Project Description

Albania is a great destination for those who want to rent a car and have an action-packed vacation.You can swim in two seas, drive on the fantastic serpentine roads, admire the nearly untouched nature, see rugged mountains, walk around old towns and, of course, enjoy the local organic food.Choose and book your car on our website. The incredible Albania is waiting for you.

Why rent a car from us

On our website, you will find the best offers from small Albanian rentals sorted by price. So, you can quickly and easily compare the suitable options, read the conditions, and find the best car for its price.5 benefits of

  1. Accurate prices for rentals, insurance, and optional extras.
  2. Small deposit.
  3. The advance payment on booking is only 15-20%, and you pay the remaining amount after you inspect the car.
  4. Formal agreement with the rental company.
  5. Customer care service is available any day of the week.

For how long to rent a car in Albania

If you are going to Albania for a relaxing vacation on the beach with a few short drives, you can rent a car for 1-2 days. That will be enough to get you around the country’s top attractions.And if you want to travel around the country with overnight stays at different places, visit unique non-tourist attractions, and swim on different beaches, it’s worth booking a car for a week or two.

Which car is suitable for travelling

For the most part, the roads in the country are good and suitable for any car.A mid-size car is good for everyday trips around the city, to the beaches and nearby attractions.For mountain serpentine journeys, it’s best to choose a more powerful car with an engine capacity over 1.6 litres.If you want to hit the roads with great sea views, wind in your hair, and the endless sky above you, you should rent a convertible. The excitement of this experience will last a long time.

The traffic regulations in Albania are mostly similar to those of other European countries, yet there are some peculiarities. The country has many mountain roads, not all roads have good pavement, and local drivers often ignore traffic rules.So, how should a foreigner behave on Albanian roads? Of course, learn the local peculiarities, stay calm, and follow the official traffic regulations to avoid paying fines.

Payment of fines for traffic offences is the responsibility of the renter.

Basic traffic regulations and fines

Albania uses right-hand traffic, as many other European countries.Speed limits: 

  • 130 km/h on expressways
  • 90 km/h on major intercity roads
  • 80 km/h on minor intercity roads
  • 40 km/h in the city.

If you encounter a 40-50 km/h speed limit sign on a highway outside the city, make sure to obey the sign. There are often cameras or traffic patrol in such areas.

Speeding Penalty
up to 10 km/h 1,000-3,000 Lek (€9.50-28)
10-30 km/h 2,000-4,000 Lek (€19-38)
20-40 km/h within towns

30-50 km/h outside towns

5,000-15,000 Lek (€47-141),
licence suspension for 3 months
more than 40 km/h within towns

more than 50 km/h outside towns

10,000-20,000 Lek (€94-188),
​​​​​​​licence suspension for 3-6 months
All car occupants must wear seat belts, in both the front and rear seats.According to the traffic regulations, children under 3 years of age can only ride in special restraint systems. Children over 3 years of age are not allowed to ride in the front seats if they are under 150 cm tall. For your safety, we recommend transporting children under 12 years of age or under 150 cm in a restraint system.The penalty for riding without seat belts and transporting children incorrectly is a fine of 5,000 to 15,000 Lek (~€47-141), and in case of repeated offence, your licence can be suspended.Be sure to switch on low beam in low visibility conditions – 500-2,500 Lek (~€5-23).

Give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing – 500-2000 ALL (~€5-19).

Use your mobile phone while driving only with a hand-free system – 5,000-15,000 ALL (~€47-141).

Passing through red traffic lights – 5,000-20,000 Lek (~€50-188) and/or imprisonment from 6 to 12 months.

Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other illegal substances.

Drink driving penalties:

  • Less than 0.3‰ – 5,000 to 15,000 ALL (~€47-141)
  • 0.3-0.5‰ – 10,000 to 20,000 ALL (~€94-188), licence suspension for 3-6 months
  • 0.5-0.8‰ – 10,000 to 20,000 ALL (~€94-188), licence suspension for 1-2 years
  • 0.8-1.5‰ – 20,000 to 40,000 ALL (~€188-376), licence suspension for 1-2 years

If the offence is committed at night (between 22:00 and 07:00), the fine is increased by two thirds.

