Bosnia & Herzegovina Tip 5 – Be Careful Driving At Night
Many roads don’t have the best lighting, so drive a little slower and take extra care, especially if you are in a rural area.
Car Hire Bosnia & Herzegovina Tip 6 – Children Under 12 Years Must Sit In The Back
If you have a child travelling with you and they are under the age of 12, they must legally sit in the back of the car. Any child under the age of 5 must also have a child seat that is appropriate for them.
Car Hire Bosnia & Herzegovina Tip 7 – Speed Limits
Urban and built up areas – 60 km/h
Rural areas and open road – 80 km/h
Motorways – 120 km/h
Car Hire Bosnia & Herzegovina Tip 8 – When Driving Uphill, You Have Right Of Way
There are many large hills and mountains in the country and if you are venturing uphill, you have right of way over any oncoming traffic.
Car Hire Bosnia & Herzegovina Tip 9 – Drunk Driving Is A Huge No
The limit for drunk driving is much lower in this country than some others, at 50 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. For that reason, avoid drinking completely when you are planning on driving. If you have anyone in the car who has been drinking, they have to sit in the back.
Car Hire Bosnia & Herzegovina Tip 10 – Drive On The Right-hand Side Of The Road
Be aware of this before you go!
Car Hire Bosnia & Herzegovina Tip 11 – Be Careful On Rural Roads, Due To Unexploded Landmines
If you are venturing off the beaten track, the advice is to be careful of the potential for an unexploded landmine. The country has a rather turbulent past and whilst the clean-up operation has been successfully going on for a while now, there is the potential for the odd unexploded device, mainly at the sides of the roads in rural areas.
Driving In Bosnia And Herzegovina – Avoid Overtaking
There are no motorways in Bosnia & Herzegovina, so you this means you’ll likely to drive on standard single track roads, i.e., one lane in each direction. This may mean that you might run into traffic around certain areas, but try and put the temptation to overtake on double lines aside. Any road can lead into a winding road and oncoming traffic without warning.
Instead, take your time and enjoy the scenery!
There is a motorway being built just outside the capital, Sarajevo, but the rest of the country lacks faster roads.
Driving In Bosnia And Herzegovina – Be Terrain-Aware
Remember that Bosnia & Herzegovina may be less developed that you might expect, so this means that some roads may be less in quality than you are used to.
This is expected to be the case you as leave the big towns and cities and head into rural areas. It can sometimes feel like you’re off-roading, so do be careful and just take extra time.
Driving In Bosnia And Herzegovina – Drive Carefully Through Tunnels
You will find that many roads do not lead around or up and down mountains. Instead, they run straight through them, in the form of a tunnel. While this is a much quicker option, be aware that many of these tunnels don’t have fantastic lighting, and they can be quite dusty.
Driving In Bosnia And Herzegovina – A Lack Of Fuel Stations
Outside the major towns and cities, you won’t find that many fuel stations to fill up your car, so whenever you see a station, fill up to be on the safe side.
There are great distances involved in traveling across this country, and being without fuel in the middle of a rural area is not a good situation to be in.
Be Aware Of Livestock In Rural Areas Of Bosnia And Herzegovina
We mentioned about the possibility of unexploded landmines in rural areas, but you should also be very aware of wandering livestock, e.g., cows. They can come out of nowhere and block the road, causing a significant hazard.
If you’re driving around corners, go slowly for this very reason. There aren’t many fences to keep wildlife in fields, so you may find them wandering all over the place!
Is Driving In Bosnia And Herzegovina Safe?
It is just as safe to drive in Bosnia & Herzegovina as any other country, provided you heed the advice and ensure that you follow the rules. This is a large and beautiful area, and countless people take road trips around the Balkans, passing through Bosnia & Herzegovina every single year.
The biggest danger is in the rural areas, although this shouldn’t put you off as these are some beautiful jaw-dropping regions to explore.
The danger comes from unexploded landmines, so simply be aware and stay on marked roads, avoiding off-roading and wandering away from your car. There is also the possibility that abandoned buildings may contain unexploded mines.
Suggested Road Trips Around Bosnia & Herzegovina
Road tripping through the Balkans is not difficult, thanks to easy border crossings, and some very high-quality roads. We have mentioned that the rural roads and the roads outside of major towns and cities in Bosnia & Herzegovina could be better, but the scenery definitely makes up for it!
Many people choose to venture from Dubrovnik and into Bosnia, possibly to Sarajevo or Mostar, but what about staying within the country’s borders and checking out what this culturally rich country has to offer alone?
Here are three suggestions to check out and possibly try during your visit.
Bosnia & Herzegovina North To South
This road trip will show you the best of the country and will allow you to see some stunning sights along the way. You can book accommodation as you move through the country, and you’ll find this relatively cheap.
You will begin your journey in Jajce, and from there you will move to Pliva Lakes, Travnik, stop off in Sarajevo for a short while, before continuing on to Mostar, Pocitelj, Hutovo, and finally ending your journey in the coastal town of Neum.
Sarajevo To Mostar
Perhaps one of the best-traveled routes through Bosnia is from the capital, Sarajevo, to the historic town of Mostar and its historic bridge.
The journey will take you just short of two hours, however, the actual time depends on traffic, due to those single lane roads for the overwhelming majority of the way.
You will pass by Konjic and Jablanica if you want to stop off for a little extra sightseeing.
Trebinje To Mostar
The border town of Trebinje is around two hours south of Mostar, and you can easily drive that distance in just over two hours, again depending upon traffic.
You will pass by the towns of Blagaj and Ljubinje, for a stop off if you want to see some authentic life.