How Is Driving In Croatia – Important information

Many tourists come to Croatia with cars. Among them, there are many “old guests” who know the conditions and how is driving in Croatia. Probably, there are plenty of people who come for the first time. In this article, I will try to illuminate everything that is related to driving and which can be useful to all drivers. I am an experienced driver who has passed hundreds of thousands of kilometers on Croatian roads.

Croatian border crossings

How Is Driving In croatia Passage of personal vehicles

According to the data from Croatian Bureau of Statistics in 2018. 25.4 million vehicles came to Croatia, out of which 17 million foreigners. Only in the summer period from June to September 8.7 million foreign vehicles came to Croatia which was 51% of the total annual number. Otherwise in Croatia in 2018 were active 107 border crossings of which 47 with Slovenia.

Entry of passengers through road border crossings

Regarding a number of passengers according to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics 73.3 million passengers entered the country. Out of this, there were over 72% foreigners or 51.3 million.

During the summer (June to September) the biggest crowds are at the 5 border crossings with Slovenia. These are:

  1. Kaštel 917K vehicles
  2. Macelj 858K
  3. Bregana 740K
  4. Plovanija 592K
  5. Rupa 477K

So, try to find alternative directions what should not be impossible because there are 47 border crossings with Slovenia.

Croatian Roads

Croatia main road map
Croatian main road map

According to the Ministry of Transport data, in Croatia, the roads are in function in a total length of 26.959 kilometers.
– motorways and semi-motorways 1,416.5 km
– state road: road 6,858.9 km
– county road 9,703.4 km
– local roads 8,979.7 km

Croatia has good roads in all important directions. I will mention the most important. A1 Zagreb-Split-Dubrovnik (built to Ploče), A3 Bregana-Zagreb-Lipovac-Beograd, A6 Zagreb-Rijeka.

Jadranska magistrala
Adriatic highway

I must not forget about the Adriatic highway, the road that goes from Trieste to Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Ploče and Dubrovnik leads to Ulcinj, with a total length of 1006 km. The road is in good condition, but it passes through all the larger coastal towns and is often crowded. If you do not hurry anywhere go on that road. Also, it is toll free.

Toll rates

Toll rates vehicle category

The toll is of course depending on the type / category of the vehicle and the distance you are passing. You can look at the detailed price list here, and I will list a few typical prices.

Highway A1 Zagreb-Zadar east for category I price is 125 kunas what is about 17 Euro. Zagreb-Šibenik 152 kunas/20.5 Euro. Zagreb-Split (Dugopolje) 181 kunas/24.5 Euro. Zagreb-Zagvozd (the road to Makarska) 204 kunas/27.5 Euros.

In Croatia, motorway tolls can be paid as follows:

  1. Cash:
    HRK, EUR
  2. Credit cards:
    VISA, Master Card, Maestro, Diners Card, American Express
  3. Electronic toll collection (ETC)
  4. Toll account replenishment via SMS and WEB portals

What I would absolutely recommend is Electronic toll collection (ETC). There are two main reasons for my recommendation:
First, the less you wait on toll booths because most people still have no ETC.
Second, you will get a nice discount.

And several other important things about the ETC.

  • A 21,74 % discount at each payment to ETC (ENC) account 
  • ETC account tied to a specific vehicle category
  • No time limit to spending the ETC account balance 
  • Minimum amount of payment to ETC account is HRK 100/13.5 Euros,  which with the calculated discount amounts to HRK 78.26/10.5 Euros.
  • The ETC device is HRK 122/16.5 Euros.
  • The ETC balance may be checked out at the toll web portal 
  • Information to access the toll web portal is obtained when opening the ETC account

How Is Driving In Croatia-What you need to look out for

You certainly have to pay close attention to the speed at which you drive and not to drink alcohol. Speed limits are as follows:

Speed

  • 50 km / h in populated areas
  • 130 km / h on motorways
  • 110 km / h on a fast road
  •   90 km / h on other roads.

Drivers should respect the permitted or by traffic signs limited vehicle speed, ie adjust speed to the characteristics and condition of the road and weather conditions.

Be especially careful in the settlements because the penalties are fairly high. Let’s say if you exceed the allowed speed for 10-20 km / h the penalty is 500 kunas / 68 euros. But if you drive 50 km / h faster than the allowed speed, you are expecting a fine from 5,000 to 15,000 kunas / 675 to 2,027 euros or 60 days in prison.

To exceed speeds outside the settlement, the following penalties are foreseen:
For a speed exceeding 50 km / h, a fine of 3,000 kunas/405 Euros to 7,000 kunas/946 Euros is prescribed.
Speed exceeding 30 to 50 km / h is prescribed a fine of 1000 kunas/135 Euros.
For a speed exceeding 10 to 30 km / h is prescribed a fine of 500 kunas/68 Euros.

