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Road Rules and Traffic Regulations in Bulgaria - Driving Nuances

1. The quality of roads in Bulgaria will disappoint exacting motorists. Even major highways are not distinguished by high quality surface. There are pits literally everywhere, so fans of fast driving have to be very careful and monitor the quality of roads all the time.
2. Only drivers who have the EU driving license are allowed to drive a car in Bulgaria. Despite the fact that driving licenses obtained in some other countries are also valid in the country, foreign drivers are recommended to get the international driver's permit before travelling to Bulgaria.
3. In the city, the maximum allowed speed is 50 km/h, and in the country drivers can speed up to 90 km/h. There are also highways in Bulgaria. On roads of this type the maximum allowed speed is 120 - 140 km/h. Drivers, who are used to driving on high quality roads only, should be particularly attentive.

Nuances of Car Rental in Bulgaria

To save on your rental, we advise to book your car in advance. You will save the most if you do this several weeks or even several months prior to your trip. Rental offices in Bulgaria usually raise rental prices over time, based on the number of cars left available for the accounting period.

When looking for an exotic car (cabriolet, minivan or limousine), we advise to check in the rental offices located at airports, as they usually provide much wider choice comparing to offices in urban areas.

Upon receipt of invoices, bills and documents for your car at the rental location, please compare the obtained data with your voucher. Quite often, employees of rental offices in Bulgaria try to add optional charges or services without informing customers.

It is very important to pick up your car at the rental office in Bulgaria in a correct way. Prior to leaving the office, carefully inspect the car for various defects, and ensure that all the discovered defects are mentioned in your rental documents. In case of a non-compliance found, place a demand for correction to the rental officer.

You can always check our car actual rental offers in Bulgaria. Simply use the search form at the top of the page. We guarantee that you will not find better prices anywhere else!
4. The local police have the right to charge fines right on the spot. In this case, the driver will be given a payment receipt. According to local regulations, the driver has the right to refuse to pay the fine immediately and choose to pay if off later in bank. However, experienced drivers usually advise not to argue with the police and, if possible, pay the fine on the spot.
5. Public transport has the priority on the road. Do not forget to give way to it in all situations. You shouldn’t overtake the bus if it has stopped to load or unload passengers. In such a situation, it is better to stop as well and wait until the bus leaves the stop.
6. Driving under the influence is always severely punished. The maximum allowed blood alcohol content for drivers is 0.5 ppm. If the blood alcohol content is between 0.5 and 1.2 ppm, the offender will get the fine from 500 to 1000 leva. The suspension of the driving license for a period from 6 to 12 months is a typical additional punishment in this case. If the blood alcohol content is more than 1.2 ppm, the driver is likely to be imprisoned.
7. Using a cellphone while driving is allowed only if the gadget is equipped with a Bluetooth-headset or a «Hands Free» device. Also keep in mind that the use and even transportation of radar detectors and other devices with the same purpose is strictly prohibited.
8. The driver and all passengers in the car must fasten seat belts. If you plan to travel by car together with kids, make sure your car is equipped with a system of fixing devices or a child chair that meets the height and weight of the child.
9. The majority of parking lots in Bulgaria are paid. Fees are usually charged for the use of a parking place during the period from 8:00 to 18:00. The average cost of one hour of parking is one lev. On Saturdays and Sundays, many parking lots can be used for free.
10. In major cities of the country, there are the so-called "blue zones" that have the appropriate markings. Such parking lots are very widespread in Sofia. Drivers are allowed to leave a car there for no longer than 2 - 4 hours, depending on the type of parking.
11. Many parking lots have special parking staff. You can easily recognize these people because they wear bright orange uniform. The staff helps finding a free space at the parking lot and also charges the fee for the parking service. It is also possible to pay for the services of some parking lots with your mobile phone by sending an SMS to a specific number, but foreign guests are recommended to use traditional methods of payment for parking just to make sure the payment is done.
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