Rental car fees at Bosnian border

We are renting a car in Italy and driving to Dubrovnik. Just learned there are stiff fees (hundreds of dollars) cross the border in a rental. Does anyone know about this? Is it possible to avoid this problem by taking a ferry to Ploce, then drive down the Peljesac Peninsula? Help! We're leaving in 2wks.

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

If the rental car is too much of a hassle, there are nice inexpensive buses that go frequently up and down the coast from Split to Dubrovnik. I took one and it was great.

Posted by Paul
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
214 posts

Who are you renting with? There are many companies, and some might have better and more reasonable policies regarding FRY countries. You can do several things: 1) Rent in Italy to return in Italy - no drop off fees
2) Rent in Italy, take mass transit to Dubrovnik, rent there - no drop off fees again You might also consider a consultation with a Rick Steves advisor - $75/hour (or something). This kind of specific issue is one that they are very good for. Spending $75 to save hundreds on the trip seems a good deal.

Posted by Kathleen
Portland, Or, USA
14 posts

Thank you for the suggestion, but we decided drive down the coast by car for several reasons.

Posted by Kathleen
Portland, Or, USA
14 posts

We are renting thru a broker and are covered for Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia. The problem is the Bosnians recently began to hit foreign rental cars with a stiff fee at the border. It has to do with Croatia joining the EU in July and Bosnia's effort to get more money from tourists. Our maps show a ferry to bypass the border on the Adriatic highway, by way the Peljesac Peninsula and we wondered if anyone has used this (The Croatians started to build a bypass highway here, but ran out of money).

Posted by Matthew
Kihei, HI, United States
112 posts

Kathleen - I asked this in the other thread. What is your source that there is this steep fee? Who told you this? There is no reference to this online, no forum posts complaining on tripadvisor or fodors, and this frankly on the face of it does not pass the "smell test." Bosnia is desperate for tourists I highly doubt they just decided to implement some steep fee. I am wondering if someone gave you bad information. Or someone didn't understand something. Like for example many insurances don't cover Bosnia, so maybe someone was stopped entering the country, and made to purchase insurance coverage at the border, which yes can be very expensive but should have been purchased previously.

Posted by Matthew
Kihei, HI, United States
112 posts

Or are you saying the rental car company is imposing the fee?

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7953 posts

We're asking questions on the other thread as well. If you don't answer them all, we're not going to be able to give you much help. To repeat, where are you turning the car in, what country?

Posted by Dejan
Slovenia
37 posts

There are no additional fees whatsoever, take it from a (almost) local. The only possible fee you can be charged at the border is additional car insurance if the rental company's car insurance does not cover Bosnia, which is why you must make sure the company understands the car will be driven through Bosnia and that they provide you with the appropriate paperwork before you set off.

Posted by Kathleen
Portland, Or, USA
14 posts

Thanks for all the replies. I'll try to answer all your questions: 1. We're picking up and returning our car in Venice. 2. The car is cleared and insured to go into Bosnia. Our travel agent also has the required paperwork for the border crossing, which we will complete this week. 3. Our agent was the source of the new fee. She called us a few days ago. The fee of "hundreds of dollars" was just imposed by Bosnia on all foreign rental cars entering their country. Documents will now be closely scrutinized at border crossings for tourists.
4. Croatia joined the EU in July and has economic consequences for neighboring Bosnia. Croatia planned a bypass around this border, but money ran out to complete this route thru the Pelsejac Peninsula. We want to know if anyone has run into this on their drive down the Adriatic or on the road to Mostar within the past month?

Posted by Kathleen
Portland, Or, USA
14 posts

I just re-read my post and see a typo. This may be why I'm getting so many questions! To rephrase my problem: We plan to drive down the Dalmatian Coast in a rental car. There is a new fee for foreign rental cars entering Bosnia. We want to avoid this by a detour from Ploce to the Peljesac Peninsula, then back onto the Adriatic Highway, south of the border. Has anyone driven a rental in this area within the past 2-3 weeks? Is the detour possible to avoid the new fees?

Posted by Matthew
Kihei, HI, United States
112 posts

So is the agent trying to charge the fee in advance, or the agent is saying that if you go across this border, you will pay 100s of dollars at the border? I am worried, as I search things like "border fee rental car bosnia" and I see there are not a single legitimate mention of this fee, but a lot of scams coming up. http://www.croatiatraveller.com/CarRental.htm http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/border-card-croatia-bosniamtngro-required-or-sham.cfm Look, it is possible somehow Croatia being part of EU changed something, but as I said in the other post it doesn't pass the smell test. You might want to talk to another rental agency and see what they say.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8728 posts

Kathleen, it is good that you have your documents set - my big concern is the original documents for the car. Only the person across the rental counter from you can provide those, not your broker. Can your broker clarify what the charge is supposed to be for, and how many hundreds?

