Renting a Car in Budva, Montenegro

Exploring the picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture of Budva, Montenegro, is an adventure that calls for the freedom and flexibility of a rental car. Navigating the stunning Adriatic coastline, discovering hidden gems, and immersing yourself in the local charm become remarkably accessible with your wheels. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through every aspect of renting a car in Budva, ensuring your journey is smooth, enjoyable, and memorable.

Should You Rent a Car in Budva?

Budva is a gem nestled on the Adriatic Sea, boasting captivating beaches, historic sites, and lively nightlife. While public transportation is available, renting a car provides unparalleled convenience and the opportunity to explore at your own pace.

With a rental car, you can venture beyond the well-trodden paths, uncovering lesser-known attractions and savoring the freedom to stop and admire the breathtaking views whenever you please.

Which Areas of Budva Should I Explore With a Rental Car?

A rental car opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to venture beyond the confines of the city center and explore the stunning coastal and mountainous landscapes surrounding Budva.

Take a scenic drive along the Bay of Kotor, visit the historic town of Kotor itself or journey into the Lovćen National Park for a taste of Montenegro’s natural beauty.

A car rental in Budva ensures you don’t miss out on these remarkable experiences.

How to Rent a Car in Budva

Renting a car in Budva is a relatively straightforward process, but a little preparation goes a long way. Begin by researching and comparing rental companies to find the one that best suits your needs and budget. Booking online in advance is recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure the vehicle of your choice.

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Main Car Rental Companies That Operate in Budva

Several reputable car rental companies operate in Budva, offering a range of vehicles from compact cars to SUVs. International brands like Avis, Hertz, and Europcar have a presence here, along with local companies that provide competitive rates and personalized service.

Car Rental Insurance

Before confirming your rental, carefully review the insurance options offered by the car rental company. Basic insurance coverage is typically included, but additional coverage can provide extra peace of mind. Consider options such as Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Theft Protection (TP), and Personal Accident Insurance (PAI).

Choose Automatic Transmission Whenever Possible

Opting for an automatic transmission can greatly enhance your driving experience in Budva. The region’s winding roads and steep inclines can be more easily navigated with an automatic transmission, allowing you to focus on the breathtaking scenery.

Be Strategic With Pick Up and Drop Off Locations

Selecting the most convenient pick-up and drop-off locations can save you time and effort. Budva’s main airports, Tivat and Podgorica, offer rental car services, as do various locations within the city itself. Choose the option that aligns with your travel itinerary.

Documents Needed For Renting a Car and Driving Legally in Budva

To rent a car in Budva, you’ll typically need a valid driver’s license, a passport or ID, and a credit card for the security deposit. Make sure to carry these documents with you while driving, as local authorities may request them.

Do a Walk Around

Before driving off, perform a thorough inspection of the rental car’s exterior and interior. Note any existing damages or issues and inform the rental company to avoid any disputes upon return.

Return Your Rental Car With A Full Tank

Many car rental companies require you to return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel. Be sure to refill the tank before returning the car to avoid additional charges.

Returning Your Rental Car

When returning your rental car, follow the instructions provided by the rental company. Inspect the vehicle together with a staff member, ensure that all personal belongings are removed, and obtain a copy of the return inspection report for your records.

Renting a Car and Driving in Budva with Children

If you’re traveling with children, renting a car offers the convenience of keeping the whole family together and comfortable during your explorations.

Renting a Car With Children – Car Seats

The safety of your children is paramount. If your kids require car seats, you have a few options to consider.

Car Seats in Budva – General Requirements

Montenegro’s traffic laws mandate that children under a certain age or height must use appropriate car seats. Children under 5 years old and under 150cm in height must be secured in an appropriate child restraint system.

Car Seats in Budva – Rent or Bring Your Own?

You can choose to rent car seats from the car rental company or bring your own if you’re traveling with young children. Bringing your seats guarantees familiarity and comfort for your kids.

Ensure that the car seat you use is approved and complies with Montenegro’s safety standards. Look for labels indicating ECE R44/04 or ECE R129 (i-Size) approval.

Car Seats in Budva – LATCH / ISOFIX Compatibility

Car rentals in Budva may offer LATCH or ISOFIX anchor points for easy installation of car seats. Check with the rental company in advance to confirm the availability of these features.

Car Seats in Budva – Anti-Abandonment Devices

Some countries, including Italy, require anti-abandonment devices for young children in cars. While not mandatory in Montenegro, it’s a good practice to have one if you plan to drive across borders.

Renting a Car With Children – Size of Vehicle

Consider renting a larger vehicle, such as a minivan, if you’re traveling with a larger family or a group. A spacious vehicle ensures everyone has ample legroom and storage space.

Renting a Car With Children – Minivans

Minivans are an excellent choice for families, offering comfortable seating, extra storage, and amenities to keep everyone content during longer drives.

How To Navigate Roads in Budva and Area

Driving in Budva and its surrounding areas is a rewarding experience, but it’s essential to be aware of local road rules and conditions.

What It’s Like Driving in Budva

Driving in Budva can be both exhilarating and challenging. The roads offer stunning vistas, but some routes can be narrow and winding. Drive cautiously and be prepared for sudden turns and steep inclines.

Paying Tolls in Budva

Montenegro does not have an extensive toll road network. However, some tunnels and bridges may require a toll fee. Be prepared to pay these tolls in local currency or by card.

