Planning a trip to Slovenia that includes driving around the country? You’re definitely in the right place then, since this guide includes everything you need to know about driving in Slovenia.
Where to purchase a vignette, who needs an IDP, and speed limits are just a few of the important facts covered in this guide. I’ve also covered fines, parking, useful apps, and much more, so this guide is all you will need to be confident about driving in Slovenia!
Driving in Slovenia is on the right side of the road, just like in most other European countries. All passengers must have their seatbelts fastened, including everyone in the backseat unless the car does not have any seatbelts in the back. Additionally, headlights must always be on, even during the day.
You must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license from an EU country or an International Driving Permit. An IDP is pretty much just the translation of your existing license, and it’s accepted in about 120 countries all over the world.
It’s not mandatory for everyone, but it’s best to have one just to be on the safe side. It’s especially recommended for travelers from Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and the United States. There’s no comprehensive list of all countries whose nationals required an IDP to drive in Slovenia, so it’s best to call the Slovenian embassy in your country and check beforehand.
Although the rules state that only EU residents can drive in Slovenia without an IDP, residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and a few other countries can drive without an IDP in Slovenia, even if those countries are not EU member states. So, it’s best to check with relevant authorities.
One thing to note is Slovenia has several protected areas where cars are allowed, but the speed limit is 10-30 km/h. You’ll want to be very careful in these areas since the fines for going over the speed limit in them are astronomical. Seriously – if you’re caught driving 50 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 10km/h, you’ll lose your license and get a fine of 1,000EUR+.
Ljubljana also has pedestrian zones in the heart of the city. Vehicle traffic is not allowed in these areas, so keep that in mind.
What about mandatory vehicle equipment? You must have a high visibility jacket, a warning triangle, spare lightbulbs, a spare wheel, and a first aid kit in your car. A fire extinguisher is not considered compulsory in Slovenia.
In the winter (between November 15th and March 15th) you must also have winter tires equipped and have snow chains in the car. Alternatively, you can have summer tires with snow chains fitted. For either tire type, the minimum tread depth is 3 mm.
Roads in Slovenia are in excellent condition and driving in Slovenia is generally very easy and safe. The only danger is that you’ll get so distracted by the beautiful scenery that you won’t pay attention to the traffic in front of you, so just keep your eyes on the road and you will be fine.
Another thing to note is that showers and thunderstorms are frequent in the summer, and this might be an issue if you’re driving on a mountain road when it starts pouring. Visibility is drastically reduced in thunderstorms, so don’t hesitate to stop on the side of the road until conditions improve, if you don’t feel that you can continue driving safely.
In some parts of the country, there is the possibility of encountering wild and farm animals on the road, but there will always be a warning sign in these areas. Be on the lookout for these signs – they are usually white triangles with an animal inside and red borders – and slow down a little.
When it comes to traffic density and roadworks, you can get live updates on Slovenia’s official traffic information center – promet.si. They have a convenient map that displays the traffic density, roadworks, events, and you can even check for locations of all traffic cameras and rest areas. The site also offers access to live feed from cameras at border crossings.
There are two ways of tolling in Slovenia – one is for vehicles under 3.5 tonnes, and the other one for vehicles that exceed that weight.
Vignettes are the tolling system for passenger vehicles under 3.5 tonnes. They enable easy toll collection without stopping, making your journey through Slovenia as simple as it should be. There are weekly, monthly, and annual vignettes for passenger vehicles, with a half-year option for one-track vehicles.
You can buy vignettes at gas stations, automobile clubs, post offices, some kiosks, and near border crossings in neighboring countries.
One thing to note is that there is one exception in this system, and that is the Slovenian-Austrian Karavanke tunnel. The toll for crossing the 7.8-kilometer tunnel is 7.6EUR for passenger vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes.
The DarsGo electronic tolls system is in place for vehicles with a maximum weight that exceeds 3.5 tonnes. Tolls are charged separately for each section, so the exact amount depends on the length of the motorway that the vehicle has traversed.
The speed limits in Slovenia are consistent with the speed limits in the rest of Europe. It’s 50 km/h for roads in built-up areas unless there’s a sign stating otherwise. You’re allowed to go 90 km/h on roads outside of settlements, 110 km/h on speedways, and 130 km/h on motorways. These speed limits apply to motorcycles and passenger vehicles, whereas transport vehicles, buses, and vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes are required to go slower.
The fines for going over the speed limits range from 40EUR to 1,200EUR, depending on just how fast you’re going. You can see the exact amount of fines here, but in general, if you’re going 10-20 km/h over the speed limit, you’ll pay between 40 and 300EUR, depending on whether you’re driving in a protected area with a lower speed limit or on a motorway. The maximum fine of 1,200EUR also includes suspension of your driver’s license.
