Car rental Bulgaria
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Why rent a car in Bulgaria?
Although not as well known as some other European countries, Bulgaria is a great place to explore by car. From ancient cities to stunning mountains, sunny beaches on the Black Sea coast and easy access to other interesting destinations in Europe, it is a place to miss at your own peril.
Top ways to enter Bulgaria
- Sofia Airport: Bulgaria’s largest international airport that serves flights to and from most European countries as well as other continents.
- Burgas Airport: A small and cozy international airport located on the Black Sea.
- Varna Airport: Another international airport on the Black Sea Coast.
- By land: It’s possible to rent a car in a neighboring country and then drive to Bulgaria. It should be noted, however, that different visa requirements may be in place for citizens of different countries, so contact your embassy in advance to find out about any international borders you would like to cross. Some large cities with international airports near Bulgaria include Istanbul in Turkey, Thessaloniki in Greece, and Bucharest in Romania.
Top cities and places to visit
Plovdiv: Considered to be one of the oldest cities in the world, Plovdiv is full of ancient sites and has an authentically Bulgarian atmosphere.
Sofia: A mixture of historic and modern, Bulgaria’s capital city is a unique destination that is developing at a rapid pace.
Black Sea Coast: Long summer months, sandy shores, and charming little villages on the sea is what makes Bulgaria arguably the most popular beach destination in Eastern Europe.
Varna: Although Varna is also on the Black Sea, its unique architecture, relaxed atmosphere and delicious seafood warrants a special mention.
Southwest Bulgaria: A place of steep mountains, abundance of fauna, and great opportunities for winter sports, this is Bulgaria at its wildest.
Most popular rental car
The most popular rental car in Bulgaria is the VW Polo, but the Renault Clio and the Ford Fiesta are also often picked by travelers.
Driver licence requirements
Bulgaria accepts all driver licenses issued in the European Union (EU).
If your driver license is issued by a non-EU country, for it to be considered valid you’ll need a Bulgarian visa. Another requirement is to have been in the EU for no more than six months at the time of the rental. If you’ve been in the EU longer, you’ll need a driver license issued by an EU country.
Bulgaria uses Cyrillic alphabet and also accepts driver licenses written in Latin alphabet. However, if your driver license is printed in neither Cyrillic nor Latin, but in some other alphabet (e.g., Japanese, Arabic, Devanagari, etc.), you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an official translation of your license into Bulgarian.
You must carry your driver license, not its copy, with you at all times.
You need to have had your driver license for at least one or two years, depending on the car provider’s requirements.
There may be additional requirements depending on the car provider and car category, so make sure to check the terms and conditions before booking.
Crossing the border
Bulgaria is bordered by Romania, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, and Serbia. Each of these countries has its own visa policy, so you may or may not need a visa to enter them, depending on your citizenship. If you plan to visit Bulgaria’s neighbor during your rental period, we strongly advise you to get in touch with your Ministry of Foreign Affairs in advance to find out about the visa requirements.
Some car rental providers allow you to cross national borders and even drop off your car in a different country, while others don’t. If you’d like to cross a national border during your rental period, make sure to check the terms and conditions before booking a car. Learn more about cross-border rentals in our FAQ section.
Most popular types of rental car
The type of car rented most often in Bulgaria is an economy, but standard and compact are also quite popular.
Top driving routes
Sofia–Varna (443 km / 275 mi) The road between the capital city in the west and the Black Sea in the east will lead you through the beautiful Central Balkan National Park.
Plovdiv–Burgas (266 km / 165 mi) This route can be done in under three hours, but if you’re not in great rush, you might want to make a detour to visit the city of Stara Zagora that boasts many well-preserved Roman buildings and artefacts.
Sofia–Ruse (309 km / 192 mi) Travel north of Sofia, and in just three hours you will reach Ruse, a unique city on Danube that is also an entry point for Bulgaria’s equally charming neighbor, Romania.
How can I save money on my rental car?
You can do a number of things to get a good car rental deal in Bulgaria:
- Compare rates
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Bulgaria?
What’s the average rental length in Bulgaria?
What’s the most popular time for renting a car in Bulgaria?
Top 8 Most Popular Cities in Bulgaria
Top 13 Most Popular Locations in Bulgaria
Top 15 Best Bulgaria Suppliers in 2019
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