Last updated on August 29th, 2023
Thinking about renting a car in Montenegro? Wondering where to find cheap Montenegro car hire? Great, look no further!
Here I answer all burning questions about how to rent a car in Montenegro, including the best company where to find cheap rentals, type of vehicle to rent, documents to have, insurance to get, and much more! I also include tips for renting a car in different cities including Podgorica car hire, Tivat airport car rental, renting a car in Budva, Herceg Novi, and Kotor.
I rented many cars in Montenegro together with my husband when we lived there as nomads. We also like to return to this tiny country to revisit and when we go back, we rent cars again.
Montenegro is among those destinations in the Balkans where renting a car is going to offer you so much as it is one of the best places where to hit the road.
So buckle up, find out what’s required, what is the best company to rent a car, and go on one of the epic road trips. But before you hire a car in Montenegro, don’t miss my other guide to Montenegro driving with all the tips for the road and a few suggestions on where to go on a drive.
Also, I encourage you to take a look at my other posts that can help you pack your Montenegro itinerary with action. Some of them are about the best cities where to stay, things to do in Kotor, must-visit places in Tivat, cool day trips from Kotor, scenic walking trails, and much more. You can find all my posts here.
Now, before I dive into details, let’s briefly talk about the main bullet points of this article:
What is the Best Company to Rent a Car in Montenegro
The answer depends on the time of the year when you need a car and length of the trip. I talk in detail about it below but if shortly – the best way to find a car at a reasonable price with a low deposit would be from one of two companies.
The first one rents cars from local suppliers only and works better for rentals anywhere in Montenegro and if you need different pick-up and drop-off locations. Second company works better for renting a car directly in Podgorica or Tivat airport. More on what each of them offers and how to choose one for your needs is below.
Rent a Car in Montenegro – Key Takeaways From This Post
1. First of all, while you are still thinking if you need to rent a car in Montenegro or not, let me tell you – you do need it! By doing so, you will be able to save money on excursions, cover more in less time and see the country in a way that none of the agencies will be able to show you. Oh, and of course, you’ll be able to travel in comfort.
2. Renting a car in Montenegro is easy and quick. You just need to have a passport, be at least 21 years old, have some driving experience, and have the desire to explore on your own.
3. The best company to rent a car is LocalRent as it is the only aggregator in Montenegro that entered the market to unite only reliable local rental shops that offer cars all over the country.
With them, you can expect lower prices, the best service, and a variety of cars to choose from. I talk more about them below in the section about the best car rental companies. Check what they offer, compare to prices on other aggregators and you’ll see how good their deals are.
If Localrent is not available, we also book through this international company as these guys always have cars and the best choice of insurance on the market.
4. I highly recommend you try to rent a convertible car. You don’t necessarily need to take it for the entire vacation. Hire it for a day or two. Montenegro is an incredible country where to drive in a convertible, plus the number of such cars is huge!
Another country that offers as big choice of convertibles at reasonable prices is UAE, with Dubai being a leader. But Montenegro is even ahead of it. Plus, the country itself was simply created for trips by car without a roof!
Here you’ll find the biggest selection of convertibles and the most affordable prices.
5. Do not wait for too long to book a vehicle. If you find a car you like, try to book it immediately. The best deals are gone pretty quickly and during the high season, there are not enough cars.
This is especially true for convertibles and cars of the mini and economy class. For example, Toyota Yaris and Hyundai i20 are very popular and they are the first ones to be gone. The most popular convertible in Montenegro is the Peugeot 307CC.
6. No matter what, do not rent anything from GoldCar or Green Motion. The most negative reviews on the Internet about car rentals (in any country, including Montenegro) are associated with these companies. Mark and I also had a very bad experience renting from them (more on that below).
Renting a Car in Montenegro – FAQs & Concerns
The topic of car hire in Montenegro may raise a lot of questions. Let’s go through the most important ones to know what to expect.
