Foreign driving licenses
To drive in Croatia, foreign citizens are legally required hold an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to their national driving license. You should always carry these documents when driving.
When travelling to Croatia by car, keep in mind that you need a Green Card to drive through Bosnia and Herzegovina. It may be possible to purchase this when you cross the border but it's easier to arrange it in advance as some smaller crossings offer limited services and reduced opening times.
Drinking and driving
The legal blood-alcohol limit is 0.05% in Croatia for most drivers. However, some ‘high risk’ groups have to stick to a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol. They include under 24’s, anyone driving a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes and on-duty professional drivers (driving instructors and taxi, school bus and emergency vehicle drivers).
Road traffic regulations
At night, all motor vehicles in Croatia are required to switch on their dipped headlights. Lights must also be switched on during the day in winter, from the last Sunday in October until the last Sunday in March. You could be fined 300 HRK if you fail to comply.
You are required to keep winter equipment such as a shovel and snow chains on board the vehicle from the start of November until the end of April. Snow chains must be used when there is black ice or at least 5cm of snow.
A driver who commits two serious offences over a two year period of could face a 60-day jail term. Fines apply to locals and foreigners and can be paid on the spot or within eight days at a bank or post office. Police officers can hold onto your passport until proof of payment is produced.
Keeping a car in Croatia
Whether you need to take out car insurance in Croatia depends on the length of time you plan on keeping your car there. Legally, you must take out insurance in a country if you keep a car there for more than 6 months.
Some companies offer 12 month coverage within Europe, rather than the standard 90 days offered by most policies. Ensure that you have the right insurance cover, and don't keep your car in Croatia for longer than permitted.