The Balkans: Renting a Car in Europe, an FYI
Jolting through Montenegro customs with our border crossing visas and the stick shift
I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to get answers regarding car rentals, border crossing, and cross-country car drop offs while we were in the research phase of our trip. I even spent an hour on the phone with Enterprise only to find they had no answers. We had to figure it out first hand over there and here is the low down for these inquiries as of July 2016:
Approaching our first border: Montenegro
We rented with a company called Oryx and were very happy with our decision. We called the day before and walked in to pick it up. We decided to rent and return in Dubrovnik. We then stayed in Budva, Kotor, Mostar and then drove back to Dubrovnik to catch a ferry to Hvar.
- A normal cost of car rental is $45CAD /day (Ours was $238 CAD ALL IN for 4 days- including the border crossing card!)
- **This was a manual car. It was the only kind available... Which is common, and automatic cars are substantially more- about $100 CAD/day. (Read our next chapter on how the rental staff taught us how to drive int he parking lot and sent us on our way)
- A $50 border crossing card covered all the different countries we crossed into
- The drop off fee in another country was about 250 EURO (A similar charge applied for a drop-off in Split [same country, different city] so we opted to pay for the extra day it took to bring the car back to Dubrovnik. From there a bus/ferry was easy back to Split)
- Before we left heard about special stickers needed for cars in certain countries but never ran into any question about that
- You do not need a special license
- Gas prices did vary per country. Half a tank in Dubrovnik for us was $120 kuna, just over $100 CAD and I'd say nearly half that in rural Bosnia
- We didn't run into any traffic cops but were warned they are strict and penalties are high
- We never ran into any parking issues. We easily found free parking in each city You can check out the Air BnBs we stayed who each helped us with this
- Avoid driving through cities during rush hour, and be bold! No time for hesitations.
- Although you feel like the only one cruising up that one lane mountain road- be careful! (We only ran into a few other cars - and some GOATS sleeping in our path!-but luckily we weren't going too fast)
- Be careful on the narrow beach roads too- people walk freely and cars park wherever they please. Avoid if you can, stay on the main highways as much as possible
We also hope you enjoy round-abouts!
- Email us if you have any more questions!
Up in the Bosnian mountains
Those mountain and beach roads were beautiful but be aware and drive cautiously. Being able to stop wherever you please makes the experience most enjoyable. Drive if you can! Hope we covered most of your enquiries but you know the email [firstname.lastname@example.org] if you have anymore questions!
Happy Cruising, Canaliens!
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