How to talk to the police

If you are stopped by the traffic police, keep calm and be polite.Show the officer your driver’s licence, vehicle registration certificate, insurance, and car rental agreement.Most police officers don’t speak English well. If you can’t understand each other, use a translation app on your phone.

If you have committed a traffic offence, don’t be aggressive not to make things worse. It’s best to admit fault and apologise. For a minor offence, you may be let off without a fine.

If a police officer starts writing a ticket, don’t argue. Fines in Albania vary greatly, and the exact amount is determined by the officer.It is not a good idea to bribe a police officer because this can result in serious penalties. Sometimes it’s cheaper to pay the ticket.

How to pay the fine

You can pay the ticket issued by a police officer at the nearest police station, bank, Western Union office or post office.

You can get a 50% discount if you pay the fine within 15 days of receipt or final ruling.

Fines from cameras are sent via the online system within a few days. Your rental company notify you of the debt, provide proof of the offence with the exact date, and offer available payment options.

Local driving style

The Albanian driving style may surprise, irritate or even scare the foreign tourist at first. Indeed, locals often violate traffic regulations, rush, overtake where it’s prohibited to do so, and rarely switch on their turn signals. But it’s not as scary as it may seem at first glance. You just need to know about the local driving style, be careful, and keep calm.

  • Local drivers rarely use turn signals. At junctions and roundabouts, watch out for the cars in the adjacent lanes.
  • Some drivers don’t respect the right of way. Even at junctions with traffic lights, look to your sides carefully.
  • If someone tries to overtake you in the wrong place, it is better to take to the right and let the reckless driver pass.
  • Pedestrians often cross the road in the wrong places. Slow down in advance.
  • Albania has numerous mountain serpentines with steep turns and narrow sections. Be very careful and take your time on such roads.
  • The roads can be slippery in wet weather. Be careful.
  • Slow down when exiting onto minor roads in remote areas. Some of them may be in poor condition.
  • Fuel consumption increases in the mountains where petrol stations aren’t frequent. Be sure to fill up with plenty of fuel.
  • Locals often stop right in the middle of the road to talk to other drivers or pedestrians. If you’re in a hurry, just honk at them.

Consider the local traffic style as a peculiarity of the country, try to adapt to it, and don’t forget to obey the traffic regulations.

Have a nice trip!

Albania is an incredibly beautiful country that makes you want to go on a road trip. And you should definitely do it because you can go to authentic remote villages, enjoy amazing lakes, and walk among the mountains without crowds of tourists only if you travel by car. However, you can’t drive a rental car on some roads and in some locations in this country.

You can drive a rental car only on paved roads.

Driving unequipped cars on bumpy unpaved roads in the mountains is very dangerous for both passengers and cars.

It is prohibited to drive rental cars:

  • On the routes: “Berat – Përmet” on the road through the Osumi Canyon and on the SH74 motorway, “Tirana – Qafë-Shtamë Nature Park” through Lake Bovilla, “Thethi – Valbona” through the mountains, “Memaliaj – Berat” through Martallozi, “Krujë – Burreli” through Qafë-Shtamë Nature Park;
  • On the unpaved exits to the beaches;
  • In the regions: Tomorri Mountain National Park, Lura National Park, Lake Koman, Korab Mountain, Qafë-Shtamë Nature Park.
Those are the most popular locations with unpaved roads in Albania. There are many more other unpaved minor roads in the country. Please do not rely solely on the above list of routes, keep an eye on the road ahead. If it is unpaved, don’t drive there.

Google Maps is not 100% accurate in Albania. Sometimes it can build your route via impassable roads.

In this article, we’ll tell you why rentals don’t allow you to drive on some roads and what to do if you really want to go there.
Table of contents:

Why it is prohibited

Local rental companies restrict where their cars can go because:

  1. 15% of “roads” in Albania are unpaved or impassable. It’s not safe to drive here.
  2. There is no insurance cover for such routes. All financial responsibility lies with the renter.
  3. Many rental companies will fine you for travelling on prohibited roads if this is stated in the rental agreement. Such trips do a lot of damage to the running gear.
  4. In case of need, it is impossible to get an ambulance promptly in such regions. Even a regular tow truck will get there for a long time and cost a lot of money.

Most rental cars are equipped with GPS trackers. If you drive on forbidden roads, the rental company may block the car.

