Bulgaria Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving In Bulgaria

Bulgaria drives on the right and you can use the photo licence of any EU country to drive here.Drivers from other countries need their own licence plus an international driving permit. Speed limits range from 120kmh on motorways to 90kmh on other roads and 50kmh in urban areas.If you enter Bulgaria in a private vehicle, you must have your driving licence, all original registration and ownership documents as well as evidence of insurance which is valid in Bulgaria. Border officials could impound your vehicle if they are not satisfied that you own it or have permission to use it in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria has a reasonably well maintained motorway network linking main urban areas and routes into neighbouring countries-

Motorways with road numbers and names in Bulgaria are –

A1-Trakai – from the border with Serbia – Sofia – Plovdiv – Stara Zagora – Burgas

A2-Hemus – from Sofia – Botevgrad – Veliko Tarnovo – Shumen – Varna

A3 Struma – from Sofia – Pernik – Blagoevgrad – Sandanski – to the border with Greece

A4 Marica – From Chirpan – Haskovo – Charmanil – to the border with Turkey

A5 Czerno More- From Varna – Obzor – Slanchev Bryag – Nesebar – Burgas

A6 Ljulin – From Sofia – Pernik

A7 Kalotina – From Sofia – Kalotina – to the border with Serbia

There is also an expressway under construction between Botevgrad andVidin.

Most of the motorways and a number of other main roads Prefixed with an ‘E’ are toll roads as are New Europe Bridge and Danube Bridge on the borders with Romania . Tolls are paid via a vignette system. If you rent a car it should have a vignette. If you bring your own vehicle you can  buy vignettes at Bulgarian borders, gas stations, services, post offices and other sales points marked by “vinetka” logo and online at this site. https://web.bgtoll.bg/

Motorways and main roads are generally in a reasonable condition in and around the main cities but may deteriorate away from main urban centres . In my experience though, a 4WD isn’t generally needed for driving abroad in Bulgaria. Rockslides and landslides may be encountered on roads in mountainous areas and road conditions will deteriorate badly in winter. Loose animals and animal-drawn carts present road hazards in rural areas throughout the country,and particular care should be taken driven on unlit roads at night.

There have been reports of scams targetting motorists. Some criminals have been reported to impersonate traffic policemen and impose “fines” or even steal vehicles and personal belongings on major routes. Driving style in Sofia can be aggressive and you should take particular care on a night at junctions with a flashing amber light which means no specified right of way. Cars may drive straight through these junctions. You should expect Heavy truck traffic along the two-lane routes from the Greek border at Kulata to Sofia and from the Turkish border at Kapitan Andre to Plovdiv , and driving standards from truck drivers are often poor so you should drive with caution.

Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.

Bulgaria Car Rental –
Sixt ,Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, National,Avis, Budget,, Dollar, Thrifty,  have outlets here. Also usually features on Car rental broker sites  and Web discount sites such as  Expedia.

We currently have no local car rental partners in Bulgaria. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on DriverAbroad.com please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on ADriverAbroad@Outlook.com

Bulgaria Self Driving Rules –
Its generally ok to take the car into other mainland European countries and one way international rentals are often allowed –both will attract a charge. You may find there are restrictions on taking cars into certain countries. Albania seems to be seen as a particular risk and some companies may not allow you to drive into Macedonia.

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