Posted by Dejan
Slovenia
37 posts

Croatia's entrance into the EU has not affected Bosnian border control in any way. Only the Croatian side is more vigilant now, because their customs are EU customs, too. As far as immigration goes, for the time being everything stays the same, as Croatia has not yet entered the Schengen Area. Every day there are thousands of tourists passing through Neum. If this fee was real, we would be getting a ton of reports in the media over here and in Croatia and the forums would be buzzing with hundreds of affected tourists who would all be posting the same story. But there hasn't been anything at all, in fact the people that went through Bosnia this summer that I personally spoke to and posters on various forums are all saying the same thing: the situation has not changed at all. The officially required car documents to enter Bosnia are: - the car's registration and insurance documents - a green card, which backs up your insurance documents and shows you've got the minimum legal level of cover. This is the "additional paperwork" the company needs to provide you with - if driving a rental car or someone else's car, either the rental paperwork or some other document showing that you are allowed to drive the car If there was any truth in the rumour the agent passed on to you, then there would be more information on this issue and actual accounts of tourists who experienced this, but there aren't any, so don't worry, you won't have any problems.

Posted by Sharon
Atlanta
2663 posts

Hi Kathleen,
Would you be willing to post the type/names of documents that your travel agent gives you? We will be making a similar trip soon and want to make sure we have everything we need. Thank you!

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8728 posts

Read the above carefully. We have had stories on here earlier this year, at least one, where somebody wasn't allowed to cross the border, I'm pretty sure it was not Bosnia, because they did not have the correct paperwork. It is imperative that you have original documentation of the documents, not photocopies or worse. It is even required when I drive my car from England to France and beyond. You have to have originala of the car insurance, the car registration, your driving licence, and if the country requires it your International Driving Permit.

Posted by Kathleen
Portland, Or, USA
14 posts

Our agent arranged for our car, which is already been paid in full. It's not the broker, it's the border that is the problem. I did see one or two articles about the border crossing becoming more difficult, but nothing a out this new fee. We'll be watching and hoping to hear from some tourist who has crossed within the past few weeks! We do have all our documents ready.

Posted by Kathleen
Portland, Or, USA
14 posts

Thanks, Nigel. I plan to check on this when I get home my my trip to Calif this week.

Posted by Paul
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
214 posts

There is some odd disconnect on this issue. Many hundreds, if not thousands, of persons cross the border. No one seems to be clear about a fee. Kathleen has been informed by a broker that there is a fee. Kathleen, have you tried to set up a car rental with another agent de novo, to see if the fee is mentioned by another? I would do this. I would pick a large agency, like Avis, which deals with Americans and their issues frequently. See how much costs would be there. Waiting for a traveler to tell you may result in a long wait. You want a professional.

Posted by Kathleen
Portland, Or, USA
14 posts

Thanks for the advice, Paul. The car was arranged through Auto Europe, a reputable broker that travel agents use. I'm meeting with my agent today. Hopefully she will be able to shed more light on the problem!

Posted by Ken
Lafayette, Colorado
81 posts

Wondering how long you are going to be in Bosnia, and exactly how much the "several hundred" dollars the fee is. We hired a private guide a few years to take us on a day trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar. It was reasonably priced and we breezed through the border crossingsomething other tourist on their own were having trouble with. This may be an alternative for you.

Posted by Kathleen
Portland, Or, USA
14 posts

Ken, our problem is due to a change within the past 3 wks. We now know we MUST detour by ferry from Ploce to the Plejisec Peninsula. Our car broker is Auto Europe, a huge multinational company brokers with car companies, including all the American ones we all know. They informed us last week that rental cars will no longer be insured to enter Bosnia, due to border hassles and added fees when cars try to go through. There has also been rental cars that have not been allowed to leave the country! As a result Auto Europe notified our agent that our insurance was cancelled for Bosnia. This is a BIG company, so it will be interesting to follow the effects it has on the Bosnian economy. We also planned to go from Dubrovnik to Mostar for an overnight, then head back north. We're now considering a bus to Mostar, but will have to return south back to Dubrovnik to pick up our car at the hotel, before heading north to Italy. Part of me is wondering if the Bosnians are making it difficult for us, do we really want to drop tourist dollars in their country? I'll be disappointed if we miss Mostar. Did you hire a driver for a day trip or did you stay overnight?