Prohibited routes

In Albania, the main roads are generally well maintained: they are paved and have signs and markings. However, the remote and mountainous areas may have narrow and winding unpaved roads that require caution, a lot of driving experience, and a specially equipped car.

The “Berat – Përmet” route along the road through the Osumi Canyon and along the SH74 motorway

If you are planning a trip from Berat to Përmet, please note that the Google Maps app offers several route options, two of which are strictly prohibited for rental cars.

You can’t drive on the road through the Osumi Canyon.

This is a very challenging route intended only for experienced drivers of four-wheel drive SUVs with high ground clearance. This is an unpaved road with potholes, protruding stones, and large puddles. There is no insurance cover here.This is what the road through the canyon looks like:

Don’t trust the locals who assure you that you can drive an ordinary car there without any problems. This is how they make a living. First, they send travellers down a challenging path and then offer to pull the car out of the mud for a “small” fee of 200-300 euros.

The “Berat – Përmet” route along the SH74 motorway is also prohibited.

It is a narrow unpaved mountain road covered with small stones. With sharp turns, ups and downs. Insurance policies are not applicable here.

The road from Tirana to Qafë-Shtamë Nature Park through Lake Bovilla

The local panoramic views are beautiful indeed but this road is very treacherous. Part of the route is a challenging unpaved serpentine, the roadside disappears into a precipice in some places, and rockslides happen here from time to time.

It is strictly prohibited to drive on the road from Tirana to Qafë-Shtamë Nature Park through Lake Bovilla.

It is very dangerous to drive here if your car is not specially equipped for such terrain. Needless to say, insurance is not valid, and it will be challenging to evacuate or promptly get the necessary help.

The road from Thethi to Valbona through the mountains

In some sources you can find information that you can get from Thethi to Valbona directly through the mountains of the national park. This is true but only if you either go on foot or drive a specially equipped off-road vehicle.

It is prohibited to drive rental cars on the mountain road from Thethi to Valbona.

It is true that nature is pristine here: no paved roads, just a mixture of stones of different sizes, and rockslides from time to time.

The “Memaliaj – Berat” route through Martallozi

When planning a trip from Memaliaj to Berat, mke sure to check the options offered by your navigator.

The road through Martallozi is unpaved, and it is prohibited to drive on this route.

This route goes through the mountains, there is no road infrastructure, and no insurance is applicable here.

The “Krujë – Burreli” route through Qafë-Shtamë Nature Park

You should also be very careful when planning a tip from Krujë to Burreli. Google Maps offers two route options, one of which goes through Qafë-Shtamë Nature Park.

It is prohibited to drive on the “Krujë – Burreli” route through Qafë-Shtamë Nature Park.

Don’t be guided by such information as “travelling time is 2 hours” and “cool road”. For the most part, this route is in a terrible state of disrepair. There is no insurance cover for such areas, and it will be very difficult to get emergency help in time in case of need.

Plan your “Krujë – Burreli” route through Milot (on Google Maps).

Unpaved exits to the beaches

There are many beaches in Albania but not all of them can be accessed by a regular rental car.

The exits from the main motorways to some locations are unpaved roads. It is prohibited to drive on them.

Don’t take chances. Hoping that nothing will happen along mere 500 metres can cause serious damage to the rental car. And no insurance is applicable on these roads.Below is the list of the main areas where tourists are most likely to lose their vigilance and break the rental terms.

Beaches in southern Albania

There are many beaches along the SH8 highway but almost all the exits are unpaved at the section from Shpella e Pëllumbave to the Pigeons Cave.

If you like some place in the area, don’t drive up right to it. It is best to leave your rental car in the car park.

Mirror Beach – Edon-Bina Beach

The roads from the nearby hotel village to the Mirror Beach, Edon-Bina Beach, and other nearby beaches in this area are mostly unpaved. It is prohibited to drive rental cars on them.

Prohibited regions

In Albania, there are many protected areas and nature reserves that have no good roads. It is not safe to drive regular rental cars in these regions, and no insurance is applicable here.

Tomorri Mountain National Park

The Tomorri Mountains are beautiful and authentic, but difficult to access. You can’t travel here by a rental car.

The roads leading to the park are in poor condition. If you really want to get here, it’s best to ask a local driver with a four-wheel drive off-road vehicle.

Lura National Park

The most popular places of Lura National Park are 12 glacial lakes nestled among the mountains. The local natural attractions are incredible, wild, and… inaccessible to most cars.

