Montenegro, a small but stunningly beautiful Balkan country, is a fantastic destination to explore by car. With its stunning coastal roads, dramatic mountain landscapes and charming villages, it’s no wonder that many travelers choose to rent a car when visiting. However, driving in a foreign country can be a little daunting, especially if you are unfamiliar with the local rules and customs. This guide is designed to help foreign visitors understand the most important aspects of driving in Montenegro to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
A short guide on driving in Montenegro
In Montenegro, vehicles drive on the right side of the road. If you’re from a country that drives on the left side of the road, take extra care when merging into traffic and navigating roundabouts.
Speed limits are strictly enforced in Montenegro and police checkpoints are common. The general speed limits are 50 km/h (31 mph) within cities and towns, 80 km/h (50 mph) outside cities and towns, and 100 km/h (62 mph) on highways. Always obey these limits, as speeding can result in heavy fines.
Montenegro uses standard traffic lights. Red means stop, yellow means caution and green means go. Be sure to obey the traffic lights and remember that a right turn on a red light is generally allowed unless a sign indicates otherwise.
Roundabouts are very common in Montenegro. Vehicles inside the roundabout have the right of way. When entering a roundabout, yield to traffic already in the roundabout. Indicate your exit and use your indicators accordingly.
Right of way
When merging onto highways or passing slower vehicles, use caution and yield to oncoming traffic. Vehicles coming from the right generally have the right of way at intersections unless signs or traffic signals indicate otherwise.
Seat belt use
The use of seatbelts is mandatory for all passengers in a vehicle and can result in fines. Make sure everyone is wearing a seatbelt.
Children under 12 years of age or less than 150 cm in height must be seated in an appropriate child safety seat. It’s the driver’s responsibility to ensure that child passengers are safely restrained.
Use of headlights
Montenegrin law requires headlights to be on at all times while driving, even during daylight hours. Keep your lights on to ensure visibility and avoid fines.
The use of a hand-held cell phone while driving is strictly prohibited. Hands-free devices are allowed, but it’s a good idea to avoid distractions and use your phone only in emergencies.
Montenegro has a strict zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.0%. Penalties for violations can be severe, including fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment.
Roads in Montenegro can vary greatly in quality. While major highways are generally well maintained, some rural and mountain roads may be narrow, winding, and in poorer condition. Exercise caution and adjust your speed accordingly, especially in adverse weather conditions.
Montenegro has a few toll roads, mainly on major highways. Tolls are reasonable and can usually be paid by cash or credit card at toll booths.
Gasoline and diesel fuel are readily available in Montenegro. However, gas stations may be less frequent in remote mountain areas, so plan your fuel stops accordingly.
When renting a car in Montenegro, make sure you have the following documents with you: valid driver’s license, passport or ID, vehicle registration, rental agreement, and insurance documents.
In case of emergency, dial the following numbers: 122 for the police, 124 for medical emergencies, 123 for the fire brigade and +382 19807 for roadside assistance.
Driving in Montenegro can be a truly rewarding experience, allowing you to explore the country’s stunning scenery at your own pace. By following these guidelines and obeying local traffic laws, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip through this enchanting Balkan gem. So buckle up, turn on your headlights, and get ready for an unforgettable road trip in Montenegro.
Frequently asked questions about driving in Montenegro
Can I use my foreign driving license in Montenegro?
Yes, you can use your valid foreign driver’s license in Montenegro for up to 90 days. Make sure that your license is in Roman characters or accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP) if it’s not.
Are there any special rules for driving in the mountains of Montenegro?
Montenegro’s mountain roads can be challenging, with steep climbs, sharp turns and narrow passages. Drive carefully, especially in adverse weather conditions, and consider using lower gears to control your speed when descending steep slopes.
Are there any parking restrictions in Montenegro that I should be aware of?
Parking regulations can vary from place to place. Pay attention to signs indicating parking restrictions, such as no parking zones, paid parking areas and time limits. Illegally parked vehicles can be towed or fined.
What should I do in case of a breakdown or emergency in Montenegro?
If your vehicle breaks down, pull over to a safe place, turn on your hazard lights and use your reflective triangle if you have one. Call your rental car company or roadside assistance if included in your rental agreement. If necessary, contact local authorities for assistance.
Are there special rules for driving in Montenegrin cities?
Driving in Montenegro’s cities can be congested, with narrow streets and limited parking. Be patient and watch out for pedestrians, especially in pedestrian areas. Many cities also have paid parking areas where you’ll need to buy a ticket.
Are there any special rules for driving along the coast in Montenegro?
Coastal roads in Montenegro can be winding and offer stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. However, they can be busy during the tourist season. Drive carefully, watch out for pedestrians and follow road signs indicating parking areas and viewpoints.