Car Rental for Croatia

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Oct 26th, 2018, 02:11 PM
  #1
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Car Rental for Croatia

I'm looking for car rental recommendations for 16 days in Croatia. We will be going into & out of Slovenia. Pick up would be in Zagreb with a dropoff in Split. (I realize there will be a drop off fee.) I went to Auto Europe, my usual, but their rates were rather high I thought ($365). Also looked at Sixt and rental was ~$435 with charges for changes/canx. Any suggestions for rental companies that might be less expensive? Thanks
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Oct 26th, 2018, 06:34 PM
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kja
 
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For Europe, I always make my arrangements through gemut.com, which works with AutoEurope but, IME, sometimes manages lower rates. You might check!
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Oct 26th, 2018, 08:36 PM
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I used EconomyCarRentals when I rented in 2015 (picked up in Rijeka, returned in Zagreb). They're a broker, similar to Auto Europe and the others. Unlike Auto Europe, they don't charge you for the full cost of the rental up front (though Auto Europe does offer a free refund). Instead, they charge you a "deposit" (probably their commission) and you pay the rest of the rental price with the car company as with a regular car rental. I got a company called Oryx which was OK. (I rented from Sixt a few times in Slovenia and Croatia too and they were also decent enough.) They offer, like Auto Europe, a full refund up to 48 hours before pick-up of the car.

I found that the price of car rentals fluctuated over time. I would definitely check prices again occasionally - they might go down significantly between now and your trip.

FYI, there isn't always a one-way drop fee when renting within Croatia. I've never paid one on either of my past rentals which were both one-way. The shorter the rental period, the more likely you'll pay the fee, I found.

Make sure you've got the price of an insurance card included in the cost if you want to drive the car through Bosnia or into Montenegro. Forget your exact itinerary at the moment, but remember that to drive between Split and Dubrovnik on the mainland, you have to drive through the "Neum Corridor," a tiny stretch of Bosnian territory that hits the coast. (You can avoid it actually by detouring via ferry and the Pelješac peninsula.) Some car companies may offer waivers for driving through Neum without any extra cost, others may not - just make sure ahead of time you know. The car MUST have a "green card" (insurance card) to cross the border in any case. Not every rental car is guaranteed to have one.
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Oct 26th, 2018, 09:16 PM
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Thanks, kja -- I sent off a request to Gemut.

Andrew -- I will be dropping the car in Split coming from the north. After going to Korcula when I return to the mainland in Dubrovnik I will pick up a new rental car and drive to Montenegro. I will be sure to inquire about the insurance card. Nothing was mentioned about that on the Auto Europe or Sixt websites. Is that something your organized in advance or at the rental pick up? I'll check EconomyCarRentals. I usually book a rental and then as you said, check back on a regular basis for any price drops. Thanks!
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Oct 26th, 2018, 10:11 PM
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You definitely need to set up the insurance card ahead of time to make sure you get one. Not every car will have one. I almost found this out the hard way the first time I rented from Sixt in Croatia. I picked up my car in Zagreb on a Sunday morning. They had only one car. I told the rental agent I was driving to Bosnia, and he was like, "Let me make sure this car has a green card!" Lucky it did; otherwise, I would not have been able to drive it to Bosnia.

You won't be driving the first car out of the EU, so perhaps you'll not have to pay a fee. The second car will drive out of the EU to Montenegro. Every car company has a different policy and fees. I don't think Sixt 0charged me anything at that time to drive the car to Bosnia (or could be because I happened to reserve it without one but had the card anyway). but at that time Croatia was not in the EU anyway. In 2015, Oryx charged me a flat 40 euro (including VAT) one-time fee to drive the car out of the EU. Other companies may charge a fee per-day.
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Oct 26th, 2018, 10:26 PM
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Try Kemwel as well. I have used them before and sometimes they have better rates than Auto Europe.
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Oct 27th, 2018, 07:46 AM
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Andrew, thanks for the additional info. I found that when I put the reservation through, it asked me about what countries we would be in. It then gets back with the confirmation & any additional charges for the rental.

KTtravel - thanks for the reminder. I did just check Kemwell and they were $1 more than their sister company, Auto Europe.

As it turned out the best rate so far is with Auto Europe with a company, NOVA of which I am not familiar. But I find AE really good if/when there are any issues. They have resolved them for us on many an occasion.

Thanks all for your suggestions. I will keep checkin for lower rates.
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Oct 27th, 2018, 10:00 AM
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Also recommend gemut.com, have used them for car rentals all over Europe for many years. We rented a car through gemut in Croatia last year, and paid $430 for an "Intermediate SUV", which is basically a full-sized station wagon, for 10 days. The rental agency used was Fleet.