Do You Need a Car in Montenegro?
Yes, you need a car in Montenegro if you want to experience this country in full and not just spend time on the beach. Montenegro’s beauty lies in its diverse landscapes not just along the coast or Bay of Kotor but also inland.
While public transportation exists, it is rather average and mostly operates along the coast. Plus, taking a bus to go places near the sea doesn’t allow you to experience everything that lies between the cities. And there are many lovely places not to miss!
That being said – having a car is essential to fully explore and appreciate Montenegro. It will allow you to easily visit remote areas (like one of the most beautiful roads Sedlo Pass or some secret beaches) and access scenic locations (like one of 5 national parks or remote lakes where you can go hiking).
With a car, you have the freedom to travel at your own pace and discover Montenegro’s hidden gems that are not easily accessible by other means. Therefore, to make the most of your experience in this Balkan country, having a car is highly recommended.
Even if you don’t plan to drive around the entire country but just want to get from Podgorica to the coast or travel across Montenegro from Herceg Novi to Ulcinj, you need to rent a car.
You’ll also need it when visiting Montenegro in winter. During this season, the schedule for buses changes and they run less frequently.
Road tripping in Montenegro is fun and so enjoyable. Especially, if you go up the north to the mountains like Durmitor National Park, Biogradska Gora or Prokletije National Park. Roads are in excellent condition and the country is actively building more roads and reconstructing highways, so driving here is an absolute pleasure.
Where to Rent a Car in Montenegro?
In my experience, after multiple times of renting a car in Montenegro, I found two best companies for car hire. They meet slightly different needs and cater to different types of travelers.
1.) LOCAL RENT
This Company is best for car hire in smaller cities like Tivat, Budva, Herceg-Novi, Bar, and Ulcinj if you don’t want to rent a vehicle in the airport. This company can deliver a car to your accommodation.
Also, they have many car rentals in Podgorica airport, including luxury cars and convertibles. In fact, they have the largest selection of convertibles (more than 78 cars and this number is increasing).
What makes them my top choice – all their rentals come from locals with low or no deposit (usually around €100-€200 and sometimes even less) which means the entire car hire experience is more laidback and very easygoing. And they always let you book a specific car, not a model or make.
Among other advantages are some nice benefits like free additional drivers, free child’s car seats, cars with automatic transmissions for the same price, and in some cases free delivery.
And the best part, with LocalRent company you can rent a car in one of 28 cities and towns around Montenegro!
Would you like to hire a car in Kotor to go on day trips? Or possibly you need a car when visiting Herceg Novi, Bar, Kolasin, Ulcinj, or Zabljak? Not a problem, with Localrent you can have it pretty much anywhere!
2.) DISCOVER CARS
And this one works better for car hire in Montenegro directly in Podgorica airport or Tivat airport during any season. They have excellent support in case something goes wrong on the supplier’s end and a good selection of cars.
This aggregator is also best for last-minute bookings in summer because they have a big car fleet. If Localrent is out of cars, Discovercars will always have them, even on the busiest day in July or August.
They also offer excellent insurance packages with nice bonuses like Roadside assistance, replacing lost keys or locked keys at no extra cost, etc. And their support is just excellent in case something goes wrong on the supplier’s end.
Side note: While it is easy to hire a car during the winter or off-season, during the summertime it may get a bit tricky. Make sure to book your vehicle in advance, otherwise, you may end up staying without one.
What Age & Documents Do You Need to Rent a Car in Montenegro?
The procedure for renting a car in Montenegro is pretty straightforward. You need to have the following:
- Valid driver’s license from your home country
- Credit Card for the deposit. Although many local companies accept cash as well
- Digital voucher. This one is more just in case as some large suppliers ask for it
The minimum age of a driver should be 21, with experience of at least 2 years.
Can You Rent a Car in Montenegro If You Are Younger Than 21?