Getting Gas/Petrol in Budva

Fuel stations are abundant in Budva and the surrounding areas. Most stations accept credit cards, but it’s a good idea to carry some local currency for smaller transactions.

Parking in Budva

Parking in Budva can be a bit challenging, especially during peak tourist seasons. Look for designated parking areas and pay attention to parking signs and regulations to avoid fines.

Car Trouble and Accidents

While nobody wants to encounter car trouble or accidents during their trip, it’s wise to be prepared for such situations.

Car Breakdowns

In case of a car breakdown, contact the car rental company immediately. They will provide guidance on how to proceed, which may involve sending roadside assistance.

Car Accidents

If you’re involved in a car accident, prioritize the safety of all passengers. Contact the local authorities and your car rental company to report the incident and seek necessary assistance.

Common Road Crimes and How to Avoid Them

Being aware of potential road crimes can help you stay vigilant and avoid falling victim to scams or thefts.

The False Flat Tire

Beware of scammers who try to convince you that you have a flat tire and then offer to help. If you suspect a flat tire, find a safe location and inspect it yourself or contact roadside assistance.

The Gas Station Distraction

A common scam involves someone distracting you at a gas station while an accomplice steals your belongings from the car. Keep your doors locked and valuables secured, and be cautious of anyone who approaches you.

Trunk/Boot Theft

Avoid leaving valuable items in plain sight within the car, and always lock the trunk/boot securely. Thieves may take advantage of unlocked trunks.

What to See on a Road Trip in Budva

road trip in Budva is an adventure filled with awe-inspiring landscapes, charming towns, and cultural treasures. With your rental car as your trusty companion, you’ll have the freedom to explore a variety of captivating destinations. Here are some must-see attractions and routes to consider during your road trip to Budva:

1. Sveti Stefan: Begin your journey by driving to the iconic islet of Sveti Stefan. This luxurious resort town is a sight to behold, with its red-tiled roofs and medieval charm. While the island itself is private and accessible only to guests, the views from the mainland are equally breathtaking.

2. Jaz Beach: Head to Jaz Beach, a picturesque stretch of coastline known for its clear waters and vibrant atmosphere. Relax on the sandy shores, take a dip in the Adriatic Sea, or explore the nearby beach bars and cafes.

3. Kotor: Embark on a scenic drive to the nearby town of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient walled city is nestled between imposing mountains and the Bay of Kotor, offering a perfect blend of history and natural beauty. Don’t miss a climb to the top of the city walls for panoramic views.

4. Lovćen National Park: For nature enthusiasts, a visit to Lovćen National Park is a must. Wind your way through the park’s serpentine roads to reach the Mausoleum of Njegoš, situated at the top of Mount Lovćen. The panoramic views from this vantage point are simply breathtaking.

5. Perast: Drive along the Bay of Kotor to reach the charming town of Perast. This quaint coastal gem is known for its well-preserved architecture and stunning views of the bay. Take a boat trip to the nearby Our Lady of the Rocks, an artificial island with a fascinating history.

6. Budva Old Town: While in Budva, explore the enchanting Old Town, a labyrinth of narrow streets, medieval buildings, and charming squares. Stroll along the ancient walls and discover historical sites such as the Citadel, the Church of St. Ivan, and the Holy Trinity Church.

7. Petrovac: Take a leisurely drive to the coastal town of Petrovac, known for its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful beaches. The iconic Petrovac Castle overlooks the town and offers a glimpse into Montenegro’s past.

8. Lake Skadar: Venture further inland to Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkans. The surrounding national park is a paradise for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Consider taking a boat tour to explore the lake’s serene waters and abundant wildlife.

Renting a Car in Budva FAQs

Before you hit the road in Budva, it’s natural to have questions about the car rental process. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to address any concerns you may have:

Is it difficult to drive in Budva?

Driving in Budva can be a mix of exhilarating and challenging experiences. While the roads offer breathtaking views, some routes can be narrow and winding. It’s important to drive cautiously, especially on unfamiliar roads, and be prepared for sudden turns and steep inclines.

Can I rent a car without a credit card?

Most car rental companies in Budva require a credit card for the security deposit. This is standard practice to ensure that any potential damages or unpaid fees can be covered. However, it’s recommended to check with the specific rental company for their payment policies and any alternative options they may offer.

Are road signs in English?

While many road signs in Budva are in the local language, Montenegrin, you’ll also find that some signs, especially in tourist areas, are in both Montenegrin and English. Having a GPS or a navigation app on your smartphone can be incredibly helpful for understanding directions and navigating the roads.

What is the legal drinking and driving limit in Montenegro?

The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers in Montenegro is 0.03%. This is stricter than in many other countries, so it’s advisable to abstain from alcohol if you plan to drive. Keep in mind that even small amounts of alcohol can impair your ability to drive safely.

How do I handle parking in Budva?

Parking in Budva can be a bit challenging, especially during peak tourist seasons. Look for designated parking areas and pay attention to parking signs and regulations to avoid fines. Some hotels or accommodations may offer parking facilities, so it’s a good idea to inquire about parking options before you arrive.

Final Thoughts

Renting a car in Budva, Montenegro, is a fantastic choice for adventurers seeking to make the most of their journey. The convenience, flexibility, and freedom it offers are unparalleled, allowing you to explore this captivating destination on your terms. By following the guidelines and tips provided in this complete guide, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on an extraordinary driving experience that will create lasting memories of your time in Budva.