Greece Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
Driving In Greece
Greece drives on the right and you can use the photo licence of any EU country to drive here. Drivers from other countries need their own licence plus an international driving permit. Speed limits range from 120kmh on motorways to 90kmh on other roads and 50kmh in urban areas.
Greece has a generally well maintained road system with 90% of the nation’s 110,000km of roads being paved. A complication is that it has a number of toll motorways which are owned an maintained by separate companies who all operate their own charging system. There is however a new system called GRITS/Greek Interoperable Tolling Systems which is a transponder which provides a charging mechanism covering the road networks of Attiki Odos, Olympia Odos, Moreas, Aegean Motorway and the Rion-Antirion Bridge, in Southern, Central and Northern Greece. More details can be found here. You should ask your rental car company for advice on toll payments in the area you intend to travel in.
Main Highways in Greece include –
A1 – Is the country’s main North- South highway connecting Athens and Thessaloniki and other major urban areas.
A2- (Egnatia Odos) – is a motorway situated in northern Greece starting at the port of Igoumenitsa and ending at Kipoi border crossing with Turkey. Routes from the road also link to Albania, Bulgaria and North Macedonia.
A3 – Central Greece Motorway starting from Lamia (at the A1) and ending at the A2 close to Grevena.
A5 (Ionia Odos) – passes through most of western continental Greece, along the Ionian Sea, starting from Ioannina at the A2 , and ending at Rio, in Patras.
A6 (Attiki Odos) -Part of the Athens urban motorway network starting from Athens International Airport.
A7 (Moreas)- known as the Moreas Motorway or Eastern Peloponnese motorway runs from Corinth, at the interchange with the A8 to Kalamata, passing through Tripoli.
A8 (Olympia Odos) – is the motorway from Athens to Patras. It begins in Elefsina, at the interchange with A6 (Attiki Odos) and ends in Patras.
A90 – Greek Motorway 90 (A90), also known as Βόρειος Οδικός Άξονας Κρήτης, (BOAK, lit. translated Northern Road Axis of Crete is the only section of motorway road on the Greek islands and is still being upgraded to a multi lane route in places.
Greece apparently has the 4th highest car fatality rate in Europe and you’ll probably understand why if you have to drive in the centre of Athens. Generally though, roads are good, standards of rental vehicles are high and driving in Greece isn’t much different to driving abroad in other parts of Southern Europe. One particular hazard to watch out for is motorbikes who will weave in and out of traffic and may overtake on either side of a vehicle, often at high speed. The ‘Think Bike’ rule is certainly valid in Greece. Another hazard in my opinion is sneaky police officers. I’ve been stopped for speeding by officers situated just over the brow of a hill, who stepped out as I approached (a highly risky move but good for catching speeding motorists!).
Taking a car to the Greek Islands
An island hopping trip is a popular holiday for many travellers, but renting a car on one island and moving between islands with the vehicle takes some planning, and is probably not worthwhile on smaller islands. Ferries don’t run between every island. They generally run between Athens and every island and then to nearby islands. If travelling to a nearby island, make sure the ferry staff know this so they can position your car accordingly on the boat. Failure to do so could result in you being blocked in if other vehicles in front of you are travelling to more dtsnat islands.Driving on the Islands may entail some bumpy roads but unless you intend to go seriously ‘off road’ a 4WD shouldn’t be needed. There are numerous websites where you can book ferry tickets. This site seems the most official for ferry info and schedules.
Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.
Greece Car Rental –
Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, National, Avis, Budget,Thrifty, Dollar, have outlets around Greece. Also usually features on Car rental broker sites and Web discount sites such as Expedia. There will also be numerous small operators in towns and Islands across Greece
We currently have no local car rental partners in Greece. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on DriverAbroad.com please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on ADriverAbroad@Outlook.com
Greece Self Driving Rules –
Most of the big companies don’t allow vehicles to be driven outside Greece. One way rentals may be allowed within Greece but this is likely to exclude the Greek Islands. If you plan to take the vehicle to one of the Islands , or a different Island to the one you rented from, you should tell the rental company when you make the reservation as they may need to arrange additional insurance.