• Driving in Albania

What You Need to Know Before Hitting the Road

  • International Drivers Association
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Driver’s License & Permit

You need a valid driver’s license from your home country and an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Albania.

The IDP translates your license into multiple languages, including English.

Is an IDP necessary?

While some travelers report not being asked for an IDP, ensuring compliance with local laws is recommended.

You can get an IDP online or through local automobile associations like the AAA (in the U.S.). It’s valid for one year from the date of issue.

Whether you get an IPD is ultimately your decision, but being informed about the official requirements and potential risks can help you make the best choice.

Renting a Car

Having an IDP can help you avoid potential issues at the counter when renting a car in Albania.

Book through a reliable platform like DiscoverCars.com for a wide selection of vehicles, competitive rates, and customer support.

Present your IDP and driver’s license when picking up your rental car.

Need to Rent a Car? Compare Prices & Reserve Your Car Online

Road Conditions & Traffic Laws

Roads in cities are well-maintained but can deteriorate in rural areas. Drive on the right side of the road, wear your seatbelt, yield to pedestrians, and don’t use your phone while driving.

Speed Limits

  • Cities: 40 km/h
  • Open Roads: 80-90 km/h
  • Highways: 110 km/h

Gas Stations & Parking

Gas stations are standard in cities and along major highways, accepting cash (Albanian Lek) and credit cards.

Parking can be challenging in cities and near beaches in July and August. Look for paid car parks or street parking and observe signs.

Alcohol Limit

The strict 0.01% blood alcohol limit is one of the most stringent limits in Europe, and it effectively means that drivers should not consume any alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

Alternatives to Driving

Regional Buses are a reliable way to travel between cities if you’re uncomfortable driving and on a budget.

Taxis are also widely available in urban areas.

Emergency Services

Dial 112 for police, ambulance, or fire services.

Scenic Drives

If you brave Albania’s roads, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most epic drives in Europe. Here are a few scenic routes:

  • SH8 from Vlorë to Saranda – stunning coastal views
  • SH78 to Berat – rolling hills and quaint villages
  • Tirana to Theth – cruise through the rugged Albanian Alps
  • SH75 from Korçë to Përmet – dramatic gorges and lush forests
Albanian Alps from car
Drive to the Albanian Alps.
Albanian Riviera by Car
Drive along the Albanian Riviera.
Llogara Pass on the Albanian Riviera by Car
View from the top of the Llogara Pass on the Albanian Riviera.
View from Llogara Pass on the Albanian Riviera
View from the Llogara Pass mountain range.
Mountain road from Korce to Gjirocaster, Albania.
Mountain road from Korçë to Gjirokastër.

Driving Tips

  • Drive defensively and be prepared for local drivers not following driving laws.
  • Learn basic Albanian phrases for navigating gas stations.
  • Download an offline map app or rent a GPS unit.
  • Get a physical street map if exploring rural areas
  • Obtain a SIM Card that works in Albania for mobile phone use.

Hit the Road

Driving in Albania can be challenging but rewarding.

Consider a transfer or taxi if you’re uncomfortable driving.

If you plan to visit for an extended time or visit multiple destinations, renting a car can be much more affordable.

Driving FAQs

You can drive in Albania with a valid foreign license, but you must also obtain an IDP, except for UK license holders. EU and US license holders should check specific requirements for their country.
While the enforcement of IDP requirements can vary in Albania, having one can help avoid potential issues with local authorities or rental car companies. To ensure a smooth trip, obtaining an IDP before driving in Albania is best.
The legal driving age in Albania is 18.
Yes, comprehensive insurance coverage is crucial when renting a car in Albania.
Yes, fuel stations are widely available throughout Albania.
While possible, many gas stations prefer cash payments in local currency, Lek, or Euros. It’s advisable to have local currency for parking fees.
Driving outside urban areas at night can be challenging due to limited visibility, especially in rural areas.
Yes, wearing a seatbelt is mandatory for drivers and passengers in Albania.
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