Renting a car is one of the best ways to explore the stunning natural scenery and historic towns of Montenegro. The flexibility of having your wheels allows you to discover hidden gems at your own pace. However, to ensure a smooth car rental experience, there are some key things to consider.
This complete guide covers everything you need to know about renting a car in Montenegro.
Why Rent a Car in Montenegro?
The main advantage of Montenegro car rental is the freedom and flexibility it provides. Public transportation can be limited, especially when visiting top attractions like Skadar Lake National Park and the Kotor. With a rental car, you can explore off-the-beaten-path places and avoid crowded buses and tours.
Renting a car also allows you to discover the country at your own pace, whether you prefer to drive the scenic coastal roads or navigate winding mountain passes above Budva or Kotor.
Additionally, hiring a car can be very affordable in Montenegro, particularly if splitting costs between a group.
Do You Need an International Driving Permit for Montenegro?
If you hold a valid driver’s license from your home country, you can legally drive in Montenegro for up to 90 days. However, if your license is not in English or Montenegrin, you will also need an International Driving Permit (IDP).
An IDP is essentially a translation of your license into multiple languages. It contains key details like your name, photo, and authorized vehicle types. IDPs can be obtained from automobile associations in your home country.
When renting a car in Montenegro, you’ll also need a credit card in the main driver’s name if you book from international companies. Some rental companies require the card to remain valid for 1-3 months after returning the vehicle. Bring your passport/ID and printed car rental voucher too.
What Side of the Road Do They Drive On in Montenegro?
Montenegro drives on the right-hand side of the road, the same as most of Europe. If you’re accustomed to driving on the left, be extra cautious until you adjust to driving on the right.
Focus on checking your blind spots, especially when making turns or changing lanes.
Which Car Should I Rent in Montenegro?
Small to medium-sized cars are ideal for navigating Montenegro’s winding coastal and mountain roads, for example, Toyota Yaris, and Hyundai i30.
Larger vehicles may struggle on narrow rural roads.
However, if planning to drive on unpaved roads to remote areas like Lovcen National Park, Durmitor or Bjelasica, consider renting a 4×4 for the extra clearance and traction. Crossovers and SUVs add comfort for families too.
Convertible rentals can also be a fun way to cruise the coastal roads if weather permits. Shop around for the best car to suit your travel plans.
Do You Need a GPS in Montenegro?
While Montenegro is small, a GPS navigation device can be helpful to avoid getting lost, especially in rural areas. However, most major car rental companies offer in-car GPS rentals for an added daily fee.
Alternatively, to avoid extra costs for GPS, mobile apps like Google Maps work fine if you have a local SIM card or data roaming. Be sure to download maps offline just in case you lose signal. Waze is also useful for alerting you to speed cameras.
Both, Google Maps and Waze have huge coverage in Montenegro. Practically the entire country is covered.
What Are the Speed Limits in Montenegro?
Speed limits in Montenegro:
- Urban areas: 40 km/h
- Regional roads: 60-80 km/h
- Highways: 100 km/h
Be sure to obey posted speed limit signs, as they can vary based on road and weather conditions. Watch your speed in towns and be ready to slow down quickly when approaching villages.
Where to Rent a Car in Montenegro
You can also find local and international companies in cities like Kotor, Budva, Tivat, and Bar.
For the best rental deals in Montenegro, we strongly recommend local rental companies. Local suppliers often offer lower rates than big brands, saving you around 40%.
The capital Podgorica tends to have the cheapest car rentals. Always book in advance online, and read reviews to choose a reputable company. Avoid hidden fees by checking rental policies carefully.
Driving Tips for Montenegro
Driving in Montenegro can be an adventurous experience due to the abundance of winding roads and mountain passes. Here are some key driving tips for Montenegro:
- Drive cautiously and defensively at all times – other drivers may overtake unexpectedly.
- Approach blind corners slowly – honk your horn to alert oncoming cars.
- Allow extra stopping distance – roads can be narrow and uneven in places.
- Use headlights even during the day – helps oncoming traffic see you.
- Avoid driving at night if possible – roads are poorly lit with stray animals.
- Refuel frequently – petrol stations can be scarce in rural areas.
- Carry physical maps as backup – don’t rely solely on GPS/data coverage.
Is Parking Easy to Find in Montenegro?
Finding parking in Montenegro is generally easy and free in most towns, excluding Kotor, Herceg Novi and Tivat. While designated parking areas are limited, you can often park on wide road shoulders.
In Kotor’s Old Town, aim to arrive early to grab limited street parking spots. Alternatively, park in Dobrota and walk around 10-15 minutes into the pedestrian zone and Old Town.
In Podgorica is easy to find parking, especially during summer months. You have a lot of paid and free parking areas in the city centre and other parts of the Capital.
Crossing Borders With a Rental Car
Most car rentals allow crossing into Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania with valid documentation or written authorization. Notify the rental company beforehand to obtain the Green Card for Albania, which provides proof of valid insurance when driving abroad.
Border wait times can be long during summer – aim to cross early morning or late evening. Carry passports, vehicle papers, IDP, and Green cards. Rental companies may restrict crossing into certain countries, so always check rental terms first.
Helpful Tips for Renting a Car in Montenegro
- Thoroughly inspect and photograph the vehicle before driving off, noting any prior damage.
- Purchase extra insurance (CDW & theft protection) for peace of mind.
- Ensure rental includes 24/7 roadside assistance and save the number.
- Read rental contracts fully and clarify any unclear terms beforehand.
- Avoid picking up or dropping off cars in crowded places
- Reserve child seats, snow chains or other extras at the time of booking if needed.
- Use a credit card with a sufficient credit limit to cover the deposit.
By following this comprehensive guide, renting a car in Montenegro will be smooth sailing. The flexibility of exploring at your own pace makes it the perfect way to experience Montenegro’s captivating coastal drives and majestic mountain scenery.