Should you hire a car in Bucharest?

Should you rent a car in Bucharest Romania > Bucharest

Driving into Bucharest from the airport shows how much the city has developed since the fall of Ceausescu, and it almost seems like there is a new shopping mall on every corner. Yet within this traffic soaked metropolitan area there is still a relatively compact city core, where walking is still the best way to get around, whatever Bucharest’s varied climate throws at you.

Bucharest Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings

Ceausescu’s influence is still stamped firmly on the country’s parliament, which was his former palace, and the scale of some of these developments is such that it might be best to travel around in some sort of motorised transport, but this could easily be a bus or taxi rather than a hired car.

Bucharest has also invested heavily, and continues to invest in a mass transit metro system, and buses and trams are still widely available. This gives a natural leaning towards not hiring a car if you just plan to stay within the centre of Bucharest, but of course this would be missing out on all of the best scenery which Romania has to offer.

Why should you rent a car in Bucharest?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Bucharest?

Bucharest Car hire summary

Overall drive rating



Cheapest rate for one week




How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?





Free parking score

Total 160 - of which 59 have free parking. [full notes - parking]




Should you hire a car in Bucharest? 

  • With Bucharest being the natural arrival point for a road trip into the Carpathian mountains, whether on a slightly cliched Dracula inspired tour, or simply to enjoy any number of scenic views, the pendulum rapidly swings towards getting a hire car for the duration of your stay.
  • Even if you still plan to spend a couple of nights in Bucharest before heading out elsewhere, car parking shouldn’t be too much of a problem in any suburban hotel, so there isn’t much point in doing a rental for some of your stay, although as with anywhere, this will depend on the local conditions where you’re staying.
  • The Transfăgărășan is rated by many as one of the best driving roads in Europe. To reach this Carpathian mountains pass would take around 3 hours from Bucharest.
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  • It’s also worth pointing out that Romania is also well worth exploring by train, and this will probably still suit the independent minded traveller, although Romanian trains tend to be a little on the slow side, with services offering very infrequently outside express services between the major cities. The network, which has seen little investment in recent years, is still excellent value compared to driving, especially for people travelling alone, or with just one other companion.


Car rental in - Bucharest Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Bucharest?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.

Is it worth hiring a car in Bucharest?

Based on value for money

Should you rent a car in Bucharest?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Bucharest if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Bucharest if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Bucharest if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?



Final score:


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Bucharest car hire summary

Should you hire a car in Bucharest? On balance, a recommendation for Bucharest is that a hire car is probably useful.

Bucharest car hire verdict – yes

Would you hire a car in Bucharest?

Have you driven in Bucharest? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Bucharest?
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