About Serbia (RS)
One of six states that comprised the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia (RS) is surrounded by Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Albania, and Romania. Regional tourists flock to the capital of Belgrade and mountain resorts found in Kopaonik, one of the top ski destinations in Central Europe. The country is popular with visitors from Germany, Austria, Italy, and France, but otherwise, Serbia hasn’t made much of an impact on Western tourism. This is beginning to change, as more and more travelers learn of natural and man-made attractions this landlocked gem has to offer. The Serbian people are particularly welcoming of foreigners, and the majority of locals speak decent English — or eager to practice what little they know.
Getting around is much more convenient if you rent a car in Serbia, and you’ll be delighted to find a serviceable road network and local drivers who shatter the Balkan stereotype for reckless driving. The traffic code generally consists of common-sense laws that will be familiar to drivers of all nationalities. Police have an “everywhere” presence on urban and rural roads alike, which contributes to the overall sense of order. Cheap car rentals in Serbia are widely available, fuel prices are consistent with European averages, and highway tolls are more than reasonable. As for driving in rural areas, the standard warnings and hazards apply. It’s probably better to avoid driving at night, and watch out for animals on the roads, But otherwise, driving in Serbia will be a pleasant experience — and especially refreshing for visitors with experience navigating the usual chaos of Balkan countries.
Choosing your car
Car rentals in Serbia can be booked with Enterprise, National, Sixt, Europcar, Thrifty, Avis, and Hertz. Choose from minicars, economy and compact sedans, standard through premimum 4-door sedans, SUVs, estate wagons, and 7-12 seater minivans.
Tips and advice
With a significant portion of land dedicated to agriculture, heavy farm vehicles are a common sight on major roads.
The majority of car rentals in Serbia are equipped with manual transmission. Expect to pay more than double for a car with automatic — if there’s one available. Book well in advance to increase your chances of securing a car.
Car hire deposits are exceptionally high in Serbia — actually, deposits are steep in all Balkan countries, probably for good reason.
Traveling in a car rental to bordering countries is generally allowed, with the exceptions of Kosovo and Montenegro. It’s probably a good thing you can’t drive in Montenegro, by the way.
Street parking in major Serb cities can only be paid via SMS, and you need a Serbian SIM card to make the transaction. Your best bet is to find other modes of paid parking, because the authorities can and will tow your vehicle away for non-compliance.
All road signage is in Cyrillic and Latin (Roman) characters — but don’t expect to recognize any of the words. Otherwise, international pictograms are used in all traffic control situations.