Car hire in Croatia
Hiring a car in Croatia
Hiring a car in Croatia is a wonderful way to get around, with incredible cities such as Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb to explore. Whether you want to work your way down the Dalmatian coast, explore the country’s capital or head to the world-renowned Plitvice Lakes, you’ll find your holiday full to bursting with great experiences.
Foodies are well catered for, as the bountiful Adriatic means there’s plenty of seafood on the menu. For many people, however, it is the combination of historical sights and a warm climate that make Croatia a holiday destination to return to time and again.
What you need to know
When it comes to hiring a car in Croatia you’ve got plenty of choice. Among the easiest options is to get your vehicle upon arrival at the airport, with Holiday Autos offering a wide selection to pick from. You can choose from Zadar, Split, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Pula, Rijeka or Osijek, depending on where you come into land.
Alternatively, there are city centre locations in each of these destinations where you can choose to pick up your car instead. This can be useful if you are travelling to Croatia by train or ferry from elsewhere in Europe. Whatever you decide is most convenient for you, be sure to consult our booking tool to see what the best deals are.
Where to pick up your car
Pick-up arrangements differ depending on where you are collecting your car. Of the dozen car hire companies operating out of Zagreb Airport (ZAG), the majority have desks inside the terminal building and the remaining firms offer a meet and greet service. This means an employee will find you and escort you to where you need to be. If you’re flying into Dubrovnik Airport (DBV), then you’ll find all the desks within the terminal.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
Once you’ve picked up your hire car, the whole of Croatia and even some neighbouring countries are within reach. In Zagreb, you’ll be able to zip between the gothic upper town, where the capital’s double-spired cathedral is located, and the lower town, with its shops, museums and parks, as well as Ban Jelacic, the main square.
In Dubrovnik, there’s a good chance you will be staying outside of the old town, but with your car, you’ll be able to get there really easily. This is where the majority of the historic tourist sights are found. Wander the complete city walls, walk down the Stradun pedestrianised street and enjoy the beauty of the Rector’s Palace.
Split is home to Diocletian’s Palace, a fourth-century complex of more than 200 buildings that intermingle with the modern city. Seek out the white stone of the churches, houses and other edifices that were all part of this incredible feat of engineering.
Driving in Croatia
Do not be phased by the prospect of driving in Croatia, as the roads are generally well-kept and drivers accommodating. Seven stretches of motorway in the country are toll roads, meaning they are of particularly good quality. These fees can be paid in cash, by card, with a cheque and even in foreign currency if you do not have any kunas to hand.
Always drive on the right and overtake on the left in Croatia, reminding yourself of these rules if you stop for fuel or to take a break. There are certain things you must carry in your vehicle when driving in Croatia, such as a warning triangle, first aid kit and reflective jacket. On-the-spot fines can be handed to you if you are not in possession of these items. You usually have eight days to pay these fines at a post office or bank.
If you really feel like hitting the open road and enjoying your hire car to the max, then there are several countries surrounding Croatia offering wonderful sights. From Dubrovnik, take on the 130 km to Bosnia & Herzegovina along the M6 and D8 roads. This will take you to Mostar, with the famous bridge, which spans the Neretva River. It is a potent symbol for the country, as it was originally built in the 16th century, but the conflict of the ‘90s saw it destroyed, so rebuilding it was important for the region’s people.
In the opposite direction is Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Just an hour and 40 minutes away from Zagreb on the E70 toll road, it is a small and unassuming city with plenty of charm. Enjoy the lovely riverside setting, plenty of green spaces and a thriving café culture that is bound to tempt you in.
Top attractions to visit in Croatia
Croatia has many things to see, scattered across the country, so you may not see them all, but there are a few you should try not to miss.
Dubrovnik city walls
Construction of Dubrovnik’s walls first started in the eighth century, but much of what you see today dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. It forms a complete circuit around the old town, making for a wonderful two-kilometre walk. Take note of the six-m thick sections and 25m high fortifications, proving how hard it would be to scale them.
As you walk along, you’ll be greeted with incredible views both into the city and out of it. Dubrovnik has very specific planning regulations, so it’s terracotta roofs as far as the eye can see. In the opposite direction is the Adriatic in all its sparkling glory and the island of Lokrum.
Krka National Park
With its miles of walking routes, pretty river running through it and a waterfall you can swim at the bottom of, Krka National Park is one of Croatia’s real gems. The Skradinski Buk walls are the perfect way to cool off after a day of exploring the natural beauty of the area, so be sure to pack your swimming costume.
The incredible Roman amphitheatre in Pula is so well-preserved it’s hard to believe it was constructed in the first century AD. See where the gladiators once fought, as well as the seats where 20,000 spectators at any one time could watch the action unfolding. It was all built from local limestone and is not a perfect circle, with one side measuring around 130 m while the other is more like 100 m.