montenegro driving guide

Montenegro Driving Guide

Montenegro is a spectacular country you'd want to visit. Drive and explore the country with your International Driving Permit!

2022-02-07 · 9 mins.

Do you ever want to visit a country that gives you the ultimate relaxation? Well travel Montenegro and experience the beach, sunny weather, and even nature. This is country with almost 0 pollution, healthy clean air and water, and also with many national parks like Lovcen national park and Durmitor national park. Meet its wonderful people, culture, and even taste their food. What more could you ask for than to explore this marvelous country. Also, make sure to get your international driving permit for Montenegro, before your trip.

Traveling to Montenegro and exploring its splendors could give you a vacation like no other. However, one common problem that every traveler would worry about is whether their itinerary would be worth it, especially if it's their first time in the country. If you want to find out more about Montenegro driving and whether a car hire or public transport would be a better option, then let's read onward!

How Can This Guide Help You?

Traveling to Montenegro and exploring its splendors could give you a vacation like no other. However, one common problem that every traveler would worry about is whether their itinerary would be worth it, especially if it's their first time in the country. If you want to find out more about Montenegro driving and whether a car hire or public transport would be a better option, then let's read onward!

General Information about Montenegro

Traveling to this humble country in Europe can be so exciting. But like with visiting other countries, there are a set of information we need to know in advance to avoid any trouble while you're in the country. Other than that, these pieces of information will help us fully understand and love the country more.

Geographical Location
Montenegro is a small country in the Balkan Peninsula. It shares borders with Serbia in the northeast, the Adriatic Sea and Croatia in the southwest, Kosovo in the east, Albania in the southeast, and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the northwest. Its capital city is Podgorica.

Land Area
This small country in the Balkans is one of the top ten smallest countries in Europe. It has an area of 13,812 square kilometers, which is smaller than Croatia's. In addition to the land area, the country has a population of only around 620,000 people.

History
This country has a long and complicated history, which dates back to the founding of the Principality of Zeta in 1040 and the formation of a Serbian principality in 1239. The capital city of Montenegro is Podgorica. This country in Southeast Europe became an independent state in 1878.

Languages Spoken
The country is made up of several smaller regions with their own language, culture, and traditions. A majority of its nationals speak Montenegrin which is the official language in Montenegro. This language belongs to the South Slavic group, which means it shares its roots with Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian languages. 

The other official language spoken is Serbian, but there are also other minority languages spoken in the country, such as Albanian and Turkish.

Government
Montenegro's government is divided into three branches: executive, legislative and judicial. The President of Montenegro is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President and approved by Parliament. There are also local governments that have their own administration and budgeting, which are typically smaller than that of the central government.

Tourism
This country in the Balkans is famous to tourists for its natural beauty. It has a coastline of more than 1,000 km and is home to the Bay of Kotor, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Its tourism industry has seen rapid growth recently, with an 11% increase in visitors in 2017 compared to 2016. In 2018, it's expected that the number will grow even more, with an estimate of 2 million tourists coming this year.

Montenegro driving guide Boka Kotorska bay

Renting a Car in Montenegro

The best way to make your trip to another country worth it is if you fully explore all the country has to offer. That is why renting a car is the best choice you can have, so your itinerary in the country will be all worth it. But before you go on and rent a car, you will need to know some information before going.

Car Rental Companies

Before you rent a car in the country, you may need to know which countries to rent a car from. So, here are the following car rental companies which are available in this wonderful country.

  • Apex Car Montenegro
  • Perfect Rent a Car
  • Dagami 8 Rent a car KOTOR MONTENEGRO
  • Montenegrocar Rent a Car Porto Montenegro
  • Monteruss Rent A Car
  • Monti Group - Rent A Car
  • Budva rent a car Montenegro, KIVA car
  • Abeona Rent A Car Montenegro
  • Cars4rent Montenegro
  • Delta Car car rental Montenegro
  • Fast Car Rent a Car Montenegro
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car - Podgorica
  • Pro Auto Car Rental Montenegro

The ones listed above are just some car rental companies available in the country. There's actually a number of them which you can choose from. Simply visit our car rental page to easily book one before you travel to the country.

