Croatia Car Rental Guide & Driving Tips

The Republic of Croatia is located at the crossroads of Southeast and Central Europe. Bordered by the Adriatic Sea in the west, Croatia shares land boundaries with Slovenia in the northwest, Hungary in the northeast, Serbia in the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro in the southeast. One of the most visited nations in the Mediterranean, Croatia attracted nearly 18.4 million tourists in 2018. Home to 8 national parks and 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the country remains a popular choice among tourists.

Rental cars in Croatia are the first choice for tourists as a superior highway system runs across the country’s length and breadth. With roads being in excellent condition, driving in Croatia is nothing to be worried about. Moreover, a variety of one-way and long-term car rental in Croatia make it way too easy to explore cities as well as the countryside. Undoubtedly, using a car hire in Croatia is a wise choice. So, if you are looking forward to renting a car in Croatia, you’re in the right place! However, it is important to get acquainted with the traffic rules and regulations. Just scroll through our Croatia car rental guide for the best advice on car hire and other related topics.

Car Rental Suppliers in Croatia

The rental car market in Croatia is largely made up of well-known local brands and globally recognized car hire companies. The popular rental car suppliers in Croatia include - Active Car Rental, Alamo, Avant Car, Carwiz, Dollar Thrifty, Drive Rentals, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Hertz, Keddy by Europcar, National, Oryx, Sixt, and SurPrice.

Tips To Know Before Renting a Car in Croatia

Hiring a car in Croatia is convenient. However, you need to have a clear understanding of a few things beforehand. We have collated the most useful tips that come handy while planning to rent a car in Croatia. Nevertheless, these tips in no way are the final ones as information related to rental cars and their suppliers change without prior intimation. It is strongly recommended to always check with your car hire supplier for any recent updates on policy changes.

  • Book Early

    Having said that Croatia is a beautiful vacation destination, thousands of people visit the country every year. More importantly, if you’re planning a trip during the summer season, book your rental car as soon as possible. With so many travelers looking forward to hiring a car during that time, rental car fleet options in terms of size and budget shrink considerably. Moreover, the onset of July triggers a steep rise in rental cars’ demand, far exceeding the supply.

  • Avoid Going Without Advance Reservation

    Not being able to rent a car in Croatia is the last thing you would want. But this is perfectly normal in summer when the rental car companies are busy in serving the customers who come with a booking. As a consequence, you’ll be forced to adjust with the laggardly public transport, spoiling all the fun of your self-drive holiday in Croatia. You may consider on-the-spot car rental during the low season but not in summers.

  • Check One-Way Car Hire Fee

    A few rental car companies may charge a one-way car rental fee in Croatia. For instance, if you pick up a rental car at Dubrovnik Airport and return it at Split or from Zadar to Zagreb, you may be charged an extra fee. Please confirm with your supplier before booking a one-way way car rental in Croatia.

  • Book Long-Term Car Rental in Croatia

    This may sound surprising but long-term car hire in Croatia is cheaper than the short-term ones. With most of the companies offering long-term Croatia car rental at affordable rates, you can explore more by paying less. Lower cost for car rentals also let you ignore the idea of using public transport for road trips in Croatia.

Find and Book Car Rental in Croatia Using the Form Below

Important Information for Hiring a Car in Croatia

  • Cross-Border Travel

    There are majorly two ways to cross an international border in a rental car from Croatia. The first option is to book a rental car for Croatia and choose a drop-off location in some other country. The second way is to plan a cross border road trip from Croatia after picking up your rental car in Croatia. However, you need advance permission from your supplier before going for the second option. As some rental car companies do not permit cross-border travel to countries, which are not part of the European Union (EU), your uninformed international border crossing can lead to penalties.

  • Minimum Age

    The minimum age to rent a car in Croatia is 18 years. However, it solely depends on the state laws and the supplier that you choose. A few rental car categories need you to be at least 25-year-old with a young driver surcharge. Enter your correct age at the time of booking to see the most relevant results.

  • Fuel Policy

    Any violation in the agreed-upon fuel policy will attract hefty charges. For instance, if your rental car comes with full-to-full fuel policy and you return the car with an empty fuel tank, be prepared to pay additional charges. Rental car companies charge heavily for refueling the car at their end.

  • Taking Rental Car on Ferry

    A majority of suppliers allow taking a rental car on a local ferry from mainland Croatia to an island. However, the usage of a ferry for inter-island travel is not allowed. Also, you cannot take a rental car to some other country over a ferry. Always check with your car hire company before planning to transport your rental car on a ferry.

  • Extra Charges

    Besides the one-way car rental fee, which has been mentioned before, there are some other extra charges that you need to be aware of. While rental car companies allow out of office hours rental car pick-up and return, it carries an extra fee. Other most common reasons for additional charges are - extras such as GPS and baby seats, additional drivers, unapproved off-roading, and last-minute cancellations.

