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Car hire and driving in Croatia

Hiring a car in Croatia is pretty straight forward - there are many well-established, major car hire companies with offices in Croatia, such as Europcar, Hertz, Avis, Dollar and many others, as well as many smaller, local companies. Most of the major companies have offices in all major cities, towns and airports. Car hire can be arranged directly with those companies, or search for the best deals and latest offers through one of the UK-based car hire agents see links on the right - such as Travelsupermarket, HolidayAutos, Atlaschoice, AutosEurope and many others. These car hire agents often act as price consolidators and discount resellers and offer better value than if you were to book your car directly with the car hire company. Searching for best deals and hiring a car through one of those agents can also save you time as they automatically search through latest offers of more than one company.

Do not expect fantastic discount prices though, as car hire in Croatia is on the whole not cheap in fact it is quite a bit more pricey than in the rest of Europe (due to higher insurance costs) expect the price to be some 20-30 percent higher than for example in Italy or France.

If trying to save money and if you do not mind some extra driving involved, it is possible (and usually cheaper) to fly to Italy and hire a car there to take it into Croatia . Be careful though, as not all car rental companies allow you to do this. We have listed the car rental companies and agents that have in the past allowed cross-border entries, but please double-check with them both when booking and when collecting the car - the intention to enter Croatia must be marked on the hire documents, or the car may be refused entry at the border. Also, even if you do succeed in getting across without the appropriate authorisation, your insurance may well be non-existent: Autos Europe (for cars collected from the following offices: Treviso, Venice Marco Polo, Trieste and Rome), Lastminute.com, Holiday Autos, Avis, Europcar, Hertz (only if booking through Ryanair website and only for cars collected from Trieste and few other airports).

If flying to Ljubljana , Slovenia , most car hire companies automatically allow you to drive in Croatia (but do double-check with the agent or the hire company). Click here for list of car hire companies with offices at Ljubljana airport.

Driving in Croatia

Petrol is easily available in Croatia , whether you require Regular, Premium or Unleaded. Diesel is also available. Petrol prices are at present similar, or marginally lower than UK prices. For the latest information on prices of petrol and on the list of petrol stations visit www.ina.hr, and www.hak.hr

Another great site, offering an English-text version, is www.hac.hr. This is the official site of the Croatian Motorways and offers up to date information on toll charges (and ways of payment), latest completed sections of the motorway (or due for completion in near future), as well as up to date information on road conditions and weather forecasts for Croatia. Another useful addition to this site are printable PDF versions of detailed maps of some of the recently completed sections of the motorway network. - If using an older road map of Croatia, do remember that it might be slightly out of date, as the new sections of the roads and motorways are being opened on a daily basis another reason why we strongly recommend visiting this website if you intend to drive in Croatia .

As previously mentioned, the new extensive Croatian motorway network is currently under construction. The Zagreb-Split section, with connections to Zadar and Sibenik, was opened in 2005. There is major road-building going on in Istria that will connect Croatia to the Italian motorway system. Work has also started on certain sections of the motorway between Split and Dubrovnik.

Some of the other roads in the country have recently been improved, or are currently undergoing improvements, and the standards and road quality on the whole are slowly approaching those of the rest of Europe.

Another thing to take into consideration when planning your route is the scenery along the way. The most scenic drive in Croatia is definitely the old Jadranska Magistrala ( Adriatic Road ), which follows the coastline from Rijeka in the north to Dubrovnik in the south. Some stretches of this road are truly stunning and definitely worth adding a few more hours to your journey. The most highly recommended of those stretches of the road is the one where it runs under the Velebit Mountain , especially with Pag Island in view. The following routes are also recommended: inland Istria (the peninsula in the northern part of Croatian coast), it is often rightly compared to Tuscany, Pag Island (linked to the mainland by ferry service on its northern end and a bridge on its southern end), Neretva River Delta, as well as parts of Jadranska Magistrala that run around Sibenik, and under the Biokovo Mountain towards Peljesac and Dubrovnik


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