What do you need to know before getting behind the wheel?
Exploring Crete’s beautiful landscapes by car, campervan or motorhome is a popular way to get around. Even if you’re used to driving in other places, you need to be well aware of things like weather extremes, narrow, windy roads and different road rules before you begin on your journey.
Many roads have varying conditions, and can be narrow, windy and cover hilly terrain.
Crete’s diverse terrain means roads are often narrow, hilly and windy with plenty of sharp corners. Outside of the main cities, there are actually no motorways. Most of our roads are single lane in each direction without barriers in between. You may also encounter gravel roads. It’s important to allow plenty of time, go slow and pull over in a safe place if traffic wants to pass from behind you. Take plenty of breaks so that you stay alert.
Weather-related hazards are commonplace.
In Crete, although weather is generally stable and climate is mild, you might experience weather changes, especially in winter and spring. It’s possible to start your day off with blue sky and sunshine, but arrive at your destination in rain and hail. Because of this, weather related hazards on the road can occur at any time. It's good to check the weather forecast before departing, and adjust your plans accordingly. Snow, ice and fog can be common in winter, especially around mountain passes. Ensure you’re clued up on the weather forecast for the region that you’re driving in, leave large following distances and make sure you’re travelling with snow chains (and know how to fit them).
Car Rentals Insurance and covers
We must stress the fact that the car insurance of any car hire company does not include damage to the tyres, windscreen, wing mirrors or the undercarriage of the car. So please be very careful when driving on unpaved roads or tracks as they tend to have a lot of potholes. You will be responsible to cover costs of any repairs/replacements for damage, and towing of the car if necessary.
Parking and driving laws
Parking fines are very expensive so please avoid illegal parking as you will have to pay the fine because the traffic police do inform the car hire company when they issue a ticket. A parking fine can be €30 - € 80. In order to discourage locals from parking anywhere, the police now tow cars away and remove license plates, and the fine to retrieve the car is €450. To pay a fine, if it is pink ticket it is paid in the Town Hall, if it is yellow, it is paid to the Harbour Police. You can give the money and the fine to the car hire company or your representative and they can sort it out for you.
Wearing seat belts in car and helmets in motorcyles is compulsory in Greece. We also strongly advise that you never drink and drive because if you do have an accident under the influence of alcohol, your insurance is invalidated.
On the National Highway the maximum speed limit is 90 km/hour, unless other signs indicate otherwise. Radar and hidden cameras are positioned along the highway, so be careful. The speed limit on secondary roads is 60km/hour or whatever is indicated by the signs.
In the event of an accident directly call the police and the car hire office as soon as possible. Do not let the other driver leave the scene before the police or car hire owner has arrived, especially if they are at fault.
In case of punctures: if you do get a flat tyre and it is obviously just a minor puncture, you should use the spare tyre until you get the tyre fixed. Find a petrol station that will fix a simple puncture, the repair damage will cost approximately: €8 - €10. If the damage is extremely bad and the tyre needs to be replaced, be prepared to pay somewhere between € 35 - € 100 depending on the type of your car. If you need assistance ring the car hire company or our head office.
Emergency phones (call directly from mobile, no charge)
- SOS Medical Emergency 112
- Police 100
- Ambulance Service 166
- Fire Service 199
- Coast Guard 108