The Complete Guide To Renting a Car in Bar, Montenegro

Are you planning a trip to Bar, Montenegro, and considering renting a car? Renting a car can provide you with the freedom and flexibility to explore the stunning landscapes and attractions of the Bar at your own pace. In this complete guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about renting a car in Bar, from choosing the right rental company to navigating the roads and ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip.

Table of Contents

Should You Rent a Car in Bar?

Bar is a beautiful coastal city located in Montenegro, known for its picturesque beaches, historical sites, and vibrant nightlife. While the city centre of Bar is relatively small and walkable, renting a car can enhance your experience by allowing you to explore the surrounding areas and hidden gems that may not be easily accessible by public transportation. With a rental car, you can venture out to nearby attractions, such as the stunning Sutomore Beach, the ancient Old Town of Ulcinj, or the scenic Lake Skadar National Park.

How to Rent a Car in Bar

Renting a car in Bar is a straightforward process, and there are several car rental companies to choose from. The first step is to decide on the type of car you need, taking into consideration the number of passengers and the amount of luggage you’ll be carrying.

It’s also important to consider whether you prefer a manual or automatic transmission, as this can affect both your driving experience and the rental price.

Main Car Rental Companies That Operate in Bar

Several reputable car rental companies operate in Bar, offering a wide range of vehicles to suit different budgets and preferences. Some of the most well-known companies include Avis, Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt. It’s recommended to compare prices and read reviews from previous customers to ensure you choose a reliable company with good customer service.

Car Rental Insurance

When renting a car in Bar, it’s essential to consider insurance coverage. Most car rental companies offer basic insurance coverage, but it’s advisable to check the terms and conditions and understand what exactly is covered. Additional insurance options, such as collision damage waiver (CDW) or theft protection, may also be available for an extra cost. It’s important to assess your insurance needs and make an informed decision based on your travel plans and personal preferences.

Choose Automatic Transmission Whenever Possible

If you’re not accustomed to driving a manual transmission vehicle, it’s highly recommended to choose a rental car with automatic transmission. Navigating unfamiliar roads and dealing with traffic can be challenging enough, and opting for an automatic transmission can make your driving experience smoother and more enjoyable. However, it’s worth noting that rental cars with automatic transmissions tend to be more expensive than those with manual transmissions.

Be Strategic With Pick Up and Drop Off Locations

When renting a car in Bar, consider the pick-up and drop-off locations that are most convenient for you. If you’re arriving at the Podgorica Airport, you’ll find several car rental companies located on-site, making it convenient to pick up your rental car upon arrival. Alternatively, if you’re already in Bar, there are rental agencies scattered throughout the city center. Be sure to check the operating hours of the rental office, especially if you have an early morning or late-night flight.

Documents Needed For Renting a Car and Driving Legally in Bar

To rent a car and drive legally in Bar, you will need a valid driver’s license from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). It’s important to carry your driver’s license and passport with you at all times while driving. Additionally, make sure to familiarize yourself with the local traffic laws and regulations in Montenegro to ensure a safe and hassle-free driving experience.

Do a Walk Around

Before driving off with your rental car, it’s crucial to do a thorough walk around and inspect the vehicle for any existing damages. Take note of any scratches, dents, or other signs of damage, and bring them to the attention of the rental company staff. It’s advisable to take photos or videos of the car’s condition as evidence, should any disputes arise upon returning the vehicle.

Return Your Rental Car With A Full Tank

Most car rental companies in Bar operate on a full-to-full fuel policy, which means you should return the car with a full tank of fuel. This policy ensures that you only pay for the fuel you use and helps you avoid additional charges for refueling. Plan your trip accordingly and locate nearby gas stations before returning the vehicle to avoid any last-minute fueling stress.

Returning Your Rental Car

When returning your rental car, make sure to return it on time and in the same condition as when you picked it up. Allow ample time to return the vehicle, especially if you’re returning it to a different location than where you picked it up. The rental company will inspect the car for any damages, and if everything is in order, you can expect to have your deposit refunded promptly.

