Car Rental in Croatia – All You Need To Know

Renting a car might just be your golden ticket to uncovering Croatian hidden gems – quaint old towns, sun-kissed islands, and cities brimming with history. 

We’re going to talk about car rentals in Croatia, laying out the costs, and the top-notch rental agencies, and sharing insider tips to make your road trip a breezy, unforgettable adventure.

Should I rent a car in Croatia? 

When you’re planning your dream vacation in Croatia, one of the key questions that you might be grappling with is whether to rent a car. 

The short answer to this question is – it depends! If you are someone who enjoys the freedom to explore off-the-beaten paths, stop by small towns, visit local vineyards, or perhaps drive down the famous coastal road, then renting a car is worth considering. 

Having your wheels gives you flexibility, privacy, and the ability to travel at your own pace. 

However, it’s also essential to weigh this against factors like cost, driving conditions, and local laws, which we will explore further.

When not to rent a car 

Renting a car in Croatia might not be the best option if you plan to spend most of your time in one of the major cities such as Zagreb, Split, or Dubrovnik. 

These cities have efficient public transport systems and often suffer from limited parking and heavy traffic, especially during the summer months. 

A 2021 survey by TomTom, showed that Zagreb ranked 85th in terms of traffic congestion among 416 cities worldwide, which is something to bear in mind.


How much does a car rental in Croatia cost?

The cost of renting a car in Croatia varies depending on several factors such as the type of car, the rental duration, the time of the year, and the rental company. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between 40 to 100 euros per day for a basic car rental, according to data from High-demand periods, like the summer months, can see prices rise substantially. 

Car Rental Companies in Croatia

There are numerous car rental companies in Croatia, ranging from international chains to local businesses. We’ll provide an overview of a few notable ones to consider.

Sixt Croatia

Sixt is a globally recognised car rental company that maintains a strong presence in Croatia. They offer a variety of vehicles to choose from, whether you need a compact car for city driving or a spacious SUV for family travel. 


Oryx is a local Croatian car rental company with an excellent reputation. They are well-regarded for their customer service and competitive pricing. They offer various vehicles, including economy cars and premium models.


Nova is another good option if you’re looking for a local company with affordable rates. They have a wide range of vehicles and have locations across the country, making pick-up and drop-off convenient.


Vetura is a smaller, but well-rated car rental company in Croatia. Known for their friendly service and high-quality cars, they also offer competitive rates. 


Enterprise is another international brand that operates in Croatia. They are renowned for their comprehensive range of cars and professional service. 

Our best car rental in Croatia advice and tips

Know before booking

Before booking a car rental, it’s essential to research the driving conditions, parking facilities, toll roads, and local driving customs in Croatia. Also, be sure to check the rental company’s customer reviews and policies.

Is it safe to rent a car in Croatia?

Croatia has a good road network, and it is generally safe to drive. However, some rural areas may have less well-maintained roads, so extra caution is advised. According to the European Commission’s 2022 Road Safety Statistics, Croatia had a lower than EU average number of road fatalities per million inhabitants, making it a relatively safe place to drive.

What kind of car should you rent?

The kind of car you should rent in Croatia largely depends on your travel plans. If you are planning to stay in the city, an economy or compact car would be a wise choice due to narrow streets and limited parking. However, if you plan on traveling to rural areas or on mountainous terrains, consider renting a 4×4 or an SUV for added safety and comfort.

How to find cheap car rentals in Croatia?

To find a cheap car rental, start by comparing prices from different companies. Booking in advance, especially during off-peak seasons, will often yield better deals. Also, consider smaller local companies, which may offer competitive prices.

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

Most car rental companies in Croatia offer the flexibility to pick up and drop off the car at different locations, which can be beneficial if you are planning a one-way trip across the country. Do bear in mind, though, that this may come with an additional fee.

Payment requirements

Most rental companies in Croatia require a valid credit card for the security car rental deposit. Some may accept debit cards but usually with higher deposit requirements. Cash deposits are not commonly accepted.