The legal minimum driving age in Montenegro is 18 years old, so technically speaking, it is possible to rent a car when you are younger than 21 but older than 18. However, many companies set a requirement for drivers to be 21 and have driving experience of at least 2 years.
Those who are not able to show that can pay a Young Driver Fee. The amount depends on the company but usually suppliers charge $10 – $12 per day. Although there are others that have a flat rate per rental around $80.
This is why I prefer Localrent in this case too as they have cars with different age limits. Contact their support team who will help you find what you are looking for.
Do You Need an International Driver’s License in Montenegro?
You do not need an IDP if you plan to drive in Montenegro with a UK license or license from any country in the EU.
If you hold a driver’s license from the United States, India, any emirate of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Australia, or New Zealand, I would strongly recommend getting one as many companies outline the requirement to have an IDP. Depending on the agent at the desk, you may be asked for it.
Based on my own experience after 20+ times of renting a car in Montenegro a supplier never asked me for the permit (I hold a US license) but if police ever stop you, they will ask you to show it.
Hiring a Car in Montenegro With Insurance – Yes or No?
That’s a good question as the answer depends on the company you book with.
If you rent from LocalRent, you may go without additional insurance as their deposits are generally lower, and often cars include a good insurance package.
When booking with DiscoverCars or similar aggregators, you may want to purchase insurance since their cars usually require large deposits on any deal.
With full coverage, even if you need to pay your deductible, the insurance company will fully reimburse you. This option doesn’t cost much (usually starts at around $7 per day) and is the best value for the money. In addition, you usually get nice bonuses like Roadside assistance, Lost keys, or lockout fees covered.
It is also quite common among travelers to use their own insurance provided by the bank that issues credit cards. At least that’s a benefit provided by some banks in the US and Canada where you may have free rental car insurance, which covers your losses.
But in my experience, I wouldn’t rely on that, to be honest. We were in that exact situation (when renting a car in Tivat) when we had to make a claim for reimbursement for small scratches on our car rental in Montenegro. And we didn’t get any money back as our bank was not satisfied with the paperwork the rental company provided. The same happened a second time when we were renting a car in Cyprus.
So if I could say it in one sentence – better make sure you have at least some type of insurance on your rental car in Montenegro. But overall, the final decision will of course depend on your confidence and budget.
Driving in Montenegro is easy and if you follow the rules, you will probably be fine. But drive at your own risk, and only if you feel confident on the road and usually drive on a daily basis. Also, try to avoid narrow windy roads as they are those places where damaging a car is very easy.
And then if you go without any insurance, just mentally accept the loss if it comes to that.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Car in Montenegro?
I know that one of the most important parts of Montenegro car rental is finding a good price that will suit your budget. Yet, if traveling in peak tourist months (from June to September), expect to pay a lot.
And “by a lot” I mean at least €35 per day for a car class mini (manual transmission, automatic will cost more) but that’s the price if you rent a car for a day or two. The longer the rental period, the lower the cost per day. But that’s the price you pay when booking in advance. The last-minute booking might cost you more than that.
A good newer vehicle with lower mileage and more horsepower on average costs between €50-€60 euros per day during the busy summer season when renting a car for 1-2 days. This price will reduce if you choose it for a longer period of time.
During the offseason, if you book in advance, a car rental can go for as little as €10 per day if you hire it for one week or longer. But for the most part, prices fluctuate between €12-€15 per day.
The off-season usually begins in October and ends in the first part of May. Montenegro’s fall, as well as spring months, are the best months to rent a car in Montenegro to go on road trips around the country.
How to Score a Cheap Car Rental
In order to find a budget car rental in Montenegro, you have to be ready to play with dates and pick-up locations as well as rent a car for a longer period of time as prices decrease with longer rentals.
For example, renting a car in Montenegro for 5 days has a daily rate lower than hiring the same car for a day or two. But renting this vehicle for a week means that the daily price is going to be even lower than when you book for a 5-day rental period.
