Car Rental in Croatia: All You Need to Know About Renting a Car in Croatia

In this post, you’ll find all the necessary information about car rental in Croatia. It includes the reasons to rent, recommended types of vehicles, car rental companies, rates, and our best car rental tips and deals.

Renting a car is the best way to explore Croatia, and you can travel off the beaten path, see more in less time, and stop wherever and whenever you want.

Car Rental in Croatia: All you need to know about renting a car in Croatia, Illustration
Car Rental in Croatia: All you need to know about renting a car in Croatia, Illustration

Additionally, renting a car in Croatia is the most economical way to travel through the country if you visit off-season, book your Croatia car rental in advance, and if you are traveling with a group.

You do not need to worry about driving in Croatia as the road infrastructure is excellent, with a multilane motorway crossing the country from east to west and south to north and a network of national toll-free roads running parallel to the toll motorway. All roads are asphalted and wide enough, with clear road signs.

The benefits of renting a car in Croatia

You need a car in Croatia if you want to explore the country at your own pace, plan road trips according to your preferences, save money when traveling as a group, get away from tourist crowds, and explore off-the-beaten-path places.

Here are 5 main benefits of renting a car in Croatia.

  1. Explore many places in a short time! Hiring a car in Croatia is the best option if you want to explore many places in a short time. Despite being a small country, Croatia’s crescent shape makes it long. For instance, Umag in the northwest and Dubrovnik in the southeast are over 700 km apart. Traveling by bus takes longer and may require transfers.
  2. Visit off-the-beaten-path destinations! Driving also allows you to make as many stops as you want to discover beautiful places along the way, and travel off-the-beaten-path, far away from tourists. There are no buses to bring you to the small Istrian village of Zavrsje, a beautiful Divna beach on the Peljesac peninsula, or the magnificent Korak Winery in Plesivica.
  3. Stay in a small coastal village without public transportation! If you choose to stay in a small coastal village in Croatia like our village Komarna, having a car is absolutely necessary. While these villages generally have basic amenities like a grocery store, a bar, and a restaurant, you’ll have to drive to the nearest town for services such as an ATM machine, a pharmacy, a butchery or fishmonger, or a supermarket. In such situations, having a car is highly practical and convenient.
  4. Go on day trips! If you’re planning to stay in one central location in Croatia and explore other places through day trips, renting a car is the ideal choice. Traveling by bus for day trips can be slow and complicated due to mismatched schedules, while car hire in Croatia offers more convenience and flexibility.
  5. Save money! Finally, renting a car in Croatia can help you save money when traveling in a group. You can split the rental cost and have more money available for other expenses. Additionally, if you’re a family with a shared budget, the more people you are, the more cost-effective it becomes to travel by car.

When not to rent a car

We can think of a few situations where you’ll be better off without a car.

If you only plan to stay in big towns like Zagreb, Split, or Dubrovnik, you’ll probably be better off without a car. Intercity buses are a convenient, frequent, fast, and cheap way to go from one town to another. Once in the town, you can use public transport to move around or simply explore a town on foot. Parking in popular destinations in Croatia can be a real hustle and cost money. So, again, to have your car rental sitting in a parking lot makes no sense.

If you only plan to relax at the beach 24/7 in any coastal town in Croatia, you won’t need a car.

If you don’t have a budget for it, you won’t rent a car.

However, even in these situations, we would recommend that you rent a car for at least a day and make at least some day trips. There are many beautiful drives and places to see in Croatia.

How much does a car rental in Croatia cost?

Just like with many other services in Croatia (accommodation, tours, activities, etc.), the car rental business is very seasonal. This means you’ll need to secure your car well in advance if you plan to visit Croatia in July and August. This also means that rental prices increase dramatically in these two summer months.

In high season, prices range from around €60 ($66, £52) a day for a mini-size car to €70 ($77, £60) per day for an economy-size car. In the low season, you’ll pay €20 ($22, £17) and €25 ($28, £22) for the same cars, respectively. Huge difference!

Don’t forget that prices change dynamically with the demand. This means the earlier you book your car, the less you will pay. Even for the high season, you can secure a mini-size car for as low as €45 ($50, £39) a day if you book six or more months in advance.

Car rental companies also offer additional equipment to rent, like GPS, WiFi hot spot packages, child and baby seats, an extra driver, etc. They all come at an additional cost.

Daily fees for extras are as follows*:

  • automatic: €15 ($16.50, £13)
  • child seat: €8 ($8.80, £7)
  • GPS: €8 ($8.80, £7)
  • mobile hot spot: €5 ($5.50, £4.30)

Extra fees per rental are as follows:

  • extra driver: €20 ($22, £17)
  • cross-border fee for EU countries, the UK, and Switzerland: €20 ($22, £17)
  • cross-border fee for Montenegro, Bosnia, and other non-EU countries: €50 ($55, £43)
  • pickup and return out of working hours: €30 ($33, £26)

*Prices checked in January 2024

Car Rental Croatia, Illustration for Pinterest
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Car Rental Companies in Croatia

We use when searching for and booking a car online, and we highly recommend using this site. They are brokers and work with all major car rental companies in Croatia. Their prices are competitive, and what’s even better, you have all offers in one place, and you can easily compare them, and shop for the best car rental Croatia deal.


