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Car Rental in Crete
Car hire in Crete is the best way to see the island thoroughly and independently. While the bus system can get you from one side of the island to the other, it cannot provide you the real mobility to move through all the levels of experience that Crete offers: from the promenades of Heraklion to the vineyards of Archanes, to hiking the gorges of Chania, and to the much less resort-like southern coast of the island. As you drive around the island, keep an eye out for signs marking Minoan ruins! While not all of them are spectacular, many are free to visit and explore. Crete offers you everything from pampering to outdoor experiences and the best of traditional and avant-garde Greek cooking. Stay mobile with our guide to cheap car hire in Crete.
Important Facts to Ease Your Self-Drive Journey in Crete
Language: Modern Greek, with a slight Cretan dialect. Many Cretans also speak English, which is the lingua franca of tourism on the island.
Currency: Euro. While many stores and shops will accept major credit cards, it is good practice to have cash on hand for restaurants and smaller establishments.
Crete is located in the Eastern European Time Zone, UTC+2.
Right-Hand Driving in Crete
When you hire your car in Crete, remember that traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road.
Driver’s License Requirements for Car Hire in Crete
Drivers whose driving licenses have been issued by the European Union can drive in Crete on their valid driver’s licenses alone, as long as they are at least 18 years of age. All other drivers will need to procure an international driver’s license, which must accompany their driver’s license at all times.
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Rental cars are available in over 20 cities throughout Crete. Car hire starts as low as €12 a day!
Tips to Get the Best Car Hire in Crete
Rental cars in Crete are significantly cheaper in the winter months (when temperatures range between 9 and 15 degrees Celsius or 48 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit), November through March, starting as low as €12 a day.
If you’re planning on visiting Crete during the busier summer months, book your rental car well in advance (circa 3 or 4 months) in order to receive the best prices. If you book last minute in the summer, your auto hire in Crete is likely to start at €35 a day.
Some of the cheapest car hire in Crete is offered by companies such as SurPrice Car Rentals in and near Heraklion and Let’s Drive in and around Chania.
Airports and downtown locations in the biggest cities are the best places to find quality and economy car hire in Crete. For instance, locations at the Heraklion and Chania airports are comparable with downtown prices as well.
Key Things to Remember You Pick Up Your Crete Car Rental
Speed limits in Crete are uncomplicated; like most islands in the Mediterranean, the speed limit in cities and other built-up areas is 50 km/h and the speed limit on rural highways between cities is 90 km/h.
Parking in Crete:
In smaller villages and towns, particularly in southern Crete, parking is not a problem. You can park on the street without much concern, though some streets are marked with a blue and red sign crossing out a I or a II: if you see this, then parking is prohibited on uneven (I) or even (II) months of the year.
If you need to park in the city centre of larger cities like Chania, Heraklion, or Rethymo, it is advisable to take advantage of parking garages and paid car parks just for the ease. You can often save money if you’re willing to park on the street outside of city centre and walk in. Car parks and the streets—particularly in northern Crete—tend to get quite full in the summer season.
While there are no toll roads in Crete, there are a lot of traffic cameras monitoring the speed you are driving. If you are photographed speeding, your rental car company will pass the fee along to you, often with extra surcharges.
Particularly in southern Crete, roads become quite narrow and there are frequent blind turns. If you are driving slower than others, it is considered appropriate for you to pull over and let everyone pass.
All petrol or gas stations in Crete are full service, so just wait for the attendant to approach you and then indicate how full you want him or her to fill your gas tank.
While you can take the car ferry from Crete to most other Aegean Sea islands and mainland, it is typically not prohibited to board with a rental car in Crete.
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