Hiring A Car In Albania 2024 Guide – Driving In Albania 

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

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 – remember to book your rental car well ahead of your arrival.

Albania Travel Blog_Car Rental In Albania

Albania is situated in a jeweled position, lapped by the warm Ionian and Adriatic Seas azure waters, with Montenegro, Greece, and Italy being its neighbors.

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 that you can have a sightseeing and beach break easily.

Driving in Albania is easy, and the direction of driving is on the right-hand side; 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 to drive in Albania.

When choosing which car hire company to go with, there are quite a lot of choices, 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 your rental car before you arrive to take advantage of the best car rental 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!

 

Popular 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-of-charge cancellation (I find the best for this is Discover Cars) 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 in the capital of Albania, Tirana, but also in smaller cities.

Car Rental Locations And Companies In Albania 

  • Discover Cars – Easy to find airport locations
  • Rent Point
  • LocalRent.com
  • RentalCars.com
  • Tirana Car Rentals
  • Albania Car Rentals
  • Eurocar Rentals
  • Albania Airport Rent a Car
  • iRent Albania
  • Europcar Albania
  • Enterprise Rent a Car Albania
  • Eagle Car Rental
  • For a cheap car rental, consider 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
  • Surprice Car Rental

 

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

  

Rental Car In Albania Tips

Best Hotels In Saranda, ALBANIA - beach

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, held for at least three years, is essential while booking a car. 
  • 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 at least 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: On average, car rental agencies in Albania will charge a fee of about USD 3.50 per day if you’re under 25 years old. 

Car Insurance

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 making the reservation, 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 In Albania In 2024

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, search carefully to spot any visual damage, note it down, take a photograph, or better yet, record a video of the vehicle and keep this important data nearby in case the rental business blames you for the damage when you return the car. No car will be perfect, but you do not want to be blamed for any scratches. 

Also, ensure a first aid kit is in the car, as this is required by Albanian law!

Beware Of One-Way Car 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 clean it. 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

Grunas Canyon - Hiking Albania
Grunas Waterfall is a picturesque site inside the National Park of Thethi, 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:

  1. Fasten your seatbelt
  2. Carry third-party insurance – check this out when hiring your vehicle
  3. Do not use a mobile phone while driving unless operating from a hands-free set
  4. Do not drive while intoxicated – the legal amount allowed is minuscule at 0.01 mg/ml
  5. Headlights should remain on at all times
  6. Every car needs a first-aid kit
  7. 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. Before setting off in your cheap car rental, do some research.

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.

Car Parking

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.

I hope your visit in Albania will be one of great exploration. From Durres to Tirana, you will love your road trip and stay in Albania.

Rent A Car In Albania FAQs

Rent a Car Albania Car Rental - Albania Travel Blog

ALBANIA CAR RENTAL FAQs

Is it safe to rent a car in Albania?

Yes! Security cameras are plentiful in big cities, and police patrol traffic, so you can quickly drive in Albania.

Keep in mind that locals don’t always follow traffic laws, so keep a watchful eye on other drivers.

Should I rent a car in Albania?

This all depends on what you want to see and do in the country. Public transport may be a better option if you plan to visit one or two big cities exclusively.

However, if you plan to visit many places like Saranda, the Albanian Riviera, Gjirokastra, Butrint, and any number of national parks, renting a car to get to these destinations from Tirana can be ideal. It also gives you a chance to see the beautiful countryside!

What is the minimum age to rent a car in Albania?

21 is the minimum age to rent a car.

What kind of payment can I use to rent a car in Albania?

Most reputable rental companies companies will accept only credit cards. Local companies may accept debit cards or cash, but we’d recommend steering clear of these.

What documents are needed to rent a car in Albania?

You will need a passport, a driver’s license from your home country, and a credit card issued in your name.

Can I add an additional driver to the rental agreement?

Yes, an additional driver may be added, but you can expect to pay a daily fee for the extra driver.

On what side of the road do cars drive in Albania?

Drive on the right-hand side of the road.

Does Albania offer SUV rental options?

YES! Book early to secure them, and do not rent them in Tirana; parking is tight.

What rental suppliers offer car seats?

From our experience, they all do. You have to plan ahead in the busy tourist months.

Are there luxury rental car options?

Renting a luxury car is not advisable due to the theft, but yes, there are options.

What additional charges can I expect?

It is very easy to find great deals online, but you need to be aware of additional fees such as the young driver surcharge and liability insurance. You will need to provide a valid credit card, and the charges will be billed to it.

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!

Comments (32)

  1. Thanks for the article! Do you know if there are limitations to rent a car in Tirana and move abroad? For example to Greece and go back to Tirana later.
    Thanks!!

  2. Great article!

    We hope to rent a car in Greece and cross the border to Albania.

    If no car company can provide a green card with short notice, do anyone know if you can get a bus from Preveza to Saranda?

  3. Hi there,
    Thanks for the info, your blog is proving extremely useful as we plan a last-minute trip to the Balkans! Question, do you have a company you would recommend for multi-country travel? Ideally we would like to pick up in Dubrovnik and drop off in Sarande.
    Thanks!

  4. The facts are true.

    I want to add is that is some local car rental companies you can rent a car without credit card and no security deposit is needed.

    1. Do you know which car rental companies in Albania allow this? I have been searching online but can’t find any.

      Thanks!

  5. Awesome dude! Your site is amazing. It’s heaven for travelers and adventurers. Thanks for sharing such an informative post!

  6. Thank you for these great tips on how to rent a car in Albania!

    I rented and had a very easy experience.

    1 thing to add, regardless of speed limits, traffic in Tirana and major cities won’t move faster than 10 km, but maybe because I was driving around during Christmas.

    On the plus side the nature and scenery in Albania is amazing!

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