In the heart of the Balkans, Bulgaria offers a diverse mix of natural beauty and rich cultural history. Many travelers opt to rent a car in Bulgaria to explore the surrounding countries and maximize their travel experience. In this guide, we'll provide all the necessary information on border crossings, rules, and tips for a seamless rental car journey in and around Bulgaria.

Countries Allowed and Not Allowed for Travel by Rental Car

When renting a car in Bulgaria, it's essential to know which countries you can and cannot visit. Generally, you are allowed to travel to the following countries:

  • Greece
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • North Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • Croatia
  • Slovenia
  • Hungary
  • Slovakia
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Czech Republic

Keep in mind that some rental companies may have restrictions or extra fees for specific countries or car categories. It is not allowed to travel to the following countries with a Bulgarian rental car:

  • Turkey
  • Kosovo
  • Albania
  • Ukraine
  • Russia
  • Belarus
  • Moldova

Border Crossing Locations

Bulgaria shares borders with several countries, and there are multiple crossing points available. The main border crossing locations are:

  • Bulgaria-Greece: Kulata-Promachonas, Zlatograd-Thermes, and Makaza-Nymfaia
  • Bulgaria-Romania: Giurgiu-Ruse, Calafat-Vidin, and Negru Voda-Kardam
  • Bulgaria-Serbia: Kalotina, Strezimirovci, and Vrashka Chuka
  • Bulgaria-North Macedonia: Gyueshevo, Stanke Lisichkovo, and Zlatarevo

Rules and Documents Required

To ensure a smooth border crossing, adhere to the following rules and have the necessary documents ready:

  • Valid passport or ID card for all passengers
  • International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your national driver's license
  • Vehicle registration document and rental agreement
  • Green Card (International Motor Insurance Card)
  • Written permission from the rental company to cross the border
  • Vignette (road tax sticker) for each country you'll be driving in

Returning the Rental Car

When returning the rental car, make sure to do so at the designated location specified in your rental agreement. Some companies may allow you to drop off the vehicle in another country, but this often comes with additional fees and conditions. It's best to discuss your plans with the rental company beforehand to avoid any surprises.

Tips for Drivers

  • Plan your route and check border crossing hours, as some may have limited operating times.
  • Familiarize yourself with the traffic regulations and road signs in each country you plan to visit.
  • Keep some cash in the local currencies for tolls, parking, and other expenses.
  • In case of an accident or breakdown, contact the rental company immediately and follow their instructions.