driving in Greece

The Ultimate Guide To Driving In Greece

Thinking about driving in Greece? Then this is the guide for you!

Driving in Greece is a unique experience and a fantastic way to explore. Many places around Greece are best discovered by using a car because they are off the beaten path. Packing a picnic and dipping your toes in multiple sun kissed waters along the way is the ultimate road trip. Greece and its islands has some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, so renting a car is so worth doing.

But driving here can be dangerous and you can face huge fines if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Hitting the road and driving in another country can also be pretty overwhelming. So this ultimate guide covers everything you need to know about driving in Greece. From Greek highway rules to car rentals, this guide will have you driving in Greece safely and confidently in no time.


Overview of everything you need to know about driving in Greece

There are probably lots of things you want to do and see when going to Greece. When you purchase tours and activities for your trip, the prices can really start to add up fast. These tours usually cost a bit more than just directly doing it yourself and you are on someone else’s schedule.

So driving in Greece is a great way to see lots of sites on your own terms and save money.

To make sure you feel confident and safe driving in Greece on your trip, these are the key things you should know:

overview of driving in Greece

Greece is a fantastic summer destination in Europe so you will see periods where it gets busier. If you are impatient when stuck in traffic, don’t reach for your horn. You are not allowed to use your horn in urban areas at anytime time unless it’s an emergency.

Who has right of way when driving in Greece? The general rule is vehicles from the right have priority, unless it says otherwise. Once you are outside urban areas, vehicles driving on the main road will have priority.

driving in greece tips

When you are driving in Greece and planning to overtake, you must do this on the left. Also take note that you cannot overtake a vehicle in front of you if it has stopped for safety reasons.

Luckily, road signs are both in Greek and English so this will make it a lot easier to know which direction you are going, speed limits and any other important information.

Bring some bottled water with you, not all water is safe to drink from the tap in Greece. To know where exactly is safe to drink tap water, I recommend this drinking water in Greece guide.

If you are planning to bring your own car to drive in Greece, make sure you have the right car sticker and insurance.

For all drivers bringing their car from the UK to Greece, you will have to have a car sticker that now says ‘UK’, replacing the ‘GB’ one thats been used for years.

Just keep these regulations in mind when renting a car and driving a car in Greece and you shouldn’t hit any problems.


Renting a car in Greece

Renting a car anywhere in Europe, including Greece is easy and pretty stress free. It’s also a great way to save money on transport throughout your trip. To make sure the process of renting a car in Greece goes as smoothly as possible for you, make sure you follow these rules.

driving a rental car in greece

➡️ Check the car for damage before you drive off. If you notice anything, make sure the rental company makes a note of this.

➡️ Some companies ask you to return the car with a full fuel tank, others don’t. Find this out before returning your car to avoid extra charges. Somethings this fine can be more than the cost of the fuel!

➡️ Take a quick snap of the cars millage before you drive your rental car away. This doesn’t happen often, but some companies may suggest you have added a ridiculous amount of millage to the car, and charge you for the privilege.


Is driving in Greece difficult?

Most who drive in Greece a lot will tell you driving in Greece is not difficult. Visitors to Greece can rent a car and drive without any issues. Many of the roads are well-maintained and the drivers are pretty well disciplined, which makes driving in Greece a pleasant experience.

is driving in greece easy

However, in some areas you may see the complete opposite. It isn’t totally uncommon see local drivers overtaking in dangerous situations and going faster than the speed limit.

This may make it a bit more stressful but if you continue to relax, drive safely and at the level you feel confident at, you will not find it difficult at all.

For simple ways to relax when driving in Europe and Greece, I recommend taking a quick look at this ultimate drivers guide.


Can tourists drive in Greece?

Tourists can certainly drive in Greece, given that they have all the correct documents to do so. The main thing you will need to drive or rent a car in Greece is a valid drivers license.

can tourists drive in greece

You will be happy to know that getting a rental car as a tourist is a pretty stress free process throughout Greece. If you want to start exploring straight away, pick your rental up from the airport. Renting a car straight from the airport is a great way to save on transport costs.

However, if you decide during your trip you want to rent a car, you will have no issues. A great way to do this is through your hotel. Not only will they find you a reliable rental company but help with any issues too.


Do I need an international driver’s license in Greece?

Needing an international drivers license or permit does depend on a few things. These typically are where you are going and how long you are staying there.

Do I need an international driver's license in Greece?

If you hold a drivers license from the UK or EU, you do not need an international drivers permit (IDP). However, if you hold a license from the US or anywhere else, you will need one.

Many rental companies will allow you to rent a car in Greece without asking or checking you have an IDP. However, if you have an accident and do not have one if needed, it becomes a problem very quickly.

Check on your local governments website about Greek travel before renting your car, it will tell you if you need one or not for your trip.


FAQs about driving in Greece

I’m sure you have a few more questions about driving in Greece before you book your rental car or ferry tickets. To help you figure out if driving in Greece is for you, here are the most frequently asked questions about hitting the road on any Greek adventure.

frequently asked questions about driving in Greece

Can I use a UK driving Licence in Greece?

You can totally use your UK driving licence in Greece if you are visiting. You must have held your driving license for at least a year before your trip to be able to drive in Greece.

For those planning on using their own car to drive in Greece, you now need a UK sticker for your vehicle.


Driving in Greece as an American

For a trip to Greece that is less than 6 months, you should have no issues renting or driving in Greece. Just make sure you take with you a valid US drivers licence.

If you are an American citizen you will also need to need to make sure you have an international drivers permit (IDP) to drive in Greece. For those also wanting to explore more of Europe, check out what other type of IDP you may need. These can be different throughout Europe.


Should I be driving in Greece on the left or right

Navigating the roads in Greece is pretty easy for most visitors as they drive on the right hand side.

However, if you usually drive on the left hand side, don’t worry too much. If you are from places like the UK or Malta that drive on the left hand side, you get used to driving on the right pretty quickly.


Driving in Greece and using roundabouts

When you drive in Greece, you will find it pretty straight forward. However, using the the roundabouts are something to get your head around. Unlike the UK, those joining the roundabout have priority.

So if you are driving in Greece and hit a roundabout, the traffic currently on the roundabout has to stop and let you out. Even though this is the rule, you may see that some visitors are not aware of this and don’t stop.

Like driving anywhere new, just take a bit of extra time and be alert and driving in Greece and using the roundabouts will be a breeze.


Driving in Greece sign off: Watching taxi’s dart past you on busy roads may instantly make you think driving in Greece is a bad idea. However, it is a total blessing for those wanting to explore Greece’s beautiful sites and save money. Driving in Greece gives you so much freedom and comes with no problems if you follow the highway rules.

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