The motorway system in Croatia has greatly improved in recent years thanks to some rather extensive road building. There are (amongst other routes) now motorways linking Zagreb to Pula, Rijeka, Zadar and Split along the coast and Varazdin in the interior. The main motorway south – to Dubrovnik – is currently constructed as far as Ploce, which is about 100km north of Dubrovnik (along the coast).
The most picturesque route in Croatia is definitely the Adriatic road (Jadranska magistrala) which connects Rijeka and Dubrovnik. Some people compare this road to the famous Highway 1 between San Francisco and just south of Los Angeles in California.* We would say that ours is prettier!
(*Although the webmaster can personally attest that this is a pretty awesome drive too!)
Otherwise, we would say that roads in Croatia are of a pretty good standard. You are unlikely to encounter any problems when driving in Croatia. Even if you do come into some difficulties, most local people will be more than willing to help you.
You’ll regularly come across petrol stations when driving, which all offer unleaded and diesel as standard.
If you need road assistance, the Croatian Auto Club Emergency Service will help you. Their telephone number is 987.
If you are hiring a car, and intend to do some driving to other parts of the region (or indeed, other parts of Europe!), make sure you check before travelling with your hire company that their car is allowed to go to those countries. If you’ve hired a car in Croatia, you should be allowed to drive into Bosnia & Hercegovina and Montenegro (although do please check); this is unlikely to the case if you’re hired a car from outside of Croatia (such as Italy, for example).
Driving in Croatia – Useful Information
The Croatian Ministry of the Interior have complied a useful brochure (that you may well pick up when driving in the country) on various road rules that also gives assorted tips and advice. You can see the brochure online here.
The Croatian Auto Club (Hrvatski Auto Klub – HAK) have produced an app for smart phones that also seems to be very useful. Available for iOS (iPhone) and Android phones, the app details live traffic conditions, webcam images of important road points, petrol prices, information about nearest points of interest (airports, campsites, ATMs, hospitals, pharmacies, tourist boards) and more. Further info on the app here.
- Croatian Auto Club has some useful information about road conditions and the road network
- The Croatian Motorways website has very useful maps, as well as information about tolls
- The Via Michelin website provides invaluable route planning assistance for the whole of Europe
- See our page on Renting a Car in Croatia for a list of car hire agencies
Electric Cars in Croatia
We doubt you’ll be driving to Croatia with your own electric set of wheels, but it might be interesting to note that there are currently nineteen electric car charging stations in the country – including in Zagreb, Vukovar, Labin and Lovran.
On a slightly different note, electric car enthusiasts might want to read up about the Rimac Concept One, a high performance electric sports car manufactured in Croatia.