renting a car in slovenia

Renting a car in Slovenia

Getting around Europe without a car is fairly easy, unless you’re going to some remote areas of some particular country. And Slovenia is definitely a country whose remote natural sights you don’t want to miss. So you would be remiss if you didn’t rent a car in Slovenia. Luckily the country offers one of the greatest car rental experiences in the world, and I say that without exaggeration.

Why choose a local car rental company

As you continue reading, you’re going to think this is a sponsored post, but it genuinely is not. We paid for our car, and the kind-hearted and helpful owner, Dejan, who rented us the car didn’t even know about GnomeTrotting or that I might recommend his company, IdealRENT. Rather, we came across IdealRENT and contacted them in part because they were just a few minutes away from our accommodation, and also to ask about the rental requirements.

See, we are US citizens living in the EU and have neither an EU license or an International Driving Permit, meaning that some companies would refuse to rent us a car. Luckily, small independently-owned companies like IdealRENT are more lenient about such insignificant bureaucracies. That’s one of the reasons why it’s always best to choose a local car rental company over these huge international companies like SIXT and Budget.

Our experience with IdealRENT in Slovenia

The other reason to rent a car from a small independent company is the personalized care. We contacted IdealRENT via WhatsApp first thing in the morning on the day we were hoping to rent a car in Bled – I know, our planning needed work. Dejan took down our information and told us he would get back to us in a few minutes but let us know that he probably wouldn’t have a car available until around 11 am. We were already talking ourselves out of renting a car altogether since we would only be able to use the car for one day, and starting the trek through Triglav National Park in the middle of the day wouldn’t be ideal.

driving in slovenia

But within 10 minutes, we got a call back with a quote that was all-inclusive, and he said he could bring the car to us in an hour’s time. As promised, he arrived with our rental directly to our accommodation. The car was brand new, comfortable, and squeaky clean even though he had rushed to get to us as soon as possible.

When we asked about returning it, he said we could have it until the next morning and could drop it off at the train station when we were scheduled to leave Bled. So rather than make us go out of our way to return the vehicle or charge some crazy fees for a different drop-off location, our trip back home from Bled became way simpler and saved us a €30 taxi transfer to the train station in the process. We thought maybe he was being especially kind and flexible, but IdealRENT offers free drop-off and return anywhere in Slovenia. And if you’re coming from abroad, you can also rent from them from Austria, Italy, Croatia, and Germany to name a few.

Dejan sent a payment request through WhatsApp in the middle of our trip along with an amazing restaurant recommendation just outside of Bled called Gostilnica Štrudl, which was every bit as amazing as he said it was.

Driving in Slovenia

Slovenia is pretty easy to drive around because it’s so small. You can traverse the country from north to south in just a couple of hours. We were driving even less time, just over an hour round-trip from Bled to Lake Bohinj and Savica Waterfall. And the area within Triglav National Park is generally calm and you’re unlikely to even see police. Certain parts of the drive might be a little narrow, like the last stretch of the drive up to Savica Waterfall, but if you go slow and yield to passing cars, you’ll be fine.

renting a car in slovenia

If you’re taking toll roads, you need an e-vignette, which replaces the decal-type vignette that you apply to the car as a way of pre-paying for toll use. If you’re renting a car in Slovenia, your car will probably already have it, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. If you’re renting a car from outside of Slovenia and driving into the country, you’ll have to buy one at a gas station as soon as you enter the country. You can also buy and register one online. The minimum validity period is one week.

When it comes time to fill your tank, you won’t have any trouble finding a gas station although some may close early in some smaller towns. Most gas stations around highways are open 24 hours. It can’t hurt to have cash on you, but most gas pumps accept credit cards. Just remember, you have to pump gas first before you pay.

Parking in Slovenia

Most of our experience parking the rental car was in Triglav National Park, where lots are notorious for having faulty machines that don’t take cards, or charge your card and don’t give you a ticket, or steal your money and spit out a ticket for a shorter validity period. Luckily, there’s an app for that. It’s not Slovenia-specific, but EasyPark can be used at most lots in the country and throughout Europe as a whole.

driving in slovenia

Using the app, you can pay for parking using your car rental’s license plate, and the app reminds you when your parking is almost up. Best of all, rather than having to run back to the parking lot because your time is almost up, you can just continue to add time on the app from wherever you are. It absolutely saved us any of the trouble that people parking in Triglav complain about online.

With these tips, your car rental experience in Slovenia will run smoothly so you can enjoy the beautiful and peaceful country without a care in the world.

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