Car Hire In Bulgaria: 2022 Rent A Car Bulgaria Guide

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Rent A Car Bulgaria: All You Need To Know About Car Hire In Bulgaria 2022

Bulgaria is a rather large country, so the best way to get around is by driving in Bulgaria. This means that you can quickly move from place to place, checking out the history, landscapes, and of course, the fantastic beaches in all of the incredible cities!

Hiring a car in Bulgaria isn’t tricky at all. There are countless car rental companies, and most of them are located in major towns and cities. Whichever airport you fly into, you will also find several companies with offices based there.

Having so much choice means that you need to put more care and attention into picking the right company for you, as well as doing some research into which Bulgarian cars are available and into Bulgaria driving laws. Every country is different!

In this post, we’ve compiled the best car rental tips for driving in Bulgaria.

Top Car Rental Companies Serving Bulgaria

Car Rental Bulgaria (Based In Sofia)
Top Rent a Car Sofia Bulgaria
Budget Car Rental Bulgaria
Hertz Rent a Car Bulgaria
Savoy Rent a Car Bulgaria
Car Rentals Bulgaria
CarRent Bulgaria
Europcar Bulgaria
Autojet Car Hire Bulgaria
Top Rent a Car Sofia
Rent a Car Automatic Bulgaria
Choice Car Hire Sofia Airport
Autorental Bulgaria Ltd

Car Rental Tip Bulgaria 1 – Paperwork Required

To rent a car in Bulgaria and legally drive it, you will need an International Driving Permit, as well as your full driving license (both parts). You should also carry your insurance, passport, and any paperwork which the car rental company gave you.

Car Rental Tip Bulgaria 2 – Items You Need To Carry

By law, there are certain things you need to have in your vehicle when driving around Bulgaria, these include:

  • Headlight beam deflectors – These should already be fitted in all Bulgaria cars that you can rent, but check to make sure.
  • Warning triangle – If you break down, you have to have a warning triangle handy.
  • Reflective jacket – Check if this is in the car already because if you need to step out of your vehicle on a motorway, it’s the law to wear a reflective jacket.
  • Fire extinguisher and first aid box.

Car Rental Tip Bulgaria 3 – Rules Of The Road

In Bulgaria, you drive on the right, and you overtake on the left. It would be best if you also remembered to leave your headlights on at all times, even in the daytime, and dipped so as not to dazzle oncoming traffic.

If you are in a town or city with trams, remember that they have the right of way.

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Rent a Car Bulgaria

It is forbidden to sound your horn in an urban area between 10 pm, and 6 am unless this is to prevent an accident. You should also always wear a seat belt, regardless of whether you are the driver or the passenger.

Drunk driving is also a massive no-no in Bulgaria, as with many other countries, and the legal limit is meager, at 0.05%. The best advice is not to drink when you intend to get behind the wheel.

Additionally, driving in Bulgaria is also not allowed if you’re wearing high heels, flip-flops, or day sunglasses. Eating, smoking, and using mobile devices behind the wheels are strictly prohibited, too.

Car Rental Tip Bulgaria 4 – Travelling With Children

Road rules in Bulgaria are very tight regarding restraining children in a car, which means that a child under the age of three cannot go in a car if it doesn’t have child restraints.

If the child is over three years and less than 150 cm in height, they can go in the car without restraints, but they have to sit in the back.

Car Rental Tip Bulgaria 5 – Speed Limits

The Bulgarian authorities are very strict on speeding, so always adhere to the following limits:

  • 50 km/h in urban areas
  • 90 km/h away from urban areas
  • 130 km/h on motorways

Things to do in the Balkans_Car Rental Bulgaria_PIN


Car Rental Tip Bulgaria 6 – Parking Issues

Particularly in the larger cities, such as Sofia, parking can be hard to find during busy times. It’s worth noting that parking is forbidden anywhere it could obstruct traffic.

Additionally, you should only park where there are signs that tell you that you can do this. If you are on a one-way street, always park on the left.

Certain parking areas are only valid for set amounts of time, and this will be clearly marked. If you go over this period, you may find yourself with a spot fine and even a wheel clamp, which might be expensive to have removed. If you have your car towed away, expect a hefty fine and a lot of hassle.

Car Rental Tip Bulgaria 7 – Fueling Up

You won’t struggle to find a petrol station anywhere in Bulgaria, as these are very frequent, with the main cities and towns being open 24/7. Do not use the red pumps, as these are intended for service vehicles only. You need to pay for your petrol in cash only. However, the larger stations in Sofia do accept credit cards.

Car Rental Bulgaria Tip 8 – Costs, Rules, And Extra Charges

  • Picking up and dropping your vehicle off at the same location is the best idea unless you want to be charged extra.
  • When you get your rental contract, check to see if there is any damage on the car there and then, and have it noted if there is. If you don’t do this, you may be blamed and charged for it when you return.
  • Refill your car with petrol before you return it back. Otherwise, you’ll be charged.
  • You need to be at least 21 years old to hire a car in Bulgaria, with at least a year’s experience.

Car Rental Bulgaria Tip 9 – You Need A Vignette Sticker

Even though you don’t have to pay any individual road tolls when driving in Bulgaria, everyone using roads does have to pay a “road tax” in the form of a vignette sticker.

Most rental cars in Bulgaria will already have one of those, but always check before you hit the road. If your car doesn’t have one, you can buy a vignette sticker at all border crossings, gas stations, DZI bank branches, and post offices. They are day, weekend, week, month, quarter, and annual vignette available.

Driving In Bulgaria

Now you know the road rules, what about where to go? Buckle up, let’s start driving in Bulgaria. Here is where to go:


Comments (6)

  1. Thanks for sharing and glad to see a lot of good ideas in this amazing blog. Car hiring in Bulgaria seems pretty popular these days. It’s probably worth calling around most car rental places, they’ll definitely arrange any car on demand. The fees might seem high on the line, but honestly, it’s worth it.

  2. got to Sofia Airport in August and was told my confirmed booking (done in February) with yes rent a car organised through discover car hire (DCH) had not been confirmed. Ended up having to pay £500 more to another company to get a car. Complained to DCH who had picked yes and they contacted them to see what happened. They said I had turned up late so my car had gone and I apparently would rather pay over £500 more than wait 2 hours for a replacement they offered me. I proved using the time on the hire document and credit card receipt that I had got the replacement before the latest time I could get the car from yes showing that they had lied. I thought DCH would then help me but they washed their hands of the whole thing choosing to belive what I had proved was a lie. Never use yes rent a car and never use DCH either.

  3. Hello,
    my advice – avoid Motoroads in SOfia and related to them companies to save yourself problems. They are not honest people – claiming that cancellation is free if done 24 hrs before pickup – but they hold the money even if you cancel 3 (three ) weeks before the date. Becuase once they have your credit card number you are at their mercy.

  4. Avoid motoroads for car renting. They cheat from first booking claiming cancellation is FREE if done 24 before car pick up. But sneaky policy interpretation is that is not free. Be at your own risk and expect any monkey trick from such down the road dealing with them or any company related to motoroads in fact!

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