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Renting a Car and Driving in Bar with Children

If you’re traveling with children and planning to rent a car in Bar, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind to ensure the safety and comfort of your little ones during the journey. Let’s explore some key factors when it comes to renting a car with children in Bar.

Renting a Car With Children – Car Seats

The safety of children in a car is of utmost importance, and it’s crucial to provide them with appropriate car seats that are suitable for their age, weight, and height. In Bar, as in many other countries, there are specific requirements and regulations regarding child car seats.

Car Seats in Bar – General Requirements

In Montenegro, the law requires children under 12 years of age or under 150 cm (4.9 feet) in height to use appropriate car seats. The specific type of car seat required depends on the child’s age and size.

Car Seats in Bar – Rent or Bring Your Own?

When it comes to car seats, you have the option to either bring your own from home or rent them from car rental companies in Bar. If you choose to bring your car seats, make sure they comply with the safety standards of your home country and are suitable for the age and size of your children. If you prefer to rent car seats, many car rental companies offer them as add-ons to your rental reservation.

When renting car seats in Bar, ensure that the seats meet the legal requirements and safety standards of Montenegro. Check for labels and certifications indicating compliance with safety regulations. Additionally, inspect the car seats for any signs of damage or wear and tear before using them.

Car Seats in Bar – LATCH / ISOFIX Compatibility

If you’re bringing your car seats from home, it’s important to check if they are compatible with the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) or ISOFIX system used in Montenegro. LATCH and ISOFIX systems provide a secure and standardized way to install car seats in vehicles, ensuring maximum safety for your children. If your car seats are not compatible, you may need to use seat belts to secure them properly.

Car Seats in Bar – Anti-Abandonment Devices

In recent years, anti-abandonment devices have become mandatory in some countries, including Montenegro. These devices aim to prevent children from being left unattended in a vehicle by alerting the driver if a child is left behind. While not all rental cars in Bar may have these devices installed, it’s worth considering their importance and exploring options to ensure the safety of your children.

Renting a Car With Children – Size of Vehicle

When renting a car with children, consider the size of the vehicle you choose. Ensure that it has enough space to accommodate the car seats and provide comfort for both the children and other passengers. A larger vehicle, such as a minivan, SUV, or crossover, may be more suitable for families with children, as it offers ample space for passengers and luggage.

Renting a Car With Children – Minivans

Minivans are a popular choice for families traveling with children, as they provide extra space and flexibility. In Bar, you can find rental companies that offer minivans with various seating capacities, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your family’s needs. Minivans typically have sliding doors, making it easier to get in and out of the vehicle, especially when dealing with car seats and children.

How To Navigate Roads in Bar and the Surrounding Area

Now that you have your rental car and are ready to hit the road, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local driving conditions and road regulations in Bar and the surrounding area. Here are some tips to help you navigate the roads safely and confidently.

What It’s Like Driving in Bar

Driving in Bar can be an enjoyable experience, but it’s important to be aware of the local driving habits and road conditions. In general, the roads in Bar are well-maintained, and the signage is clear and easy to follow. However, it’s not uncommon to encounter narrow and winding roads, especially when venturing into mountainous regions. It’s crucial to drive cautiously, obey the speed limits, and be prepared for unexpected turns and steep inclines.

Paying Tolls in Bar

In Montenegro, there are several toll roads, including the main highway that connects Bar to other cities in the country. When driving on toll roads, you’ll need to pay the applicable toll fees. The toll fees can be paid in cash or by credit card at the toll booths. It’s advisable to carry some local currency in small denominations for toll payments.

Getting Gas/Petrol in Bar

Before embarking on your road trip, familiarize yourself with the locations of gas stations in Bar and the surrounding area. It’s recommended to keep your fuel tank reasonably full, especially when traveling to remote areas where gas stations may be scarce. Most gas stations in Montenegro accept cash and credit cards, but having some cash on hand is always a good idea, especially if you plan to visit rural areas where card payment options may be limited.