Also, compare prices on different days during the week. I noticed that often prices during the weekend are higher than when booking for the same period of time from Monday to Friday. (Let’s say you are in Montenegro for a week and need a car only for 2 days, better rent it outside the weekend.)
Where Not to Hire a Car in Montenegro
One more thing to mention is about Montenegro car rentals to avoid. There are two companies to stay away from, directly or through the aggregator. And those companies are Green Motion and Goldcar. While they always have the lowest prices, they are absolutely unreliable. Both of them have poor ethics, hide many extra fees and try to get money out of the customer at the end of the rental, coming up with different reasons.
Unfortunately, we rented cars from Goldcar too many times in various cities around Europe (some of them were during car hire in Istanbul and other cities in Turkey, also Dubai, Vilnius, and Valencia), and every time our experience was equally bad.
Goldcar’s vehicles are usually cheap for a reason. They are cheap but their service is poor and representatives make an attempt not to return part of the deposit.
Every time while renting a cheap vehicle from them we paid much more in the end out of the deposit for something they made up. Besides the money thing, agents on duty were rude, pretended they didn’t speak English, and didn’t care about us as customers by all means of this word.
The quality of their cars can be also very poor. Once we hired a car from Green Motion with a bad tire which we complained about but they assured us was fine. It burst on us right after we left, and then they made us pay for it (much more than what it really cost). Another time, Goldcar charged us for scratches that were on the car that they didn’t want to mark on the contract assuring us there was no need.
Another note – they tend to release old cars that fall apart to those who purchase full coverage. When reserving a car without insurance, expect to have a brand new beautiful vehicle. Why? Because the company expects you to make even the smallest damage that they can charge you for later.
You can read reviews of others on Google for both of these companies and see how bad they are. Very cheap car deals are cheap for a reason. It is better to pay a little bit more to receive much higher quality and better service.
Rent a Car in Podgorica vs Tivat vs Kotor vs Any Other City
Some people, when renting a car in Montenegro, think that the best city to pick up a vehicle is Podgorica. When in reality this is not the case. The beauty about Montenegro car hire is that you can rent it anywhere in the country and pay pretty much the same price.
The majority of local offices are located along the coast and they offer fantastic prices.
If you fly to Podgorica and plan to start your road trip from there, sure, rent a car in Podgorica. But if for any other reason, you’d like to hire it in Kotor, Budva, Tivat airport, Ulcinj, or even Crna Gora, you can easily do that too.
There are a lot of options to rent a car along the Adriatic coast, Bay of Kotor, and mountainous towns. The choice is yours. Plus, distances are rather short. So no matter where you pick up a car you can always visit all the main points of interest.
Renting a Car in Montenegro With Different Pick-up & Drop-off Locations
The beauty of Montenegro car hire lies in the fact that you can rent a vehicle in any part of the country and drop it off in another location without paying too much for this option.
To be able to do it, you need to rent a car through Localrent as they are the only ones who offer this extra perk.
International companies located in Tivat and Podgorica airports do not have such a service. Some suppliers can possibly arrange pick-up of the car in another airport but you need to make an arrangement with them after reserving a car and be ready to pay a significant fee on top of the car hire. However, they are not allowing to drop a car in another town or city where there is no airport.
With Localrent you are able to choose any pick-up and drop-off location. It’s very convenient when you need to rent a car in Herceg Novi and drop it off in Ulcinj or if renting it in Podgorica and dropping a car off in Kotor. See it for yourself.
Montenegro Car Hire in Different Locations
What Type of a Car to Rent in Montenegro
If you plan to drive in Montenegro mainly along the coast, including Lovcen National Park and Lake Skadar, get a small to medium size car. That is going to be enough to comfortably drive around and park on the streets of cities. A smaller size car is very convenient to park tightly in Kotor Bay, Budva, Tivat, Herceg Novi, or Ulcinj, or even on rural roads that are often narrow.
