Renting a Car

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Road Trip

Planning a road trip to Albania? Renting a car in Albania can be ideal for several reasons. First, having a car gives you the freedom and flexibility to explore this beautiful country at your own pace and visit remote areas that may not be easily accessible by public transportation.

Additionally, renting a car in Albania can be more cost and time-effective than taking multiple buses, especially if you’re traveling as a group.

In this dedicated guide to renting a car in Albania, we will cover all the basics, such as the pros and cons, where to rent a car, what documents are required, and many tips on everything from choosing the right insurance to driving safely.

Llogara pass road in Albania
On the road – Llogara Pass scenic drive leading to the Albanian Riviera

Why Rent a Car in Albania?

Access to a car will allow you to avoid being tied to a set schedule or route. This means you can take your time and stop wherever you like to take in the sights and experiences of the country. Whether you’re road-tripping along the coastline or taking day tours from one of the main cities, having your own vehicle gives you the freedom to go wherever you want.

Cost

Since Albania is a small country, it is not cheap (or easy) to bring your own vehicle. Renting is often the most affordable way to visit Albania for a few days or weeks. Even if you travel alone, renting a car can be more affordable for solo or couple travelers than taking multiple guided tours.

Freedom

Albania’s countryside is not easily accessible by public transport. Renting a car will allow you to visit small villages and towns and see parts of the country that many tourists may not have the opportunity to see.

You can plan your itinerary and change your plans on the fly if you encounter something interesting or unexpected.

Llogara pass in Albania 1
Llogara Pass – One of the most scenic drives in Albania

Where to Rent a Car?

Airport Car Rental

Albania only has Tirana International Airport, which has several on-site car rental companies. These companies typically offer a range of vehicles to choose from, and they are often open during flight operating hours.

City Car Rental

You can also rent cars in the city centers of main towns such as Tirana, Durrës, Saranda, Shkodër, Berat etc. The rental car companies typically offer a smaller range of vehicles to choose from than at the airport, and they are primarily open during regular business hours only.

Do you need to book a car in advance? I wouldn’t advise showing up at the rental car company without a reservation. In the busy months, getting a car in Albania on short notice can be difficult (and expensive). Most international car rental companies, such as Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Budget, and Sixt, have websites where you can book your car rental in advance.

Comparison websites are my go-to for finding the best price. I use DiscoverCars, an online rental car marketplace that finds the best deals in one place. This makes comparing prices easy and finding the best offer without leaving your home.

What is the Cost of Renting a Car in Albania?

Generally speaking, daily rental rates start at around 1500 Lek (€12) during the low season and can go up to 8000 Lek (€80) per day during peak season.

Of course, the cost of renting a car in Albania depends on many factors, such as the type of car, rental duration, whether you opt for additional insurance coverage, and other options like GPS and child seats.

Be aware of hidden costs. Airports and cities may have additional taxes and fees not included in the rental rates. You’ll need to pay those separately when you pick up the car.

Best Albania Car Rental Website

Search rental companies and policies easily with our trusted partners at DiscoverCars. Compare prices across 70+ top global brands to meet your trip’s needs and budget. Book seamlessly or refine options for a stress-free experience.

Documents Required

To rent a car in Albania, you will typically need the following documents:

A valid driver’s license: You must present a valid license from your home country. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is recommended but usually not mandatory for short-term rentals.

A credit card: Most rental companies require a credit card in the renter’s name to cover the deposit. Debit cards are usually not accepted.

Proof of insurance: If you don’t opt for the rental company’s insurance options, you must show proof of adequate coverage through your provider.

Passport: You must show your passport as proof of ID when picking up the rental car.

Age requirement: Depending on the rental company, the minimum age requirement is usually 21 to 25. Younger drivers may pay additional fees.

How Does Car Rental Insurance Work in Albania?

When renting a car in Albania, you can use the rental company’s insurance or your own. Here are the main types of insurance on offer:

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) – Covers damage to the rental vehicle.

Third-Party Liability (TPL) Insurance – Covers injury or damage to third parties and their property.

Theft Protection (TP) – Provides coverage if the rental vehicle is stolen.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) – Provides coverage for treatment of injuries/death of driver and passengers.

Other options, like tire/windshield protection, roadside assistance, etc, may also be available.

If you decline the rental company’s insurance, ensure your personal policy or credit card coverage is valid in Albania and provides adequate protection. This may require some checking in advance.