Parking in Bar

When exploring the city of Bar, you’ll need to consider parking options. In the city center, you’ll find both street parking and parking lots. It’s important to pay attention to parking regulations and signs to avoid parking in restricted areas or exceeding time limits. Some parking areas may require payment, while others offer free parking. Be sure to have some change available for parking meters or consider using a mobile parking app if available.

Car Trouble and Accidents

While we hope your journey in Bar goes smoothly, it’s essential to be prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise. Here are some common car troubles and accidents you should be aware of and how to handle them.

Car Breakdowns

In the event of a car breakdown, it’s important to stay calm and follow proper procedures. If you rented your car from a reputable rental company, they should provide you with emergency contact numbers to call for assistance. Contact the rental company’s customer service and explain the situation, providing them with your location and any relevant details. They will guide you on the necessary steps to take, which may include arranging for a tow truck or providing a replacement vehicle.

Car Accidents

In the unfortunate event of a car accident, prioritize the well-being and safety of all passengers involved. If it’s a minor accident with no injuries and minimal damage, you should still exchange information with the other party, including names, contact details, and insurance information. It’s advisable to document the accident by taking photos of the vehicles and the scene. If it’s a more serious accident with injuries or significant damage, contact the local authorities immediately and follow their instructions.

The False Flat Tire

A common scam in some tourist destinations is the false flat tire scam. Scammers may try to get your attention by indicating that you have a flat tire, even if there is nothing wrong with your vehicle. They may offer to help or distract you while an accomplice steals your belongings from the trunk or the interior of the car.

If someone alerts you to a flat tire, remain cautious and drive to a well-lit and populated area before inspecting your vehicle. If you suspect any suspicious activity, lock your doors and contact the local authorities.

The Gas Station Distraction

Another scam to be aware of is the gas station distraction scam. In this scenario, while you are refueling at a gas station, someone may try to divert your attention by asking for directions or offering assistance. Meanwhile, their accomplice takes advantage of the distraction to steal belongings from your vehicle. To prevent this, always keep your car locked while refueling and stay vigilant of your surroundings. If someone approaches you, politely decline assistance and remain focused on the task at hand.

Trunk/Boot Theft

To minimize the risk of trunk or boot theft, avoid leaving valuable items in plain sight inside your rental car. If you need to store belongings in the trunk, do so before reaching your destination. It’s also advisable to park in well-lit and secure areas, especially at night. Take your belongings with you when you leave the car, or if that’s not possible, ensure they are stored securely in the trunk.

What to See on a Road Trip in Bar

Now that you have all the information you need to rent a car and navigate the roads in Bar, let’s explore some of the must-see attractions and destinations you can visit on a road trip in and around Bar.

1. Sutomore Beach: Located just a short drive from Bar, Sutomore Beach is a popular destination known for its crystal-clear waters and sandy shores. Spend a day relaxing on the beach, swimming in the Adriatic Sea, or trying various water sports activities.

2. Old Town of Ulcinj: Take a scenic drive to the ancient town of Ulcinj, located along the Montenegrin coast. Explore the narrow streets, visit the historic landmarks, and enjoy panoramic views of the sea from the city walls.

3. Lake Skadar National Park: Embark on a road trip to Lake Skadar National Park, a stunning nature reserve known for its diverse wildlife and picturesque landscapes. Take a boat tour on the lake, hike along the trails, or simply enjoy the tranquility of this natural gem.

4. Lovćen National Park: Drive through the winding roads of Lovćen National Park and marvel at the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Visit the mausoleum of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, a prominent Montenegrin ruler and poet, located at the summit of Mount Lovćen.

5. Ada Bojana: Located near the Albanian border, Ada Bojana is a unique triangular-shaped island formed by the river delta. It’s a paradise for nature lovers, offering opportunities for fishing, birdwatching, and kiteboarding.