If you prefer to book directly with a car rental company instead of renting through a broker, you’ll find all major international car rental companies in Croatia. We also have a couple of nationwide companies.

Sixt Croatia

Sixt Croatia is a part of the Sixt global network. The company has offices in all main Croatian towns, including Zagreb, Split, Zadar, Rijeka, Pula, and Dubrovnik. It is one of the largest car rental providers in Croatia.

Contacts (Zagreb Airport) | a: Rudolfa Fizira 21, Zagreb | t: +385 1 6219 900 | e:

Working hours | Daily, 7 am-7 pm


Oryx is a company based in Zagreb but with offices all over Croatia. We use Oryx for long-term car rental, and so far we had a good experience with them.

Contacts (Split Airport Office) | t: +385 21 895 164 | e:

Working hours | Mon-Sun: 7 am-9 pm


Another Croatian car rental company with offices all over Croatia. We haven’t yet rented through Nova, but we see lots of their cars on the roads here. Also, Nova Rent a Car Croatia has been voted the best rental car company in Croatia to work for. If they treat their employees well, the employees must treat the customers well. So, Nova is worth a try if you want to rent a car in Croatia.

Contacts | t: +385 98 983 6950 | e:

Working hours | Mon-Sun: 7 am-9 pm


Vetura is a regional car rental company based in Porec and with offices in all major Istrian coastal towns. We’ve rented a car from Vetura a couple of times in the past and would recommend them if you are in Istria.

Central Office Contacts | a: Trg J. Rakovca 2, Porec | t: +385 52 434 700 | m: +385 91 206 3070 | e:


Well-established international rent-a-car company with 15 branch offices all over Croatia, from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, Enterprise is a rent a car Croatia company that maintains a good review score for both the quality of the cars and staff efficiency.

Contacts | t: +385 99 733 0862

Working hours | Mon-Sat: 7 am-11 pm

Our best car rental in Croatia advice and tips

We’ve already covered some subjects above, but we’ll summarize our best Croatia car rental advice and tips below.

Know before booking

Is it safe to rent a car in Croatia?

It is safe to rent a car in Croatia. Car theft is rare in Croatia. I wouldn’t worry about that. The same is true about breaking into the car to steal your belongings. It isn’t common, but be prudent and mindful, and don’t leave your stuff in sight.

If you worry about car rental companies trying to screw you, well, I understand you completely. There are some businesses we don’t trust and always believe that in dealing with them, we’ll undoubtedly get screwed up. Car rental companies belong to this group of businesses.

They pre-charge your card for an insane amount of money and when you return it, they always find something wrong so they can keep some of the money they’ve pre-charged.

It happened to us just this past winter in Spain. And we even had full insurance. But, they pre-charged €60 for the fuel (in case we don’t refill). And before you know it, they took €30 to clean the vehicle?! Nobody told us that we should vacuum the car ourselves. Needless to say, our friends returned the car a day earlier in a similar condition, and they have never charged them anything. The company was the Gold Car, thanks for asking! Anyways, …

In Croatia, you can encounter the same kind of situations when renting a car as you would encounter in other European countries. This is why it is so important to inspect the car before renting it and do the same on return. Never be in rush, take all the time you need, but make sure you check for any damage, no matter how small it might be.

What kind of car should you rent?

Car rental in Croatia, Illustration, A couple loading luggage in the car at Split Airport

The type of car you should rent depends greatly on your preferences. Roads in Croatia are in excellent condition, so regarding the roads, any car will do.

Another thing to consider is traffic and limited parking in the town centers. Renting a smaller, compact car is more practical.

Mid- and full-size cars make a good choice if you plan on traveling long distances, as they provide more room.

If you are four or more people traveling together, you will need to rent a full-size car with a big trunk or even a van in order to fit you and your luggage comfortably.

A/C is a must-have as summers here are really hot.

How to find cheap car rental in Croatia?

If you are looking for a cheap car rental in Croatia, we recommend using brokers like Rentalcars or similar websites.

Whenever we rent a car, we always find better deals on these aggregators’ websites than on car rental companies’ websites. Don’t even ask why this is the case, as it makes no sense to me.

Just last summer, a friend asked me to negotiate a deal on a car rental in Dubrovnik. Since my company often rents with Oryx, and I know people there, I called and asked for the best deal they could make me for a day rental. I got an offer for VW Golf for €75 a day, only to find that same car on the Rentalcars website for €50. I still don’t understand why this happens, but it apparently happens all the time.

For the purpose of writing this post, I’ve checked prices on various car rental companies’ websites, and for almost all dates I randomly picked, I found cheaper deals on the Rentalcars website.

Different pick-up and drop-off locations for car hire in Croatia

You can arrange different pick-up and drop-off locations. For example, this means you can take a road trip from Zagreb to Dubrovnik but take a plane back from Dubrovnik to Zagreb. Ask beforehand how much this will cost you, as car rental companies sometimes charge extra for this service. A one-way car rental fee amounts to as much as €120 ($130, £104) per rental.

The same goes for picking up or dropping off the car outside of office hours. It’s possible to arrange it, but you’ll pay extra. Expect to pay around €30 ($33, £25.90) for this service.