Beware of interceptors, police cars without official marks which are quite often in action on motorways. There are a lot of cameras and radars on the motorways, so the best you can do is driving according to the regulations.

Alchol

Alcohol limits, maximum blood alcohol content [g/l]
0,5 g/l Standard drivers
0,0 g/l Novice drivers

According to the Traffic Safety Act, the following penalties are foreseen for driving under the influence of alcohol:
– up to 0.50 g/l, 700 kunas/95 Euros (young driver up to 24 years old).
– 0.50 to 1.00 g/l, 1,000-3,000 kunas/135 to 405 Euros.
– 1.0 to 1.50 g/l, 3,000-5,000 kunas/405 to 675 Euros.
– above 1.50 g/l, 5,000-15,000 kunas/678 to 2,027 Euros, possible arrest.
So when you drink do not drive!

It is still worth remembering the penalties for not using the belt and the use of cell phones while driving. In both cases, the fine is 500 kunas/68 Euros. 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. It is illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving in Croatia but the use of ‘hands-free’ equipment is allowed.

On the spot Croatian police fines for all minor traffic offenses including speeding. If you don’t have the cash on you, you’ll be taken to a bank. If you still have no money, to pay with, the car will be impounded until you can pay. 

These days in the procedure is a new law on traffic safety so its application all expect already this summer. The punishments will be drastically bigger, and I will inform you when the law comes into force.

In the case of an accident

After a traffic accident please stop immediately, secure the scene of the accident and help the injured. If the damage is minimal, you should immediately drive to the side of the road. Always call the police, who will take down a report and request a so-called Certificate of Damage.

Write down the registration number, the names, and addresses of both the drivers and the owners of the vehicles involved as well as their third party liability insurers and the policy numbers. Also, write down the details of the witnesses and if possible take photographs of the scene of the accident. You must also provide your own are to the other participants, but first of all, produce your Green Card.

112 in all cases

In the event of an accident the most important telephone numbers:

112 (+385 112) is a unique number for emergency services. It is available free of charge from all public telephone networks, any time of day and night. This is the number that encompasses the services of urgent medical assistance, fire, police, mountain rescue services, urgent veterinary assistance, and other services and operational forces of protection and rescue.
192 (+385 192) Police
193 (+385 193) Fire
194 (+385 194) Ambulance services / urgent medical assistance
195 (+385 1 195) National center for marine search and rescue

If you are calling from abroad or using a mobile device with a foreign number, before dialing numbers in Croatia, dial the code number for Croatia first, as quoted on the above list.

Health care

In all major cities there are hospitals and clinics, and emergency services, ambulances and pharmacies in smaller places. Foreign tourists do not pay for medical services if the Health Care Convention is signed between Croatia and the country from which they come from. Costs of medical services provided to persons coming from countries with which the Convention has not been signed shall be charged directly to the service user according to the price list. Emergency transport by air (helicopter) or sea (speedboat) is available for patients whose lives are in danger. Tourists can also use the services of private doctors and dentists paying full cost for all medical services.

How Is Driving In Croatia- What else you should know

You should ensure that your Green Card covers Croatia. At two main border crossings (Gorican and Bregana on the Croatian side) you can purchase insurance. Your Green Card should include a cover for Bosnia and Herzegovina, if you are driving to or through Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the 20km strip of coastline at Neum on the Dalmatian Coastal Highway.

During the tourist season only, traffic information in English, German, Italian and Czech are available at 98.5FM on Croatian radio. You can also dial 1987 to get emergency road help and information, 24/7, from the Croatian Automobile Association (HAK) with English-speaking staff.

1987 emergency road help

Roadside assistance
Croatian Auto Club (HAK)

Road assistance
– from Croatia: (+385 1) 1987
– from abroad: +385 1 4693 700

Traffic information:
– from Croatia: 072 777 777
– from abroad: +385 1 464 0800

Towing service:
– Available 24 hours a day throughout the country.

Legal service on 072 777 777:
– Legal advice, assistance and consultation free.

And few things more

The national currency is the Croatian Kuna (abbreviation KN). Bills of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 KN, coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 lipa and of 1, 2 and 5 kuna are in circulation. (1 kuna = 100 lipa).

Voltage on the urban power grid is 220 V, frequency 50 Hz, so that visitors from the United States must use a transformer and visitors from the UK to adapt to the European power grid to use their electrical devices.

For dogs and cats, owners should have an international veterinary certificate stating that it has lasted for at least 15 days, but not more than six months after the last vaccination against rabies.

And before I forget, you should drive on the right side of the road.

Instead of a conclusion

So, how is driving in Croatia. It seems that there are so many regulations, but it’s not bad to be informed. In any problematic situations, you will be more comfortable. Drive cautiously, keep track of the traffic signs, do not rush.

We want you to arrive happily and safely in Vela Stinova bay and spend an unforgettable holiday.

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