top tips for car hire in Croatia

car hire tips

car hire tips

We are often asked by friends or guests travelling to Croatia, about recommendation for car hire, so here are our top tips:

1-book in advance on the internet. You’ll find the best deals. Don’t wait until you get to your destination as you’ll be charged much higher rates.

2-compare offers to find the car suitable for your needs. Bear in mind that most cars in Croatia are manual transmission, so if you require an automatic you will have to specify this and be prepared to pay a premium: check comparison sites like or large brokers like or

3-check for additional charges at the time of booking. For example:
-extra driver charge
-out-of-hours pick up
-driving the car outside Croatia (for example if you plan to drive to Bosnia)
-cancellation charges
-extra items like baby-seat
-SCDW insurance (see point 6 below)

4-Fuel: is it petrol or diesel? it would be a very expensive mistake if you filled the wrong type at the filling station. It is a usual requirement to return the car with the same level of fuel in the tank as when you picked it up. Check the fuel dial when you pick up the car (full? 1/2 full? 6/8 ?) The car-hire representative will write it down in the contract documents and at the end of your holiday you should stop at the nearest petrol station to fill up to the correct level. Avoid returning the car with less fuel in the tank as there are extra charges.

we have a lot of experience of car-hire in Croatia!

we have a lot of experience of car-hire in Croatia!

5-Check the car thoroughly when you pick it up to ensure there is no damage. If there are any scratches or any damage, make sure they are clearly marked on the contract documents so there are no disputes when you return the car. Take photos if necessary.

6- Excess and extra insurance
With any car hire company you are usually covered for CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) but there is always an “excess” for which you are responsible.
All car companies will take a deposit with your credit card at the time of pickup (even if you paid for the rental in advance). The deposit varies between companies and can be anything between Eur 600 – Eur 1,200. This is the EXCESS, so if you damage the car, you can be charged up to this amount for damages.
In order to avoid this, you can take extra (excess) insurance (SCDW or Super Collision Damage Waiver). This can be done at the time of booking, or at the car hire airport counter, but if you hire cars 2-3 times a year in Europe, it is definitely cheaper to take out an annual “excess policy” to cover the excess for the whole year, any cars, any countries in Europe.
We thoroughly recommend Insurance4carhire. We had some small damage on two occasions in Croatia and Italy, and in both cases the insurance paid up within a week of submitting the claim.


hope our above tips are useful to you!

enjoy travelling around Croatia!

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11 responses to “top tips for car hire in Croatia

  1. Excellent tips !!!
    Not absolutely sure, but those who want to visit Dubrovnik, are passing a Bosnian corridor.
    Believe in that case one also needs insurance allowance as they are driving through Bosnia for a moment (so better to ask in advance).
    That certainly goes for a visit to Mostar, also in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
    Drive safely, always keep distance !!!, watch it if (very) occasionally rain falls in summer (slippery asphalt), don’t drink/drive, and enjoy the ride along the Adriatic Coast.

    • thanks Pim, excellent suggestions, yes driving to Dubrovnik involves passing the Bosnian 20km coastal corridor and drivers would need the Green Card (car insurance). And no speeding! it is dangerous and there are always police on patrol with speed guns!

      • If there weren’t those speedguns, both in Croatia and Bosnia, I would use my sixth gear more :-)
        Specially on the coastal road (called Magistrale), special care is taken when entering a village (50 km. is max. !!! nowadays).
        For those who like to use that 6th gear, like me once in a while, there is that fantastic highway (130 km.) and if careful a tiny bit more :-)
        Less sea to see, but still an amazing scenery.

      • gosh you sound like F1 driver…. there is always police with speed guns around Trogir, coming from the fast road into Trogir, they wait and catch F1 drivers… ;)

  2. These car-service directions are very useful , really.
    If it weren’t for your clever advice I would have never guessed so many traps!

  3. Good tips, I’m driving a hire car at the moment.

    • Hi rigmover,
      had you not commented on this blog, I wouldn’t have found your blog.
      And for sure I added myself to your (almost) 600 followers.
      Great job, both the job and the pictures !!!
      Stay safe, and don’t try to put that ice in your whisky :-)

  4. its a very useful post..and i totally agree on the checking for scratches and taking pictures if necessary, This is applicable to car rentals in the States too.

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