Car hire in Greece

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Why rent a car in Greece? Because only in Greece you can drive in search of the myth: the myth of ancient Greece, among ancient ruins and villages where life still flows slowly, and modern legends, in the transgressive beaches of Mykonos and the glamorous atmosphere of Santorini.

Renting a car you can build your own itinerary, go in search of the most beautiful beaches, visit historical ruins impossible to reach by public transport, climb mountains with a rugged and impervious landscape and descend along scenic roads with breathtaking views of the sea.

Whether it’s for a couple of day trips from Athens, an on-the-road vacation in the Peloponnese or a week of relaxation on a beautiful island, car rental is the best way to experience a dream trip to Greece.

Where to Rent a Car in Greece

Rent a car at the airport

Hire a car at the airport is the solution preferred by most tourists because it allows you to leave immediately for your first destination, as soon as you get off the plane. No time wasted waiting for buses or trains! Another reason for choosing to rent a car at the airport is the guarantee of finding multilingual staff, which makes the procedures for picking up and dropping off the car much easier.

Athens Airport is the most important international airport in mainland Greece: here have their offices the most important international car rental companies, which offer guarantees of seriousness and low cost rates for those who book online; there are also some local companies.

In other airports you will find a smaller number of agencies; in airports served by domestic flights the presence of multilingual staff is not guaranteed.

Rent a car in the center of Athens

Another option is to rent a car in Athens, a solution usually chosen by those who are leaving for a very small island where there is no car rental office or by those who want to stay in the capital with the possibility of doing some day trips.

It can be slightly cheaper than renting a car at the airport, but keep in mind that driving in Athens could be difficult and stressful for those who are not used to big city traffic.

Several international companies have an office in the city, as well as some local companies.

Rent a Car in Mainland Greece

If you are more interested in history and culture than beaches, a vacation in mainland Greece is the best choice for you. You can build an itinerary for an on-the-road vacation of a week or more that includes the most fascinating locations of ancient Greece and some quaint villages ignored by mass tourism.

Planning a road trip to mainland Greece requires a bit of planning. You will have no difficulty in renting a car in the main resorts such as Thessaloniki, Patras and Kalamata, while it is rather difficult or even impossible in other less famous locations.

Rent a car in the islands

Rates and availability of car rental in the Greek islands vary a lot from island to island. In the most famous islands, such as Mykonos, Santorini and Rhodes, there is no difficulty in finding a rental car, although it is always advisable to book before arrival because it allows you to take advantage of the cheapest rates, available only online.

In some of the less touristic islands, car rental agencies are few and far between, so booking in advance is essential, otherwise you may not find any car available.

Beware that in some small islands, such as Hydra, it is forbidden the circulation of cars: these are very rare cases, but if you are planning a vacation on an unfamiliar island, find out before departure if it is possible to circulate by car.

Car rental agencies on the Greek islands generally have their offices at the airport or near the main port.

Car rental in the main islands

Driving in Greece

Renting a car is the best solution to discover the most authentic corners of Greece

With the exception of the chaotic streets of Athens, driving in Greece is quite easy because the Greek traffic rules are quite similar to the rest of Europe.

It is compulsory to wear seatbelts and keep your dipped headlights on during the day in case of poor visibility. Speed limits for cars are 50 km/h in built-up areas, 90 km/h or 110 km/h outside built-up areas (depending on the type of road) and 130 km/h on highways.

The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.05%, which is reduced to 0.02% for new drivers.

Tips for driving in Greece

The greatest difficulty encountered by foreign tourists renting a car in Greece is that of the poor signage, a problem aggravated by the fact that outside the main towns the road signs are written in the Greek alphabet and are therefore difficult to understand.

To overcome this inconvenience, it is sufficient to have detailed and updated road maps or to purchase a navigator among the optional services of car rental agencies (make sure it is updated).

For your safety, pay attention to the road conditions: in some islands there are only a couple of asphalted roads and the rest are dirt roads; in many places, especially the less touristic ones, road maintenance is not regularly carried out.

Car categories available in Greece

The following models are some examples of the cars that you can rent in Greece.

Car hire Mini in Greece
  • 2-4
  • 1
  • 0
  • Examples: Fiat Panda, Fiat 500, Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto
Car hire Budget in Greece
  • 4
  • 1
  • 1
  • Examples: Ford Fiesta, Opel Corsa, Seat Ibiza, Citroen C3
Car hire Standard in Greece
  • 5
  • 2
  • 1
  • Examples: Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, Audi A3
Station Wagon
Car hire Station Wagon in Greece
  • 5
  • 3
  • 0
  • Examples: Opel Astra SW, Ford Focus SW, Golf SW
Car hire MPV in Greece
  • 5-9
  • 3
  • 1
  • Examples: Volkswagen Touran, Opel Zafira, Ford Galaxy
Car hire SUV in Greece
  • 5
  • 3
  • 0
  • Examples: Toyota RAV 4, Ford Escape, Jeep Renegade
Car hire Luxury in Greece
  • 5
  • 2
  • 1
  • Examples: Mercedes Classe C, Mercedes Classe E, Audi A5
Car hire Convertible in Greece
  • 4
  • 2
  • 0
  • Examples: Ford Mustang, Audi A3 cabrio, BMW serie 2

Frequently asked questions about car rental in Greece

Here are some quick answers to the most common doubts about car rental in Greece.

More and more people are choosing to rent a car to reduce contacts and increase social distancing, avoiding the often crowded public transport.

Car rental companies are committed to higher hygiene standards to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.

All the safety measures we are accustomed to are taken at the rental desks and the cars are disinfected after each rental, especially the areas most at risk, such as seats, gearboxes, handles and steering wheel.

Undoubtedly yes. During the pandemic, almost all car rental companies in Greece were forced to reduce their car fleet to reduce operating costs.

When tourism in Greece has restarted, due to the crisis in raw materials and electronic components, they have not managed to buy back enough cars.

The consequence is that today every company has far fewer cars than in 2019 and cannot cope with the high demand. This leads to higher prices and less availability, especially during the high season.

The advice we give you is therefore to book the car well in advance, both to get the best prices but above all to be sure of having a rental car.

To reserve a car in Greece a credit card or debit card is sufficient. However, when you go to collect the car, you will need:

  • a credit card in the name of the driver. Debit and ATM cards are not accepted;
  • copy of the reservation;
  • a driving license valid for at least 12 months;
  • an identity document.

The car rental companies in Greece allow to rent a car to all those who are between 21 and 70 years old. However, there is an additional cost for under 25 and for those over 70.

A car rental in Greece always includes:

  • theft insurance;
  • limitation of liability for damage to the vehicle;
  • local, road and airport taxes.

Any extras or additional insurance coverage are separate.

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