You can try to negotiate with a car rental company to waive these fees. It’s certainly worth trying, especially during the low-demand periods.

Payment requirements

A credit card is mandatory when renting a car in Croatia. The companies will authorize your credit card for a security deposit (unless you purchase full coverage insurance). Make sure you do have sufficient funds on your card and extra money left for your trip.

The exact amount of a safety deposit for car hire Croatia depends on a vehicle and a car rental company, but the amount usually comes to anywhere between €1.000 and €3.500 ($1,000-$3,850, £865-£3,020) if you don’t take extra insurance. Without extra insurance, you as a customer are partly liable for any damage.

But, if you take extra insurance with a car hire company in Croatia then the amount authorized on your credit card is much lower and usually amounts to the rental cost + €200 ($240, £170) for any additional costs, like, for example, parking tickets, late drop-off, or if the fuel tank isn’t full.

Insurance: Full coverage on a credit card

If your credit card comes with full coverage for a car rental, you must wonder whether you need to purchase additional insurance when renting a car.

First, you need to check with your credit card company if you are covered for renting a car in Croatia.

If it covers it, the procedure for any damage is the following: the car rental company will charge you directly for any damage that might occur. You will then need to claim this cost with your insurer (in this case, your credit card company).

Make sure to ask for all receipts, a list of damages, police reports, photos, etc., and anything that your insurance company may require as proof before reimbursing you.

Manual or Automatic

The majority of rental cars in Croatia are manual. If you prefer an automatic transmission, you’ll need to book your car well in advance and pay extra. Expect to pay anywhere between €15 and €20 ($16.5-$22, £13-£17.3) more daily for an automatic transmission.

Car rental companies don’t keep enough cars with automatic transmissions. So, book your car as soon as possible if you can’t drive a manual.

Book early

While in low season, you perhaps can show up at the airport and find a car to rent, this isn’t the case in high and shoulder season. You better make sure to book your car rental in Croatia well ahead. The same goes for any extra equipment you might need (like baby seats or a WiFi router).

The earlier you book your vehicle, the better rate you will have. This is especially true for periods of high demand (June through September). The rates go up as the demand increases and as the inventory decreases.

What kind of driver’s license do I need to rent a car in Croatia?

A valid driver’s license from your home country is sufficient to drive in Croatia. If you, for example, hold a US driver’s license, or any other for that matter, you can drive with a US driver’s license in Croatia.

An international driver’s license is only mandatory in the case when your national driver’s license isn’t written in Latin letters (for example, if it’s written in Cyrillic or in Chinese characters).

However, if you feel like having an international driver’s license, it’s easy to obtain and costs little.

Minimum and maximum age

The minimum driving age in Croatia is 18. However, the minimum age for renting a car in Croatia is 21. If you are below 21 years of age, you’ll still be able to rent a car in Croatia. But you’ll need to pay a young driver’s surcharge. This surcharge usually amounts to €25 ($27.50, £22) per rental.

Some companies also charge extra insurance for senior drivers above 70 years of age.

Can you drive a rental car from Croatia to Bosnia, Montenegro, or any other European country?

You can drive a rental car from Croatia to Bosnia, Montenegro, or any other European country. However, you will need to pay a cross-border fee. Or that’s what car rental companies will try to make you do.

Whether you need to purchase additional insurance for crossing the border into Bosnia and/ or Montenegro with your rental car is the biggest debate on the internet regarding car rental in Croatia.

The simple answer is No! You don’t need any additional cross-border insurance for Bosnia and Montenegro. You can rent a car in Dubrovnik and drive to Montenegro, or take your car rental from Croatia to Bosnia and back. Your car should come with a green card accepted in both countries. This piece of document proves that your car has at least a minimum level of insurance required and it is recognized and accepted by different European countries.

All car rental companies in Croatia will insist on charging you an additional cross-border fee. However, try to be firm, insist on using the green card, and refuse to pay extra. This is really the question of hard negotiation with car rental companies, as they prefer (of course!) to charge you extra for crossing from Croatia into Bosnia or Montenegro. However, if you fail, expect to pay around €50 ($55, £43) per rental or €10 ($11, £8.70) per day, depending on the company.

If you only intend to cross into Bosnia in Neum, you don’t need to pay a cross-border fee. Neum is a coastal town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This part of Bosnia actually separates Croatian territory into two parts, separating the Dubrovnik region from the rest of Croatia. In order to reach Dubrovnik, the shortest way is actually to pass through Bosnia in Neum. So if you only plan on passing through Neum in order to reach Dubrovnik, you don’t need to pay a cross-border fee.

Some companies don’t charge any extras for taking a car across the border to another EU member state, as well as to Switzerland and the UK. But, some other companies have a cross-border fee even for the EU member states. It usually amounts to €20 ($22, £17.30) per rental. Shop around!

Taking a car rental Croatia on a ferry

I was surprised to find out that car rental companies charge extra for taking a car on a ferry. While the basic insurance covers you for driving on the Croatian islands, it doesn’t cover the possible damage that can occur on the ferry during the crossing.

If you don’t want to take a chance, this extra insurance will cost you around €20 ($22, £17.30) per rental.

Cross-country car hire

Sometimes our readers like to know if they can pick up a rental car in one country and then drop it off in another country.

