Driving Tips, Rules & Regulations in Croatia

Perhaps the most practical way to go around and seeing the most of Croatia is travelling by car. It’s going to give you access to a lot of good destinations, including the Zagreb Capital, Dubrovnik City, and the Dalmatian Coastline.

But in order to rent a car in Croatia, you need to be at least 21 years old, with a valid driver’s license that you’ve had for at least three years. Rates are normally more expensive that in other European countries. Croatians drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left. As a rule, those going into a roundabout have the right of way and private vehicles should give way to public transport, especially school buses.

The typical safety regulations apply: wear your seat belt at all times and don’t use mobile phones while driving without any hands-free equipment. Dipped headlights are also required during the daytime between the months of October and March. Keep with you your pertinent documents (i. e. license, registration, and insurance) at all times to avoid complications with the authorities.

Access to gas won’t be much of a problem, since petrol stations can be found in the highway and are open 24 hours. Diesel costs 6. 88 HRK while Octane prices are somewhere around 7. 45 to 7. 51 HRK (as of 2014).

While not as extensive as the ones found in other European countries, the roads in Croatia are largely of great quality. Some motorways might be under construction though, as connections between Split and Dubrovnik are underway. Speed limits range from 50 km/h for built-up areas, 80 km/h on open roads, and up to 130 km/h for motorways. Violating these limits would mean spot fines from authorities.

Traffic is usually more congested during the summer, especially around the coast, becoming more congested between 7:00 – 8:00 AM and 3:00 – 4:00 PM. Get used to the different toll types as well. Croatia uses both the open and closed toll systems. Open tolls, where you pay upon entry, are used in bridges, tunnels, and motorways, while closed tolls, where you pay upon exiting, are used in other roads.

There are also some dangers to keep an eye for when driving in Croatia. There have been incidents of land mines being spotted in the country side, so don’t drive off-road when you’re in the area. Also, be wary of stopping by to help people on the road, as not all of them can be trusted. Croatia, however, has really good police presence on the road, so you’re sure that speeding or traffic violations that might pose a danger to other motorists are unlikely.

This also means that you have to adhere to the zero tolerance policy against drunk driving. Yes, in Croatia there’s a 0% alcohol level rule against driving. More so, people who refuse to be subjected to breathalyser tests are presumed to be driving under the influence of alcohol.

Parking isn't too hard in Croatia. There are paid parking zones everywhere, and the rates vary depending on the location, with 14 HRK for red zones (closest to the city centre), and 3 HRK for Green Zones. You also need to observe the time limits and parking hours in those places. Enjoy!

Summary

Croatians drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left.
Private vehicles should give way to public transport, especially school buses.
Wear your seat belt at all times and don't use mobile phones while driving.
Dipped headlights are also required during the daytime between the months of October and March.
Keep with you your pertinent documents (i. e. license, registration, and insurance) at all times to avoid complications with the authorities.
The roads in Croatia are largely of great quality.
Speed limits range from 50 km/h for built-up areas, 80 km/h on open roads, and up to 130 km/h for motorways.
Be wary of stopping by to help people on the road. Not all of them can be trusted.
0%, yes zero, alcohol level rule against driving!

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