|Frequently asked questions
General Information about car rental companies in Bulgaria
Where you can rent your car from?
You can order your car to be delivered to the airport, to your hotel, to any address or you can go to the company’s office. Normally you are not supposed to pay for delivery. If the address you want the car to be delivered to is outside the city limits, maybe you will be asked for a small amount to be paid additionally.
What do I have to read before going to Bulgaria?
You have to read the ‘General conditions’ of the company. Normally this information is stated on the website of every company. If not – ask for the general conditions to be sent to you by e-mail or fax.Also you must always ask if the price is final, if it includes VAT, which is 20% in Bulgaria and if the price of the standard insurances is included.This way you will have all the information prior to your rental and no additional costs or conditions can be added at collection
What documents will be needed at collection of the vehicle?
Your passport or ID card (for the EU citizens only) and a valid driving license must be presented. If you have forgotten your driving license at home, it will be very difficult to get a car for rent.
What to pay special attention to?
At first, you must pay attention to the documents you are asked to sign. Most of the car rental companies have very unfair ‘General Conditions’. If you do not understand something, ask for an explanation. Also you have to ask for all the conditions of the insurance policy of the company you rent the car from.You have to pay special attention at the condition of the vehicle you rent. Normally small damages on the cars are not repaired right away. But if you do not put them in the statement for the vehicle condition, you might be asked to pay for at the end the rental. For example – Rentomobile do not charge for varnish scratches on the cars. But damage policy is different in the different companies.
What to have in mind?
Road direction in Bulgaria might be different from the one at home. If so, be concentrated!Traffic, especially in the summer season is heavy and dangerous. Better drive carefully on the highways and outside city limits. Car accidents in Bulgaria are growing every year and in 2007 there is 20% growth from 2006.In the biggest cities, Sofia, Varna, Burgas, Plovdiv, and in the biggest summer and ski resorts, parking is always difficult. If you neglect the signs, your car might be taken to a police parking, hit and for sure you will be fined. Never stop in front of garage doors – you will have your tires cut.
What to do in case of an accident?
Call the company you have rented you car from and explain what happened. Normally, they have to assist you and tell you what to do. If you cannot reach anybody from the car rental company, call the police and inform them where exactly you are. If you have language problems ask someone to help you. Meantime do everything to contact the rental company – they will help you, they can speak to the police officer and get an idea what statement will be issued. Never leave you car and go to your hotel or home! The insurance will become automatically invalid!
What to do if my plans change?
Before reserving your vehicle you have to read the cancellation policy of the company. If there is not a cancellation policy on the website, ask for it to be faxed or sent by e-mail to you.
If your plans change during your rental, call the car rental company – they will confirm changes or give you an alternative. Also ask how much you will be charged or refunded.
Roads in Bulgaria are bumpy and sometimes hard to drive, when we talk about the countryside. So – drive slowly and carefully. In and around the bigger towns and cities roads are better and faster. Be careful on the motorways too – some of them are currently partially in repairs.
Driving in Bulgaria
Driving in Bulgaria is both adventurous and for sure unforgettable. There are few things every driver must be aware of, in order to have an undisturbed and one of a kind travel.
First of all do not forget that you are in a country, situated in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula in Southern Europe. This affects the way of thinking and behaving on road.
Foreigners may drive in Bulgaria using their national driving license.
Traffic travels on the right side of the road. There are about 5 thousand kilometres of highways in Bulgaria that link the major city centres and numerous roads, connecting the smaller cities and villages, which roads are not first class. There are no toll highways in Bulgaria. It takes about 8 hours to drive across the country.
In the country, as a member of the EU, a considerable part of the roads has been renovated and in good condition, however to avoid accidents and damages on the vehicle you must drive carefully. This is necessary not only considering the quality of the roads but also to avoid problems with the local police. On-the-spot fines are in operation for speeding, drink driving and not having the correct documents.
Recently the parliament approved new laws, concerning the charges for not regarding the speed limits and the behavior on the road. For each breaking the limitation you could be fined not only a lot of money, but also to lose your driving license for a couple of months. In cities you are allowed to drive with 50 km/h. Outside cities the speed limit is 90 km/h and on the highway 130 km/h are allowed. Most roads and highways are well – assigned in both Cyrillic and English.Road signs follow international standards.
When having a ride around Bulgaria you must be careful while admiring the breathtaking landscape not to exceed the speed limit, to have your seat belt on and to pay attention on the road for traffic police and for fast-driving chauffeurs.
Once you are off the major roads, you run into some smaller routes between cities, but this way you have the opportunity to see the real Bulgaria. The country wins hearts with its surprising beauty and cultural oddities. It represents a formidable combination of clean black - and yellow – sanded sea coasts together with Alp – like mountains, occupying one– third of the territory. This together with the unforgettable architectural phenomena allover the country could be admired either by going sightseeing with a self – owned car or by renting a vehicle.
Some years ago one could have difficulties finding a good petrol station. Now the situation is different. There is one at almost each 10 or 20 kilometers along with a good place to have a snack. Most of them are open 24 hours a day.
When driving in towns, you must pay attention where you park your vehicle not only according the signs and the laws, but also to avoid thefts. Always lock the car and do not leave valuable objects inside.
When driving you need to know some emergency numbers. In case of accident one must contact the police 166. If there is a need of an ambulance the number of First aid is 150. To call the fire department you need to dial 160. The Road Assistance Service provides 24-hour technical assistance on the road. In case of malfunction or accident, call 146 (or cellular 048 146).