This is more difficult than it might seem. Basically, it is only possible between a limited number of countries, towns, and branch offices, usually when and where one car rental company has a partner company in another country.

For example, if renting with Oryx, you can arrange on request, a drop off of their car rental in one of the following towns outside Croatia: Budapest (Hungary), Ljubljana and Maribor in Slovenia, Belgrade in Serbia, Sarajevo, and Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Podgorica and Tivat in Montenegro. But this service will cost you money!

Every car company has different rules when it comes to cross-country car hire, and they approach every rental individually. If you need this service, you will need to arrange this directly with the car rental company.

Picking up the car and getting on the road

Inspect the car

Before you leave with your car rental, people at the car rental company will inspect your car for any damages, and note them on paper. Go, inspect the car along with them, and pay attention. They’ll do the same when you return the car (unless you are fully covered, in which case they don’t really care.). They’ll charge you for repairs if they find any new scratches and other damages. You must inspect the car before picking it up, take photos, and discuss any damages you see with a car rental representative.

If you pay for full coverage directly with the car rental company, they won’t even bother to check the car for possible damages because your insurance covers it all.

Respect road rules

Observe speed limits, don’t use your phone while driving, always wear a seatbelt, and have dipped headlights on 24/7 during the winter (October through March).

The inner-city speed limit is 30 to 50 km/h; on open roads speed limit is up to 90 km/h (but with lots of lower speed limits in curves, and other road conditions); on all major toll roads speed limit is up to 130 km/h.

Road assistance

Croatian Auto Club (HAK) provides road assistance, should you need it. They have English-speaking operators. The telephone number is 987. They also have a free smartphone app with real-time information about road conditions, congestion, and live webcams.

Navigating roads in Croatia

Generally speaking, the roads in Croatia are in very good condition. Four- and six-lane motorways connect the country from North to South, West, and East.

Motorways are marked with the letter A, while motorway road signs are always green in color. The most important motorways include:

  • The A1 motorway connects Zagreb with Ploce to the south;
  • The A6 motorway connects Zagreb with Rijeka to the west
  • The A8 motorway connects Rijeka with Kanfanar in Istria (this road is mostly a 4-lane motorway, although there are still a few sections with a single-carriageway road)
  • The A9 motorway connects Pula with the Slovenian border via Kanfanar
  • The A3 motorway connects the Slovenian border to the west with the Serbian border to the east via Zagreb

National roads are marked with the letter D, and the road signs are mostly yellow. D8 (ex. E65) is the most popular national road. It connects Rijeka to the northwest with Dubrovnik to the southeast. This is the most scenic road in Croatia. And if you head south, you’ll end up driving on this road sooner or later. Motorway A1 going south only reaches as far as Ploce. The only way to reach Dubrovnik from Ploce is to drive along national road D8, also known as Jadranska magistrala (Adriatic coastal road).


Since roads in Croatia are great, well-marked, and easy to navigate, GPS is not really necessary to have. It can come in handy in big towns, like Zagreb, Split, or Dubrovnik. But, I think Google Maps are the best and cheapest navigation solution in Croatia. And they also work offline (if previously downloaded).

If you use Google Maps for navigation, don’t forget to turn the roaming off if, and when traversing through Bosnia, or Montenegro. Both countries are non-EU, and roaming charges are enormous.

Returning the car

Don’t forget to refill your car before you drop it off. A car rental company will charge you a fee if the tank isn’t full.

Make sure you aren’t in a rush when returning your car. You want to have enough time to do paperwork and inspect the car (to avoid any hidden charges for “sudden” damages).

Any questions regarding car rental in Croatia? Please let us know in the comments below. 

Further reading: more Croatia car rental and other travel tips 

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87 thoughts on “Car Rental in Croatia: All You Need to Know About Renting a Car in Croatia”

  1. Not easy to find a rental car company that would provide pick up in Croatia and drop off in Montenegro. And when you find few, the fee will be very high. However, if you don’t have another solution, contact rental car companies, and arrange it with them directly.

  2. Frank,

    Love your site and all the info. We are planning a trip to Croatia from September to October. The plan is to fly into Split, rent a car, and explore all the way to Montenegro. I have checked the site but when I put in Tivat as a drop off nothing showed up. Are there any issues with dropping off in Tivat Montenegro?

  3. Hi I am looking at doing a trip with my family, we will be arriving from Amsterdam , was thinking of flying in to Zagreb and then hiring a car and doing the coast line and then we fly out from Venice

    Where would you recommend to leave the car?

  4. Hi! Thanks for the tips!
    Do you think is it worth it to rent a car when island hopping between split, hvar and korcula?
    I’m planning to rent a car first in Dubrovnik to go to Mostar and later return the car in Split. Do you think is better to do the islands with a car or the car is not essential in this area?
    Later, I’m planning to rent the car again to travel from Split to Pula.

  5. Thank you for the great insight and information, Frank. I was wondering if you have any experience with Avia Rent a Car (different from Avis). This company does not show up on search engines such as RentalCars but searching on their website directly it seems their vehicles are significantly cheaper than those I am finding on RentalCars. Do you know anything about this company or if they are legitimate? Thank you.

