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Rental Car in Eastern Europe

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Rental Car in Eastern Europe

Hello,

I am looking at traveling to Eastern Europe at the end of this summer or in the fall, and I just had a few questions about renting a car, and driving it between different countries in Eastern Europe. Right now, my trip plans are still up in the air, but I sort of have an idea of the places I might want to go. Right now, I would like to travel to some of the following places: Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, and/or Slovakia. So, my question is, which of these places would have the fewest restrictions on rental car travel? I know that a lot of rental car agencies do not allow cars to be taken into former Soviet Union countries. So, is there a place, maybe even not one that I have listed, in Eastern Europe that would allow me to go to most, if not all of these places? I know that is an extremely broad question, as there is tons of rental car agencies, but if anyone has any information or an idea, please, let me know. Thanks a bunch in Advance!!

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Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: Rental Car in Eastern Europe

Check with www.auto-europe.com

Budapest, Hungary
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2. Re: Rental Car in Eastern Europe

How long are you planning to take over this trip ?

I have hired from Fox in Budapest, and driven into Slovakia and Romania in years gone by. I think the only country you might have a problem with is Serbia, but you would need to check with the company. Avoid Budget, bunch of scumbags. Also avoid cheap local companies, as they will have limited support outside of the country of hire.

By the way, these countries are in Central Europe, not Eastern. And none was ever a part of the Soviet Union, indeed Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia were not even part of the Warsaw Pact/ Soviet Bloc

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3. Re: Rental Car in Eastern Europe

It sounds as though it will be possible for you to plan to pick up and drop off the car in the same city? If so, your plans may not be infeasible; but if you want to pick up one place and drop off in another country, the cost will be brutal.

I like Fox in Budapest as well; but that's a lot of countries and I doubt that anyone will have done the comprehensive research to compare recent pricing in all of those countries recently enough to give you a good answer to the question whether one is a better deal than the others. If you are in earnest about this project, it would be great if you would post the results of your search back here when it is done.

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Brno, Czech Republic
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4. Re: Rental Car in Eastern Europe

As long as you don't go to any eastern European countries (i.e. Russia/Ukraine. As mentioned below, all of the countries you mention are central/southern Europe. Be very careful of the term 'Eastern Europe' as it can cause annoyance or even offence) you might be OK, but check with the rental company about what restrictions they might have. But don't even think about dropping off in a different country, unless you are made of money!

I suggest you get a robust diesel vehicle for some of these places as the roads are not always the best, and some of the most rewarding places are way off the beaten track. If your intention is to just visit cities, use trains and buses. A car can be an expensive liability in most European cities and you will soon regret having one.

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Budapest, Hungary
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5. Re: Rental Car in Eastern Europe

I highly doubt there would be agencies that would allow you to take the car to such countries without paying its full price up front. IMHO Bosnia is a big no-no, and for sure Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia would make them consider it twice.

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Scottsdale, Arizona
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6. Re: Rental Car in Eastern Europe

Romania is relatively easy (not to say "easy"). I would worry about Bulgaria where there is a VERY high auto theft rate, and Croatia which changes its rules every other day. Slovakia (not Slovinia just to be sure) is a walk in the park. Almost no different than driving around in Hungary.

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7. Re: Rental Car in Eastern Europe

Sorry about my reference to "Eastern Europe." For some reason I have always been under the impression that those countries were in Eastern Europe. Thanks for catching my mistake, and thanks for teaching me something new!

RomanCitizen: I am looking at spending 3-4 weeks on this trip. Also, thanks for the advice about Budget!

johnfarago: Yes, I would drop off and pick up from the same airport. Once I find out more information, I will post it here. It seems as if there is not a ton of information on a trip like this. Hopefully I find something out soon!

GCEK: Thanks for the good advice. We do want to go to the cities, but we are more about the journey and not just the destination. That is what we love so much about driving. We are able to be going from Point A to Point B, and we can spontaneously stop somewhere along the way that catches our eye. That is the one downside to train travel. Also, on a train, you cannot travel everywhere. In a car, you cannot travel everywhere either, but you can travel a lot more places.

Rawlee and ugyved2: Thanks for your advice!

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Budapest, Hungary
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8. Re: Rental Car in Eastern Europe

I have spoken to Fox, they have the following rules: their list of no-nos are likely to be the same as any other company's. Fox can be found at +36 1 382 9000 or fox@fox-autorent.com

All EU countries OK to visit except Bulgaria - in your list that means Slovakia and Romania are OK, but Romania has an extra charge

Croatia - yes

Serbia - yes

Bosnia - no

Obviously you must tell Fox/ whoever that you plan to take the car out of the country of hire.

Some advice about driving in Hungary:

you must carry the vehicle's documents wth you at all times whe driving - the hire company should give you these in a convenient wallet. You must also carry your driving licence.

When driving on a motorway (freeway ?) you must have paid for a matrica, kind of toll. Check with the hire company if they supply it, Fox does not. You can pay the toll at fuel stations - buy BEFORE going on to a motorway as they use numberplate recognition to check if you have paid.

Outside of built up areas, dipped headlights must be used during daylight hours (don't ask me why).

Do not exceed the speed limits, Hungarians will, you should not. When entering or leaving a settlement, the town/ village sign is the speed limit sign, usually 50kmh.

The drink/ drive alcohol limit is ZERO - and they mean it. This limit almost certainly applies to all of the countries you want to visit.

It is my understanding that a new law comes into effect in Hungary in July that a driver does just that - drives. No smoking, using mobile phone, eating a sandwich, drinking can of coke etc. Just drive.

A lot of these rules will apply to the other countries you are planning to visit, obviously you need to check.

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9. Re: Rental Car in Eastern Europe

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