Rent a Car in Athens
Renting a car in Athens is the perfect way to customize your journey’s itinerary as it suits and pleases you. Athens’s public transportation system is decent but often not adequate, and using taxis may add a significant amount to the total cost of your trip. Therefore, a rental car allows you to go wherever you want, whenever you want, and is a fairly affordable transportation option. Numerous car hire agencies, every single vehicle type and model, and top deals and prices are at your beck and call when it comes to Athens car rentals!
Do you Need a Car in Athens?
Reaching Athens downtown by car may not be the greatest idea, as the traffic can be annoying – especially during rush hours- and parking can be challenging. However, there are so many other reasons why you should opt for a rental car in Athens. Firstly, the traffic levels may also affect other transportation means (such as taxis and buses). Hence, driving with your rental car outside the city center and continuing on foot or by subway is a far better option. Secondly, besides the city center, suburban Athens is also worth your time and interest. Lastly, many areas within the Athens vicinity (Korinthos, Sounio, Mount Parnitha, Nafplio, etc.) should also be on your journey’s to-do list. So, can you think of a more convenient and fast way to reach them than a car rental?
Useful Info 1: The rush hours are from 7:30 am to 9:30 am and from 02:30 pm to 05:00 pm. During peak hours, the traffic in the heart of Athens tends to be really heavy. However, the traffic levels outside the city center are much lower.
Useful Info 2: All the road signs are also written in English. Unfortunately, they are often misplaced.
Useful Info 3: Pay extra attention to pedestrians and motorbikes while driving, as they often don’t respect the circulation code.
How Much does it Cost to Rent a Car in Athens?
The cost of a car rental is dependent on factors such as the type of vehicle, the length of the rental period, and the time of the year. In general terms, the price for a standard car is approximately 25€-35€ per day.
Useful Info: You should prefer renting a small, economy car as you will save money on fuel, and you will also increase your street parking chances.
How to Find a Cheap Car Rental in Athens?
There is a suggested procedure to be followed to secure the best deals and the lowest car hire prices. Thus, if you wish to rent a car in Athens, you should:
- Do your homework, which is searching and comparing all the car hire agencies’ prices. Take a glimpse at all the major car rental companies, but don’t forget to check out the local providers as well.
- Do you have second thoughts about a local car hire agency you’ve never heard of but are also tempted by its special deals? Take a peek at the customers’ reviews to get an idea of the quality of its services.
- Book your car rental as soon as possible. Usually, the sooner you make your reservation, the better prices you can secure.
- If your program is flexible, play with the dates. Use different dates to find the lowest car rental fees, and if re-adjusting your journey’s schedule is possible, plan your trip accordingly.
- Avoid renting your car at the airport. Airport car rentals are usually more expensive than getting your vehicle from another location in Athens.
Useful Info: Extra drivers raise the final price. Thus, if you want to keep your car rental budget to a minimum, you should stick to one driver.
Is it Cheaper to Rent a Car for a Week?
Overall, the rule is “the longer the car rental period, the cheaper the per-day cost”. Hence, if you are planning to visit Athens for a week or more, renting a car for your entire stay may end up cheaper than renting it for just a few days.
How Old do you Have to Be to Rent a Car in Athens?
The legal driving age in Greece is 18 years old. However, you have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car in Athens. Moreover, one year of driving experience is also required to hire your car rental. Keep in mind that some car rental agencies apply a stricter age policy, while some luxury category vehicles are off-limits for young drivers.
Useful Info: There is usually an extra fee for young drivers under 25 years of age.
What Documents do I Need to Drive a Hire Car in Greece?
If you opt for an Athens car rental, here’s what you will have to hand over to the car rental company:
- Your identity and/or passport
- Your driving license
- A valid credit card (a sum may be withheld as a deposit)
- Your voucher if you have pre-booked your car online
Useful Info 1: Make sure your credit card offers car rental coverage to save money from the vehicle’s insurance cost.
Useful Info 2: If your driving license hasn’t been issued by a European Union country or by a country member of Vienna’s Convention on Road Traffic, you’ll have to apply for an International Driving Permit.
Can you Take a Rental Car on a Ferry in Greece?
If besides Athens, your journey plans also include a trip to one of the beautiful and famous Greek islands, you may wonder whether you can take your rental car on a ferry or not. Usually, there are no relevant restrictions. In any case, you should first check with your car rental provider to confirm if there is a potential extra fee.
Is it Worth Getting the Insurance for a Rental Car?
Insurance is undoubtedly required in case of an accident or damage. Nevertheless, before agreeing on the car rental agency’s insurance, you should check if your prime car insurance extends to the car rental vehicle. What’s more, many credit cards offer car rental coverage. Hence, if you decide to use one of them, you won’t have to pay the extra insurance fee.
Useful Info: If an accident occurs, you should never leave the place, even if the damages are minor. An incident form needs to be filled out, and a police report must be taken. Thus, you should always either call the police (the police number is 100) or the medical emergency number (112).
What’s More to Know about Athens Car Rentals?
- Parking your car in the heart of Athens is a rather ambitious task. Free street parking is almost impossible, still, there are many parking lots where you can leave your vehicle. However, they are usually quite expensive. Outside the city center, parking is easier and, in any case, more affordable.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0,05%. Regular breath tests are carried out by the police. Hence, you should never drink and drive.
- The use of mobile phones while driving is strictly forbidden. Nevertheless, you can use Bluetooth or a car kit if you need to make a call.
- Tolls are to be found both within Athens city limits and on the other highways. The toll fee is somewhat affordable.