In Croatia, parking can be free or paid. Parking areas can be recognised by the relevant signs and road markings.
Look carefully at the signs before parking your car. They can be hidden from view in the treetops. But even if they cannot be seen from the road, they still remain in force.
If you're planning an overnight stay in a large city, especially during the tourist season, you can book accommodation with its own parking or check with the owner in advance where it's most convenient to park your car.
You can park for free in any place where parking is not prohibited and where there’s no paid parking sign. If the place is not too touristy, you are likely to find free parking there, but such places are hard to find in the centre of large cities.
Paid parking spaces can be of the following types:
In a car park with a boom barrier, you take a ticket at the entrance and pay for it at a parking meter or cash register at the exit. Don’t lose your ticket, or you will have to pay a fine. The period of stay in such car parks is usually unlimited.
You will recognise paid on-street parking by coloured markings on the pavement and/or a “P” sign with the parking rates.
The sign includes the information on the working hours, parking time limit, parking rates, available payment methods, and free parking hours.
The parking rate depends on the city and location. In large cities, the centre is divided into parking zones. The closer to the city centre, the higher the parking rate. During the summer season, the parking rates in the city centre are about €0.50 to €2.00 per hour.
The parking rates in Zagreb:
There are several ways to pay for on-street parking:
Watch your paid parking period carefully. Overdue parking is treated as unpaid parking.
Violation of parking rules in Croatia incurs a fine of €30 to €90.
Tenant is responsible for paying the fines.
Parking inspectors usually leave a paper penalty charge notice on the windscreen. You can pay the fine at a post office or bank within 8 days. If you fail to pay, the amount will be collected through the court.
Sometimes fines are sent by post to the car owner’s address. They are delivered with a delay of four to six weeks. That is why some rental companies refund the deposit after this period or ask for credit card details.
If your car is obstructing traffic, it may be towed out of the car park or “wheel-clamped”. In this case, you will not only have to pay a fine, but also the towing costs.
So, it's best to avoid violating parking rules.