A broken dirt road leads to the lakes. It is very dangerous to drive here without a specially equipped four-wheel drive off-road vehicle.

Lake Koman

It is prohibited to travel by a regular car to Lake Coman. To visit the lake, you can only drive a 4×4 car with prior consent of the rental company.

You will also need the rental company’s approval before you take their car on a ferry.The ferry does not operate in winter.

Korab Mountain

The Korab Nature Park is also a prohibited area.

The roads in the park are unpaved, insurance is not appliable here, and full responsibility lies with the renter.

Qafë-Shtamë Nature Park

In the Qafë-Shtamë Nature Park, you can enjoy the authentic spirit of Albania. It offers beautiful views, delicious natural food, and fresh mountain air.

But… you will need the rental company’s approval to travel here by their car. The park can be accessed by a steep serpentine paved road that instantly becomes very slippery in bad weather. Not every car can safely make that climb up.

Travelling abroad

You can travel abroad by most rental cars in Albania. To book a suitable car, select the “Crossborder fee” filter and make sure to add the relevant option to your booking.When you pick up your car, the rental agent will note it in your rental agreement.

When crossing borders, you have to buy “Green Card” international insurance at your own expense.

You will need the rental company’s approval and special insurance to take their car on a ferry.Please note that the “Saranda – Corfu” route involves crossing the Greek border and using the ferry, so make sure to check up front if you are allowed to do that with your rental car.

How to see forbidden places by renting an SUV

Some rental companies offer cars that are suitable for travelling on unpaved roads.
Albania has many stunning places where you can travel by car. And to have a fun and safe trip, you should take into account the local road conditions and rent the right car. Have a nice trip!
In Albania, parking can be free or paid.

Pay attention to the road signs and obey them because traffic police issue parking tickets rather quickly.

In the low season, you will have no problem finding available parking places (except for weekends and public holidays). In the summer, tourists flood the country, the number of cars increases, and it becomes more difficult to find an available parking place.

If you plan to travel by car in high season, it is best to rent accommodation with its own parking area.

Free parking

You can find a free parking spot for your car in any city. In smaller towns and cities, all parking is free. In larger cities and popular resorts, parking fees are only charged in the centre and near the top attractions. If you want to save money, you can leave your car further away and walk.

You can park your car for free:

  • Under the “P” sign WITHOUT any additional information. Road markings will be white in such areas.
  • At a paid municipal car park at night. Please see the time restrictions on the road sign.
  • Near some restaurants, cafes, shops, and shopping centres that offer free parking spots for customers.
  • In yards, unequipped areas, and special bays, if it is not against the traffic rules in Albania.

Paid parking

Albania has 3 types of paid parking areas:

  • Surface parking areas with a boom barrier
  • Underground car parks
  • On-street parking spaces.

Surface parking areas with a boom barrier and underground car parks can be found in all major cities. To use them, you need to get a ticket at the check-in and pay for it at the check-out. Depending on the location, you can pay to a parking attendant, cashier or special machine. Make sure to keep the ticket until the check-out. The average rate is 100-300 Lek/hour (~€1-3), and many car parks have daily rates.

Paid on-street parking spaces can be found in Tirana, Vlora, and other cities. They are marked with blue markings and/or a “P” road sign with information on paid hours, rates, and payment methods.

Parking is not allowed in areas with yellow marking. Those are parking areas for disabled people, taxi drivers or reserved parking spaces.

Street parking in Tirana

The centre of Tirana is divided into parking zones.Parking rates:

  • Zone A – 100 Lek/hour (~€1)
  • Zone B – 40 Lek/hour (~€0.40)
  • Zone C – 20 Lek/hour (~€0.20).

The fee is charged on weekdays between 7:30 and 20:00, and you can park for free outside of those hours.

You can pay for a parking space by SMS from your local SIM card. To pay for one hour, you need to send a text message to 50500 in the following format: license plate number without spaces, SPACE, parking zone designation A, B or C. Example: TR123AR A.

If successful, you will receive a confirmation SMS. You will get a notification 10 minutes before the end of your paid time. To extend the time, you need to send the text message again.

*This information is relevant as of the date of publication. Make sure to check the latest information on the sign.

