Car hire in Croatia: 10 things you must know in 2024.

10 things you must know in 2024. when renting a car in Croatia

10 things you must know in 2024. when renting a car in Croatia


Table of contents:

Why rent a car in Croatia?

When looking to travel around Croatia, car hire is the best option because it gives you freedom and saves time so you can enjoy discovering some of the most beautiful places and sights in Croatia. Take the time to explore not only the beautiful coastline of Croatia but also the captivating destinations like Zagreb, Rijeka, and Osijek which are only a few hours away from Split, Šibenik, Zadar or Dubrovnik.

The World Economic Forum announced that Croatian highways are among the best in Europe, but also in the world. Ranked 12th place in the world ranking of the best global road infrastructures, Croatia is the best choice for a road trip in Europe.

Every major city in Croatia has an airport with multiple car rental company offices. Harbor cities like Dubrovnik, Split, Šibenik, Zadar, and Rijeka have ferry ports with car rental stations directly at the port so you will have no problem renting a vehicle. Keep in mind that almost every car rental company in Croatia delivers vehicles on demand but with an additional fee. There is an option of renting a vehicle in one city and returning to another so you can plan really fun trips through Croatia.

Car hire is probably the cheapest option with the most comfort. Doing tours or private transfers is a lot more expensive and you don't have the freedom like with a rental car.

Renting a vehicle in Croatia is pretty quick, easy, and straightforward. With online check-in, you can literally pick up your vehicle in a matter of minutes. Also, almost everyone in Croatia speaks pretty good English so you will have no problem communicating and getting help. Croatians are very friendly so it would be really neat to learn some basic Croatian phrases.

What to check before driving a rental vehicle?

Check the tire pressure. Don't drive without child seats, protect your young ones!
Check the windshield fluid. Don't drink and drive, be responsible!
Check the windshield wipers. Don't drive irresponsibly. Respect the speed limits!
Check the fuel level. Don't forget to check which fuel you should fill up.
Check if the trunk is big enough. Don't drive without fastened seat belts for all passengers!
If snow or ice is expected, check the winter equipment. Don't forget to put your car in P (Parking) and pull the handbrake if renting an automatic.

Looking for cheap car hire in Croatia?

When looking for a cheap car rental in Croatia the most important part is to check the rental conditions and additional expenses. Also, be very careful and only rent with companies that have great client reviews.

How much is it to rent a car in Croatia? Prices can vary depending on locations, so you won't find the same prices in Zagreb, Split, or on the islands. All places in Croatia have different price dynamics. The average price in the winter for Zagreb is only 25,00 € for a small car, but in July it can go up to 60,00 € (for a small car). Split and surrounding cities like Šibenik and Zadar average around 30,00 € off-season to 70,00 € for a small car in summer months. Dubrovnik has the biggest prices when compared to other cities in Croatia, so you can expect anything from 35,00 € off-season to 90,00 € in summer months for a small car.

There are a few ways to save pretty decent amounts when renting. You should aim to book your rental car early or last minute and pick up and drop off the car at the same airport.

The best way to save money is to visit Croatia during the spring and autumn months when most rental cars are quite cheaper than during the high summer season. Croatia has great weather during April, May, September, and October when you can expect a lot of sun and it's not that hot like in the summer.

When on a budget, the best choice are small cars that are not only cheaper but more convenient for parking in cities that have narrow streets.

Choosing the ideal vehicle for your needs

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an appropriate rental vehicle. To keep your trip safe and comfortable choose the vehicle that can comfortably suit all your passengers.

Category Price From Why choose
City vehicles from 27,60 € /day Ideal for narrow city streets and with low fuel consumption.
Compact vehicles and limousines from 29,30 € /day Great comfort, rich equipment, and big trunk capacity.
Van/minivan/station wagon from 33,85 € /day Excellent spaciousness for up to 9 persons and large trunk.
SUV vehicles from 40,00 € /day Higher driving position and great comfort on all roads.
Luxury vehicles from 50,00 € /day Enjoy first-class comfort and premium quality with top-end design.
Automatic gear. vehicles from 44,00 € /day Very easy to drive even for beginners.

How to choose THE best car hire company in Croatia: CAR RENTAL Reviews 2024

While price is undoubtedly one of the most important things when deciding, it shouldn't be the only one to focus on. Frequently, by spending just a few extra euros, you can discover a significantly better overall deal with a company that offers both a good price and has great ratings from previous travelers.

How to make sure that you book your car with a professional and quality rent-a-car company? The best way is to check online reviews before making a decision.

When browsing through reviews be sure to check that reviews are recent, that there are plenty of real user reviews, and check the negative ones to see how the company deals with problems and unsatisfied customers.

When you make sure that the price and reviews are good enough, check if there are any additional costs and mileage policies.

Navigation through Croatia is pretty straightforward if you are driving on the highway. When going off the highway you should use navigation systems.

