we land in zagreb on Sun. Apr. 29 and plan on renting a car for our trip which goes from zagreb to istria then back down to zadar, split, dubrovnik...any suggestions on rental companies? any thoughts on returning car in split, taking ferry to dubrovnik for last few days of trip?
Try EconomyCarRentals, Auto Europe, and Kemwel for a good price. They're brokers - they'll hook you up with various companies, some of them local Croatian companies. My last visit in 2015, I booked a car through EconomyCarRentals and got on with a company called Oryx - picked up in Rijeka, dropped in Zagreb two weeks later. Before that, I rented with Sixt directly. Check around.
The key thing is to make sure you know what the collision/comprehensive insurance will cost.
Also, if you plan to cross a border out of Croatia, that may incur an extra fee. FYI, if you drive from Split to Dubrovnik, you must drive through a tiny section of Bosnia called the Neum Corridor. You cross the border twice in a short time, so technically you are leaving Croatia and must have the proper insurance card (which may cost extra - varies by the car company). Some companies have special provisions just for Neum and may not charge you extra for that. You could avoid it by taking a ferry down the coast instead of driving, but I doubt that's worth the hassle for most people.
You could certainly drop the car in Split if your next stop is an island or Dubrovnik anyway. You can also take a bus from Split to Dubrovnik if the ferry schedule doesn't work out; there are lots of buses every day, takes about four hours I think. Some of the ferries are in fact catamarans that may not have great views or smooth rides, FYI.
thanks a lot....hvala lijepa....appreciate the advice