Driving Tips, Rules & Regulations in Greece

Greece can be a fun place to visit, but if you’re planning to go by car, then you better get ready for a wild ride. While the main roads which lead to major tourist spots are relatively easy to drive through, driving in Greece is still, generally, not meant for the inexperienced. Not only do you have to deal with the curvy and mountainous terrain in some parts, you will mainly have to live through a very aggressive driving culture. On the plus side, this could be the perfect place to test your defensive driving ability, if that’s your idea of an adventure.

The trick is to stay at the rightmost lane of the roads so as to let the speed demons pass by without blocking traffic. Many of them tend to drive at speeds just below the limit, so you’re better off not competing with them.

The practice mentioned above is not something you will only be doing in multiple lane roads. This is because there are only a few highway roads that have multiple lanes in Greece. Most main roads have two lanes, but have a shoulder (separated by a white line). Now, drivers in Greece treat these roads as “four lanes”. You’ll have to straddle by the shoulders and let other vehicles pass just in case you can’t drive fast enough.

For licensing, tourists who intend to stay in Greece for up to six months will need a valid license as well as an international driving permit. Those who plan to stay longer or are considering permanent residency, will have to trade in their license for a locally issued one. To be able to drive, you must be at least 18 years of age.

The safety driving regulations in Greece are pretty much like other European countries: seat belts are mandatory and you are required to keep a warning triangle, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, and headlamp converters at all times. A GB plate is also mandatory. Children should always sit in the back seat. There is also an 80mg/100ml drink driving limit, which is enforced strictly under the penalty of fine or imprisonment. Most of the gas stations in Greece close as early as 7 PM, and not all of them accept credit cards. So make sure you gas up if you’re planning to travel far, especially since you’re not allowed to bring spare fuel cans with you.

There are only two toll roads in the country. There’s the one between Athens and Peloponnesus, and another between Athens to Thessaloniki. As for traffic regulations, the speed limit for towns is up to 50 km/h and 110 km/h for open roads. Motorways have a 120 km/h limit. Again, keep in mind that other motorists will tend to maximize these limits, so be extra careful.

No Parking Zones are usually situated near hydrants, junctions, and public transport stops. Take not of how far you should be from these spots to not be issued a violation ticket. While there are few people who actually follow these rules, you’ll want to play on the safe side and obey them because the police can take your license plates if they catch you.

Just be extra careful when you’re driving around Greece and you’ll be enjoying the sights in no time.

Summary

Main roads which lead to major tourist spots are relatively easy to drive, others can be curvy and mountainous in some parts.
An aggressive driving culture.
There are only a few highway roads that have multiple lanes.
Tourists who intend to stay in Greece for up to six months will need a valid license as well as an international driving permit.
To be able to drive, you must be at least 18 years of age.
Seat belts are mandatory.
You are required to keep a warning triangle, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, and headlamp converters in the car at all times.
80mg/100ml drink driving limit.
You’re not allowed to carry spare fuel cans with you.
The speed limit for towns is up to 50 km/h and 110 km/h for open roads. Motorways have a 120 km/h limit.

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