I will be doing a week-long road trip in Slovenia next month and I am trying to figure out the logistics with getting a rental car. I will be coming from Rovinj and then flying out of Trieste. Given this, I would appreciate any advice about the best place to pick up and drop off a rental car, particularly coming from Croatia. Is there somewhere near the border where I could drop my Croatian rental off and pick up a Slovenian one? Thanks in advance!
Have you looked into the cost of keeping your Croatian rental until Trieste Airport? If that ends up being too expensive, you generally have two options, depending on your plans:
Take a bus or shuttle from Rovinj to Trieste Airport and rent an Italian car there. This would require an additional purchase of a highway toll sticker (vignette) for Slovenia at a gas station on the border (€15 for a week, €30 for a month) but would save you the hassle of getting to Trieste Airport on your final day. Note you would need to buy a toll sticker for Slovenia with a Croatian rental, too.
- Take a bus or shuttle across the border to Portoroz or Koper, depending on the rental company, some have an office in one, some in the other. Both towns are on the coast and quite close to the border. With a Slovenian rental, the toll sticker is provided with the car, but then you would have to return it in Slovenia and get to Trieste Airport by train, bus or shuttle, depending on where you will be returning it. You could also check the costs of dropping it off at Trieste Airport, but I suspect they will be similar to the costs of dropping off a Croatian rental there.
What is your itinerary in Slovenia? What time does the flight leave out of Trieste? You could drop the Croatian car in RIjeka and take the train to Ljubljana and pick up a car there....and then return it to Ljubljana as well, then take the train on to Trieste Airport...or take a shuttle service like GoOpti to the airport. (The train is cheap and direct, and leaves Ljubljana early but is long compared to a shuttle service.)
If you plan to start or end part your Slovenian itinerary on the coast, then picking up a Slovenian car in Portoroz or Koper makes more sense - so take a shuttle up there or drop there and a shuttle from Koper or Portoroz at the end to Trieste.
But you don't want to pick up and return a car a car in different countries.
When I've checked in the past, I have found that Avis does not have high drop-off charges for some city combinations picking up in Croatia and dropping off in Slovenia. It was VERY dependent on which city combinations I chose. Some had dropoff fees, others did not.
I just checked a random week in July. The price for a "Mini" was $289 to pick up at Pula airport (approx. 25 miles from Rovinj) regardless of whether I chose drop-off back at Pula airport or at Trieste airport.
I have no idea how that price compares to other companies. You may actually see some per-day savings by doing a week or longer rental. And depending on the price difference, it may be worth it to avoid multiple pickups and drop-offs.