Documents Required

Car rental companies also need proof of assurance that the renter is a capable driver. That's why all of them will give out some requirements before you can rent a car.

It is necessary to have a number of documents in order to rent a car in Montenegro. These include the following:

  • A valid driver's license
  • A valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining
  • Proof of residence (rental agreement, letter from landlord, etc.)
  • Proof of identity (passport, ID card, etc.)
  • Insurance certificate for the rental car
  • Need to be at least 21 years old (If you're younger than that, you will be required to pay an additional fee.)
  • Need to have their driver's license issued for a year from their home country

Vehicle Types

As the country features different types of roads like mountain roads which connect its cities to different cities and countries, there are preferred vehicle types which are widely used by tourists and even their locals. These vehicle types are cars, pick up vehicles, and trucks.

Car Rental Cost

Being one of the smallest countries in Europe, Montenegro only features lesser costs for car rental. At most, the cheapest cost for a car rental in the country is just around $1.5 per day which is around 1.31 Euros.

Age Requirements

As mentioned above, the minimum age requirements to rent a car in the country is 21 years old whereas the maximum is 75 years old. However, those around 70-75 years old will be required to pay an additional fee. Unlike most countries, ages beyond or lesser than the stated age requirements are not allowed to drive in the country.

Car Insurance Cost

Car insurance cost is always an issue for any driver across the globe. With Montenegro being such a small country and having no car insurers, it can be hard to find affordable rates or coverage options that will suit your needs as well as your budget.

Montenegro has an average car insurance rate of just under $500 a year which is less than 1% of what an American driver would pay for car insurance.

Car Insurance Policy

The car insurance policy in Montenegro is a type of insurance contract that covers the liabilities arising from an accident. This policy is mandatory for all drivers and must be purchased with the registration of a vehicle.

Their policy provides coverage for damages to third parties, such as other drivers, pedestrians, occupants of other vehicles, and property. It also provides coverage for damages to the insured person's own vehicle.

The driver must have a valid license and proof of automobile registration before purchasing this type of insurance. If you are driving without this coverage or if you are driving without a license or proof of registration, you will not be covered by the insurance company.

Do You Need A Car in Montenegro?

The country has a coastline of over 1,000 km which makes it perfect for exploring the amazing beaches that it has to offer.

It is an amazing country with many tourist attractions, and you may need a car to visit them all. If you are planning on visiting this country and don't have your own car, then you might want to think about renting one instead.

Can I Rent A Car in Montenegro and Drive to Dubrovnik, Croatia?

Yes, you can rent a car in the country and drive to Croatia. However, you should be aware of the driving laws in both countries. You may also need to pay a cross-border fee to cross either country.

Montenegro driving guide Saint Stefan

Road Rules

Before hitting the roads in the country as a tourist, you would of course like to avoid getting in trouble. It is a shared doubt for many visiting foreign nationals on whether they should be driving in the country. So here are some of the important road rules that you may need to take note of when you are visiting this country.

Important Regulations

This country has a complex road network with many different roads that are not connected to each other.

The most important road regulations are as follows:

  • Speed limit

    Overspeeding has been the cause of most road fatalities worldwide. That is why in Montenegro, there is also a set speed limit that every driver should follow on the road. The set speed limit on highways is 80 Kph while on other roads, it's 50 Kph.

  • Driving under influence

    The road rule about Driving Under the Influence (also known as DUI) is an important road regulation in every country. Intoxicated drivers have alarmingly caused road accidents which claimed property damages, their lives, and others' lives. That is why it is an important road rule that every driver should follow.

  • Seat belts should be used at all times

    In 2018, the seat belt law was passed in Montenegro.The law is largely considered to be one of the most progressive in Europe and has received praise from many organizations around the world.
    The seat belt law is seen as a success by many citizens and organizations, but it has also faced criticism from some who believe that it should have been more inclusive.