Almost every car rental company in Croatia offers GPS with an extra charge. If you reside in the EU, you can save money by using Google Maps App on your phone by using your data plan in Croatia without any additional charges.

Road quality, fuel, and toll prices

Croatia drives on the right-hand side of the road and has one of the best highway infrastructures in Europe. You can go through the entire country via highway.

Before going on the trip take a look at the road conditions in Croatia..

Be sure to check the highway prices. From 2023. you can use the Telepass.

Highway prices for the most common destinations in Croatia

From To Vehicle Price
Zagreb Rijeka Motor vehicles 2 axles (<1.90 m high) 9,20 €
Zagreb Zadar Motor vehicles 2 axles (<1.90 m high) 16,00 €
Zagreb Šibenik Motor vehicles 2 axles (<1.90 m high) 20,10 €
Zagreb Dugopolje (on the way to Split) Motor vehicles 2 axles (<1.90 m high) 24,00 €
Zagreb Čarapine (on the way to Dubrovnik) Motor vehicles 2 axles (<1.90 m high) 30,70 €
* Check updated (HAC) highway prices here

Fuel prices can vary depending on the location. The most expensive prices are on the highway so you should use a website that can show you the nearest gas pumps with the best prices.

Additional car rental fees to watch for

Car rental insurance - Car rental companies mostly have different policies but almost everyone offers protection against damages caused by other parties. If you want to have a carefree and pleasant trip, be sure to check what additional insurance package is the best option for you.

  • Check what kind of insurance is included in the price.
  • Take photos of all damage to the car.
  • Check if your credit card covers insurance for car rentals.

Traveling with a rental car to other countries

If you are planning to travel outside Croatia, it's very important to check with the car rental company what is their policy. Also, be sure to check if the company charges an extra CROSS BORDER FEE as it can add up from 50,00 € to 100,00 €.

Traveling with a rental car to the islands by ferry

If you are planning to visit islands in Croatia (like Brač, Hvar, Vis, Korčula,...), some car rental companies do charge an extra FIT (Ferry/Island/Transit) fee so be sure to get a quote before renting the vehicle.

Fuel tank policy - First thing you should do when you pick up the vehicle is to take a photo of the fuel level. Have in mind that not all petrol stations in Croatia are open 24 hours. Here are different fuel policies that you can expect:

  • Full-to-full: Pick up and return the vehicle with a full tank.
  • Same-to-same: Return with the same amount as on the pick-up.
  • Full-to-empty: Pick up full and return with an "empty" tank.

Additional drivers

Even though it is smart to have multiple drivers when renting a vehicle, it can come with additional costs. Usually, you have to pay an extra fee to add multiple drivers which can sum up to 80,00 €.

Return to another office

When planning your trip check the price of the One-way fee as it can also add up to an extra 70,00 €.

Rental car eligibility, laws and speed limits in Croatia

Drivers age

Drivers should be at least 18 years old. There may be an additional fee for drivers under 21 and above 65 years. By law, you should have an International Driving Licence if you are staying more then 6 months in Croatia.

Important laws you should know:

  • The speed limit within cities: 50 km/h (31 mph).
  • The speed limit for highways: 130 km/h (80 mph).
  • From October to March, you must drive with headlights.
  • Seatbelts must be worn by all passengers.
  • You can only use the hands-free system for mobile phones.

Speed cameras:

Croatia has a lot of speed cameras that will send a fine to the car rental company if they catch you speeding. You will have to pay the fine and an extra fee for administering the fine.

At all times you should have in the car:

  • Passport or ID card.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • The vehicle documentation.

Parking fines:

Parking tickets are tied to the car so if you don't pay the fine yourself, the ticket will be sent to the car rental company which will bill you the amount of the fine plus the extra fee for administering the fine. When issued a parking ticket:

  • Take a photo of the fine (in case you lose it).
  • Pay the fine immediately and avoid extra fee for administering.
  • Send the proof of payment to the car rental company together with the photo of the parking ticket.

If you think that the ticket was wrongfully issued, you need to know that the hassle of disputing the ticket in Croatia will probably last a month or more and you will have to pay the extra fee for administering no matter what.

Please don't drink and drive! Here are the alcohol limits in Croatia:

  • 0,5 g/l for Drivers
  • 0,0 g/l for Young drivers (< 25 y.)
  • 0,0 g/l for Professional drivers

What to do in case of an accident?

The first and most important thing is to establish if everyone in your vehicle is ok and if another vehicle is involved check their status as well. If someone is hurt dial 112 which is the number for all emergency services in Croatia. Here are all the advice on how to deal with accidents and damages when renting a car in Croatia.




We use cookies, to improve our services, familiarize ourselves with your behaviour during use and show you personalizied content on our website and newsletter. If click on "x" or don't configure the settings, we will use only mandatory and functional cookies. Using the settings, you can accept or reject each individual cookie according to your own preferences, as well as learn more about them. You can update these settings and revoke your concent at any given moment.

I accept all coookies Privacy policy