  6. Hi Frank,

    We are headed to Croatia for the first time in about 3 weeks. We are renting a car in DBV and driving to Montenegro for one part of our trip. I read your section about the cross-border fee that the rental car companies will charge you. My question is, how do you dispute this? If the rental car company says you need it, then what do have to have to dispute it? I ask because I think the fee is already listed in the contract for the rental car company we are renting from. Thanks for your help!

  7. I booked a rental with enterprise for my holiday on Oct 11th. But I don’t have a credit card. Will I not be able to pick up the car even if I have enough money in my bank account on my debit card?

  8. Hello,Frank and Vera.Nice information.Thanks.We are a family of four,none of us can drive.We are looking for a car to take us from Split to Dubrovnik stopping at Mostar (to save a day and a day trip)but all I find is that I can save money only if one person skips as a silly rule that car or van can have only 3 persons or less or next 8 persons or less paying exorbitant amounts.Please point me to some cheaper alternatives.My time is also limited for me to allow me to travel by bus.
    Otherwise,I will be missing this beautiful country.

  9. Very informative post.

    I have an Indian Driving License but no IDP.
    Am I still permitted to drive in Croatia and Bosnia?
    Because the rules mentioned on Alamo mention IDP required.

  10. Frank,

    Any concerns regarding credit card physical appearance? I recall seeing a comment on another website regarding a requirement the the credit card have raised/embossed characters. If true is that still current? Many of my cards are issued with chips and printed numbers.

    Also, to get the lower security deposit/hold should the extra insurance be purchased from the rental company or would the insurance offered though the broker site recommended in the article result in the lower credit hold?
    Thanks in advance for your reply, we’re looking forward to experiencing Croatia!

  11. Hi Charlie,
    you will need to pay either by credit card or cash. I thinks the electronic payment system is too much hustle for a short stay in Croatia we have some traffic jams at the toll booths, however they are not excessive nor they happen often. No issues crossing over to Slovenia with a car rental Croatia as Slovenia is a member of EU. Waze works miracles!

  12. Hi James,
    insist that the car rental company gives you this paper. Alternatively, you can maybe try to request it directly from the insurance company with whom the car is insured *if you can get this information). Hope this helps! Enjoy your driving in Croatia!

  13. My wife and I are driving our own car from Italy into Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzgovina and are wondering how we get a green card to show that we have the required insurance.We would very much like to hear from you.
    Your on line travel guide is terrific.

  14. Getting a car on rental seems to important if you are traveling in Croatia. Besides sea and beaches with beautiful islands there are also many beautiful places that you can look after which lies in country side. There many UNESCO heritage, Roman built palaces and beautiful catholic churches and all these will be easy for if you have car on rental.

  15. A few questions:
    1. as a tourist, is the electronic toll payment system available?
    2. if yes, can it be done through the rental company?
    3. any issue regarding crossing over into Slovenia with a car rented in Croatia?
    4. does waze work well?

  16. If I may suggest that you include a section about motorcycles and campervans rental in Croatia as well

  17. We are interested in picking up a car in Dubrovnik (probably) or Split (possibly) and dropping it off in Porec. Do all/most of the companies allow this, or are there certain rental companies that are better for these pick-up/drop-off locations?

  18. Hi Frank G,

    I will be visiting Croatia and Bosnia in late June and checked with the Bosnia embassy in my country regarding the requirement for IDP. I was advised that IDP is required.

  19. Great Post very informative! Thank you :)

    I have a question regarding car hire companies.. which company is the best to use in split airport?

    I’ll be travelling from split to dubrovnik back up towards mostar and back to split.

    I wanted to use Avis however there reviews dont fill me with confident also carwiz seems the same, can you personally suggest any companies you’ve used?

    Thanks in advance

  20. Split is the best place. Since you won’t have a car on the island of Hvar (if I understood well), you can travel from Hvar Town, and Stari Grad.

  21. Hi Keshala, yes, there is an additional fee for taking a car hire to the islands. This fee covers any damage that can occur onboard the ferry. But I find it strange they have charged you afterwards. It should have been arranged in advance (IMO).

  22. Hi, would you know if car rentals can charge you an island fee? We returned a car a week ago and just got charged €42 for being on an island. We figured as we had prepaid for the car this would be covered. Is the insurance for the ferry and how is that charged? Because I feel that if it is €17 per ferry ride then we were overcharged perhaps?

  23. Renting in Plitvice Lakes might prove difficult. Where are you coming from to Plitvice? Maybe you can rent it there and then drop it off in Zagreb.

  24. Hi Elise,
    I can’t provide no other proof but a common sense. Any car in Croatia need to be insured, and green card (needed for traveling to non-EU countries like Montenegro and Bosnia) comes with the basic car insurance. Of course, car rental companies write their rules and can insist to either play by their rules or rent a car somewhere else. However, I would take this cost as definitely one of the costs worth negotiating about with the car rental company’s representative.

  25. Hi Ringob,
    how much the parking costs and how easy is it to find it depends on the season, the city, distance to the center, etc. However, you can expect to pay around 10-15 kn per hour (1,5-2 euro) in majority of towns in high season close to the city center. Dubrovnik is the only exemption. Parking in Dubrovnik is extremely expensive (50-75 kn per hour). For Dubrovnik, the best is to leave the car somewhere in Lapad, or Gruz, and use public transport or explore on foot.
    Buses are ok if travelling to Dalmatia, but not on islands or in Istria.