Street parking in Vlora

The centre of Vlora is divided into 6 parking zones. The payment process varies from zone to zone.Parking rates:

  • 1 hour – 50 Lek (~€0.5)
  • 2 hours – 100 Lek (~€1)
  • 1 day – 600 Lek (~€6).

You can pay:

  • To a parking attendant. The parking attendant must wear the TISPARK parking company uniform. You will get a receipt that you will need to place under the windscreen.
  • With a parking ticket. You can buy it in a TISPARK ticket office. To validate the ticket, you must scratch out your parking start date and time and place it on the dashboard so that the inspector can clearly see all the details from outside of the car. A misused ticket is invalid.
  • Via the mobile app or parking meter. These methods work best for those who are planning a long stay in the city. For more information, visit the TISPARK website.


The inspector can issue a penalty charge notice and leave it on the windscreen, clamp a wheel or even tow the car away. It all depends on the location and severity of the offence.

Payment of fines is the responsibility of the renter.

Fines for overstaying the time limit or incorrect parking range from 1000 to 20,000 ALL (~€10-188). The towing and impoundment are paid separately.

You can get a 50% discount if you pay the fine within the first 15 days.

You can pay the fine yourself at any bank, Western Union office or post office. Or ask the rental company for help.
Petrol stations vary greatly in Albania. There are large modern petrol stations with a full range of services, and there are small petrol stations with very questionable quality of fuel.It is quite easy to find a good petrol station in a big city but you had better fill up with plenty of fuel before travelling to the mountains. Fuel consumption increases about 1.5 times on serpentines, and you may not find a good petrol station.

Fuel prices in Albania

Indicative prices as of September, 2023:
Type Price
Petrol 95 197 ALL (~€1.86)
Diesel 196 ALL (~€1.85)
Liquefied petrol gas (LPG) 62 ALL (~€0.59)
The prices vary by 10-15% depending on the particular petrol station.It is best to have cash in the local currency (Lek) with you to pay for the fuel. You can pay in euros but the exchange rate will be rather unfavourable. Not all petrol stations accept card payments.

BEFORE filling up, ask the staff if you can pay by a bank card for fuel.

If you see signage with payment card brands, it does not guarantee that this petrol station has a payment terminal.

How to fill up at petrol stations in Albania

Most petrol stations have staff who will do all the work.The local staff don’t speak English well, although they do know basic phrases. If you can’t understand each other, use a translation app on your phone.How to fill up:

  • Drive up to the fuel pump
  • Open the fuel tank
  • Say the fuel type and quantity in litres
  • Pay to the attendant or in the station building.

Check the type and amount of fuel filled because some petrol stations may fill diluted fuel, underfill or charge you more money.

Before filling up, tell the attendant that you want good-quality fuel, or better specify that you need petrol 95 or Euro diesel.

Large petrol stations are open 24/7 but opening hours may vary in remote areas.

Fuel quality

The quality of petrol and diesel varies across the country and depends on the particular station. It is best to fill up in cities or on major highways at large petrol stations. Small petrol stations often sell diluted fuel, so you had better not take the risk.Most petrol stations are privately owned. There are Kastrati and ELDA petrol station chains in the country.

What else is available at petrol stations

It all depends on the station size and location. A small petrol station in a rural area may offer fuel and nothing else. The larger petrol stations have WCs, shops, cafes, and sometimes even a car wash or a nice hotel.

Just 15 km from the capital is the village of Petrela (Petrelë) with a castle that dates back to the fifth century and is still in good condition. On your way to the village, you will see the remains of its defensive walls. There are amazing olive groves all around.

Lake Skadar (also called Lake Scutari, Lake Shkodër or Lake Shkodra) is one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. You can see it in the city of Shkodër. Not far from there are ruins of the Rozafa Castle built before Christ. And there are some interesting temples within the city.

In the north of the country is the Valbona Valley National Park. It offers great walks among gorgeous mountain views with caves, waterfalls, and crystal-clear rivers. There are several small water mills on the Valbona River that are still in operation!

You can visit the city of Berat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the south of the country. The 13th-century castle is well-preserved. There are also many ancient Byzantine churches and Ottoman mosques in the area.

The village of Ksamil, known as the Albanian Seychelles, has the best beaches in the country: clean white sand, clear water, and several uninhabited islands nearby. An uninhabited island with a restaurant is a local highlight.