10 Tips for renting a car in Greece

On our trip through Greece we rent a car in Athens just land at the airport to have it every day of the trip.

In this way we were free to tour the Greek islands on our own without wasting time in renting and returning a car on each island.

We made some mistakes that we tell you below so that the same does not happen to you, plus some recommendations and warnings.

Here are the 10 tips for renting a car in Greece that we would have liked to know before we go and hope you find them useful if you plan to make this trip soon!

10 Tips for renting a car in Greece

1. What type of car to rent in Greece

Our experience tells us that the smaller the rental car to travel Greece the better.

In Mykonos and Santorini the roads are very narrow and the places to park are quite scarce, the smaller the car we rent the easier it will be for us to move around the islands.

We rented a comfortable and very manageable Peugeot 208, which became our travel companion through Athens and the Greek Islands.

2. Where to book a rental car in Greece

Most of the time we have to rent a car we do it through Auto Europe (not to say 100% of the times in recent years).

We like this website to book cars because they appear very well specified coverage and are very clear with all the subject of insurance and bonds, which does not happen on other websites.

We have never had any problems and have rented many times with them! We know firsthand that it is a reliable website for reserving cars.

Another thing we like very much is that in most rentals you can cancel or modify the reservation up to 48 hours before picking up the car.

We picked up the rental car in Athens (at the airport specifically) for the whole trip.

3. Additional car rental insurance

We talk about this topic at length in the post of tips for renting a car, because it is a subject that gives from if to an entire post.

All the nomenclatures we can find and the different types of car rental insurance are explained in that post.

So here I’ll sum it up as two options:

Reserve a car with “Super Cover franchise return” offered by Auto Europe

With this insurance we have insured the franchise that will block us from the credit card when we pick up the car.

In the event that something happens and the rental company retains the franchise, Auto Europe will take care of returning it to us.

This is the option we normally choose.

Take out insurance when collecting the car directly with the rental company

When picking up the car we will always be asked if we want to take out a full insurance. You can value it, but many times it surpasses the price of the rent itself.

If you have taken out the franchise insurance mentioned in the previous point, we do not think it is necessary.

What is a franchise or bond?

In most car rental companies, especially in Europe, we have to leave a deposit money that we normally block from the credit card.

If something were to happen to the car outside of the coverages you have contracted, the maximum you would pay would be that excess.

If you return the car in the same conditions as you found it, the money will be unblocked at the moment of the credit card.

Rent a car in Greece. Santorini

4. Photograph the rental car when you pick it up

If when you go to collect the rental car in Greece you find it with many taps and scratches (although they are usually marked on the sheet that you will get in the rental company) it is not superfluous to take a few photos with the mobile from all angles.

In this way, we will be able to prove all the scratches that the car had at the time of picking it up in case we are made guilty of any of them.

The truth is that normally there are no problems, but for our peace of mind does not cost anything to do.

5. Credit card to rent a car in Greece

It is mandatory to have a credit card (not debit) to rent a car in Greece.

As with most car rentals in Europe, if we do not take out full coverage insurance when picking up the vehicle, we will be blocked an amount from our credit card.

This amount varies depending on the category of car and the rental company in question. And as I said before, if you return the car in the same condition they unlock it immediately.

We were blocked about 900 €.

6. Rent a car in Athens

As we were only going to be watching Athens one day we decided to rent the car at the airport as soon as we arrived and not waste time in Athens going to a rental office.

We don’t know how it would have been otherwise, but we know that renting a car in Athens was a blast! Obviating the Athenians’ way of driving, finding parking in the city became madness.

Not to mention the prices of the car parks, the first hour can vary between 8€ and 10€ and the rest to 1€ approximately.

In addition it is a city that is crossed on foot perfectly or in public transport and if you need to take a taxi (we did it in two occasions) it is very cheap compared with other European countries, it did not arrive none of the times to 4€.

We recommend you to think twice when renting a car in Athens, and to make it take into account some things:

Street parking with blue line is for residents only.
In most car parks in the Plaka area you have to leave the car key, they park it and keep it all the time. This was not very funny but we saw that it was something normal in all the car parks and we had no choice but to accept it.

Below is a map with the car parks where we leave the car and the most recommended.

Athens, Greece

7. Driver’s age

It depends on each rental company, but normally the driver has to be at least 21 years old and an additional fee applies per young driver from 21 to approximately 24 years old.

You can see the exact ages that each rental company requires when you book at Auto Europe.

8. Driving licence to rent a car in Greece

With your Spanish driver’s license is enough to rent a car in Greece.

We don’t know the conditions for other countries, sorry!

9. Get on a ferry the rental car

As our trip focused on the Greek islands, specifically Santorini and Mykonos, we needed to take the rental car to the ferries to get to each island.

The whole thing of getting on and off the ferries with the rental car seemed very easy and comfortable, and we did not have any problems. In the post Plan a trip to the Greek islands on your own there is much more info on this topic.

You should always indicate that you are going to take the rental car to a ferry when you make the reservation for Auto Europe to leave a record in the voucher.

We at Avis did not have to pay anything to get the car on the ferries but we know that in other companies you do have to pay an extra.

Watch out at this point if you also plan to visit the islands!

10. Map of car parks to leave the rental car in Athens, Santorini and Mykonos.

We leave you the map with all the car parks where we leave the car in Athens, Santorini and Mykonos.

The most recommended ones are indicated in red.

Other information to bear in mind when renting a car in Greece:

EYE! They’re on the verge and it’s the most normal thing in the world. Don’t let him catch you off guard!

On the islands the petrol is more expensive, about 0,30€ per litre more expensive, try to fill up the tank before taking the ferry.

In Mykonos there are some narrow streets that are not only two-way, go very carefully!

In Greece we can use our data rate that we have in Spain without additional costs, so we will have no problem to take GPS or consult Google Maps.

And here are our tips for renting a car in Athens and Greek islands!

We hope this post will help you if you are planning to travel to Greece soon and rent a car.

If you have any other questions regarding car hire in Greece you can have a look at the general post with tips for renting a car or leave us a comment below! 🙂

Other articles from our trip to Greece:



Other links of interest for your trip to Athens: