If you are planning to rent a car in Albania, my guide is for you! This post has all the information you need to drive in Albania securely and safely.
A road trip in and around Albania will be a wonderfully rewarding experience that will give you lasting memories of this diverse and varied country.
There is plenty to see and do, no matter where you choose. Generally speaking, visitors head to Tirana Airport, another name you may know as Rinas Mother Teresa Airport.
This is where you usually pick up your Albania car hire, although other rental options are also available. You can settle into your accommodation or quickly head onto the open road and explore the quaint towns, ruins, castles, and nature the country is known for.
On top of this, the coastline has some of the most beautiful beaches, so you can have a sightseeing and beach break easily.
Driving in Albania is easy, and the direction of driving is on the right. Albania’s driving rules may likely differ from those you’re used to back home, so check this out before you go. You should also ensure you have an International Driving Permit required for driving in Albania.
When choosing which car hire company to go with, there is quite a lot of choice, so you need to shop around to get the best rental deals and the best car. The good news is that car hire in Albania is pretty cheap, so you’re not going to spend a small fortune on this part of your break.
It’s a good idea to book before you arrive to take advantage of the best deals.
Check out our list of companies and hints and tips to help you make a decision that doesn’t ruin your time in this beautiful country!
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Car Rental In Albania – Where Are The Rental Locations In Albania
Below, you can find the best prices on all car types. Some offers include free cancellation as well as van rental, long-term car rentals, and one-way car rentals. These providers are found at popular destinations in major city centers. Most providers are the the capital of Albania, Tirana, but also in smaller cities.
- Discover Cars
- Rent Point
- Tirana Car Rentals
- Albania Car Rentals
- Eurocar Rentals
- Albania Airport Rent a Car
- iRent Albania
- Europcar Albania
- Enterprice Rent a Car Albania
- Eagle Car Rental
- Saranda Holiday Rent a Car
- FIRST Car Rent
- National Auto Rental
- SIXT Rent a Car
- Easy Rent a Car H&D
- Hertz Albania
- Renta Car Albania
Most of these companies operate out of the airport. However, you will find offices also in downtown Tirana – ask the rental car company when you book.
Brands We Use And Trust
Tips For Renting A Car In Albania
Documents Needed To Rent A Car
To rent a car in Albania, you will need the following documents:
- A valid driver’s license from your home country
- Your passport
- A credit card in your name
Tip: Be sure to keep the above documents, as well as anything the car rental agency gives you, including insurance details and registration documents, in the car at all times, as there are random traffic police checkpoints where you will need to provide them.
Car Rental Ages
You must be 21 to rent a car in Albania, but the driving age is 18. Some agencies also require that you’ve held your driver’s license for 1-3 years, so make sure to read the fine print.
Tip: Many car rental agencies in Albania will charge a fee of about USD 3.50 per day if you’re under 25 years old.
Albanian law requires you to have third-party liability car insurance for minor accidents. This is typically included in the cost of the car rental. You may also opt to add comprehensive (complete) accident insurance as you will be driving in a foreign country, which brings its own risks. However, this is not required.
If you choose to add full coverage, you can expect it to cost $10-20 USD per day. Add this coverage at the time of booking, as this gives you the best rates. When purchasing full coverage insurance through the rental company, your credit card will also need to cover a security deposit if you damage the car. This amount usually ranges from $100-500 USD and will be returned to you when you return the vehicle in good condition.
It is worth checking to see if your credit card includes car rental insurance in Albania before purchasing extra coverage.
If you have a rental car from abroad, you’ll need Green Card insurance that covers you for a minimum of 15 days (approx 40)
Type Of Car To Rent
There are a range of cars you can pick from when you go through a rental agency. The main thing to remember when selecting a vehicle beyond the size of your travel party is whether you prefer manual or automatic. Most cars in this region are manual, so you must pay a bit more if you want an automatic.
If you plan on taking rural roads in the mountains (like from Berat to Gjirokaster), you’ll need a 4-wheel drive vehicle. However, most destinations in Albania can easily be reached with economy cars.
Check For Any Prior Damage
Before you accept the car, look carefully to spot any visual damage, note it down, take a photograph, or better yet, record a video of the vehicle and keep this close at hand if you’re somehow blamed for the damage when you return the car.
Also, ensure a first aid kit is in the car, as this is required by Albanian law!
Beware Of One Way Rental Fees
If you want to pick up your car in Tirana and return it to Saranda, you may find yourself falling foul of one-way rental fees. To avoid this, you must return your vehicle to where you picked it up. Not all companies enforce this rule, but again, it’s something to be careful of.
Refill The Fuel & Clean The Car
When you return the car, ensure you return it according to the fuel policy and cleaned. If it’s less than full, you’ll be charged the extra to top it off and probably have a hefty fee, and if it’s filthy, you’ll also be charged. Consider getting a car wash or vacuum at the gas station before returning the vehicle.
Ask If You Can Cross Borders
If you plan to use the rental car for a Balkans road trip, you must talk to the rental agency about crossing country borders. Some countries, such as Greece, require different insurance and border crossing fees, so it’s important to know upfront what you can do with the vehicle.
Tips For Driving A Car In Albania
Driving in Albania can feel a bit chaotic, especially in big cities. Local drivers don’t always follow the rules of the road, but as a visitor in a rental car, you should do so. The following tips will keep you safe as you drive around the country.
Dial 112 in case of an emergency should anything come up!
Basic Traffic Rules
Albania’s road rules aren’t majorly different from other countries, but it’s worth reading up on it in case of glaring changes.
Important traffic rules to remember are:
- Fasten your seatbelt
- Carry third-party insurance – check this out when hiring your vehicle
- Do not use a mobile phone while driving unless operating from a hands-free set
- Do not drive while intoxicated – the legal amount allowed is minuscule at 0.01 mg/ml
- Headlights should remain on at all times
- Every car needs a first-aid kit
- Do not drive over the speed limit
Speed limits throughout the country:
50km/h (31mph) in residential areas
90km/h (56mph) away from residential areas
110km/h (68mph) on motorways
Speeding fines are harsh, so avoid them like the plague! Traffic police often target rental cars, so don’t base your speed on locals; instead, look for speed limit signs.
Drive On The Right Side Of The Road
Albanians drive on the right-hand side of the road, so if you’re used to being a ‘leftie’ in this regard, you need to be aware of this and probably take it slowly until you get used to it.
Lighting Could Be Hit And Miss
Roads are well-lit, but that doesn’t mean all of them; for instance, urban streets are lit at all times, but those outside of urban stretches may not be. It’s also possible that urban roads could experience a power outage, especially away from the main towns and cities.
Have Cash With You For Fuel
Petrol stations are usually open between 8 am – and 8 pm in built-up, urban locations; however, not all accept cards as a payment method; for that reason, have cash with you at all times. Albania also has no automatic petrol pumps, so it’s all entirely manual!
Be Aware Of Driving Distances
Albania isn’t the biggest country globally, but the driving distances and times can be misleading because of several mountains and high roads you will need to pass through, especially towards the north. For instance, if you’re beginning your journey in Tirana, it will take you two hours to reach Berat. If you’re moving from Vlore to Fier, this will only take you half an hour. Do some research before you set off.
Tip: Use of Google Maps or Maps.me are great tools for navigation in Albania and can give you an accurate idea of travel times.
Types Of Roads You Will Experience
Albania has only one toll road located near the Kalimash tunnel. If you plan to travel this way, note that it costs USD 5.
Albanian roads are generally well-developed, especially around Tirana and further south along the Albanian Riviera. You may find rougher roads in the north, where the mountains are located, so be on the lookout for potholes.
Fortunately, there are no off-road areas.
One thing which Albania isn’t so fantastic at is parking. You will find a lack of plentiful parking, even in the capital, so bear this in mind and be aware that you may need to drive around a little to find parking when you arrive at your destination.
Remember that just because a local is parked along the side of the road, it’s not necessarily a lawful place to park. Keep your eyes open for signs permitting parking and or car park lots.
Albania Car Rental FAQs
Driving in and around Albania is a hugely rewarding experience, and as you can see from these hints and tips, there’s nothing particularly restricting or complicated about it!