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Car rental question- Starting in Munich and ending in Zagreb two weeks later.

Hello, fellow travelers! I am planning a trip from Munich to Zagreb in June 2025. The only rental car option I've found so far is Sixt. They will charge $1,721.40 for an automatic VW SUV if we pick it up in Munich and drop in Zagreb two weeks later when we fly out of Zagreb. Do you have any suggestions on other rental car companies to try?

Posted by
131 posts

When you drop in anther country the drop fee is a fortune. I am not a train guy but that is what you’re going to have to do to avoid that fee. Plus you’re paying a fee for that automatic.

Posted by
566 posts

It's generally quite expensive to pick up a rental car in country A and drop it off in country B (because the car typically can't be rented in country B, so has to be driven back to country A without generating any revenue, so they charge you for the privilege), especially if there is some distance between them as in this case. So I wouldn't be surprised if you don't find anything too much cheaper.

I won't give you a kneejerk "just take the train!!" advice, although I love trains, because I realize that not all trips are equally doable by train (e.g. visiting rural areas), but some options you might want to consider:

  • Renting a car individually in each country that you need one, and then doing the cross-border journeys by train. For example, Munich to Salzburg is about 1h45m by direct train. You could do what you want with the car in Germany, then return it in Munich, take the train to Salzburg, rent another car in Austria, and so on and so forth.
  • Structuring your car trip as a loop and then taking a short flight at the end (Munich to Zagreb is only an hourlong flight)
  • Deciding that these options are too much hassle and going ahead with your original plan, as long as you understand that one-way cross-border car rentals are unlikely to ever be very inexpensive, especially when compared with same-country round-trip car rentals
Posted by
62 posts

@Andrew, you've given me some great tips. We will go to Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia before flying home to the States from Zagreb, so we'll want a rental car for that area at least. We've always gotten a rental car when we travel in Europe because we love to get off the beaten path and go to rural areas, as you mentioned. We also like to travel at our own pace. I'll have to do some research and see if we could make the train work for parts of our trip.

Posted by
4689 posts

If you could share the plans for between Munich and Zagreb, you might get even more specific tips. If you had plans for extensive exploring off the transit path, for example, then the extra fee might be worth it in the end due the time saved and efficiency.
For just getting to Plitivice, you can sort that out on arrival in Zagreb.