Car Rental in Croatia: A few tips

We have previously stated that we decided to rent a car to explore Croatia. This was the first time that we were renting a car, hence we had a lot of questions regarding it. Now that we have answers to most of these questions, we have addressed them here so as to help future travellers.

What type of car to choose?

Choose your car depending on the number of people, boot space, transmission type and of course budget. We were 4 people with 4 medium sized suitcases so we rented an Opel Astra with manual transmission.

What are the costs to be considered?

Don’t be swayed by the base price shown on the rental company’s site. There are a lot of other costs to consider before you arrive at your final quotation. Some companies charge a one-way cost if you are dropping off your car in a different city to the one you picked it up from (which you probably will in Croatia). Some companies include this cost in their base price itself.

There are other additional costs like Zero excess insurance, insurance for other parts like wheels, underside and glass (WUG), cost of additional driver, cross border costs (if you are taking your car in any neighbouring country), GPS cost, ferry fee (if you are taking your car to an island by ferry), etc.

So check the final price with all the costs applicable to you and then choose the rental company. We booked a car for 8 days from Nova Rent a Car as they were offering the best deal.

Are there any seasonal variations?    

Yes. Just like accommodation, renting a car is much cheaper in shoulder and low seasons than in peak tourist season.

What are the documents needed?

The rental company will ask you for an id (passport), a credit card in the driver’s name (to block some security amount) and your driving license. In Croatia, an International driving permit (IDP) is only required if the original driving license is not printed in Roman alphabets. Since our Indian licenses are printed in English, we do not require an IDP. 

Is it mandatory to buy full insurance?

Almost all the rental companies offer a basic level of insurance which limits the customer’s liability to a certain amount (though that amount is still quite high) in case of a mishap. On top of that, they offer additional insurance which is known by different names on different sites. This additional insurance reduces the customer’s liability to zero and is optional.

While reading reviews of different companies, we came across many stories where customers had to shell out large sums for even one or two minor scratches. Thus, for our peace of mind we opted to purchase the additional insurance offered by Nova.

How much amount is blocked on the Credit Card as security deposit?

The security deposit depends on the type of car rented and the type of insurance purchased. If you have not purchased the full insurance then they will block a larger amount. The Nova guys blocked 6000 kuna on our card which was unblocked when we returned the car in Split. Make sure your card has sufficient credit limit. We made the final payment in Split by cash.

What is the best fuel policy?

From the many posts that we read, we gathered that full-full is the best fuel policy. It means take the car with a full tank and return it with a full tank. Some companies follow a full-empty fuel policy which means getting a full tank and returning an empty or less than full tank. This option sounds convenient but is costly as the companies charge a high rate for the fuel consumed.

If you have any other questions, then do put them down in the comments section and we will try our best to answer them.

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