Part 1 – Driving in Albania
Given the high number of car accidents that occur in Albania we consider this blog post very important and as locals that know very well our country we would like to give some tips and share our knowledge to travellers regarding driving a car in Albania & how to best car rental in Albania reducing the chances that you get involved in a car accident.
Overall information about driving in Albania
As in most European countries driving in Albania is on the right-hand side of the road. Wearing a seat belt is mandatory for all passengers. Mobile phones can be used only with a hands-free set. Depending on the country of origin, it is best to have a valid International driving license with you but some countries have agreements with Albania so their driving license is valid. In case you are travelling with children, Albanian law enforces (depending on the child’s weight) the type of seat to use: “infant seat” for children of 7kg to 18kg and “child seat” or “booster seat” for 15kg to 36kg so when you want to rent a car reserve those in advance!
The core of the topic. Is it difficult or dangerous driving in Albania?
Albania’s driving rules are similar to the rest of Europe but if you are not sure better to be cautious. The real problem with the high number of accidents is that not all respect the rules or speed limits and therefore it can get dangerous if you are not careful.
The number of car accidents increases especially during the summer period when the number of vehicles that are on the roads more than doubles. Some cities like the capital are always stressful to drive to year-round even for locals because of the high traffic.
Other cities will experience traffic only during the summer months and in addition to that most of them don’t have traffic lights at intersections.
It becomes important to be high alerted at the junctions since often the bold gets first. It is imperative to be cautious and expect everything.
From personal experience, be focused on the road because unexpectedly an object such as a scooter, a bike or a car can appear in front of you. It is crucial that you don’t exceed the speed limits even when they seem to be very low! Often accidents happen because cars enter the high-speed road in an unexpected way from a connecting small road or intersection and this is one of the top causes of the accident according to the statistics.
We also have inpatient drivers that perform surpassing in forbidden segments of the road, my advice let them go!
Another thing to keep in mind driving in Albania at nighttime is that even on highways sometimes on the side of the road can be a biker & scooter or walker with no lights or no yellow jacket. So it is important to have your eyes on the road. In addition, some roads have poor street lighting or side road signals.
Police will randomly perform speed limits checks on some roads but most of the time everyone knows where they are. In addition, some people have been immune from the law so my golden rule is to stay away from speeders, especially those with expensive cars, just let them pass!
We are not trying to scare you but more to make you aware of the dangerous drivers we have, and the high number of car accidents during summer. We wish you to have a great experience and enjoy this journey and become important to avoid being involved in a car accident. Despite the risks of having a car, renting or bringing your own car is worth having.
Renting a car is a great idea for a trip to Albania, this will give you a lot of freedom to visit some isolated sites or beautiful beaches, just keep in mind that some remote roads may require a 4×4 car. Albania is not a flat country ¾ of the territory is mountainous with a lot of mountain passing, which can make driving in Albania fun with gorgeous panoramic views.
Part 2 of this blog – Car renting in Albania.
There are plenty of professional companies that for decades have provided car renting in Albania. It is best to book your car as early as you can since the more you get closer to the summer season the fewer available cars will be and the higher the cost of renting will go.
If you are flying to Albania you can easily rent a car at Rinas airport but if you want to save money look for companies that are located in Tirana if your first stop is the capital. Car renting at the airport will be more expensive than the average price. Depending on the car for rent, the price can go from 15 euros to 40 euros a day.
Also depending on your travel itinerary and if you want to do some hikes do not rent the car immediately but do it after you have finished your hiking tour. We hope this information was useful for you to plan your trip but above all your safety is our priority. If you have further questions regarding driving in Albania or car renting in Albania send us an email.
Check our list of suggestions for some hiking trips in Albania.