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8728 posts

It looks like a large chunk of this hassle may be due to the multiple "agents" involved. So you talk to your agent who talks to the broker who talks to whoever he talks to whichever rental company he has decided to put you with and then it all trickles back down? Have you tried talking to the rental comany direct? With all these "agents" there is so much opportunity for one to get something wrong or convey something wrong, or find an opportunity for a quick buck.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7953 posts

AE also might be the source of the problem. I've noticed a lot of info posted on the Helpline that people got from AE that I knew was wrong - - which I then confirmed next time I was in the area. They screwed with me so bad a few months ago that they're off my list for a couple of years. They're not dishonest, they're just stupid and do a lot of guessing. So, back to what Nigel said: AutoEurope is an agency as well, don't let them be the ultimate source of your scoop. Get right down to the rental outfit that owns the cars. One thing that might have gotten lost or mislabeled in passing the info through the long chain of people is the insurance cost of cdw in Italy since you're credit card won't cover it and you have to fish it out of your pocket. You might want to run a hypothetical of eliminating Croatia and just seeing what it would cost to keep the car in Italy for the same period.

Posted by Larry
Atlanta, GA, USA
12 posts

I did a pretend booking on the AutoEurope website of a car picked up in Split, Croatia and dropped in Zagreb. The terms for this rental say: Travel is permitted into Western Europe, travel into Norway will incur an additional charge of approximately EUR 25 per rental. Travel is permitted into the following countries at no additional charge: Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia,Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia. Travel is permitted into the following countries for an additional fee of approximately EUR 25: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia. All countries of travel must be noted at time of booking. However, when I did the booking for a car picked up in Venice, the Terms said this: Cars are not permitted to travel into Eastern Europe or any African country (i.e. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, etc.). I've noticed before that rentals originating in Italy are have different restrictions than ones where the car is picked up somewhere else. This may be the source of your problem. I don't remember where you are going to drop the car off, but you might want to consider dropping it in Croatia (or in Venice before you take the ferry) and getting a new rental in Croatia. The Croatian rentals appear to be cheaper and also less restrictive.

Posted by Kathleen
Portland, Or, USA
14 posts

Thanks for the good info Larry. For better or worse, we are picking up our car in Venice and driving the along the Dalmatian coast to Dubrovnik and back to Venice. You're the first response I've had to confirm the restrictions on Italian rentals. We are considering renting a Croatian car for our overnight stay in Mostar.

Posted by Larry
Atlanta, GA, USA
12 posts

Just to follow up on this, I have a car rental scheduled in Split next week. I emailed the car rental agency to ask if we will have any problems taking the car into Bosnia. I got a reply today saying that we have purchased the cross-border voucher and that travel into Bosnia will not be a problem.

Posted by Rosalyn
Berkeley
1002 posts

We just drove from Dubrovnik to Split two days ago; and I can assure you that there are no fees, either when you enter Bosnia, or when you re-enter Croatia a few minutes later. At the Bosnian border we were simply waved on; not even asked to show our passports. The Croatians checked our passports and sent us on.

Posted by Kathleen
Portland, Or, USA
14 posts

Hi Roselyn, thanks for your info. sounds like you have a Croatian rental, which is no problem. Our problem is that our car is rented in Italy & is not covered to enter Bosnia. We don't have a choice of going with a Croatian company, because of our unusual itinerary.

Posted by Dejan
Slovenia
37 posts

Kathleen, have you or your agent spoken to the rental car company directly or has all communication been with Auto Europe only? Given the conflicting information AE has given you, it would make sense to check directly with the company you are renting from. Auto Europe does not have any say as to which countries the car can be driven into, it's entirely up to the rental car company to decide, so it makes sense to check with them directly. It's not uncommon for Italian rentals to explicitly forbid driving through Bosnia, especially more expensive, luxury car brands, however this is due to fear they might be stolen (although truth be told there's probably a higher chance of that happening in Italy than in Bosnia). In any case, if you're not allowed to drive through Bosnia, there is a ferry from Ploce to Trpanj on the Peljesac Peninsula, however be aware that because the high season is over, it does not run as often. You can find the timetable for the day you'll be using it on the Jadrolinija website, which is the Croatian national ferry operator: http://www.jadrolinija.hr/en