  26. Dear Frank,
    I would like to ask about the car parking fee in the city how much average for the cost ? and how difficult to find in tourist spots?
    and another question on if not driving car so easy to commute to one city to another city ?


  27. You can get international drivers licence in AAA office for about $30. You really don’t have to have it but I always do just in case since it clearly says Croatia is member. You bring both US drivers licence and international with you. When it comes to insurance your credit card typically covers it – your US insurance company does not.

  28. Frank,
    Thanks for the great blog/information! My questions – 1) Is there any actual regulation relating to your statement that rental car agencies are NOT supposed to charge for the green card (to cross international boundaries). I would like to have some foundation if I’m going to argue with the company. The first time they absolutely claimed we had to pay for the green card (and we were going from Dubrovnik to both Bosnia and Montenegro so we bought it). This time I’m driving up the coast and back – but of course will have to transit Bosnia – I suspect they will claim we need to buy it but I plan to refuse. (And the last time no one checked for the green card at those borders – the ones around Neum). 2) We were also told for our week long rental which I had already paid for insurance through Expedia, that we would really need to buy two additional insurances (one was car body, the other for tire damage) or they could charge us for small scratches etc. Each was for 100 Euro; we bought one for the car body. This seems like a scam, though. What do you think of these two issues?
    Thanks! Elise

  29. Hi,

    I’m hoping to rent a car this August (5 – Aug, 2019) at Plitvice Lakes and travel to Zagreb and drop off there. We’ll be making an overnight stop at Velika Kladusa in Bosnia on our way. Having a difficult time seeing if this is even possible.

    Can we do it? Any recommendations or providers you would suggest?

    Thank you!!

  30. Thanks for your site and all the information you provide. We are going to Croatia next month. Flying into Zagreb and renting an automatic from Sixt. I am traveling to the Bellevue Hotel in Losinj with an adult son. I am told that should my son decide to leave earlier than I plan to (4/18-4/28/19) I’d still have to pay the full contracted price. My son would need the car to get back to the airport in Zagreb. In the country I live in, it was recommended by the Sixt office that it would be better to set up the contract for fewer days so I won’t be stuck with the entire bill. I was told I could call back to the Sixt office where I live to extend the rental.

    I just want to be sure the if we do that, that Sixt in Croatia will allow me to extend the rental. I don’t want them telling us we need to return the car if we aren’t ready. I know it will be a busy season when I am in Croatia. So that’s why I’m worried. Do you have any advice about this issue?
    Thank you.

  31. Hi Frank,

    Thank you for such good information. You mentioned that you should be able to drive a croatian car rental into Bosnia and Montenegro with no further insurance other than a green card.
    Do you know if you can also drive car rentals into albania and kosovo?

  32. Thanks for the blog. Can spouses drive a car rented in Croatia for free or do I need to purchase the extra driver for my husband? Thanks!

  33. Hi Frank, Finding your site very useful thanks. We’re sorting details for trip to Croatia Sept/Oct which involves rental car drop-off in Zagreb (using your recommended at end of our trip. Dropoff options (Enterprise rental) are Lucko or Airport. Intend on a day or 2 in Zagreb without car before we depart for home. Any knowledge as to whether it’s easier (convenience and cost) to get to downtown from either of these 2 dropoff locations. Airport shuttle seems cheap and regular v cab or other from Lucko.
    Looking to hook into many of your other recommendations on accommodation and preferred spots.
    Thanks Peter

  34. Hi Frank,

    I have a question re car rental concerning Personal Liability Insurance. I’ve noticed that Croatian car rental companies do not offer PLI coverage that compares with, say, the UK or USA. In the UK and USA liability coverage is in the millions, however there is little or no PLI offered in Croatia. This concerns me; heaven forbid I hurt someone in an accident and they want to sue!! What are my options?

  35. What is the best way to take a ferry from Hvar to mainland, where we can pick a rental car for further driving into Plitvice lakes, Rovinj etc. We will not have rental car in Hvar. What will be the name of the town where ferry will take us and car rentals will be available. This will be for August 2019 dates.

  36. Hi Frank,

    Thanks for the great website. Very informative!
    I still have a question – So I have a valid Canadian Driver’s license and don’t need the International Driving Permit to drive in Croatia…
    But do I still need the IDP if I plan to drive and stay (one night) in Bosnia?

    Thanks so much!

  37. Any suggestions for an automatic rental car size that will fit 4 adults and 4 suitcases? I see so may small cars that only hold 2 suitcases.

  38. Hi Mercedes,
    you don’t need to purchase additional insurance if your credit card provides the coverage. However, in the case of accident, you will be directly charged by car rental company for any damages. And then you will need to claim it with your credit card company.

  39. Hi Frank!

    This article was super helpful. My husband and I are planning a 10 day trip to Croatia in June and we’re trying to figure out our itinerary. We were thinking we would fly into either Dubrovnik or Zagreb and and take the scenic route by driving around the country and staying in hotels along each stop. We definitely know we need to rent a car and we want to go exploring, but we don’t know what our starting and end point should be and the best route to plan for that would make the most sense with a rental car. What route do you recommend taking?

    Thank you!!