  • Motorcycles must use an approved helmet

    The law in Montenegro requires all motorcyclists to use a helmet. This means that any motorcycle that is not approved for use in the country cannot be driven there.The law is enforced by a special unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Traffic Safety. They are responsible for checking helmets and ensuring that they meet safety standards before issuing them with approval certificates. Motorcycles without approval certificates are confiscated and the rider fined up to EUR 1,000.

General Standards of Driving

The country has strict rules for driving. The minimum age for driving for Montenegrins is 18 years old. As for the general standards of driving in Montenegro include:

  • Driving on the left side of the road
  • Driving at a speed that does not exceed 90 km/h
  • Using headlights during daylight hours
  • Using headlights during night hours when visibility is less than 100 meters or when it's raining, snowing, or foggy
  • Not using mobile devices while driving

Seatbelt Laws

Montenegro is one of the few countries that have seatbelt laws and they are enforced by the police. The law states that you must wear a seatbelt while driving or riding in any vehicle, regardless if it’s on or not.

Traffic Road Signs

The Montenegrin traffic signs are similar to those in other European countries. However, they have some unique features that make them stand out from the rest.

The traffic sign in the countrys placed at the intersection of a two-way street or on an extension of a one-way street. It is also placed after a pedestrian crossing and before a driveway. There are also signs that indicate when it is prohibited to turn left or right from the main road.

Montenegro has many road signs and they vary by region. They have been used since 1939 but their design was modernized in 2004 and 2009 with the help of the European Union.

Right of Way

Montenegro is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, with steep mountains and deep valleys. One of the main roads in in the country called "The Road to Nowhere" because it goes through an area where there are no settlements or even signposts.

Right-of-way laws are very important but they can also be difficult to understand and apply correctly. A person driving on a road must always give way to any pedestrians who are on that side of the street, according to law.

As mentioned, the legal driving age for Montenegrins is 18; thus, teenagers can get their driver's license at this age as long as they have passed their theory test and practical test for driving cars and motorcycles respectively. However, for visiting foreign nationals, the required age to drive in the country would be 21 years old to 75 years, same as with renting. 

Laws on Overtaking

The country has an interesting case study in the law of the road. This unique law where the driver who is first to reach a certain point on a road, gets to have the right of way. This law has been around since 1882, but it seems like it may be outdated and not applicable in today's society.

The law was created when horses were still used as transportation. But nowadays, with cars being more common than horses, this law may not be relevant anymore. However, if you are driving in the country and you see someone trying to overtake you on your left side, then you should give them your full attention and let them pass if they are able to do so safely.

Driving Side

A majority of the European countries practice the right-hand side driving. Montenegro is not exempt to this and they do drive on the right-hand side of the road. However, if you are used to the left-hand side driving, it is best that you attend a driving class or school to master this before you hit the Montenegrin roads.

Driving Etiquette

The driving etiquette in the country is not as easy to understand as it may seem.

It can be difficult because there are no set rules for driving in this country. There are some general rules that you should know, but you should also be aware of the cultural differences before driving in this country.

The country is one of the most diverse countries in Europe and has a lot of different cultures and traditions. It's important to know these differences when driving here so that you don't offend or make someone uncomfortable while on the road.

Car Breakdown

Car breakdowns can happen anywhere and can be costly if you don't know what to do. 

If you are driving a rental car, it's best to call your rental company as soon as possible so they can arrange for assistance with getting the vehicle fixed or replaced. If you are driving a private vehicle, it's best to call someone who knows how to fix cars and find out where they can take it for repairs or replacement.

Police Stops

Police stops in Montenegro are a common occurrence. The police are obliged to stop any person who is suspected of committing a crime, but it can also be triggered by the suspicion of an individual's behavior.

