Driving in Montenegro

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Driving in Montenegro has many advantages over public transportation, especially when it comes to comfort and the ability to reach distant places. Renting a car in Montenegro is easy and more affordable than in many European countries, making it a to-go option for travelers. However, there are some useful things you should know to avoid troubles on the road.

The roads


There are no highways in Montenegro, so the speed limit is set lower than for many European countries. It goes up to 50km/h in the cities and up to 80km/h on the open roads. Also, you won't come across any traffic tolls, except in the Sozina tunnel between Podgorica and Bar. The cost is €2,5 for cars under 2.5 tons.

The quality of infrastructure varies depending on the region. Network around Podgorica is in good shape, but you might encounter unpaved dirt roads in the north. Roads in the south are usually in good condition. The only problem comes from waiting in long queues, especially during the summer months. Most of the tracks have two lanes only, so try not to overtake unless you have full visibility. 

Pay special attention while driving from Podgorica to Kolašin through the Morača canyon. This curvy, narrow road is well known for rockfalls and accidents caused by negligent drivers rushing through the area.

The best way to stay safe on Montenegrin roads is to never drive tired and to obey speed limits.


Borders


In high season, border crossings can be exceptionally crowded, and maybe you'll wait some hours to enter or exit the country. A good idea is to have snacks and water in the car in case you get stuck in long lines. 

Getting across the border early in the morning or late at night, especially on weekdays, is the best solution for avoiding the crowds.


Gas Stations


You will have no troubles with gas stations in Montenegro since they can be found in every city, and villages alongside the main roads. Cities are close to each other, so the chance of being left without the fuel is close to zero. Some of the stations in Montenegro work 24/7.


Parking


Many parking spaces in Montenegro are free, but your chance of catching a good spot depends on the popularity of the location and luck. Tourist cities in summer, especially in the south, struggle with offering enough parking spots for both locals and tourists. This means you might have to park far away from your desired destination. The same goes for the paid parking areas. Prices for paid parking vary, depending on the season and the proximity to major tourist attractions.

If you park improperly, your car will be taken away by traffic police. Days might pass before you'll be able to retrieve it back, taking precious time from your vacation.


Drivers


Drivers in Montenegro have a reputation of not sticking to the rules too much, and when you start driving here, you'll see how that looks like. They regularly exceed the speed limit, get into the oncoming traffic lane for no apparent reason and use their cell phones while driving. This is especially dangerous on the narrow mountain roads with a lot of curves because of the low visibility, and that's why many accidents occur here.


Important numbers


The main emergency numbers are:

  • 112 - General emergencies
  • 122 - Police
  • 123 - Fire department
  • 124 - Ambulance service
  • 19807; +382 20 234 999; +382 63 239 987 - Auto-Moto Association of Montenegro, which can provide information about road closures and roadside assistance

Tow service numbers are written on rocks and concrete of most inter-city roads. The Montenegrin word for it is "Šlep".


The rules


When it comes to traffic rules in Montenegro, here are the things you should have in mind:

  • Montenegro has right-hand traffic.
  • The minimum driving age is 18.
  • Seat belts are obligatory for all the passengers in the vehicle, both in front and in back.
  • Using phones while driving is forbidden.
  • Dipped headlights (daylight running lights) must be turned on all the time while driving.
  • The allowed blood alcohol level is 0.03%. For drivers under the age of 24, this level is 0%. In any case, it's safer not to drink at all while driving.
  • Overtaking under dangerous conditions results in immediate confiscation of your driver's license.
  • You are obliged to equip your car for the winter circumstances when the weather requires it. Snow chains are mandatory during winter in the northern parts of Montenegro.
  • Speed limits are rigidly enforced with money and jail fines.
  • Fines for traffic offenses vary from €20 to €6,000, and imprisonment can be imposed as well.

Documents


You must have an ID or passport with you, a valid international driver's license, and proof of ownership of your car/the rental contract for the rented one. 

Locally valid car insurance is necessary, and in case you don't have one, you can purchase it at the official border crossings. Rent-a-car agencies in the country always offer insurance as a part of their rental deals. 

You can use European Green Card vehicle insurance in Montenegro.


Scenic routes


If there is one thing that makes driving on roads of Montenegro worth the effort, it's the view. You won't regret taking any of the following routes:

Kotor Bay Road via E80, E65, Jadranska Magistrala

Road passing through endless images of sea, sky, and mountains, bringing you close to Kotor, Perast, Risan, and other gems of Boka Bay.

Crnojevića River to Virpazar via P16 

A relatively short route passing through old villages and family wineries. The views to Skadar Lake and Rijeka Crnojevića from Pavlova Strana, a famous sightseeing point, are a bonus.

Lovćen mountain to Kotor via P1 

This narrow lane featured on Top Gear for its endless, steep curves will take you from the historic Lovcen mountain to the seaside Kotor, offering spectacular views at each turn.

Plužine to Žabljak via P14 

A path offering the chance to admire beautiful Piva canyon and Durmitor National Park. You'll want to spend quite some time here, enjoying around 50 massif peaks and the crystal-clear glacial lakes.

Plav to Grebaje village via P9, GU02

The drive into Grebaje village is spectacular due to the Prokletije National Park views. You'll be passing by Plav lake and Ali Paša's Springs, both being great places for resting and enjoying the nature.


Hiring a car for even a few days is worth it


Driving in a foreign country can be nerve-wracking, but it is usually the best way to delve into its beauties. Even though Montenegro has a reputation of a country with difficult driving conditions and reckless drivers, don't be afraid. Just be careful and do not rush during your journey. 

If you need ideas for planning your road trip in Montenegro, you can find some here. And of course, in case you need any assistance, don't hesitate to contact us - we'd be more than happy to help.


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