I recommend taking the basic Collision Damage and Theft protection at a minimum, as repair and replacement costs for vehicles in Albania can be expensive compared to other countries. Paying a little extra per day for peace of mind is worth it!

As always, inspect the vehicle carefully at pickup and take photos or video of any existing damage. Review the rental agreement and insurance terms to know exactly what is and isn’t covered.

If you already know where you are headed, check the tool below to compare Albania rental car deals:

Rent a Car in Albania

DiscoverCars simplifies finding the best rental rates and vehicles from major agencies like Hertz and Sixt and local brands offering personalized service. Review options matching your priorities around pricing, car types, and rental terms.

How to Rent a Car in Albania in 5-steps:

  1. Choose Pick-up/Drop-off Locations – Select locations based on convenience and potential fees. Airports/cities may have premium charges.
  2. Research Companies – Compare customer reviews, vehicle options, and rental terms between companies to find the best fit.
  3. Decide Vehicle Type – Consider passenger numbers, luggage capacity, and driving terrain when choosing economy, SUV, etc.
  4. Review Add-ons – Assess extras like child seats, GPS, Wi-Fi hotspots, and insurance upgrades. Bring your own to save.
  5. Get Quote & Book – Review all costs, mileage limits, and terms before booking. Confirm details in writing. Keep a copy of the rental agreement.

How to Save Money on Albania Car Rentals

Avoid Airport Pickup/Dropoff Fees: If it’s cheaper, opt to pick up or drop off in the city. Tirana airport has expensive surcharges.

Use Public Transit Connections: Buses between airports/cities are inexpensive. Rent locally to your destination.

Supply Your Own Accessories: For child seats, GPS units, etc. Rental versions attract vastly inflated daily fees.

Stick to One Designated Driver: Extra drivers mean additional fees. Stick to one if possible.

Compare Vehicle Types: Smaller cars have lower rental and running costs. Manuals are cheaper than automatics.

Research Total Journey Costs: When choosing pickup/dropoff points, factor in mileage limits, fuel policy, and one-way fees.

Pay Tolls in Cash: Electronic tag toll road usage will likely be billed to your card with added fees. Cash is cheaper.

Avoid Premium Fuel: Super Unleaded is not necessary for most rental cars. Diesel or regular petrol is significantly cheaper.

Check Local Fuel Prices: Some stations off main highways offer better rates. But don’t let the tank go empty!

Use Online Rental Brokers: Aggregators like DiscoverCars.com compare brands and often have exclusive discounts.

Tips for Safe Driving in Albania

Observe Speed Limits: Urban limits range from 30-60km/h, rising to 80km/h rurally and 130km/h on highways.

Watch for Animals/Carts: On rural backroads, expect dogs, cattle, horses, carts, etc. Drive slowly and give them space.

Observe Rules of the Road: Headlights on at all times. Seatbelts mandatory. No mobile phone use without hands-free.

Carry Emergency Equipment: A warning triangle, fire extinguisher, and first aid kit are legally required in vehicles.

Prepare for Poor Roads/Signage: Potholed surfaces and faded signs are frequent, especially in remote areas. Drive cautiously.

Wary of Other Drivers: Locals often ignore road rules. Defensive driving is essential. Expect the unexpected.

Adjust to Mountain Terrain: Steep, winding roads with cliff drop-offs and loose gravel—added risk in rain/snow.

Print the Whole itinerary: Get a hard copy of confirmation emails, bookings, etc. This helps if your devices or internet fail.

Have Cash Access: Some tolls, parking, etc. Albania is still largely cash-based. Carry Lek for contingencies.

Pack a Picnic: Rest areas are scarce on long drives. Bring food and drinks to save money and frustration.

Planning Your Trip

For comfortable weather and driving conditions, visit between May and October. Rent a car for 14+ days to fully immerse across Albania’s awe-inspiring terrain. The official language is Albanian, but English and Italian are spoken by many in Tirana and in tourist areas.

With a rental car, explore Albania’s majestic mountains, dazzling beaches, and quaint villages at your own pace. Visit museum towns like Unesco Berat or discover hidden gems like the medieval orthodox monasteries bordering Lake Ohrid.

Although I was born in Albania, I've spent my adult life traveling there as a tourist. Being a native who visits frequently, I can give you an insider's view of Europe's best-kept secret.
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