Driving in Slovenia is ubiquitous -- per capita, the nation`s car ownership rates are very close to the European Union average. There are more cars per 1,000 people here than in the United Kingdom, but fewer cars per capita than in the United States. Driving in Slovenia is similar to driving in the United States in many respects, and different in other ways.

Like the U.S., driving in Slovenia is on the right, with the car`s steering wheel on the left. Also like in many U.S. states, driving on highly-trafficked roads requires an affixed transponder on your windshield, from which toll e-readers bill your account when your transponder is recorded passing through various toll checkpoints. Slovenia`s transponder/toll pass system is called Vignette (Vinjete in Slovene). It is typically included in a car rental (confirm this in advance), and can also be bought at gas stations and in border towns before entering Slovenia. To travel on expressways and intercity highways in Slovenia, you MUST have the Vignette on your windshield.

There are a couple of things that differ about driving in Slovenia. First, while driving on smaller roads or in more rural areas, upcoming points of interest or towns may not be clearly labeled. We advise that you buy a map of Slovenia (such as the Michelin Guide) and note your distance on the map as you are traveling. One thing that will be clear on the roads is the number of the route you are taking and the kilometer marker (visible every 0.1 km). Second, keep calm behind the wheel. You will encounter more aggressive driving here than you may be used to at home, although the vast majority of drivers are very capable, skilled, and level-headed. Also, there are a number of cyclists on the roads in Slovenia who share the roads with drivers, and unlike in the U.S. where right-of-way is unclear in many instances, it is clearly on the side of the cyclists in Slovenia. Pay attention to all traffic laws and follow them closely; fines are stiff for violators.

With this overview, plus the pages linked below, you will be able to drive in Slovenia with as much finesse and relaxation as you would feel at home. Have fun and enjoy experiencing Central Europe`s hidden gem!