The island of Crete is a dream for many travelers who love the sea, sun, history, and architecture. You will learn if you need to rent Crete cars, read about the basic driving rules in Crete, the best tips for drivers in Crete, and how not to behave while driving on the island.
Keep reading to get the answers to most of questions regarding driving in Crete and feel more confident before renting a car in Crete. If you choose to rent a vehicle in economy class, you can visit all the interesting places on the island on a budget. To make sure that driving a car in Crete (Greece) will leave only positive memories, keep in mind the basic rules:
- Driving is on the right side of the road
- The minimum driving age is 17, but rental companies will ask for drivers to be 21 with at least 1 year of driving+ we can offer to you some vendors with 20+ requirement age
- Seatbelts are mandatory for all
- Alcohol limit is 50mg per 100ml of blood, but you should not drink at all if you are driving
- Urban speed limit is 50km/h but often less – check the signage
- Must-carry items – reflective warning triangle, fire extinguisher, first aid kit
- In case of accident, emergency number is 112
- TAKE YOUR TIME – Crete is not a place where you will be driving at high speed, but who would like to with such beautiful landscapes!
Where can you go in Crete by car?
Most tourists begin their acquaintance with Crete from Heraklion Airport. There you can rent a car and continue your journey by vehicle. To get from Heraklion to Rethymno (which is about 80 km) you will need 1hr 20mins. From Rethymno to the southwest point of Chora Sfakion (70 km) you can drive in 1h 15m. The northern point of Heraklion and the southern point of Matala are separated by 70 km and the distance can be covered in 1 hour.
If you travel around the main cities of Crete, rent a car of economy class, because it is more convenient for the narrow roads of the island. In Heraklion, you can rent a Peugeot 208 for 19-30 euros a day, a Ford Fiesta for 20-30 euros a day, and a Citroen C3 for 25-30 euros a day. Economy vehicles are not only safe but also budget-friendly. This applies to both the rental cost and gasoline consumption. For example, a Peugeot 208 consumes gasoline for $65.86 a day, a Ford Fiesta – $66.38 a day, and a Citroen C3 – $66.76 a day.
Parking rules in Crete
If you rent a car, an important point for you is safe and inexpensive parking. In Crete, you can park for free or for a fee depending on the location. Many attractions offer visitors free parking, such as the Palace of Knossos, the Monastery of the Holy Trinity and the main ports. Many cities, particularly Heraklion, have free parking, e.g., Praktiker, Sklavenitis, Chalkiadakis MAX and others. At paid, underground or overground parking lots are different prices: from 1-3 euros per hour to 2-3 euros for a long period. Even for driving in Heraklion parking prices are very different: there are places with prices of 5 euros per 2 hours (Thiseos Parking) and there are 3 euros per day (Limani Heraklion).
Crete car rental tips
Learn a few tips on how to choose a quality and affordable car for your trip to Crete to have an enjoyable drive.
How to choose a right car?
Choose cars with a powerful engine so that you don’t have to change gears on every uphill slope in the mountains. Also, tourists are advised to choose small cars on narrow roads. Most of the cars for rent in Crete are manual. If you are used to the automatic, then book the car in advance at the rent-a-car sites.
Tips for a worry-free renting
When you pick up your car from the rental service, be sure to take pictures of it from all sides. Check the condition under the bumper and on the roof of the auto to see and record any scratches. This is important so you won’t be charged a fine for the condition of the vehicle later. Also, return the car with a full tank of gas, because this is one of the most important rules for rentals. Do be sure to have windshield protection, as there is a danger of rockslides on mountain roads.
Crossing to other islands
If you plan to visit neighboring islands, such as Santorini, you need to use the ferry. Most car rental services do not allow crossing rented vehicles, and some rental services require additional fees. Therefore, carefully read the rules of the rental service you choose.
Use this information and explore new places. Have a great trip and unforgettable memories!