The traffic regulations in Albania are mostly similar to those of other European countries, yet there are some peculiarities. The country has many mountain roads, not all roads have good pavement, and local drivers often ignore traffic rules.
So, how should a foreigner behave on Albanian roads? Of course, learn the local peculiarities, stay calm, and follow the official traffic regulations to avoid paying fines.
Payment of fines for traffic offences is the responsibility of the renter.
Albania uses right-hand traffic, as many other European countries.
If you encounter a 40-50 km/h speed limit sign on a highway outside the city, make sure to obey the sign. There are often cameras or traffic patrol in such areas.
|up to 10 km/h||1,000-3,000 Lek (€9.50-28)|
|10-30 km/h||2,000-4,000 Lek (€19-38)|
20-40 km/h within towns
30-50 km/h outside towns
5,000-15,000 Lek (€47-141),
more than 40 km/h within towns
more than 50 km/h outside towns
10,000-20,000 Lek (€94-188),
All car occupants must wear seat belts, in both the front and rear seats.
According to the traffic regulations, children under 3 years of age can only ride in special restraint systems. Children over 3 years of age are not allowed to ride in the front seats if they are under 150 cm tall. For your safety, we recommend transporting children under 12 years of age or under 150 cm in a restraint system.
The penalty for riding without seat belts and transporting children incorrectly is a fine of 5,000 to 15,000 Lek (~€47-141), and in case of repeated offence, your licence can be suspended.
Be sure to switch on low beam in low visibility conditions - 500-2,500 Lek (~€5-23).
Give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing - 500-2000 ALL (~€5-19).
Use your mobile phone while driving only with a hand-free system - 5,000-15,000 ALL (~€47-141).
Passing through red traffic lights - 5,000-20,000 Lek (~€50-188) and/or imprisonment from 6 to 12 months.
Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other illegal substances.
Drink driving penalties:
If the offence is committed at night (between 22:00 and 07:00), the fine is increased by two thirds.
Read more: Parking in Albania
If you are stopped by the traffic police, keep calm and be polite.
Show the officer your driver’s licence, vehicle registration certificate, insurance, and car rental agreement.
Most police officers don't speak English well. If you can't understand each other, use a translation app on your phone.
If you have committed a traffic offence, don’t be aggressive not to make things worse. It's best to admit fault and apologise. For a minor offence, you may be let off without a fine.
If a police officer starts writing a ticket, don’t argue. Fines in Albania vary greatly, and the exact amount is determined by the officer.
It is not a good idea to bribe a police officer because this can result in serious penalties. Sometimes it's cheaper to pay the ticket.
You can pay the ticket issued by a police officer at the nearest police station, bank, Western Union office or post office.
You can get a 50% discount if you pay the fine within 15 days of receipt or final ruling.
Fines from cameras are sent via the e-albania.al online system within a few days. Your rental company notify you of the debt, provide proof of the offence with the exact date, and offer available payment options.
The Albanian driving style may surprise, irritate or even scare the foreign tourist at first. Indeed, locals often violate traffic regulations, rush, overtake where it’s prohibited to do so, and rarely switch on their turn signals. But it’s not as scary as it may seem at first glance. You just need to know about the local driving style, be careful, and keep calm.
Consider the local traffic style as a peculiarity of the country, try to adapt to it, and don't forget to obey the traffic regulations.
Have a nice trip!