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I am considering flying into Thessaloniki, renting a car and driving to FYR Macedonia (Skopje), returning it back to Thessaloniki. Do rental companies allow this by default? Is there anything special I need to look into in the rental agreement? How does the insurance work in this case?

  • Are you planning to return the car to Thessaloniki? And I presume you mean FYR Macedonia -- Macedonia itself is part of Greece. Finally, just as a comment because a negative is never a surety: you will not find a car hire company which would allow to take the car out of the EU. What surety could you give them that you return the car? – chx May 5 '17 at 14:50
  • @chx, improved the question. Thanks, that is what I was worried about. – Grzenio May 5 '17 at 15:13
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    I think you should just check the rental car company websites and talk to them if necessary. Many years ago I rented a car in Europe and was able to legally take it to (then communist) Yugoslavia. Make sure whatever insurance you will have covers you appropriately as well as whether they allow you do it. They may charge a surcharge or it maybe forbidden. – Spehro Pefhany May 5 '17 at 16:00
  • @chx Is this really the place for political stances? Not reverting the edit (as it's not incorrect) but just saying. Anyone knows that Macedonia in an international context refers to the FYR – Crazydre May 5 '17 at 18:15
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    @chx in my experience rental companies allow drivers to take cars out of the EU, as long as you tell them what you're planning so they can give you the proper insurance documents (and possibly charge a bit extra). The surety for the return is the same as if you're not leaving the country: if you don't return the car, they charge your credit card for the cost of replacement. – phoog May 5 '17 at 18:18
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It is technically possible but practically virtually impossible.

There are so many issues you would face:

  • finding a car rental that would allow you to do this
  • getting legal permission from a car rental to drive across the border
  • obtaining insurance that is valid in both countries
  • receiving clearance from both customs
  • etc.

Many car rental companies won't even let you take your car to a Greek island, not to say to another country.

Your only option is to leave a car in Greece, cross a border by bus/taxi/etc and rent another car in Macedonia.

  • Are you speaking from experience? I have done cross-border car rentals into and out of the former Yugoslavia, although never from or to Greece. I asked the company if my itinerary was permitted before I made the rental, and then when I picked up the car, they provided me with an insurance card ("green card") valid for the countries to which I was traveling. When I crossed the border, I simply showed the rental agreement and the green card along with my passport. – phoog May 5 '17 at 19:04
  • To my surprise, Sixt and Europcar prohibit cross-border rentals originating in Greece (according to website) and Hertz allows only with advance written permission which I suspect is seldom forthcoming. I start to think this will be a long search, and although I expect something will turn up, probably not from such a large chain, it's not my trip. – Andrew Lazarus May 5 '17 at 20:45
  • phoog, how about providing Andrew with the car rental company's name you have used? – ThisIsMyName May 5 '17 at 22:02
  • @OleksandrKravchuk better to provide to the OP! – Andrew Lazarus May 5 '17 at 22:07
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I continued to research after my previous discouraging comment, and it is difficult but not impossible. Avis will allow, if the reservation is made directly with them (there is an email at that link), and an additional insurance fee of over 100 Euros, depending on car class. Also, renter must have either American Express or Diners Club.

Economycarrentals.com, which you can see recommended on other sites, is now a No. Thrifty, No. Enterprise theoretically can be arranged, but many surcharges including loss of unlimited mileage.

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