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Car Rental in Latvia

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Car Rental in Latvia: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re planning a trip to Latvia and want to explore the country at your own pace, renting a car is a great option. However, before you hit the road, it’s important to understand the local driving laws and requirements.

Understanding Local Driving Laws

In Latvia, you must be at least 21 years old to rent a car, and you must have held your driver’s license for at least one year. Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers, and the use of mobile phones while driving is strictly prohibited. Speed limits are enforced, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations before you start driving.

Required Documents

When renting a car in Latvia, you will need to present a valid driver’s license, passport, and a credit card for the security deposit. If your driver’s license is not in the Latin alphabet, you may also need an International Driving Permit.

Choosing the Right Car Rental Company

There are several car rental companies operating in Latvia, so it’s important to choose a reputable and reliable provider. Look for a company that offers transparent pricing, good customer service, and a wide range of vehicles to choose from.

Exploring Latvia by Car

Once you’ve sorted out the paperwork and chosen a car rental company, you’re ready to hit the road and explore Latvia’s stunning landscapes and charming towns. From the vibrant city of Riga to the picturesque countryside, having a rental car gives you the freedom to create your own itinerary and travel at your own pace.

In conclusion, renting a car in Latvia can be a convenient and enjoyable way to explore the country. By understanding the local driving laws and requirements, choosing the right rental company, and being prepared with the necessary documents, you can have a smooth and hassle-free experience on the road.

Rental Requirements

When renting a car in Latvia, there are certain requirements that you need to meet in order to drive legally and safely in the country.

Age Limits

The minimum age for renting a car in Latvia is typically 21 years old, and some car rental companies may require drivers to be at least 25 years old. Additionally, there may be a maximum age limit for renting a car, so it’s important to check with the rental company before making a reservation.

Driving License Requirements

To rent a car in Latvia, you will need a valid driver’s license from your home country. Some car rental companies may also require an International Driving Permit (IDP) if your license is not in English or if you are staying in Latvia for an extended period of time. In addition, most rental companies require drivers to have held their license for at least one year.


When renting a car in Latvia, you will need to provide certain documentation, including a valid passport, a credit card in the driver’s name for the security deposit, and any additional documents requested by the rental company. It’s important to have all the necessary documentation ready when picking up your rental car to avoid any delays or issues.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in Latvia, it’s important to understand the insurance options available to you.

Basic Insurance

The basic insurance typically includes Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection. CDW covers damages to the rental car in the event of a collision, while Theft Protection provides coverage in case the car is stolen.

Additional Insurance

In addition to the basic insurance, you may have the option to purchase additional coverage such as Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) and Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI). PAI provides coverage for medical expenses and accidental death benefits for the driver and passengers, while SLI provides additional liability coverage in the event of an accident.

Insurance Tips

Before renting a car in Latvia, it’s recommended to check your existing travel insurance policies to see if they provide any coverage for rental cars. This can help you avoid paying for duplicate coverage and ensure that you have the protection you need while on the road.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in Latvia

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: In Latvia, driving is on the right side of the road.
Speed Limits: The typical speed limits are 50 km/h in urban areas, 90 km/h on rural roads, and 100 km/h on highways.
Other Useful Info: Look out for pedestrian crossings and yield to pedestrians.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Overtaking is only allowed on the left side. It is prohibited on pedestrian crossings, intersections, and railway crossings.
Lane Discipline: Keep right except to overtake on multi-lane roads.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious of cyclists and use designated bike lanes.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: Seat belts must be worn by all occupants of the vehicle.
Child Safety: Children under 135 cm tall must use a child seat or booster seat.
Other Useful Info: It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure all passengers are wearing seat belts.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: The use of handheld mobile devices while driving is prohibited.
Other Useful Info: Consider using a hands-free device if you need to make a call while driving.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05%. Penalties for DUI/DWI are severe.
Zero Tolerance Policies: There are stricter rules for commercial drivers with a limit of 0.02%.
Other Useful Info: It is best to avoid alcohol completely when driving.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: There are no toll roads in Latvia.
Congestion Charges: There are no urban congestion charges.
Other Useful Info: Be aware of parking restrictions in urban areas.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Give way to vehicles already on the roundabout and use your indicators to signal your exit.
Intersection Rules: Vehicles already on the main road have the right of way.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious at pedestrian crossings near intersections.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: Headlights must be used at all times, even during daylight, from October 1st to March 31st.
Windshield Wiper Rule: There is no specific requirement to turn on headlights when using wipers.
Other Useful Info: Carry a reflective vest and a warning triangle in your vehicle at all times.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: When you hear sirens or see flashing lights, move to the right and stop to allow emergency vehicles to pass.
Other Useful Info: Do not attempt to follow emergency vehicles to get through traffic.

Driving Tips for Latvia

Road Conditions

In Latvia, the road conditions can vary greatly. While major highways and roads in urban areas are generally well-maintained, rural roads may be less smooth and have more potholes. It’s important to drive cautiously and be aware of changing road conditions, especially in the winter when snow and ice can make driving more challenging.

Urban vs. Rural Driving

Driving in urban areas in Latvia can be busy and fast-paced, with heavy traffic and narrow streets. In rural areas, the roads may be less crowded but can be more unpredictable. It’s important to be mindful of slower-moving vehicles and wildlife that may cross the road.

Navigational Tips

Using GPS or maps can be extremely helpful when driving in Latvia, especially if you are not familiar with the area. While major cities and towns are well-signposted, smaller roads and rural areas may not have as many directional signs. Having a reliable navigation system can help you reach your destination more easily.

Other Useful Tips

– Keep an eye out for wildlife, especially in rural areas.
– Be cautious of changing weather conditions, especially in the winter.
– Follow the speed limits and traffic laws to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience in Latvia.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

Breakdown Procedures

If you experience a breakdown while renting a car in Latvia, the first step is to safely pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. Contact the rental company immediately to report the issue and follow their instructions for next steps.

Emergency Services

In case of an emergency, dial 112 for police, ambulance, or fire services. For roadside assistance, contact the rental company’s designated hotline for immediate help. Make sure to have these numbers saved in your phone before starting your trip.

Rental Company Policies

Most rental companies in Latvia offer 24/7 roadside assistance and towing services in case of a breakdown. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific policies of the rental company you choose and keep their contact information easily accessible during your rental period.

Where can you Rent a Car in Latvia?

You can browse all the city locations below, sorted alphabetically. Use Ctrl+F (or Cmd+F on a Mac) to quickly find the one you want to explore.