To rent (or not rent) a Car in Greece?
If you are planning to drive whilst you are in Greece, you will want to make sure you plan ahead and be prepared for things to a little different from other countries. As a Greek who learnt to drive in Greece, I can vouch for the frustrations of driving on busy roads in Greek. Before you rent your car, have a read through my top tips for driving in Greece
Ask yourself if driving is necessary
There is no doubt that renting a car offers a sense of freedom. With your own transport, you will be able to visit different towns and villages at your own pace, without being tied to the timings of a coach tour. Being able to go off the beaten track will give you a unique taste of Greece, without having to rely on infrequent public transport. That said, if you are staying in a city, such as Athens, many attractions are within walking distance of each other and, due to heavy congestion, you will find it quicker walking. There are lots of organized tours that you can book onto, of you are unsure where you are going.
Book in Advance
Prices for car rentals are cheaper if you book in advance, and we can help you find a reliable provider at the best price. Booking ahead will also take the stress out of your journey as you can simply arrive at the airport and pick up your keys, rather than scramble to see what is available. We can also support you in finding the best provider for car seats and bumper seats if you are travelling with children.
Don’t forget that you will need to take your driving license and car rent contract with you, a photocopy will not be acceptable in either case.
Do Take Care
Greek driving laws are similar to other countries, with the use of seat belts compulsory, drink-driving a serious offence and strict speed limits set. Greek drivers, however, can be a little lax with rules so expect to see cars driving over the speed limit and erratic behaviour on the roads. Roads are not always of high quality, with many potholes on major roads and lots of dirt tracks in smaller towns and villages. The best advice is to plan your journey in advance and allow time to drive slower so that you can take care not to have an accident.
Avoid Schoolboy Errors!
Petrol stations are closed on Sundays and Bank holidays, so make sure you have a full tank of petrol if you are planning a weekend trip. In rural areas, petrol stations can be few and far between so it is best to keep topped up during your stay. So as not to worry about getting lost, make sure you rent a navigation system or print out maps in English before you travel. Don’t make the same mistake as I did by using your mobile to navigate, the 100 euro bill for roaming charges was not a great welcome home present!
Stick to the Rules of the Road
Most road signs are in English and Greek, so you should not have problems. Just be mindful in smaller villages and check maps before you leave. One thing to note is that at roundabouts, you must give way to traffic coming on to the roundabout. If unsure, proceed cautiously and don’t just assume you have the right of way. Parking can be stressful in big cities but is a lot easier in a smaller town, you will be glad to hear that it is a lot cheaper than the UK!
However, you choose to travel around Greece, you are sure to have a fabulous time visiting the wonderful attractions the country has to offer.
Kids Love Greece have partnered with several car rental companies, and have also created some family-friendly road-trip itineraries to help plan your driving holiday in Greece. Contact us for more details.
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