You mentioned 2 separate car rentals - a pick-up in Zagreb and drop-off in Split, and then a new rental starting in Dubrovnik. How many days were represented by the $365/$435 rates in your initial post? Surely that couldn't be the total for the whole 16 days? Those would be great rates of $23/$27 per day.
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Oct 27th, 2018, 10:33 AM
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phillyboy -- how was it driving that big of a car? We generally try to get a small car and was debating between the economy and compact. Yes, the rates of $365 was for 16 days and included the drop-off. The final price including one way rental was $350, so ~$22 a day. I try to get rates below $20 per day.
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Oct 27th, 2018, 10:47 AM
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FWIW, for the places you plan to visit, yestravel, I would think a smaller car would suit better. The compact will likely have a more secure luggage area than the economy, though that varies. (Another reason I work with gemut: I have found their advice about things like that to be excellent.)

Last edited by kja; Oct 27th, 2018 at 11:09 AM.
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Oct 27th, 2018, 12:06 PM
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I paid about $13/day in 2015 for a two week rental (including the 40 euro fee for border crossing).
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Oct 27th, 2018, 12:37 PM
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Andrew -- $13/day would be wonderful! BTW on the border crossings, I have been digging into it to get an idea of prices. Apparently for quite a few years, legally you don't have to have the green card to go into BH or Montenegro. However, rental companies seem to ignore that. It looks like some charge for the card and others don't.

kja -- yea, I figured the smaller the car the easier to get around those small villages and we do tend to rent very small cars. But as you point out, it is nice to be able to hide our 2 carry-ons and many small cars don't even have room for that in a hatchback or tiny trunk. I know you like Gemut -- I think we went back and forth on them on another thread at some point. As happy as you've been with Gemut is as happy as I've been with Auto Europe's prices and service. Plenty of business for both to go around!
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Oct 27th, 2018, 12:49 PM
  #13
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Gemut works through / with AutoEurope, which really means that I get an extra layer of service for the same or lower price. But of course, you should do whatever feels most comfortable to you!

If it matters to you, some compact cars have actual trunks, rather than being hatchbacks.
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Oct 27th, 2018, 01:08 PM
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Whenever I check Gemut they have not been lower than AE. Different places, different prices perhaps. For Croatia I have not heard back. Be nice if they beat the rate I have.

i prefer a trunk, but you never know what you will get until you show up. Although sometimes the hatcbacks do have sufficient cover. It’s all a crapshoot!
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Oct 27th, 2018, 01:11 PM
  #15
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Originally Posted by yestravel View Post
i prefer a trunk, but you never know what you will get until you show up.
Really? I've always found exactly the model I reserved. Maybe I've just been lucky.
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Oct 27th, 2018, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
Really? I've always found exactly the model I reserved. Maybe I've just been lucky.
I wish! Send some of your luck over this way Sometimes we do get what I thought we would be getting. It happens maybe 1 rental in 3.
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Oct 27th, 2018, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by yestravel View Post
Andrew -- $13/day would be wonderful! BTW on the border crossings, I have been digging into it to get an idea of prices. Apparently for quite a few years, legally you don't have to have the green card to go into BH or Montenegro.
Wow - really? Where did you read that? It has been 3+ years, but in 2015, I was definitely asked for the green card a few times when crossing the border into Montenegro and Bosnia (but not at Neum).
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Oct 27th, 2018, 03:54 PM
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Andrew- it was in several places. Hereís one
https://croatiatraveller.com/blog/ca...ard-necessary/
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Oct 27th, 2018, 04:03 PM
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Well, that is interesting. However, he said that on his trip, when he crossed the border, " I drove to both countries and no one ever checked anything, presumably because they saw the Croatian rental plates and knew I was covered." That didn't match my experience - I was definitely checked at border crossings driving into Montenegro and Bosnia (but not Neum) - having Croatian rental plates didn't mean I wasn't inspected.

Also, the Sixt guy in 2009 insisted that I needed the card to cross a border - he didn't charge me for it, but he said if I hadn't had the card, I would not have been allowed to drive the car out of Croatia. Was he wrong? He wasn't trying to upsell me anything - and it was the only car he had anyway.

As the article notes, the car companies are allowed to charge you a fee anyway for crossing borders.

All you need to do is make sure you indicate when renting the car which countries you will be visiting, and they'll make sure you have whatever you need to cross a border. Could be you don't need anything special anymore, but it certainly seems like something to confirm and be aware of.
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Oct 27th, 2018, 04:10 PM
  #20
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Yes, sounds like there is the LAW and there is the practice. Car entail companies are good at finding ways to charge you. Glad you brought this up because I was not aware of it. AE asked about other countries but Iím not going into Montenegro with that rental.
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