One of the decisions you'll need to make before your arrival is whether to rent a car in Montenegro or not.
On this page I'll help you decide if you need car hire during your stay and answer the most commonly asked questions.
For most people, taking a rent a car in Montenegro makes a lot of sense. It's easy to get around and you can do a lot more sightseeing with a car than without.
Montenegro has a small population and we don't have large-scale public transport links like major cities. There are local buses that run between the main towns daily though and these are easy to use (although the timetables aren't always easy to find). And there are many locations, like Lustica Peninsula, where you simply can't do without a car.
But hiring a car is a waste of time and money for some. If you're not going to use it or will spend less on taxis than you would or car hire, then there's no reason to get a car.
First, let's look at the reasons you might not need a car.
1. Your accommodation is in a town centre.
When you stay in the centre of town, you'll have restaurants and attractions on your doorstep. You won't need a car to go out for dinner. This will work for you if you’re planning to spend your time relaxing and don’t want to go far. If you want to do a lot of sightseeing, I'd recommend taking a car. Even if you're staying in a town centre.
In the centre of town, you’ll also have easy access to buses and taxis. These are both inexpensive and regular. Keep reading to find out more about buses below.
If you have a car and your accommodation doesn’t have parking included you'll have to pay for it. Parking in towns runs at around 80c - €1 per hour.
2. You prefer tours to independent sightseeing.
The main advantage of having a rent a car in Montenegro is being able to get out and enjoy the sights. But if you prefer to join tours, a car would be a waste of money for you.
You could book accommodation that’s close to the centre of town and take guided tours from there.
3. Your accommodation isn’t walking distance to restaurants but you want to drink with meals.
Perhaps you’ve booked a hotel and you don’t plan on going much further than your pool… except to go out to dinner at night. Imagine days lounging by the pool and warm nights strolling past restaurants along the seaside. This is what Mediterranean dream holidays are made of right?
If this is your plan for your holiday, just keep in mind that the alcohol limit for drivers in Montenegro is 0. Zip. Nada. Yep, that means enjoying a glass or two of Montenegrin Vranac with dinner is off the menu if you’re driving.
Luckily, taxis are not expensive here so you can dispense with the rent a car and just call a taxi when you want to go out.
Shops are open until late (usually 10pm in summer) so with a little planning for provisions, you’ll be able to take care of everything in one trip.
1. You want to do a lot of sightseeing.
With so much to see and do in Montenegro, most people want to make the most of it and get around the key sights. A car is invaluable here. With a car, you can fit many things into one day – something you’d never be able to do using public transport.
Because Montenegro’s so small, you can actually fit a lot into one day. You can:
If you're planning to do a bit of sightseeing, renting a car really does make life easier and you can fit much more in in the time that you have. Most people stay a week to 10 days, so want to fit in as much as possible in that time and find car rental more than worthwhile.
2. You’re staying in a remote area.
One of the best things about Montenegro is you can get beautiful accommodation overlooking the sea with little but wildlife for neighbours.
In this case, I’d recommend car rental. There won't be public transport servicing the area and a car will be your only way of getting out and about.
Even if you’re staying somewhere relatively populated like Krasici on Lustica Peninsula, there’s no public transport so you need a car to go anywhere.
Lustica Peninsula has no bus links at all, so if see that's on your agenda or you'd like to stay there, you'll definitely need car hire.
There are major car rental companies available at the airports as well as some smaller companies. I do recommend going with an established, reputable company which will offer standard international terms and conditions.
If you really want to get the most out of your stay, I do recommend getting a rent a car in Montenegro.
There are so many beaches and coves along the Budva Riviera to explore and interesting places that you can only get to if you've got a car. Find out about Budva Riviera beaches here.
Rent a car in Montenegro starts from around €150 per week and goes up depending on the size of car you need.
If you have a list of places that you want to visit, hiring a car can be much more cost-effective than booking tours to each place.
For example if you want to go rafting the price is €55 per person, but if you need a transfer the price for a family of four will be an extra €100. Hiring a car could be more cost effective.
Montenegro car rental is very easy. You don't need an international driver's licence, your licence from home is fine. You will need:
Don't Drink Any Alcohol: The blood alcohol limit for driving is 0 in Montenegro. That means you can't have any alcohol if you're driving. Take a taxi instead.
Watch Speed Limits Carefully: There are no general speed limits eg. the speed limit is always 50km/h in towns or 70km/h in rural areas. The speed limits change often and without rhyme or reason. Make sure you pay attention to them and don't go more than 5km/h above.
The Locals Are Crazy: If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me 'are the drivers in Montenegro really crazy?' I'd be a happy lady! The short answer is yes, yes they are crazy. They overtake on blind corners, they are impatient, beep their horns a lot and pay no attention to those speed limits I just talked about.
But they're also very good drivers in general. They can pass each other on a road you'd swear two horses couldn't pass each other on. They can park a giant SUV in a space made for a Mini. And road rage is limited to some shouting and hand waving.
Just ignore them.
Take Your Time: There will probably be times when you'll have to back up on a one-lane road to let another car pass. There might be times when you have to navigate a steep and potholed road. Just take your time and drive carefully.
Get The Right Car: You might be tempted to go for the smallest car, but consider an upgrade if you're in either of these situations:
I recommend booking with one of the major companies when you're booking a car. There are few reasons for this:
I've added a car hire search box below so that you can search car hire options and book directly online. Rentalcars.com has the most car hire options in Montenegro so you'll be able to see all of your options in one place.
Wondering where you can take your rent a car in Montenegro?
We have list of Montenegro's most scenic drives right here.
All of the towns have local bus transport and you can catch intercity buses from the main bus stations. The departure times are listed there and you can also check online for bus links.
If you'd like to see places like Zabljak, Kolasin or Lake Skadar in day trips you'll definitely need your own rental car. Places like Cetinje and Ostrog can be visited in day trips either with your own car or on a tour.
Taxis are abundant and relatively cheap in Montenegro so you can easily get about by taxi.
Find out more about taxis and find contact numbers for them here.
If you've decided you don't need a rental car, you'll need transport to and from your accommodation. You can book a transfer in advance so that a driver is waiting for you on arrival. This will save you having to haggle with the private drivers who are waiting to overcharge you at the airport. You can find options and pricing for transfers here.
Book your accommodation anywhere in the world through any of the search boxes on our site and we'll make a donation towards sterilising stray animals in Montenegro.
It costs you nothing, and you get the biggest selection and lowest prices guaranteed. It's a win-win!