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Car Rental in Greece

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Renting a Car in Greece: Understanding Local Requirements

When visiting Greece, renting a car can be a convenient and flexible way to explore the country’s beautiful landscapes and historic sites. However, before hitting the road, it’s important to understand the local driving laws and requirements to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Driving Requirements in Greece

To rent a car in Greece, you must be at least 21 years old and have held a valid driver’s license for a minimum of one year. Some car rental companies may require drivers to be at least 23 or 25 years old, so it’s important to check the age restrictions with your chosen rental company.

If you are from a non-EU country, you will also need an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your regular driver’s license. The IDP translates your license into multiple languages, making it easier for local authorities to understand your driving credentials.

Understanding Local Laws and Driving Culture

In Greece, drivers must drive on the right-hand side of the road and overtake on the left. Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers, and the use of mobile phones while driving is strictly prohibited unless using a hands-free system.

It’s also important to be aware of Greece’s drink-driving laws, which have a lower blood alcohol limit than some other countries. The legal limit is 0.05%, so it’s best to avoid alcohol entirely if you plan on driving.

Additionally, Greece has strict speeding laws, with hefty fines for those caught exceeding the limits. Speed limits are typically 50 km/h in urban areas, 90 km/h on rural roads, and 130 km/h on highways.

Choosing the Right Rental Car

When renting a car in Greece, consider the type of vehicle that best suits your travel needs. From compact cars for navigating narrow city streets to larger vehicles for exploring the countryside, there are plenty of options available.

It’s also important to consider whether you’ll need additional features such as a GPS navigation system, child seats, or insurance coverage for peace of mind during your travels.

By understanding and adhering to local driving laws and requirements, you can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of exploring Greece by car while ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey.

Rental Requirements

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

Age Limits

The minimum age to rent a car in Greece is typically 21 years old, although some rental companies may require drivers to be at least 23 years old. There is also often a maximum age limit, usually around 75 years old, although this can vary between rental companies.

Driving License Requirements

In Greece, you can use your own driving license if you are from an EU country. If you are from a non-EU country, you will need to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with your local driving license. It is important to note that the IDP is only valid if accompanied by your original driving license. Additionally, most rental companies require drivers to have held their license for at least one year.


When renting a car in Greece, you will need to present certain documents, including a valid passport, a credit card in the driver’s name for the security deposit, and your driving license or IDP. Some rental companies may also require additional documentation, so it is best to check with the specific company before making a reservation.

By ensuring that you meet these rental requirements, you can enjoy exploring Greece with the freedom and flexibility of having your own rental car.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in Greece, it’s important to understand the different types of insurance that are typically included and the additional options available to ensure you have the right coverage for your trip.

Basic Insurance

The basic insurance included in most car rentals in Greece typically covers Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection. CDW reduces the driver’s liability in case of damage to the rental vehicle, while Theft Protection covers the cost of replacing the vehicle if it is stolen.

Additional Insurance

In addition to the basic insurance, travelers 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 offers protection against third-party liability claims.

Insurance Tips

Before renting a car in Greece, it’s recommended to check your existing travel insurance policies to see if they provide coverage for rental cars. This can help you avoid paying for duplicate insurance and ensure you have the necessary protection during your trip. Additionally, it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of the insurance coverage offered by the rental company to understand any exclusions or limitations.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in Greece

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: In Greece, driving is on the right side of the road.
Speed Limits: The speed limit is typically 50 km/h in urban areas, 90 km/h on rural roads, and 130 km/h on highways.
Other Useful Info: Be aware of frequent speed checks by the police.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Overtaking is only allowed on the left side of the road.
Lane Discipline: On multi-lane roads, the ‘keep right except to overtake’ rule applies.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious of motorcyclists and mopeds when changing lanes.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: All passengers are required to wear seat belts, and children under 135 cm in height must use a child seat.
Child Safety: Children under 10 years old or 36 kg must use a child restraint system.
Other Useful Info: It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure all passengers are wearing seat belts.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving, unless with a hands-free system.
Other Useful Info: Fines for mobile phone use while driving can be substantial.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05%, with stricter limits for new and commercial drivers.
Zero Tolerance Policies: There is zero tolerance for drink driving for drivers with less than 2 years of experience.
Other Useful Info: Random breath tests are common, especially during holiday periods.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: Greece has several toll roads, and payment is usually made with cash or credit card.
Congestion Charges: There are no urban congestion charges in Greece.
Other Useful Info: Toll rates vary depending on the vehicle type.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Drivers inside the roundabout have the right of way.
Intersection Rules: Traffic signals and signs indicate right of way at intersections.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious of pedestrians and cyclists at intersections.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: Headlights must be used at night and during rain or poor visibility conditions.
Windshield Wiper Rule: There is no specific requirement to use headlights when using wipers.
Other Useful Info: It is recommended to keep headlights on at all times for visibility.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Pull over to the side of the road and allow emergency vehicles to pass.
Other Useful Info: Failure to give way to emergency vehicles can result in heavy fines.

Driving Tips for Greece

Road Conditions

In Greece, the road conditions can vary. While major highways are generally well-maintained, some rural roads may be narrow and winding. It’s important to be cautious and aware of your surroundings, especially when driving in mountainous areas or on small islands.

Urban vs. Rural Driving

Urban driving in Greece can be hectic, with heavy traffic and narrow streets. On the other hand, rural driving may involve navigating through smaller villages and dealing with rougher road surfaces. It’s important to adjust your driving style accordingly and be mindful of other drivers.

Navigational Tips

When driving in Greece, it’s recommended to use a GPS or have a good map on hand. Some rural areas may have limited signage, so having a reliable navigation tool can help you reach your destination without any hassles.

Other Useful Tips

– Keep an eye out for stray animals, especially on rural roads.
– Be aware of local driving customs, such as the use of the horn to signal passing.
– Familiarize yourself with Greek road signs and traffic laws before hitting the road.

By keeping these driving tips in mind, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience while exploring Greece by car.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

When renting a car in Greece, it’s important to be prepared for any roadside emergencies. Here are some essential tips and information to keep in mind:

Breakdown Procedures

In case of a breakdown, the first step is to safely pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. If you are unable to move the vehicle, contact the rental company immediately to inform them of the situation. They will provide instructions on how to proceed and may arrange for roadside assistance.

Emergency Services

It’s crucial to have the contact numbers for emergency services readily available. In Greece, the emergency number for police is 100, for ambulance is 166, and for roadside assistance is 10400. Save these numbers in your phone and be prepared to provide your location and details of the situation when calling for help.

Rental Company Policies

Before renting a car, it’s important to inquire about the roadside assistance and support offered by the rental company. Many reputable rental companies in Greece provide 24/7 assistance and towing services in case of emergencies. It’s advisable to familiarize yourself with their policies and procedures in advance, so you know what to expect in case of a breakdown or other roadside issues.

By being aware of the breakdown procedures, having emergency service numbers on hand, and understanding the rental company’s policies, you can have peace of mind while driving in Greece. Remember, safety should always be a top priority when on the road.

Where can you Rent a Car in Greece?

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