Can you take a rental car from abroad to Albania?
I received so many questions about renting a car abroad and taking it to Albania, that I decided to reach out to several car rental companies in Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Greece, so that I could write a helpful blogpost about it.
Can you take a rental car from abroad to Albania? You can take a rental car from abroad to Albania, if you have the permission of your car rental company. Some car rental companies don’t allow cross border travel, but the rental companies that do will charge extra for insurance coverage and a green card. Be aware that prices vary significantly.
To save you some time, I have made a list of what to expect when you want to rent a car abroad and drive it to Albania. It does not matter if you were planning to rent a car in Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Greece or elsewhere. These tips will make sure you are well prepared.
How to rent a car abroad and take it to Albania for your holidays?
Step 1: Reach out to several car rental companies before you travel, because it may not be allowed to take the car abroad.
I reached out to several car rental companies in Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Greece. And I requested to rent a car and drive it to Albania.
What is interesting is that I started getting NO answers almost immediately. Don’t worry, there were plenty companies that send me a quotation, but there were also many companies that did not allow it.
It is particularly important to reach out to many companies, if you want to rent a car in Greece and drive it to Albania or abroad elsewhere. Because it was mostly Greek companies that stated they do not allow driving their rentals abroad.
Some of the responses I received were:
“According to Terms & Conditions it is not allowed to cross borders of Greece with the rental car” by Global-Rent-a-Car Greece
“However please be advised that cross border is not allowed , when renting with GM Greece.” by Green Motion Greece
“Thank you for your interest in renting a car by Aramis but unfortunately we are not allow our vehicles to cross the borders.” by Artemis Rent a Car
Step 2: Ask the car rental company about their charge for a Green Card to drive abroad
A green card is a document that proofs that you have vehicle insurance when you are driving abroad.
When you inform the car rental company that you will be driving abroad with the rental car, they will sell you a Green Card. So that, when you will cross the border, you can show the Green Card to the border control officers.
You would think that a Green Card costs the same at every car rental company. But the prices for issuing a Green Card vary by company. Every car rental company told me a different price for the Green Card.
Prices for Green Cards varied between 20 euros – 50 euros.
Here are some of the quotes I received for Green Cards:
“For renting a car for North Macedonia and going abroad you should take green card and authorization for the other country which cost 30 Euros per country you decide to visit.” by Elite Co Rent a Car
“We would like to inform you that for traveling in Albania you have 50 euro extra fee for International insurance.” by Interways Rent a Car
“We will charge you 20 euros for the green card.” by Renault Rent a Car Montenegro
Interestingly, Europcar quoted the cross the border fee on a daily basis. So check how long your journey will be and figure out what is the most affortable option.
“You can go to Albania with our vehicles, cross border fee is charged 6€ per day, max 60€ for entire rental period.” by Europcar Montenegro
Of course, it is also possible to check the prices for a Green Card online. When you go on a car rental website, you can put in the dates and search for a vehicle. Usually, in the next step you can add-on extras like Border Crossing Fee or Green Card.
Step 3: Compare the prices, because prices for driving a rental car abroad vary significantly
I would definitely recommend reaching out to several car rental companies before you travel. Because the prices for taking a car rental abroad vary significantly.
To give you a good indication of the prices, I reached out to several car rental companies in Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Greece.
In order to give a fair comparison of the prices, I asked all the car rental companies the exact same question: How much would it cost to rent a Volkswagen Golf from the 1st of July for 14 days and drive it accross the border to Albania?
Here are some examples of the car rental prices in Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Greece:
- Europcar Macedonia offered a Volkswagen Polo for 573.48 euros, which is roughly 41 euros per day
- Sixt Macedonia offered an Audi A3 Sedan for 45 euros per day
- Sixt Macedonia offered a Golf 7 Toyota Corola for 35 euros per day
- Interways Rent a Car in Macedonia offered a Volkswagen Golf 7 for 735 euros, which is 52.50 euros per day
- Interrent Macedonia offered a Volkswagen Golf 7 for 500 euros, which is 35 euros per day
- Enterprise Macedonia offered a Skoda Rapid for 390 euros, which is roughly 28 euros per day
- Enterprise Macedonia offered a Volkswagen Golf for 705 euros, which is roughly 50 euros per day
- Renault Rent a Car in Montenegro offered a Renault Clio 5 for 560 euros per day, which is 40 euros per day
- Europcar Montenegro offered a Fiat 500L Manual transmittion for 925.46 euros, which is roughly 66 euros per day
- Hertz Kosovo offered a Volkswagen Polo Automatic for 532 euros, which is roughly 38 euros per day
As you can see the car rental prices vary massively. Eventhough, I did ask every car company for the same type of car and for the same period. I got quoted car rental prices from anywhere between 35 euros per day up to 50 euros per day.
Step 4: Ask the car rental company if you need an international driving permit
Some car rental companies are more strict than others, when it comes to driving licence requirements.
For instance, when I reached out to Avis Budget in Greece, I was informed that I need: “a European driving licence with Latin characters OR a valid national driving licence and international driving permit”.
