Driving a rental car in Crete: What you need to know
If you’ve rented a car from Rent car in Crete, make sure you read our driving tips before you drive off on your adventure.
Driving tips for your trip
Driving in Crete is on the right hand side (opposite side to the UK, the same as the United States and most of Europe). At roundabouts, vehicles coming from the right have right of way, unless otherwise signposted. Cars entering a roundabout go first and other drivers must give way. Overtaking is on the left. Generally slow drivers are expected to pull over onto the hard shoulder to let faster drivers pass.
It is important to be aware that hard shoulders in Crete are very narrow, can end suddenly and may also be obstructed by rock falls, so be cautious when overtaking. Look out for mopeds too – moped riders often overtake on the right instead. So stay alert! There are various speed limits in place around Crete. Police also operate mobile speed cameras, so be aware of your speed and look out for the green speed limit signs on motorways.
As a general rule, stick to the following and if in doubt, slow down:
• Within localities: 50 km/h
• Outside town: 90 km/h
• On expressways: 110 km/h
• On motorways: 120 km/h
Road signs and parking
Traffic signs are generally in both Greek and English and also use internationally recognised symbols for traffic control and stop signs. Directional signs are often small and can be easily missed. For those used to the large road signs hanging over motorways and major roads in Europe, this can be challenging. Parking is permitted along most city streets but it can be difficult to find an empty spot. In some areas you have to buy and display a Parking Card, which can be bought at a nearby kiosk (periptero).
Drinking and driving
It’s easy to enjoy a glass of the local tipple in the sunshine but driving over the limit is illegal. The drinking limit is less than in the UK, with a maximum of 0.5 for drivers and for novice or commercial drivers it is 0.2. It’s best to be on the safe side and don’t drink and drive.
Filling up your rental car in Crete
There are petrol stations all over Crete, except for in the very remote areas, all offering diesel and unleaded fuel. Most petrol stations are open every weekday and Saturdays, and closed on Sundays. During high summer season (May 1 to September 30), usual opening hours are from 6:00am to 10:30pm. In winter (October 1 to April 30), opening is from 6:00am to 9:00pm.
Mobile phones and hand-held devices
The use of smartphones, mobile telephones and any other hand-held devices are only permitted via a hands-free system.
Important emergency numbers
In the unlikely event that you have any difficulties while you’re here, these are the main emergency numbers to call:
• 112: Free 24-hour Europe-wide emergency number for the police, fire brigade and coast guard (in English, French and Greek, plus many other languages)
• 100: Police
• 199: Fire brigade
• 104: Towing service and breakdown assistance
In Crete there are no emergency phones at the roadside so ensure you always have your mobile phone with you. And remember we’re here to help and provide breakdown assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We’re here to help you
If you’re renting a car and would like more tips on driving in Crete, we can certainly help. Contact our Customer Service team on +30 28340 51505 between 07:00a.m. and 21:00p.m. (MET) 7 days a week or email [email protected]