The Facts About Renting a Car in Bulgaria
Car Rental in Bulgaria – Discounts and lots of information for driving in Bulgaria, what to look out for with car rental restrictions, typical costs, and insurance.
Bulgaria is a picturesque small country in Southeastern Europe, with over ten national parks, and many beach resorts along the Black Sea coast. Bulgaria offers an excellent climate and pleasing scenery as well. These conditions make Bulgaria an ideal location for driving around.
The leading Bulgarian travel agencies deliver tourists an opportunity to find and book car rentals in Bulgaria both face-to-face and online. The traveler can browse through the vehicle choices and make a reservation directly from a selection of new cars, getting the best deals on vehicles from many manufacturers. Most agencies also provide comprehensive services for travelers to and from Bulgaria.
In the last ten years, many car rental companies were founded and offer a wide range of services to both Bulgarian residents and foreign business and leisure travelers. Some of them also provide accommodation services in luxuriously furnished hotel apartments in central Sofia, as well as comprehensive accommodation services in Bulgaria. These newly founded agencies usually have English-speaking staff, who may also speak French, German and Russian. With the ultimate goal to make the passenger’s stay in Bulgaria as comfortable as possible, they are usually available 24/7 to respond to their needs and any questions they might have.
For those planning a business trip or vacation to Bulgaria, there are many car rental agencies that provide travelers with quality vehicles and superb customer service. Car rental agencies are available in the large cities of Sofia and Varna and also in many seaside resort locations like Bourgas. Regardless of your destination, the need for car rental is usually important if you plan to do any sightseeing.
Whether you are traveling on business or for leisure, car rental services provide cars for every kind of journey and every occasion. Visitors to the area will find that the selection of available vehicles ranges from minivans suitable for large groups to Jeeps for those who will be traveling into the mountains. Many car rental agencies have an Internet website and the traveler can lookup offers for both modern luxury cars with all the extras and some smaller cars that are often available at lower rates.
The majority of Bulgaria’s car rental agencies will deliver their cars to hotels and airports within the larger cities. This is a complimentary service to make travelers visit hassle-free. The following cart shows an example of rates:
- One to three days range from 39 to 45€ per day
- Four to six days range from 35 to 39€ per day
- One week ranges from 29 to 35€ per day
- Weekend rates range from 83 to 95€ per day
- A full month will cost between 690 to 780€ total
It is worthwhile to remember that rental prices are higher in the popular tourist season from May to September. Off-season is then between October and April.
Most agency’s prices include unlimited mileage within Bulgaria and full insurance coverage against accidental damage, personal injury, and theft in most cases. Rental prices will include VAT and route taxes. The minimum period of rental is 24 hours, mostly effective from the commencement of rental and rental charges are calculated on a 24 hours = one-day basis. Extra hours are liable to additional charges and the rental office concerned must approve extensions of rentals. Weekends and monthly rates are an exception. Car rental agencies consider a weekend time period to start at 2.00 pm on Friday and last until Noon on Monday.
For visitors who reserve a vehicle and then cancel their reservation less than 48 hours in advance, expect to pay a penalty. The charge is approximately 50€. If you have paid in advance, some rental companies will not refund your money as a penalty.
One-way rentals (picking up in one location and dropping off in another) are permitted within Bulgaria for rentals of two days or more. There is a fee of 60€ to use this service. Many car rental companies will allow you to drive their cars into neighboring countries for an additional charge.
There are some regulations to meet to drive in Bulgaria. The law states that all vehicle operators must be at least eighteen and carry a valid driver’s license at all times. Seatbelt use is mandatory. If you are caught not wearing your seatbelt, you will be fined. You are not allowed to leave Bulgaria until the fine has been paid in full.
Car rental agencies in Bulgaria have their own eligibility requirements, such as possessing a valid driver’s license for at least twelve months. You will need a passport or other form of identification. Finally, car rental agencies will not rent cars to anyone under the age of 21.
In the countryside, drivers must pay a great deal of attention, because roads in Bulgaria are rough and often difficult for drivers who are unfamiliar with unpaved terrain. On these rural roads, it is essential to slow down and use care. In cities, the roads are paved and easier to handle, but traffic is much heavier. You must be alert and always watching for other vehicles. It is also important to pay attention and slow down in construction areas. Traffic on the paved roads within a city has posted speed limits of 50 kilometers per hour. On rural roads, the posted speed limit is often 90 kilometers per hour. Highways offer the highest speed limits and are usually posted at 130 kilometers per hour.
Parking in Bulgaria is restricted to certain areas. If you are caught in an illegal area, the rental car can be towed. If this happens, the rental agency will reclaim the car and refuse to rent to you again.
In Bulgaria, people known as representatives of the traffic are present at traffic stops. If you are a foreigner, you must wait until the policeman shows up. The representative of the traffic then acts as a go-between to hand your insurance, registration, and rental information to the officer.
All vehicles are leased with a full tank of gas. It is a requirement to return the vehicle with a full tank. If you fail to do so, you will pay an additional surcharge that is currently 2€ extra per liter. Additionally, a deposit is required with any car or truck rental. The deposit charged depends on the number of days you require the rental and the class of the vehicle. If there is any damage to the vehicle, the deposit will be retained by the rental company. If the repairs cost less than the deposits’ value, you will be refunded the difference.
As in most countries, the damage insurance included in the rental price becomes invalid if the driver is caught driving under the influence, the driver has allowed an unauthorized person to drive the vehicle, or if the driver’s license turns out to be revoked. Damage to the tires is also not covered. If the car is damaged intentionally by the driver, catches on fire, or is in an accident caused by the driver, insurance will not cover anything. Theft of vehicle contents is revoked if the driver has left the car unlocked, does not turn on the car alarm, forgotten to take the faceplate off the stereo system, or failed to hide valuables when the car is parked.
If a foreigner would like to rent a car in Bulgaria, he must have his National driving permit, International driving license, motor insurance certificate, and V5 registration document or hire car