Advice for driving in Croatia
3 December 2023
Tips, Checklist & Legal Requirements
If travelling by car you should ensure, before setting out, that your green card covers Croatia. Insurance can be purchased at two main border crossings (Gorican and Bregana on the Croatian side, the first on the way from Budapest and the latter from Ljubljana). Smaller crossings may not have this facility or have limited hours when the service is available. If you are driving to or through Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the 20km strip of coastline at Neum on the Dalmatian coastal highway, you should ensure that your Green Card includes cover for Bosnia and Herzegovina. If this is not the case, temporary third-party insurance can be purchased at the main border posts, or in Split and other large Croatian cities. Insurance cannot be obtained at the Neum border. Please note that this European Breakdown Cover policy does not cover Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Road conditions in and around Zagreb and the larger towns are of a generally good standard. However, you should take care when overtaking and use caution around other road users who may unexpectedly overtake repeatedly in slower traffic. Minor roads are usually unlit at night.
Traffic information in English is available at 98.5FM during the tourist season only. You can also dial 1987 to get emergency road help and information, 24/7, from the Croatian Automobile Association (HAK) with English-speaking staff.
- · Valid driving licence
- · Proof of identification (passport)
- · Insurance documents
- · Proof of ownership
If you do not own the vehicle you are driving, you are advised to obtain written permission from the registered owner.
There have been a number of reported incidents of gangs robbing car occupants after either indicating that they are in trouble and require assistance, or pulling alongside a car and indicating that there seems to be something wrong and they should pull over. You should therefore be cautious should something similar to the above actions occur.
There were 393 road deaths in Croatia in 2012. This equates to 8.9 road deaths per 100,000 of population compared to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2012.
All passengers must wear seat belts and special seats are required for infants. Children under the age of 12 may not sit in the front seat.
Equipment required by drivers:
It is compulsory in Croatia to carry the following safety equipment within any vehicle with more than 2 wheels:
- · A Warning triangle
- · Reflective Jacket
- · GB sticker on the back of your car
- · First aid kit
- · Headlamp converters
- · Spare bulb kit
Maximum speed limits can vary across Croatia, so we recommend that you check signposts.
Standard speed limits (km/h) unless otherwise stated by traffic signs:
Urban roads (31 mph).
Non-urban roads (56 mph).
Motorways / expressways (80 mph).
Urban roads (31 mph).
Non-urban roads (50 mph).
Motorways / expressways (56 mph).
Croatia has laws stating that it is illegal to drive with more than 0.5% of alcohol in the system (but if in any kind of offence, zero tolerance applies).
The wearing of crash helmets is compulsory for both driver and passenger of any two-wheel motorised vehicle.
It is illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving in Croatia but the use of 'hands free' equipment is allowed.
It's mandatory to drive with dipped headlights on during daylight saving period (last weekend in October until last weekend in March).
General Driving Advice
So to recap here is our checklist for driving in Croatia:
- Ensure you have proper documentation: valid driving licence, ID, driving insurance covering driving in Croatia, proof of ownership (registration certification).
- Take plenty of breaks when driving long distances.
- Ensure all passengers are wearing seat belts and remember children 12 and under are not allowed to travel in the front seat.
- Ensure your car is equipped with the following safety equipment: A Warning triangle, Reflective Jacket, GB sticker, First aid kit, Spare bulb kit and Headlamp converters.
- Check fuel compatibility as some fuels may not be compatible with your vehicle.
- Do not drink and drive.
- Observe local speed limits – as a general rule built up areas have limits of 50km/h (31 mph), outside built up areas are 80km/h (50mph).
- Dipped headlights are mandatory from last weekend in October until last weekend in March.
Driving to Croatia through another destination? You might like to read our guides to:
Need breakdown cover for Croatia? Eurobreakdown.com can provide you with comprehensive single trip breakdown cover or annual multi trip breakdown policies with a best price guarantee.
Reference: The statistics mentioned on this page were sourced from the Reported Road Casualties Great Britain:2012 Annual Report and, to the best of Eurobreakdown.com’s knowledge, are correct at the time of publication (June 2014).
For general European driving tips click here