Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Kosovo?
Be aware that there is the potential for unrest in the north of the country on the border with Serbia. Many of the areas there are partrolled by the 10,000 strong UN peacekeeping force. Check local information for the current situation or refer to the FCO website.
The country is very poor and much of the infrastructure needs major work. However, it's a beautiful country to visit with warm, hospitable people.
Seat Belt Laws
All occupants of a moving vehicle in Kosovo must wear seat belts where they are fitted. Not doing so constitutes a driving offence and a penalty will apply.
Drinking and Driving
Being a Muslim country, Kosovo has zero tolerance to drink driving and if you are caught, you can face severe penalties. That said, the actual blood alcohol level is set at 10mg per 100ml of blood to allow for medicines containing alcohol. The bottom line is – don’t drink any alcohol before getting behind the wheel in Kosovo.
Must Have Documents
You will need to have both parts of your driving licence; paper and card, proof of insurance and the vehicle’s registration documents. Whilst not compulsory, it’s useful to have an international driving licence.
The speed limits for Kosovo are as follows:
Open roads: 80 km/h
In Town: 50 km/h
Green Lane 130 km/h
Minimum Driving Age
You have to be at least 18 to be able to drive in Kosovo. If you're renting a car the minimum age is 21 and you’ll need to have at least a year’s experience of driving. Under 25 and you will have to pay a premium for your lack of experience and age.
Safety Camera Warning Devices
Safety camera warning devices are illegal in Kosovo but given the trickiness of some of the roads and local driving skills, we’d recommend that you simply stick to the limit for your safety and that of others.
On the Spot Fines
Kosovo is said to have won the war against corruption and is one of the least corrupt countries in Eastern Europe. If stopped, you should be given a ticket which details the offence, the fine and where to pay it. There is no necessity to pay anything on the spot.
Child Safety Rules
In Kosovo, no child under the age of twelve can travel in the front of a car. Instead, they must be secured using an age and size appropriate restraint in the rear of the car. However, you’ll see many drivers flouting the law. Ask when booking your hire car and we will supply the appropriate restraint for your family.
A minimum of third party insurance is compulsory in Kosovo and you must carry proof of it by way of a valid certificate, carried in the car at all times.
Rules of the Road
Standard European driving laws apply with one or two exceptions.
• Yellow lines at a junction mean that you must stop and give way
• Many junctions have ‘filter in turn’ in operation and you must follow the instruction
If you are towing, ensure the towed vehicle is securely attached and that you have good visibility. Apart from that there are no specific laws for towing in Kosovo
Being a very poor country, you will find few, if any working fixed speed cameras. However, mobile speed traps are prevalent as a revenue collection device and you should always watch your speed.
Using Mobile Phones when driving
It’s illegal to talk or text on a mobile phone in Kosovo whilst driving unless you have a hands free kit.
The country is very quiet in terms of traffic, except in the capital Pristina so you’ll often find it easy to park safely and conveniently.
This exists mainly in the capital although enterprising locals will try to charge you for parking elsewhere. In Pristina, you’ll find metered parking in the centre as well as authority and privately owned garages. Despite being a little more expensive, they are better for safety and convenience.
Enforcement of parking is rare but if you obstruct you’ll find your car moved by the locals or towed.
Not part of the EU, the Blue Badge scheme isn’t recognised but take your badge to prove that you need assistance. Often the locals will help out but reward their help where possible.
Motor Way Signs
Motorway signs in Kosovo are green with white writing.
I have broken down - Unë kam thyer poshtë Where is the police station? - Ku është stacioni policor?
I have a flat tyre - Unë kam një gomë e shfryrë
I have been in an accident - Unë kam qenë në një aksident
Where is? - Ku është?
Where can I buy petrol? - Ku mund të blej benzinë?
In Kosovo traffic lights follow the system set out in the Vienna Convention and as such will be familiar with drivers from all over the world. You cannot turn on a red light unless indicated but watch out when the lights turn green for you as many Kosovan drivers jump red lights.
There are no toll roads in Kosovo.
The emergency number in Kosovo is 92 for the police, 93 for the fire service and 94 for medical help. You can also call 044 112, 044 933 or 044944 respectively.
What to do in an emergency
Just in case you have a problem with your hire car, you’ll find an emergency number on your documentation or affixed to your windscreen. If you’re driving your own car, you should use the partner organisation to your breakdown service at home. Collect the details before you leave home!
In the event of an accident you must stop. You need to call the police if there is damage to cars or property or if there are any injuries, even if yours is the only car involved. If damage is slight and there are no injuries, you can sort the issue out between the parties, otherwise call the police.
As of September 2014, the average price of 95 octane unleaded petrol in Kosovo is 99p whilst diesel is £1.05. Prices can vary between the capital and the smaller villages and towns.