Which type of car you hire in Crete is a matter of what your itinerary involves. If you intend to stay in one of the towns or resort areas, then you should hire something like a compact city car, as the streets can be old and narrow and traffic can create quite a bit of congestion at times. On the other hand, if you’re aiming to drive between towns and explore tourist attractions in the inland areas, you’re well advised to hire something that can tackle more demanding roads. The surfaces on many of these rural roads, and even some of the main ones, are quite deteriorated, making them either gravelly or smooth and slippery. You’ll want a vehicle with as much traction as possible, preferably an MPV with 4x4 capabilities.
Crete falls under the Greek traffic law system, which means that any child under the age of 12 but older than three must sit in a child’s seat in the back of the vehicle, and any child under the age of three must be in an infant seat. These seats must be appropriate for their age and size. Children may sit in the front passenger seat as long as they aren’t shorter than 4 feet 4 inches, and they must wear a seatbelt, like all other passengers.
Almost all the petrol stations on Crete are along the north coast of the island, essentially following the E75/90 motorway that runs along the entire coast, connecting all the towns on that side of the island. There are very few, if any, petrol stations along the southern edge of the island, so make sure you fill up at every opportunity if you’re on that side. However, the island isn’t very long from north to south, so you’ll seldom find yourself completely separated from somewhere to refill.
25% of our users found rental cars in Crete for ₪165 or less
Book your rental car in Crete at least 3 weeks before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Compact rental cars in Crete are around -61% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about renting a car in Crete
Hiring a car in Crete will give you a big advantage over using the local public transport system, which can be patchy and sometimes unreliable. It also doesn’t cover the island comprehensively, so you’ll invariably find yourself having to use taxis to supplement the buses. It makes more sense to hire a car and have the freedom to drive where you want whenever you want. You’ll definitely want to visit Knossos, the main archaeological ruins on the island, as well as the 13th-century town of Chania, on the western side of the island. The breath-taking Samaria Gorge is one of the biggest tourist attractions, while you can immerse yourself in the traditional culture of Crete in the old town of Rethymnon.
With its juxtaposition of rural and urban, old and modern, driving in Crete can be quite an interesting experience. You’ll drive on the right-hand side of the road, so you’ll overtake on the left, but keep an eye out for scooters driven by locals that can sometimes appear on your right. Also watch out for farm animals grazing at the side of the road, which could step out into your vehicle's path. As we’ve already noted, the road surfaces can sometimes leave something to be desired, so watch out for rough patches, and be especially careful of gravel and small rocks from recent rock falls in the more mountainous areas.
If you want to hire a car for a self-drive holiday in Crete, you’ll have to be 18 years of age at a minimum and be in possession of a valid UK driver’s licence. However, you won’t be able to hire the more powerful or luxury cars from most of the car hire companies. For this, you’ll need to be at least 23 years of age. Also note that in Greece, you’re required to carry your car’s insurance papers when you drive, so don’t remove them from your hire car.
On average a rental car in Crete costs ₪170 per day.
Compact (Class Compact SUV or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Crete.
In the past 72 hours, the cheapest rental cars were found at keddy by Europcar (₪119/day), Europcar (₪141/day) and Exer Rent a Car (₪145/day).