Everything you need to know about driving in Slovenia: laws, regulations, motorways, service stations, car rental, emergency assistance, and electric charging.
Driving in Slovenia
Slovenia has an extensive north/south and east/west highway system. This offers easy access to the neighboring countries of Austria and Italy. In one direction you can drive to the mountain resorts in the Alps and in the other direction are coastal resorts on the Adriatic Sea. One of the most popular resort communities is located on Lake Bled where there is skating and curling in the winter months and swimming and rowing in the summer months.
A car allows the easiest way to travel around the country and since Slovenia is a rather smaller country you will be able to explore more places if you have a car. From Ljubljana to any part of Slovenia you most likely won’t need more than an hour, maybe an hour and a half (depending on the traffic of course).
The minimum age required to drive a vehicle in Slovenia is 18. In Slovenia, you have to drive on the right side of the road. The use of safety belts is mandatory for all passengers in the vehicle. The international three-color system of traffic lights is used in Slovenia. We also recommend checking the traffic reports regularly while driving through the country in order to avoid possible traffic jams and roads that are under construction.
Required documents for driving in Slovenia
Slovenia accepts all valid EU and international driving licenses but if they are in non-Roman alphabets like Arabic, Cyrillic or Chinese they must be accompanied by an International Driver’s Permit (IDP).
U.S. citizens need both a valid U.S. driver’s license and an International Driver’s License to drive in Slovenia. If you have both items, you can drive for up to one year in Slovenia. If you already have a driver’s license from another European Union member state, then the International Driver’s License requirement is waived.
U.S. citizens residing in Slovenia may exchange their American license for a Slovene driver’s license after being in the country for six months. Among other requirements, you will need to pass a practical driving exam, a medical exam, and surrender your U.S. license at your local Administrative Unit. If everything is deemed in order, they will issue you a Slovene license. They will then mail your U.S. license to the Embassy.
To obtain an International Driver’s License in the United States, please contact your local office of the American Automobile Association or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (through the National Auto Club).
To obtain an International Driver’s License in Slovenia based on a Slovene license, please contact the Automobile Association of Slovenia.
Important regulations for driving in Slovenia
If you choose to come to Slovenia by vehicle (car or motorcycle), here are some useful tips for driving in Slovenia.
The following speed limits apply on Slovenian roads and must be followed in order to avoid being fined while driving in Slovenia:
- built-up/residential area 50 km/h
- regional roads 90 km/h
- express roads 110 km/h
- motorways 130 km/h
Among the traffic regulations, you should note the obligatory use of dipped (low-beam) headlights even during daytime driving. The use of fog lights is permitted only where visibility is reduced to less than 50 meters. The driver and all passengers in the vehicle must wear seat belts. From 15 November to 15 March your vehicle must have winter equipment – winter tires with a profile of at least 3 mm or summer tires and snow chains in the boot (trunk).
Vignette systems in Slovenia
Motorcycles, cars, and vans whose maximum permitted weight do not exceed 3.5 tons must display a vignette to use all Slovenian motorways and those express roads managed and maintained by the toll road operator. Therefore, having a valid vignette while driving in Slovenia is mandatory and you will be fined if your vehicle does not have one.
Purchase of vignettes in Slovenia
You can purchase vignettes at all petrol stations in Slovenia and in neighboring countries as well as at branches of national and foreign automobile clubs, at post offices in Slovenia and at some kiosks. For more information, there is a list of sales points. Make sure you purchase a vignette as soon as you cross the Slovenian border or better yet before entering the country to avoid any penalties. Once you purchase the vignette for driving in Slovenia, make sure you attach it on the windscreen. Also, we highly recommend you save the receipt of the purchased vignette to avoid any possible issues.
The validity of vignettes in Slovenia
- An annual vignette for the current year is valid from 1 December of the previous year to 31 January of the coming year (total of 14 months).
- A half-yearly vignette is valid for six months from the day of purchase, or if the sixth month has no such day, to the end of the last day of the sixth month.
- A monthly vignette is valid from the moment of purchase to the end of the day having the same number one month after the day of purchase, or if the following month has no such day, to the end of the last day of the month.
- A weekly vignette is valid for seven consecutive days from and including the day specified by the user on purchasing the vignette.
We highly recommend you do not risk driving on the motorways without the vignette sticker, since the penalties are severe. The penalty for driving on a motorway without a valid vignette or without paying the toll is a fine of EUR 300 to 800.
For journeys on the motorway from Austria to the Hrušica exit towards the interior of Slovenia and vice versa, vignettes are not required. The toll paid for the Karavanke Tunnel is valid for travel between the first motorway exits on both sides of the national border (in Slovenia the Hrušica exit, in Austria the Podrožca/Rosenbach exit).