  40. Hi frank,

    I have A question. What kind of car insurance would we need to rent a car in Croatia? We have CHASE credit cards and full coverage on our card now. Do we need to purchase additional insurance? Thank you

  41. I think you will be better taking a ferry to Rovinj, and renting a car there. There are very few companies doing cross-country rentals, and the fees are just way too high.

  42. International driver’s licence isn’t required unless your national one is written in letters other than latin. As for the car rental company, we always use

  43. Majority of hotels provide parking (often free of charge in small coastal towns). However, parking fees apply in Split, Dibrovnik, or Zagreb even for hotel parkings.

  44. Hi

    I am interested to know what the parking is like if you do use a rental car, especially in the bigger towns/cities. If you plan to stay do most hotels/hostels/etc provide some sort of parking?

  45. Hi
    We are heading over in October.. to the lokva rogocznica area I believe, looking forward to getting out and about. Do many companies deliver cars to hotels or is it just pick ups from main towns and airports?

  46. I would like to rent a car in Venice and drop off in Dubrovnik. Do you know a car company that will do this? Would I be better off taking the ferry to Rovinji and renting the car there and dropping off in Dubrovnik?

  47. Hi Frank,

    I am concerned reading the reviews of car rental places in Split. I keep reading good reviews about Last Minute Car Rental, but something seems amiss with it being significantly cheaper and the reviews not being very plentiful. Have you heard of them and are they okay?

  48. Do rental companies have an extra charge to take a car onto a ferry connecting to islands like Hvar and Korcula?

  49. Hi, Frank:
    Thank you for this wonderful blog! We are a family of 10 planning a renting and returning 2 cars in Croatia. Would love your advice on how Croatian rental car companies compare to international companies when it comes to renting a car in Croatia and driving to Hungary, Slovenia and Italy before returning in Croatia:
    1. In case of car problems outside of Croatia, what car rental companies do you think would be the best to go with? Do Croatian companies have offices in Hungary/Italy/Slovenia?
    2. For 5 passengers and 5 pieces of baggage(3 big, 2 small) we were considering a station wagon like Renault Clio Estate or Seat Leon Estate. What would you suggest?
    3. For toll vignettes for Croatia/Hungary/Slovenia/Italy, is there an automobile association in Croatia where we could buy them for all neighboring countries? Where can we find a location in Zadar to buy them? I have read that these could be bought at the nearest gas station as you enter each country, but to be on the safer side(to avoid penalty fines) we would like to buy them before we enter each country if possible. Any advice would be highly appreciated.

    Thanks a lot for your help.

  50. hello. i have a quick question. i would like to rent a car in split; what is the closest rental car pickup/dropoff location to the downtown area? is it the one located at Ul. Dinka Šimunovića 2A, 21000, Split, Croatia? because we’ll have to probably catch a taxi or something back to our hotel after we drop it off, so ideally we’d be as close as possible to accommodations to keep the fare down.
    Thanks so much!!

  51. Hello
    Thank you for creating this wonderful site. Your information has been invaluable.
    I’ve booked a car through rentalcars, and I’ve also decided to buy the Full Protection cover with them, though a friend warned me that at the car rental office (it’ll be with Alamo), that there they will try to sell me “Ferry insurance” as well. Is this essential (I will be using the ferries a lot) as the Full Protection seems pretty comprehensive?

  52. Hi Lyla,
    we’ve mentioned that automatic transmission needs to be required in advance and it costs extra. Campings in Croatia are awesome, well-equipped, and you’ll find them all along the coast.

  53. You didn’t mention my main concern about renting a car—automatic transmission. I wanted to rent a camper, but no automatic transmission and no AC for the whole unit. I will be coming from Venice. This is a bucket list trip. Any suggestions? Are there camping grounds? Looking for inexpensive means for two adults and one child. Any suggestions to keep a 5 five year old will be appreciated.

  54. Hi Frank,

    Me and some friends are planing a trip this summer.
    We want to rent a car in Zagreb, than go to Bosnia, Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia.
    Can you tell me if there are any restrictions from the rental car companies about this countries and which one is the best for this type of trips?
    And by the way do you have any tips for us?

    Thank you

  55. Great web site you have, learning a lot about Croatia travel. My wife and I will be in Rovinj the third week in May after a visit to Italy, we are planning to rent a car in Venice and driving to Rovinj and touring Istria for several days. We like the idea of driving ourselves so we can explore a little going both ways to Rovinj. Are there any issues you see in the two border crossings or other issues with our plan to travel by car versus public transportation to Rovinj?
    Thanks for any information that may help.
    Michael Jenkins

  56. Bob did they get back to you about the car insurance and what the cost would be. We intend to be there for a 3 week period this Sept.

  57. Hi Frank, We are planning a trip to Croatia and related areas with the kids aged 4 and 7, they are good travellers. Which places would you recommend to see if we have about 7 days in the area, including outside of Croatia if we can squeeze it all in? I also noted you would recommend a car for families. Do they have provisions of hiring a driver or private tour?