If otherwise, you plan to go far inland away from the coast, I wouldn’t recommend getting a car with an engine smaller than 1.2 liters. You will feel insecure about going uphill and overtaking.
For the mountains, rent a car with an engine capacity of at least 1.2 liters with the manual and 1.4 liters on cars with an automatic transmission. If you plan to fully load the vehicle, then add at least another 0.2 liters of engine capacity.
Is it a Good Idea to Rent a 4WD in Montenegro?
When visiting some of Montenegro’s hidden gems and going to more distant corners like Kapetanovo Lake, Prokletije National Park, or let’s say some parts of the Komovi mountains, you do need to secure a 4WD rental.
Otherwise, it all depends on where you plan to go. If only to the cities along the coast (especially in the summer), having a 4WD will be a challenge mostly because of the size of the roads and limited parking spaces.
Also remember that mountain roads in Montenegro often have one narrow lane, so you need to be ready to reverse and let oncoming cars pass. Sometimes you need to pass them on your own in “cramped” areas. This is why you have to be comfortable not only driving such a car but also doing all the maneuvers if needed.
But overall, outside those roads in national parks and open spaces having a 4WD gives much more confidence on the road, even though some routes (like Sedlo Pass for example) are in perfect asphalt condition where you can easily drive in a smaller car.
What about the van, will you be able to rent it in Montenegro? Yes, vans are available for rent through Localrent and they are good options for big families. Although again, keep in mind that parking in cities during the high tourist season will be a problem.
Renting a Car in Montenegro to Travel to Other Countries
Hiring a car anywhere in Montenegro is possible for international travel which includes not only nearby Albania, Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia but many countries in the EU including Greece, Italy’s mainland, and Switzerland. Some even allow going to Norway (which is a great thing if you plan a mega road trip around Europe and want to travel on a budget.
Not every supplier allows international travel but those that do, mention it in their contracts.
Both Localrent and Discovercars work with companies that allow to take rental cars outside Montenegro but they always have fees involved which fluctuate between €100-€200.
If you end up renting a car for international travel, your task upon pick-up is:
- To check if a ‘Green Card’ is included which is the document that you’ll need on the border crossing. A green card is basically international insurance. Without it, you will not be able to leave Montenegro.
- Double-check that an agent who rents out a car puts a note in the contract that this car can go outside Montenegro. There should be a phrase “može vozi van” (which means “a car can go abroad”).
Can You Rent a Car in Dubrovnik & Go to Montenegro?
Yes, you can rent a car in Dubrovnik (or anywhere else in Croatia) and drive to Montenegro. But before you do that, you have to get written permission from a supplier, otherwise the border control will not let you through.
If you rent your car through Localrent, there is also a checkmark for “Border Crossing”. Make sure you check that and pay the fee, usually, it is around €60-€90.
If you book your car from any other resource, send your supplier a message stating your intention to enter Montenegro. This way they can prepare the paperwork ahead of time.
The entire process is quick and quite convenient as you can drive one car through two countries and even drop a vehicle in Montenegro if you wish.
Wrapping Up This Car Hire in Montenegro Guide
Montenegro is that country where you don’t want to miss an opportunity to hire a car and drive around! Even if your budget doesn’t allow you to rent it for the entire stay, book for a day or two and go on an adventure. Roads are in excellent condition, and almost everywhere you go there are views and beautiful things to see.
I hope I was able to answer your questions about the Montenegro car rental process. If you have anything else to ask, make sure to drop it in the comments, once I answer it will be useful to future readers as well.
More Montenegro Posts for Inspiration
If this will be your first time in Montenegro, I also have some resources to help you get the best out of your trip. First of all, start with my guide on where to stay in Montenegro and learn in which city it is best to make a base. If you need a place where to stay on a long-term basis, read a post about apartment rent in Montenegro.
Also, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter to know when the next post is up.
And happy travels!
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