Buses, motor homes, lorries
DarsGo is a modern electronic tolling system in the free traffic flow for vehicles whose maximum permitted weight exceeds 3.5 tonnes. Toll charge per km driven for vehicles whose maximum permissible weight exceeds 3,500 kg is stipulated by the government of the Republic of Slovenia. Toll varies based on the particular motorway section and the toll-rate category or emission standard of the vehicle. In the DarsGo system, toll charging is fully automated and based on the distance traveled.
For more information
Check on which cases you are eligible for a replacement vignette or a refund. More information on the DARS website.
Mandatory Equipment in Slovenia
While driving in Slovenia you are required by law to carry the following items. Hefty on-the-spot fines can be issued for not to carrying specific items:
- Headlamp beam deflectors (Depending on your car, you will either need deflector stickers or have to adjust the beam manually.)
- Snow chains (in the winter are a must in the car).
- A first-aid kit (make sure it is not expired), fire extinguisher, and spare bulbs are compulsory aboard all motor vehicles registered to Slovenia.
- Warning triangle (A vehicle with a trailer and a motor vehicle at the rear of a column (if the vehicles are traveling in convoy) must carry two triangles.)
- All vehicles must have their lights on day and night.
- Reflective Jacket (for use when walking on the road at night or daytime.)
- Motorcyclists (Safety helmets are compulsory for drivers and passengers of mopeds and motorcycles.)
Car Insurance in Slovenia
Slovene third-party liability insurance is mandatory for all vehicles. The annual fee for this insurance is based upon the power of the vehicle’s engine as measured in kilowatts. There is often a discount available if you can provide a certificate from your previous insurance provider(s) confirming your continuous safe driving record for the previous ten years.
Rent a car in Slovenia
There are several rental car agencies in Slovenia from which you can choose from. You can rent a car at specialized agencies in towns and at airports. Fleets comprise vehicles of various categories. To rent a car in Slovenia you need to be at least 21 years old and have held a driving license for at least two years. Some car rental agencies require a young driver surcharge payment for drivers aged between 21 and 25. Make sure you check the additional charges when it comes to younger drivers with the rental car agency.
Alcohol restrictions while driving in Slovenia
The maximum permitted blood alcohol level for drivers is 0.5 parts per thousand. Since alcohol breath tests for drivers are very common, it is better to not drink anything.
You know what they say, better safe than sorry.
In case of a car accident in Slovenia
If you are involved in an accident, you should contact the police by dialing 113. If anyone is injured, an ambulance can be reached by dialing 112.
Police routinely conduct breathalyzer tests on all drivers involved in accidents, regardless of whom they suspect is at fault. If major damage has occurred, do not move your vehicle. The police will wish to survey the accident scene as-is. We highly recommend you obtain the name, contact information, and insurance information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident. We would also recommend filling the European Accident Statement if you are involved in a car accident while driving in Slovenia.
Service stations with petrol pumps are located about every 30 km along motorways and most of them operate 24 hours a day. There are also plenty of petrol stations in cities and smaller towns, however, not all of them are open 24/7.
All petrol stations offer unleaded petrol, diesel and at certain stations LPG. Prices of unleaded 95-octane petrol and diesel are regulated everywhere, except on motorways, by the government and are adjusted every 14 days, while other prices are set by the individual businesses. Checking the prices of fuel is recommended.
Electric charging in Slovenia
Elektro Ljubljana is one of the leading providers of charging services for electric vehicles in Slovenia. The knowledge and experience we have gathered over the years drive us to constantly improve our e-mobility services.
Public charging stations are devices installed where there is public parking that is accessible with, and sometimes even without, identification. A user must register before using those stations that require identification. Instructions for using the largest and most open Slovenian EV charging network »Gremo na elektriko« (Driven by Electricity) charging stations can be found at every charging station. Elektro Ljubljana is following developments in new identification solutions to meet users’ needs. Therefore after registration, you can identify yourself in various ways.
You can find the latest information about the number and locations of our charging stations at www.gremonaelektriko.si.
Traveling to Slovenia with children
Children less than 150 cm in height, traveling in vehicles registered in Slovenia or abroad, must use special seat belts adapted to their size or special child restraints, both at the front and at the rear of the vehicle. Child restraints must conform to ECE standard 44/03 or 44/04. If the child is transported on the front seat in a rear-facing child restraint, the airbag must be de-activated.
In the case of older vehicles not fitted with seatbelts (where a child restraint cannot be attached), children aged 3 or over and measuring less than 150 cm in height may travel without a child restraint, but they must occupy a rear seat. A child under 3 years of age must not be transported in a vehicle if a child restraint cannot be fitted.
A fine of 120 EUR may be imposed for not complying with this regulation.
In case of your car breaking down make sure you contact Avto moto zveza Slovenija (AMZS), which provides 24-hour assistance and towing. If you break down, call 1987. Make sure you save their number before driving to Slovenia, just in case.
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