  58. Hi Frank, fellow Canadians here, looking to rent a car to go from Split to Plitvice Lakes, then on to Rijeka where we will drop it off 2 days later. A bit concerned about the large damage deposits charged to our credit card. Is it anything to worry about, have you heard of ant issues getting it back? Can it be avoided with our own rental car insurance proof? Thanks in advance. We are travelling in may 2018:

  59. Hi Frank,
    Thanks for sharing the info of traveling through Croatia.

    I understand there is no need to buy a additional insureance in order to visit Bosnia. However according to their rental conditions of Oryx and another Croation car rental company they claim they are allowed to add up to 70 euro’s additional costs when you take the car outside a EU country. So i wonder whether they charge the additional costs as well when i just use the Croatia – Bosnia corridor in order to visit Dubrovnik?

    Thanks again

  60. Frank,

    Thanks for the notes. If I were to rent a car, I want to confirm that my US State (Wisconsin) license will be enough. Additionally, I assume that my state issued insurance will not cover and costs. Do I need to get any specific insurance while there?



  61. Hi Trude,
    it might be true. Although I don’t know of any issues crossing the border with a rental car from Croatia to Monte Negro. It should be as going anywhere else. Normally, every car in Croatia is insured for accident throughout Europe, they all come with so-called green card, but car rental companies don’t always include it in the rental (although they should). They try to charge extra. Queues at borders can be long, particularly in high season (July, August), from my experience I would count an hour between Croatia and Bosnia in Neum, and another hour at Croatia-Montenegro border.

  62. Hi Noah,
    I definitely recommend renting a car. It simply gives you much more flexibility. Check Rentalcars for deals:
    To my knowledge, majority of bus companies offer up to 80% discount for kids up to 3 years old.
    Enjoy your holidays!

  63. Frank,

    You are quite knowledgeable about travel in Croatia. I am trying to decide between buses or a rental car for my family of 3 (2 adults and a 3 year old). Are there any discounts on the public buses for a 3 year old? Or, do you think a car is the way to go? We will be traveling around 3 weeks and will also travel to Slovenia.

  64. Hi!

    I`m trying to find a car rental company that allows border crossings to as many Balkan countries as possible. I am aware that Kosovo is a no-go by rental car, but I wasn`t aware that Albania and Macedonia could be an issue? Do you know what the deal is? Is a cross-Balkan road trip futile? I`ve heard that border crossings can be a challenge from Croatia to Monte Negro, from Serbia to “everywhere” and so on. That must be a bit exaggerated, no? If it`s not exaggerated, do you know how long we should count on border crossings to take? (Norwegian citizens, by the way)

    Sorry for all the questions, any reply would be greatly appreciated :)

  65. Hi! Frank,
    My Husband and I shall be travelling to Croatia next week for the first time . I have noted that you say driver’s license of our country is sufficient to allow us to drive in Croatia. Just double checking , is that valid for Indian License too ?

  66. Hi Frank – so glad I found your site! Thanks for all the info. Last week of June our family (mum, dad & two teens) have a ‘quick’ trip to Croatia from NZ for our son’s sport. We fly into and out of Zagreb. We are travelling on a budget, don’t have a lot of time and we will be spending the main part of the trip in Umag.
    However we have 3 full days on arrival before we need to be in Umag and I would like to take my family to Venice for a day. I think we need to head there straight from Zagreb and rental car seems to be our best option (quickest and flexibility). I wondered about driving from Zagreb to Trieste we could base ourselves for two nights, leave the car their and just do a day train trip to Venice. Driving the next day driving to Umag. What I can’t ascertain from the websites is if we can take the car into Italy and costs of going through the border. I used your suggestion of Would appreciate your thoughts/tips, and if you have any other advice I’d be very grateful. Thanks

  67. Hi Frank

    I and my husband are going from zagreb to dubrownick by car and intend stop in Plitvice Lakes, Split, Zadar, etc. So I know it is very dificulty parking in Dubrovnick.

    I will stay in old town. Do you know where can I parking the car and how much a diary?

    Some blogs suggest staying out of old town, in Lappad for exemple. What do you think about?
    Thanks and congatulations for your blog


  68. Hey Frank!

    We LOVE your website! Planning our summertime visit for July!!

    We have a question about car rentals. We want to rent a car in Croatia, but take that car into Montenegro, and then leave from Montenegro. Is this easy to do? We’ve been looking on, but aren’t sure about the rules. Also, do you know if it’s possible to rent cars starting in Korcula?

    Thank you!

  69. Hi Anna,
    I don’t have any personal experience renting with Sixt, but I don’t think Sixt is worse (or better) than others. If their prices are the most competitive, just go with it. The problem with all car rental companies here is that the demand is very strong for a short period in July and August, and sometimes companies overbook the vehicles. But it’s just a bad luck, for the most time car rental goes fine.

  70. Hello. Do you have any experience renting a car from the company Sixt? I’m curious what your experience is and if you’d recommend this company. From what I can tell, it offers the most competitive prices. Reviews online are mixed – but reviews are mixed for every car rental company – so was hoping to hear from someone personally. Thank you! -Anna

  71. Thanks for the great tips! I read on another website that an international driver’s license is required for a car rental? We are looking for a car rental for just one day from Dubrovnik to Split and back. Do you have any good companies that you’ve personally used in the city and not the airport of Dubrovnik?

  72. Hi Frank

    great blog you and your wife is running here, I am also an expat living in Croatia where i run a few websites, i was wondering if you could contact me on E-mail.



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