  • Police stops happen in the following circumstances:
  • Suspected criminal behavior
  • Suspected violation of traffic rules
  • Suspected violation of public order and safety
  • Suspected violation of immigration laws
  • Wanted individual

If you have done neither, simply be respectful, ask for their Identification, and never step out of your vehicle when the officer is not wearing a uniform. Although this rarely happens, if the traffic officer seems suspicious, it is better to contact authorities immediately and never roll down your window or step out of your vehicle.

Asking Directions

When asking for driving directions when driving in the country, you might want to ask for the shortest route or the most scenic route. If you're not sure which way to go, simply ask for directions from your current location to any other point in Montenegro with the locals. 

However, you must remember that the main spoken languages in the country are Serbian and Montenegrin.

Checkpoints

Police checkpoints are a common sight in Montenegro. They are used by the police to check for driving licenses, registration plates, and other documents.

When you come across a checkpoint, it is important to know what to do and what not to do. Let's take a look at some of the most important things that you should know about these checkpoints.

What not to do?

  1. Don't drive away from the checkpoint if you have no license or registration plate on hand. 
  2. It is illegal in Montenegro for people with expired or missing documents to drive on public roads like in the city Cetinje. This also includes rural roads in small villages like Virpazar, Tivat, Zabljak, Perast, Herceg Novi, and the others.
  3. If you are stopped at one of these checkpoints, don't be rude or aggressive towards the police officers - this will only make them suspicious of your actions and cause them to detain you further for questioning.

Driving Conditions

Breaking the driving regulations could lead you to serious trouble such as accidents, damages, and worse, paying hefty fines. So continue on reading this guide to know more about the things you need to do so you can avoid this hassle when driving in this beautiful country.

Accident Statistics
The statistics of Montenegro show that it is one of the safest countries in Europe.

Montenegro has been ranked as the third-safest country in Europe, with an accident rate of 0.4 per 100,000 people.

Common Vehicles
The most commonly used vehicles in this country are cars and motorcycles. They make up nearly 88% of the vehicles on the roads in the country. There are also some other types of vehicles that have been used but less frequently than cars and motorcycles such as buses, trucks, vans and minivans.

Toll Roads
Toll roads in the country are a new way of funding transportation projects. The government is using the revenue from these tolls to improve the infrastructure.

The country's toll road is a type of highway that is privately owned and operated by the company that built it. The company charges users to use the road, and it can be paid through cash, credit card, or via toll card.

Road Situations
The road system in this country is not very extensive, so driving can be difficult. The main roads are often steep, winding, and narrow. In many places, there are no guardrails or barriers to prevent drivers from falling off the road.

However, if you are well-equipped enough with these facts, then these issues won't be a problem for you.

Driving Culture
Montenegrins drive in a very unique way with their own set of rules. They are accustomed to right-hand driving and drive with low beams. Also, parking in Montenegro can be quite challenging, therefore, you must have a booked space in advance.

Applying for Residency

The entire process of applying for residency in Montenegro is relatively easy, however, there are critical steps you need to take note of. Before we go on and discuss all about applying for a residency in the country, you need to know the different types of residence permits.

  • Temporary Residence or privremeni boravak

    If you intend to stay longer in the country, you will be needing this permit. This type of permit will help you work in the country, given that you also have a working permit with you. This can be renewed in subsequent one-year terms.
  • Permanent residence permission or stalni boravak

    This type of permit will last up to five years and can be renewed. This grants you all the benefits that Montenegrins have except for voting and carrying a Montenegrin passport.
  • Montenegrin citizenship or drzavljanstvo

    If you have stayed in the country for a decade, then you can apply for a full citizenship.

The Top Road Trip Destinations

Every tourist's top goal is to visit every country's top destination and what it is known for. Montenegro is popular for top destinations like Kotor, Kolašin, Lake Skadar, Moraca, and more.  Since it is mentioned above that people can enjoy this country through sightseeing and visiting the many natural wonders that it boasts, read on to see a few of those we have listed down.

montenegro driving guide kotor

Kotor Old Town

This coastal town has one of the preserved medieval towns in the country and is considered a Unesco World Heritage Site. The country is home to numerous sights aside from the town itself, and it also hosts numerous events in the summer.