However, the majority of the car rental companies simply required a driving licence (from anywhere really).
Now it is very important that you ask beforehand if you will need the international driving permit. Because if you do need the international driving permit, you will need to apply for this document in your home country. You will most likely need to pay a fee for the application. And you will need to set aside some time for the application / processing of the application, before your holidays.
Step 5: Ask what is covered in the insurance offered by your car rental company
When I reached out for quotations, car rental companies where very quick to quote me the “total price” for the rental.
However, when I asked them to split out what the charges were for exactly, the answers became a little vague.
To give you an example here is my conversation with Renault Rent a Car in Montenegro:
Renault Rent a Car Montenegro: “We can offer you a Brand new Renault Clio 5 for 560€ (the price on our web site is 630€ but you have discount because you contacted us on mail). This car has navigation and full equipment. Price include insurance, green card, unlimited kilometers and all taxes. Deposit for this vehicle is 200€ and that is maximum participation in damage.”
But then when I asked: “Could you please break down the price? How much of of the 560 euros is for the insurance, how much is for the green card, how much for the car rental? And is the 200 euro deposit included in the 560 euros or additional?”
Renault Rent a Car in Montenegro responded: “We can only segregate green card and it is 20€. We give you the price with premium insurance for price of basic insurance. Deposit is 200€ and you can give it by card or by cash. Deposit is additional on price but when you return vehicle we return you your deposit back if everything is all right.”
So it is still not really clear to me how much I am paying for insurance and what is included in my insurance etcetera, so I guess I would have to continue asking for more details.
Then when I asked Hertz in Kosovo about the insurance, I did get a clear answer.
Hertz Kosovo: “The only split we can do in this case is remove from rental offer the insurance which is 5 Eur per day. In case you want to remove the insurance then our offer will be without Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Waiver (which reduces your responsibility to 1000 Eur) and you will be liable for anything that happens to the car, full responsibility for the car (Eur 17,000.00) and you will need to present in this case two valid credit cards on your personal name. This I’ll not recommend to anybody therefore it is included in our rental offer. The insurance for Albania and North Macedonia is not possible to reduce, it is included in all cases.”
Regardless of whether you will take the 5 euro per day insurance or not, at the very least it is important to understand what risk you are taking by cancelling the insurance or what you are covered for by paying for the insurance.
Another important question is asking what happens when the car breaks down in Albania or abroad. Avis Budget in Greece for instance, specified that “During the period that the car will be abroad we cannot provide you with a replacement car”.
Of course, it is to be expected that your car rental company may not be able to provide a replacement car abroad, but it may be worth enquiring where to call or what to do in the event it does occur.
Step 6: Plan your itinerary and consider renting a 4 Wheel Drive Car accordingly
I get many questions about the state of the roads in Albania. People email me to ask if the road that they plan do drive on will be of a good quality or not.
The reason why people are wondering, is because there are some comments on Tripadvisor about the bad state of the roads in Albania. And as you can imagine, people who have travelled to Albania have very different opinions about the roads. So that leaves a lot of travellers wondering, what the roads in Albania are actually like.
The short answer is that the roads along the coastline in the South of Albania are of a good quality. Similarly, roads to day trip destinations like Berat city, Durres city, Kruja city and Shkoder city are of a sufficient quality.
However, if you plan on driving to the Albanian Alps in the North of Albania or to the remote areas in the East of Albania, you will probably need a 4 Wheel Drive Car. Especially the roads to the Lake Koman Ferry, the Theth village and the Valbone village, do require a 4 Wheel Drive.
At the same time, I would recommend that if you plan on visiting the Albanian Alps, that you book a local driver with a 4 Wheel Drive Car. For your safety, it is simply better to travel with a driver, who has driven the road into the mountains a thousand times!
Step 7: Bring a credit card with enough available funds for the car rental deposit
Another good reason to do your research before renting a car in the Balkans, is the difference in amount of deposit you need to pay for the car rental.
Europcar Montenegro, for instance, informed me that they needed to block 1450 euros on my credit card for the car rental. The quote they send me for a Fiat 500L Manual transmittion was for 925.46 euros, so that makes the deposit 524.54 euros.
Now this obviously varies from person to person, whether you have access to that kind of fund on your credit card.
But for sure there is a large difference between the car rental companies. Because Renault Rent a Car Montenegro only asked for 200 euros deposit. And Renault Rent a Car also stated that the deposit could be credit card or cash, as I preferred.
I am an Albania Tour Guide, who organizes 1-day, 2-day or multiple day private tours in Albania. I arrange your transportation and I am your English speaking guide. So that, you get to experience the most beautiful places in Albania!
Kind regards, Manon
Welcome to Albania!
I am a Tour Guide in Albania
I am an Albania Tour Guide, who organizes 1-day, 2-day or multiple day private tours in Albania.
Book your free Albania Planning Session via Skype now, by using my online scheduler to find a time that’s convenient for you.