Types of Roads in Croatia

An extensive network of state roads, which acts as a motorway of feeder roads, connects all major areas in Croatia. Several EuroTest and EuroTAP programs have confirmed the high quality and safety standards of the country’s motorway network. The traffic signs in Croatia are as per the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.

Road Type Road Signs Popular Roads Tolls
Motorways White letter with green background A1, A2, A3,A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, A10, A11 Yes
Expressways White letter with blue background D1, D2, D8, D10, D33, D76, D220, D404, D424, D425, D522 No, except tunnels
State Roads White letter with blue background D1, D2, D8 Yes
Minor Roads Signs with a yellow background No

The general speed limits for all types of roads in Croatia are as follows.

50 km/h for inhabited areas
90 km/h for areas outside inhabited areas
110 km/h for marked expressways
130 km/h for marked motorways

Tolls on Croatian Roads

Motorists are charged on the seven stretches of motorways in Croatia. The country employs two systems for collecting tolls - open system and closed system. The open system of toll collection is used on tunnels, bridges, and short stretches of a highway. In this system, you’ll see only one toll plaza where you’re required to pay immediately upon your arrival. Whereas in the closed system, you’ll pay the toll at the exit, with toll charges depending upon the distance traveled.

Gas/Petrol Stations in Croatia

The widespread proliferation of gas stations throughout Croatia has paved the way for hassle-free road trips over scenic routes. Most of the petrol stations operate from the crack of dawn until 10 PM. You may also find some 24-hour operational gas stations on the motorways. INA, which is one of the largest gas station chains in Croatia, operates gas stations even on the islands. Besides cash, debit and credit cards are widely accepted at the fuel stations.

Driving Rules in Croatia

Have a look at the following important rules of the road in Croatia. Violation of traffic rules attracts fine, which can be paid on the spot.

  • Traffic in Croatia drives on the right and overtakes from the left.
  • Wearing seatbelts while driving is mandatory for all the occupants.
  • Children less than 12-year-old are not allowed on the front seat.
  • Child seats are compulsory for children between 2 to 5 years.
  • Mobile phone usage while driving is not allowed. A hands-free device is permitted.
  • Cars must be equipped with winter tires from November to March.
  • Drunk driving is a serious offense in Croatia. The blood alcohol level (BAC) for drivers under 25 is 0%. It is 0.5% for drivers above 25 years of age.
  • Dimmed headlights must remain on at the time of driving during the day from the end of October until March end.

Emergency Contact Numbers in Croatia

Emergency ServiceContact
General Emergency112
Croatian Auto Club Emergency Service987
Fire Brigade193
Traffic Information on Radio 98.5 FM

Car Rental Croatia FAQs

  • What kind of rental car do you need in Croatia?

    Go for a small car if you’re just two people. Mini and economy cars are the cheapest ones and offer great ease of driving. Book a full-size car rental in Croatia if you’re traveling with a family and need adequate space for luggage. Rent 7-8 seater van if you’re with a group. Vans offer plenty of space for occupants and their luggage.

  • Is it safe to rent a car in Croatia?

    Yes, renting a car in Croatia is like any other EU country. With all the leading car hire brands - Alamo Rent a Car, Sixt Car Hire, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Dollar Rent A Car, and Centauro Rent a Car - offering trusted and best quality rental services in Croatia, it is perfectly safe to rent and drive a car here.

  • Which documents do you need while driving a rental car in Croatia?

    You will need a valid credit card in your name, vehicle insurance papers, driving license, your ID, and any other documents that your supplier gives you at the time of rental car pick-up.

  • What sort of Driver’s License do you need to rent a car in Croatia?

    You need your home country’s driver’s license, which must be one-year-old with no major endorsements. Please check with your supplier for more information on driving license requirements in Croatia.

  • Is it easy to drive in Croatia?

    Yes, a vast network of roads with well-placed signboards makes driving a fuss-free affair in Croatia. Rent a GPS-enabled car for ease of navigation.

  • Can you take a car rental from Croatia to other countries?

    Yes, rental cars can be easily driven into other countries, provided you have all the necessary documents. Almost all car hire suppliers allow travel to the EU member states. However, it is advisable to check with your supplier before crossing an international border.

  • How to pay tolls in Croatia?

    You can use your credit/debit card, euros, and the Croatian Kuna to pay the toll taxes.

  • Do we need a vignette in Croatia?

    No, you don’t need a vignette in Croatia as there are toll gates for collection of toll charges.

  • Are automatic rental cars available in Croatia?

    Yes, automatic rental cars are easily available in Croatia. Please book early for more options in automatic cars belonging to compact, economy, full-size, and SUV segments.

  • Which lane is used for driving in Croatia?

    The right lane is used for driving in Croatia, similar to most of the European countries.