Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Rent a Car in Croatia | 0 comments

Driving in Croatia: Guide and Safety Tips

Croatia is an amazingly beautiful country, and the best way of savoring what the country has on offer is by car. This is because some of the most enchanting places in the country are off the beaten tracks and only a car will assure the freedom to move wherever you desire. There are many place you start exploring the country. You can start exploring the country from the metropolis that is Zagreb or start with its amazing Dalmatian coast. Whichever way you chose, the following road guide and safety tips will definitely keep you safe on the road.

On car hire

Croatia car hire industry is well developed with many international brands present in the country. That said it is advisable to book for a car at least two weeks before travelling to get the best car or discount. You are guaranteed of a car rental agency in airports and major towns around the country. Due to high insurance premiums car rental services in Croatia are generally more expensive compared to other European countries.

Driving regulations

Driving is on the right hand side and overtaking on the left hand. The ever improving road infrastructure network around the country has made driving in the country more interesting than before. Some of the new road addition in the country includes the Zagreb-split new motorway and a new motorway linking Italy to Istria. Another road that is perhaps the most scenic in the country is the Jadranska Magistrala Adriatic coastal road.

Most of the rental cars on Croatia use automatic transmission. If you are not experienced driving such cars, then you need to learn how before heading to the country. It is definitely not recommended to learn on Croatia’s road as some of its roads are steep, and winding.

Public vehicles and school buses have the right of way in the country. The same applies to all vehicles entering a roundabout on the right. Headlights should be used to when visibility is less than 100 meters. During the winter months of March to October, lights should be dipped at all times due to poor visibility.

If you don’t have enough experience driving in rush-hour, you need to avoid driving in cities such as Split and Zagreb in the following hours: 7am to 8am and 4pm to 5pm. The traffic at these times is quite congested. When driving in the city, never do so in tramlines or unnecessary use your horn as it can result in spot fines.

When driving in the country side, you should avoid driving off roads due to the danger posed by unexploded landmines left behind in the Serbian war. Also, it is not advisable to stop and help people in the roadside as these situations has led to previous incidences of crime against unsuspecting well-wishers.

What to do in case of an accident

Inform the police immediately of the predicament. The car position should not be changed unless it is in a position that can cause danger to other road users. Contact the police through the number: 112.


It is mandatory to wear seatbelts at all times. Children less than twelve years should not seat at the front seats.

Motorway signs

Croatia road motor signs are categorized as follows: Motorway signs are marked by letter A followed by two digits with a green background and a picture of a motorway in white. Letter D indicates state roads while letter Z followed by four digits indicates county roads.

Fuel cost

Petrol stations around the country are open 24-hours a day. Most petrol stations accept credit cards.

Important documents

You need to have the following documents at all times: insurance documents, international driving license for drivers outside the European Union and a passport. The European Union and United Kingdom driving license is only viable for six months.

Toll Roads

The improving road system around the country has resulted in many tolls in roads, bridges, and tunnels. Two types of tolls are in the country: open toll, and closed toll. In the open toll system you make payment before entering while in the closed toll system, you pay while entering and exiting.

Speed limits

The following speed limits apply:

Built-up areas: 50km/hr

Open roads: 80km/hr

Motorways: 130km/hr.

Minimum driving age

The legal driving age is 18 years. However, many rental car companies only hire to driver aged 23 years and above. Drivers less than twenty five years might face a surcharge.

Parking regulations

Croatia has many premium parking zones in all major cities and towns across the country. Parking zones are open from Monday to Friday between 7am and 7pm. On Saturday parking hours are 7am to 2pm. The most expensive parking slot is in the red zone in the city center. Parking is 14HRk/hour. The price is halved in yellow zone and costs 3HRK/hr in the green zones. You need to purchase a ticket before entering the designated parking zones to avoid your car being clamped which might lead to more charges.

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