6. Petrovac: Take a leisurely drive to Petrovac, a charming coastal town known for its sandy beaches and relaxed atmosphere. Explore the medieval fortress of Kastel, stroll along the promenade, and enjoy the local cuisine at one of the waterfront restaurants.

7. Ostrog Monastery: Although a bit farther from Bar, the Ostrog Monastery is a highly revered spiritual site worth visiting. Perched on the side of a cliff, the monastery offers stunning views and serves as a pilgrimage destination for Orthodox Christians.

8. Skadar Lake Wineries: If you appreciate wine, consider visiting the wineries around Skadar Lake. Take a tour of the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and indulge in wine tastings while enjoying the serene surroundings.

9. Stari Bar (Old Bar): Explore the ruins of Stari Bar, the old fortified town that dates back to the medieval period. Wander through the narrow streets, visit the remaining churches and mosques, and imagine the town’s past glory.

10. Durmitor National Park: For those who enjoy outdoor adventures, a road trip to Durmitor National Park is a must. Marvel at the dramatic landscapes, hike through the rugged mountains, and visit the famous Black Lake.

Renting a car in Bar – FAQ

What are the requirements for renting a car in Bar?

The specific requirements may vary depending on the rental company, but generally, you will need a valid driver’s license from your home country or an international driver’s license. You may also be required to be of a certain age (usually 21 or older) and have a credit card for the rental deposit. It’s advisable to check with the rental company beforehand to ensure you meet all the requirements.

Is it necessary to have car insurance when renting a car in Bar?

Yes, car insurance is usually mandatory when renting a car. Most rental companies include basic insurance coverage in the rental price. However, it’s important to review the terms and conditions of the insurance policy to understand what it covers and if any additional coverage is recommended. You may also have the option to purchase additional insurance at the rental counter for extra protection.

Can I use my credit card for the car rental deposit?

Yes, credit cards are commonly accepted for car rental deposits. Rental companies often require a credit card to hold as a security deposit during the rental period. It’s important to ensure that your credit card has sufficient available credit to cover the deposit amount. Debit cards are sometimes accepted, but policies may vary, so it’s best to confirm with the rental company in advance.

Are there any additional fees or charges when renting a car in Bar?

Additional charges can vary depending on the rental company and the specific terms of your rental agreement. Some common extra charges may include fuel fees (if you return the car without a full tank), additional driver fees, young driver surcharges (for drivers under a certain age), and fees for optional extras such as GPS navigation systems or child seats. It’s advisable to inquire about any potential extra charges when making your reservation.

Which side of the road do they drive on in Montenegro?

In Montenegro, including Bar, they drive on the right-hand side of the road. The steering wheel is on the left side of the vehicle, similar to many other European countries. It’s important to familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and regulations before driving in a foreign country.

Are there toll roads in Montenegro?

Yes, Montenegro has a few toll roads, including tunnel Sozina in Bar. The price is 2.5 EUR. Toll fees are usually payable in cash or by card at the toll booths. It’s advisable to carry some local currency or a card that is widely accepted for toll payments. The rental company or a GPS navigation system can provide you with information on toll roads and fees.

Can I take the rental car out of Montenegro?

Rental car policies regarding crossing international borders can vary among rental companies. Some rental companies may allow you to cross into neighbouring countries, while others may have restrictions or require additional documentation. If you plan to travel outside of Montenegro, it’s crucial to inform the rental company in advance and verify their policy regarding border crossings.

What should I do in case of an accident or car breakdown?

In the event of an accident, prioritize the safety and well-being of all passengers involved. Contact the local authorities to report the accident and follow their instructions. Notify the rental company immediately and provide them with all the necessary details. They will guide you on the appropriate steps to take. In case of a car breakdown, contact the rental company’s emergency assistance number for guidance and support.

Can I return the rental car to a different location?

Many rental companies offer the option to return the car to a different location within the same country or even in another country, but this may involve additional fees. It’s best to check with the rental company at the time of reservation to inquire about the availability and any extra charges associated with returning the car to a different location.