Insurance: Full coverage on a credit card

Before renting a car, check with your credit card company to see if they offer rental car insurance (Collision Damage Waiver) as a cardholder benefit. This could save you from having to purchase the rental company’s insurance, which can sometimes be pricey.

Manual or Automatic

Most cars in Croatia are manual. If you prefer an automatic, ensure to specify this when booking as they can be in limited supply and often cost more.

Book early

To get the best prices and ensure the availability of your preferred car, it’s wise to book as early as possible. This is particularly crucial during peak tourist season.

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

Visitors from EU countries can use their domestic driving licenses. However, visitors from non-EU countries, including the USA, are required to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) alongside their domestic driving license.

Minimum and maximum age

The minimum age to rent a car in Croatia is usually 21 years, although this may vary depending on the rental company. Drivers under 25 may also be required to pay a young driver fee. There is typically no maximum age limit, but policies can differ between rental companies.

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

In most cases, you can drive a rental car from Croatia to neighboring countries such as Bosnia and Montenegro or other EU countries. However, this usually requires prior approval from the rental company and may incur additional fees. It’s essential to check the cross-border policies before booking.

Taking a car rental in Croatia on a ferry

Taking a rental car on a Croatian ferry is typically allowed, but it’s advisable to confirm with your rental company first. It’s a great way to explore Croatia’s beautiful islands such as Hvar and Korčula.

Cross-country car hire

Cross-country car hire can be a great option if you want to explore multiple countries during your trip. Do remember to check with your car rental company regarding their cross-border policy.

Picking up the car, and getting on the road

Inspect the car

Before setting off, take a few minutes to inspect the car for any existing damage and ensure all the features are functioning correctly. If you notice any damage, report it to the rental company to avoid being held responsible for it later.

Respect road rules

Like any other country, Croatia has traffic regulations that you must adhere to. These include mandatory use of seat belts, no cell phone use while driving, and adherence to speed limits, which are typically 50 km/h in built-up areas, 90 km/h outside built-up areas, and 130 km/h on motorways.

Road assistance

Most car rental companies offer 24/7 road assistance in case of breakdowns or emergencies. Make sure you have their contact details handy before you start your journey.

Croatia has a mix of motorways, regional, and local roads. Motorways are toll roads, and charges depend on the distance traveled. They are the quickest way to travel between major cities. Regional and local roads are often scenic but can be narrow and winding, particularly along the coast and in hilly or mountainous areas. 

Returning the car

On returning the car, ensure it’s in the same condition as when you rented it. Check the car rental’s fuel policy – some companies require a full tank on return. Be sure to return it on time to avoid additional charges. 

Renting a car in Croatia is a great way to explore the country’s stunning landscapes, charming towns, and vibrant cities at your own pace. As long as you’re mindful of local rules, consider your itinerary and budget, and choose a reputable rental company, it promises to be an adventure you’ll always remember.

Rent a car in Croatia – FAQ

Is it expensive to rent a car in Croatia?

Well, it’s not necessarily cheap, but it’s definitely worth it for the freedom it offers! Prices can vary greatly, but on average, you’re looking at spending around 40 to 100 euros per day for a basic car rental.

I’m only familiar with driving automatic cars. Is that going to be a problem?

Not at all! While most cars in Croatia are manual, you can still find automatic cars for rent. Just remember to specify this when you’re booking. They might be a bit pricier and less available, though.

I’m planning a road trip from Croatia to Montenegro. Can I take my rental car across the border?

Most of the time, yes. However, it’s always best to check with your rental agency. They might need to give you a green light first, and there could be additional fees. Here you can learn more about Renting a car in Montenegro.

What should I do if I have a problem with my rental car on the road?

Don’t worry, most rental companies provide 24/7 road assistance. Just make sure to get their contact details before you hit the road.

I heard parking in Croatian cities can be a bit of a headache. Is that true?

In larger cities like Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik, finding a parking spot can be a bit tricky, especially during the summer. If you’re mainly exploring cities, consider using public transportation instead. But if you’re heading off the beaten path, a rental car is a great choice!