Parking in Slovenia is standard. There are designated parking areas where you can leave the car unattended, including garages, parking lots, and street parking. Slovenia is generally a safe country, so you can have peace of mind while you’re away from the car. However, it’s not recommended to leave any valuable items visible inside the car.
The exact parking situation depends on the area you are visiting. In nature parks and preserves, there are usually vast parking lots, whereas the cities have several parking zones. There’s either a parking attendant or a parking meter, and it’s best to have cash handy. The meters don’t return change, so you should have the exact amount.
One thing to note is that parking time is restricted in some zones, especially those closest to city centers. Most places also let you pay by SMS and EasyPark app, for ultimate convenience.
If you find a parking lot but there’s no parking attendant or meter anywhere nearby, you’re most likely not allowed to park there. It’s best to look for designated parking areas to avoid getting ticketed. It’s an 80EUR fine for illegal parking, but you only have to pay 40EUR if you pay within the first eight days.
It’s worth noting that there are several Park & Ride parks at the periphery of Ljubljana. They’re all close to public transport, so you can leave your car there and ride into town on a bus.
Gas stations in Slovenia are very common, especially on motorways and speedways. Diesel, unleaded petrol, and LPG are readily available at all gas stations, and you can pay with cash and cards. There are both self-service and full-service gas stations, but you always need to go inside the store to pay.
The gas stations on motorways and speedways are usually open 24/7, whereas the ones inside the cities often close at 8 PM. But that’s not the rule; in larger cities like Ljubljana and Bled, you can find an open gas station at any time day.
There’s really nothing new about renting a car in Slovenia. You need to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. There is a special fee for young drivers, so if you’re under 25 you’ll either need to pay an extra fee, or the car will just be more expensive.
There are several big rental companies throughout Slovenia, and on average it’s about 10-15EUR per day for a small car without insurance. But it’s highly recommended to get insurance, so the total will come down to about 30EUR per day for the cheapest car available.
Additionally, people over 73 are not allowed to drive in Slovenia. Some rental companies will not allow people above 70 to rent a car, while others will have an extra fee for them, just like they have for young drivers.
Another thing to note is that most rental companies let you take the car out of the country, but you do need to let them know in advance. Sometimes you’ll be driving around Slovenia, but it will be faster to take a shortcut through Austria or Croatia. In any case, it’s best to double-check with the rental company what their policy on this is, to avoid getting fined or worse.
If you want to drive in Slovenia but you don’t necessarily want to rent a car for the entire duration of your stay, you should consider car sharing with Avant2Go. It’s available in Ljubljana, Maribor, Kranj, and Murska Subota, and you can drive outside the city areas, as long as you return the car to one of their designated locations.
This is a great option for people who only need the car for a couple of hours every other day. The best thing about car sharing is that you don’t need to worry about parking fees or fuel costs, since all of that is covered by the registration fee. On the other hand, if you’re planning on using the car for more than a few hours, this method quickly becomes way too expensive.
Additionally, Avant2Go features only electric cars with no CO2 emissions. On the one hand, it’s great that their vehicles are all environmentally friendly and silent. But on the other hand, it also makes the car rental prices much higher.
You can also rent cars from Avant2Go for longer periods. However, it’s very expensive compared to the other car rental companies in Slovenia, and I would not recommend going with this service if you want the car for more than just a few hours.
There are a few apps that you should download on your phone to make driving in Slovenia easier and more convenient. They’re all free to download and available on Android and Apple smartphones.
Google Maps is your best friend for getting around Slovenia. The maps are very accurate, with live traffic updates and reroutes to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Plus, you can download offline maps to use navigation even without Internet access. Other apps like Apple Maps and Waze will also work, but Google still offers better real-time traffic updates.
EasyPark is an app that makes it a bit more convenient to park in various cities throughout Slovenia. The app lets you manage your parking without having to look for a meter, and you won’t overpay for parking. Plus, you can extend the parking time in the app, which is perhaps the most convenient feature of all. The app even lets you book parking in advance, but that’s only available at select lots. It’s worth noting that you can’t link your card to the app – it currently charges parking to your phone bill, so it’s pretty much just a better way of paying for parking with SMS.
Promet+ is a convenient app to have on your phone when driving around Slovenia. It’s updated by their official traffic information center and it has the most accurate real-time updates on traffic conditions. When you start driving just input the route you’re planning to take into the app, and it will send you notifications about any events, roadworks, or traffic jams to expect. You can also get voice alerts instead of text notifications, which is very convenient if you’re driving on your own. Additionally, the app lets you report any traffic incidents you come across on the road.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!