The comments on this page make it clear that confusion reigns when it comes to taking a rental car to or through Bosnia-Hercegovina and Montenegro. There are all kinds of convoluted proposed solutions to the “problem” of driving from Split to Dubrovnik which takes you through a sliver of Bosnian territory. Neum is Bosnia’s only outlet to the sea and was left there for political reasons. Believe me, Croatians don’t like it either!
But I digress. The question is: do you need to pay for a special cross-border card in order to enter Bosnia ? The issue is important not only for driving down the coast but for taking one of the hugely popular day trips to Mostar in Bosnia or Kotor in Montenegro.
No, you do not need a cross-border card. Let me back up a little. On my trip to Croatia in 2009, I too assumed that a cross-border card was necessary and that some car rental companies included it and some didn’t.
I was completely wrong. I rented through AutoEurope on the assumption that the cross-border card was included. At the rental desk, the agent informed me that no cross-border card was ever necessary to travel to Bosnia and Montenegro because those countries were already covered on the green insurance card. Indeed, she showed me the list of included countries on the green card and–what do you know?–there were Bosnia and Montenegro. I drove to both countries and no one ever checked anything, presumably because they saw the Croatian rental plates and knew I was covered.
Because of the numerous comments on my car rental page indicating that insurance companies were still insisting that a special cross-border card was necessary, I decided to call the Croatian Insurance Bureau yesterday. A spokeswoman confirmed that Bosnia and Montenegro were part of the “green card system” and that insurance issued as part of a Croatian car rental would necessarily cover those countries “unless it was crossed out”. “Why would it be crossed out?” I asked. “Well, sometimes they do that but no they are not supposed to”, she replied.
It sounds like a scam. Based on my experience and information from the Croatian Insurance Bureau, I recommend that you:
- do not buy any “cross-border card” when you rent a car in Croatia
- check your insurance papers to make sure no countries are crossed out
- cross the border at Neum in peace and consider taking a fabulous day trip to Mostar or Montenegro!