Driving Directions:
Please note that this route has usage of private roads.

  1. From Podgorica Airport.
  2. Take M2 to E65/E80 in Goričani.
  3. Follow E65/E80 to Dobrota.
  4. Drive to your destination.


Explore Stari Grad of
Kotor Old Town by Foot

This is an activity where you can get in contact with Kotor's locals. Get to know them, talk to them, and explore the Kotor square. Have a taste of their local cuisine and understand more about their culture when you explore it by foot.

Visit the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon.

This Kotor Cathedral is one of the only two Roman Catholic churches in Kotor and it is the most well-known church in Montenegro. This church was built to honor the patron saint of this city, Saint Tryphon.

Join the Summer Carnival or Bokeljska Noć.

Along with Budva and Tuzi, this is summer carnival is celebrating during the season with the same name. It also hosted the Federation of European Carnival Cities or FECC World Carnival City Congress back in May 2009.

Go Hiking to the Kotor Fortress.

Also called the Castle of San Giovanni or Saint John's Fortress. There are 1350 steps to witness the wondrous scenes in the whole of Kotor, including Kotor bay. It mostly takes 2 hours to go up and down this fortress.

Check the Kotor Cats Museum.

If you love cats, then this museum is perfect for you. It is a museum founded back in 2013, and is a museum that the people of Kotor dedicate to their love for cats. This is certainly a musuem that's a must-visit for cat lovers.

montenegro driving guide budva

Budva Riviera

The Budva Riviera is the 35km strip of the Adriatic Coast surrounding the town of Budva. This spot is the center for Montenegrin beach tourism as it this coast is lined with several beaches worth visiting. Budva is ideal for summer vacation or day trip during the spring and autumn .

Driving directions:

  1. Podgorica Airport.
  2. Take M2 to E65/E80 in Goričani.
  3. Follow E65/E80 to Budva.
  4. Turn right at Aleksandar Bus Station.

Visit the Beaches.

As mentioned, Budva Riviera is widely known for its line of beaches which are a must-visit for every visiting tourist. This spot is known for its sandy beaches and clear waters. 

Walk Along the Budva City Walls.

You will notice that during your Montenegro travel, the Old Town of Budva is surrounded by fortress walls. Although this was destroyed during an earthquake back in the seventeeth century, it was rebuilt by the Venetians.

Sit by One of the Coffee Shops in the Area.

After a long day of exploring the old town, the best option is to sit back and relax in one of the coffee shops in the area. Although touring around this top destination is such a wonder and will leave you satisfied, it is essential that you take time to rest to regain your energy. And possibly, you can also chat with some locals.

Ostrog Monastery

This monastery is built by the Metropolitan bishop of Herzegovina, Vasilije, back in the 17th century. This cave church is dedicated to the Presentation of the Mother of God to the Temple.

Driving directions:

  1. Start from Podgorica Airport.
  2. Continue to Glavni grad Podgorica.
  3. Follow E65/E80 to Podgorica.
  4. Continue to Ulica Vojislavljevića/Vojislavljevića.
  5. Then continue on E762 to Opština Danilovgrad.
  6. Sharp right onto Ostrog.

Dedicate A Prayer at the Monastery.

Many tourists come here to dedicate a prayer and show their faith. Hiking or traveling to the Ostrog Monastery can be also considered as a test of every visitor's faith as it is literally perched on a cave by the cliff.

Observe the Spectacular View of Valley.

Everyone lives to savor every wonderful scenery offered in the place they travel to. In Ostrog Monastery, they can observe the wonderful view of the monastery to breathtaking valley.

Buy Some Souvenirs.

If you want to keep a memory of the place or share something related to it, you can buy someone a souvenir. There are souvenir shops available with products which remind you of the monastery that you can buy.

Reference

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