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Car Rental in Romania

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Romania

Car Rental in Romania: Make the Most of Your Visit to This not-quite-Balkan State

Romania is a very diverse country now flowering after decades of dictatorial rule, rule which did little to diminish the natural beauty of this not-quite-Balkan state. Make the most of your visit by seeing countryside as well as gorgeous city centers, and head out into the heart of Romania, its rural hills. The best way to see Romania at its most intimate is via rental car, so book your car today!

Spring and autumn are the most beautiful times to visit Romania to avoid the summer crowds and see the landscape at its most beautiful.

The official language is Romanian, the living language most similar to Latin. Hungarian, German, Turkish, and Romany are also widely spoken throughout the country. French and English are the most spoken tourist-based languages in the country, though outside of tourist areas or large cities, French- and English-speakers are increasingly sparse.

Romania is located in the Eastern European Time Zone, UTC+2.

The currency in Romania is the leu (plural lei). Most transactions throughout Romania are made in cash, so take advantage of frequent ATMs in major cities and airports or exchange money at a bank.

Automobile hire is available in over 25 cities throughout Romania, but the most popular rental locations are in Timișoara in the west, Constanța in the east, Bucharest in the south, and Cluj-Napoca in the north. Rental from airports in Bucharest and Timișoara are particularly inexpensive.

Visa Regulations

Citizens of the European Union, member countries of the European Free Trade Area, Canada, Japan, and of the United States can visit Romania visa-free for up to three months. All other nationalities will require a visa to enter, which they can apply for at their local Romanian embassy; visas can typically be quickly processed in cities such as Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Driving in Romania

Highway infrastructure is still not to the level of Western Europe, but this actually makes driving through Romania much more enjoyable: the winding roads give travellers a much more intimate view of the country and its gorgeous landscape. Make the most of your visit by enjoying these de facto scenic roadways at a nice, slow place, and don’t hesitate to make frequent stops for fresh air and local flavors.

Right-Hand Driving

  • Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road.
  • In cities and towns: 50 km/h
  • Rural roads: 90 km/h
  • Expressways and national roads: 100 km/h
  • There are three motorways (autostrade) in Romania, the A1, 2, and 3. Here the speed limit is 130 km/h.
  • Speed limits are enforced via speed traps by car and helicopter throughout the country, so drive prudently to avoid exorbitant fines.
  • Traffic can be bad in and around large cities, such as Bucharest. Always be alert when driving along these more congested roads, as locals often drive and park erratically, and potholes and stray animals on roadways are common.

Speed Limits

  • In cities and towns: 50 km/h
  • Rural roads: 90 km/h
  • Expressways and national roads: 100 km/h
  • There are three motorways (autostrade) in Romania, the A1, 2, and 3. Here the speed limit is 130 km/h.
  • Speed limits are enforced via speed traps by car and helicopter throughout the country, so drive prudently to avoid exorbitant fines. Traffic can be bad in and around large cities, such as Bucharest. Always be alert when driving along these more congested roads, as locals often drive and park erratically, and potholes and stray animals on roadways are common.

Other Regulations

  1. Street parking, if you can find a spot, is generally free in Romania, though overcrowding can be a problem. Ask your hotel for tips on where best to park if an off-street parking spot isn’t included.
  2. An international driver’s permit in addition to your valid domestic driver’s license is required to rent and drive a car in Romania.
  3. Vignettes are required on Romania’s motorways; ask your rental company if your car is already outfitted with one.
  4. While the minimum driving age in Romania is 18, you will have to be 21 years old to rent a car and you can expect to face young-driver surcharges until the age of 25.

Other Tips

  • Particularly due to the winding nature of Romania’s rural and urban roads, ask your rental company to outfit your car with a GPS or satnav.

Cheap Car Rental in Romania

Automobile hire in Romania typically starts as low as $2 a day in large cities and at busy airports. Here are some of the best deals:

  • Fiat 500 or similar (mini class) – $2/day
  • Ford Fiesta or similar (economy class) – $3/day
  • Opel Astra or similar (compact class) – $6/day
  • Skoda Rapid or similar (compact class) – $9/day
  • Peugeot 407 or similar (intermediate class) – $24/day

Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.

Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Romania

Airports in larger cities such as Bucharest, Timișoara, and Cluj-Napoca offer particularly inexpensive car rental options. If Constanța is your final destination, consider renting a car in Bucharest when you land in order to save around $23 per day in rental fees!

Particularly cheap rental brands are Add Car, Klass Wagen, Right Cars, and Green Motion. Many of these car rental agencies don’t have cars available for booking more than six months in advance, however, so if you’re willing to wait to book about a month or two before you travel, you can typically save $5 to $11 a day.

You can also save around $5 a day by extending your rental period to over a week.

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