Car Hire in Albania

Rear View Mirror in Berat

Before I got my little Fiat 500 I used to hire a car 3 or 4 times per year either for short trips around Paris or longer road trips in Europe. I’ve tried Hertz, Europcar and Sixt but 9 out of 10 times I hired a car with Hertz. I never rented with Avis as they were always much more expensive than other car hire companies. I rented with Sixt on one occasion which led me to write a blog post titled ‘Sixt Sucks’ and even though they apologised for their mistakes and poor customer service I don’t recommend them.

Where to Hire a Car in Albania?

In Albania, most hire car companies have an office at Rinas Airport and in the centre of Tirana.

Driving in Albania

Albanian roads can be tricky to say the least. Massive potholes, unpaved roads, roadworks, pedestrians and animals on the motorways, a lack of guard rails on mountains roads… there are so many issues when driving in this country. All I can say is be careful when driving! Having said that, driving is the easiest way to get around as taking buses and minivans can be a bit of a challenge for foreigners.

Another thing to be wary of is buying petrol. In the past there have been a few scandals with petrol stations watering down petrol. This doesn’t seem to be much of a problem these days but I’d recommend buying petrol from petrol stations which are well frequented or ask a local where to go.

One good thing about driving in Albania: there are no road tolls.

Which Hire Car Company?

Based on experience I recommend renting a car with Hertz (visit their website here) or Europcar with Hertz being my favourite. I find Hertz to have a more user friendly website and and better terms when it comes to accidents and deductibles.

Hertz and Europcar are generally similarly priced and even though smaller local hire car companies (which you can find here) may offer better prices on occasion I prefer to stick with reputable brands who have offices throughout Europe in case I have a problem in a country other than where I initially hired the car.

Be aware that many car rental companies in Western Europe do not allow you to take the hire car to certain regions, in particular Eastern Europe and the Balkans. This is especially the case when hiring luxury German vehicles. Check the fine print in the rental agreement carefully, even if the local staff insist it’s possible to drive to Albania. Obviously this is not a problem if renting a car locally but it’s something to be aware of if you’re doing a multi-country road trip.

One Way Car Rentals

Hiring a car in one city and returning in another, or worse in another country, is a very expensive endeavour. Always try to do a roundtrip and return the car where you started. I know this isn’t always possible or convenient but a one way rental is costly.

To Pay For Excess Reduction or Not?

For short trips I always pay extra insurance to waive the excess (deductible) to have peace of mind when driving. It’s not that I expect to have an accident but other drivers can be careless and it’s not uncommon to return to your parked car to find a small ding. For longer rentals I usually skip the added insurance and hope for the best.

Click here to get a rental quote from Hertz or if you prefer try for the cheapest rate out of all the car hire companies in Albania.