Compare rates of all car rental companies present in Crete with one search.
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and is one of the southernmost points of Europe. Precisely because of its size it is usually divided into three areas: the western, the eastern and the central part; three areas very different from each other. Precisely for this reason in Crete you can find a thousand different landscapes, typical villages, dream beaches, mountains and more.
But also temples, museums and archaeological sites of extreme beauty, such as Byzantine churches and Venetian palaces. It is therefore a place of enormous historical and cultural interest.It is thanks to its historical charm, its magnificent beaches of the finest white sand and the sea of splendid turquoise colors that today it is considered one of the most desired Mediterranean destinations by tourists from all over the world.
Car rental is one of the essential services to book for a trip or vacation to Crete. On the Greek island, one arrives practically only by plane or by boat, but in the latter case these are short-term visits that only affect the area around the port of call.
So, if you arrive by plane and want to visit the whole island, or a good part of it, the perfect solution is to rent a car. This choice allows you to be free in schedules and travel, planning itineraries to your liking.
Also given the size of the island (it is the largest island in Greece and one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean, with a length of almost 300 km), renting a car becomes the only solution to visit it fully and freely.
Other factors such as the lowest cost of gasoline in Crete (just over 2 euro per liter) and the ease of renting a car, thanks to the wide range of car rental agencies, certainly contribute to this choice.
Prices and daily rates for a car rental in Crete are quite cheap, especially in the low season, with daily rates from 15-20 euros per day. In addition, there are agencies that do not require credit cards, and also accept debit cards or cash payment.
Why rent a car in Crete?
To benefit 100% from such beauties, the best choice is to rent a car. This will allow you to travel even long distances with extreme comfort and complete autonomy. Public transportation, especially over long distances, is not reliable, and moving around the island by bus becomes a real lifestyle choice!
Car rental prices in Crete vary depending on the category of car chosen, but remain quite affordable overall. To rent a car, you will need a driver’s license and valid ID, as well as a debit / credit card in the name of the driver or one of the trip participants, which will be requested at the time of pickup.
Booking a rental car in Crete well in advance is highly advisable. This way you avoid finding yourself, especially in high season, with a limited choice of cars and delays, as well as very long lines upon arrival. The fuel policy can follow the two standard models: full/full or full/empty.
Car rental locations in Crete
Car rental companies present in Crete, both at Heraklion airport and Chania airport, include Hertz, Avis, Budget, Thrifty and Enterprise, while some local companies are Rental Center Crete and Justrentals.
Car rental in Heraklion Airport
Several car rental companies have their counters inside Heraklion-Nikos Kazantzakis Airport, the main gateway to the island of Crete, just 4 kilometers from the capital Heraklion. To find the cheapest car rental in Heraklion Airport, we recommend using the following search form that compares rates from all companies at Heraklion Airport.
Car rental in Chania Airport
Located on the opposite side from the capital city of Heraklion, Chania-Souda International Airport – or Ioannis Daskalogiannis Airport – is a small airport, second in terms of traffic, connected to most countries in Europe thanks to routes offered by low-cost airlines such as Ryanair.
Find the cheapest car rental by using the following search form that compares the rates of all companies at Chania Airport.
Practical guide for driving in Crete
Driving in Crete is like in all European countries, and the highway code is approved to standards. The types of cars available for hire change from company to company, but in principle all models of the various makes are available.
In Crete you drive on the right and to drive in Crete you only need an EU driver’s license. Highways are modest and in many places two-lane, but they connect the main towns. North Crete is crisscrossed by a highway from Agios Nikolaos to Kastelli (Kissamos), via Heraklion.
The road from Agios Nikolaos to Sitia is narrower and more winding. In the south, the roads are narrow with sharp bends. In the Messara area and the southern part of Heraklion province (Festos, Matala, Timpaki, Kokkinos Pirgos) and in the Viannos area there are recent roads, but there are few signs, and do not venture into mountain roads without an off-road vehicle or detailed instructions from a local resident. Don’t expect large signs: even those for the capital are not very visible, and certainly not like those hanging high on our highways. On the other hand, road signs are usually in Greek and English, and don’t be surprised if you find signs pierced by bullets; especially in the mountains, this is quite common: some Cretans practice shooting, and celebrate weddings and parties with gunshots.
In outskirts of the bigger cities, many roads are unpaved, and sheep and goats often cross the roads. Also, there are few directions, so we recommend you ask the locals, who are very helpful. If you go to Crete in winter, beware of rain and boulders. A pile of boulders next to a road means that the asphalt has given way: best not to continue.
Signage is not a big problem: signs are written in Greek and English (Latin) characters, and are quite accurate. Only minor locations and some beaches are indicated with only Greek characters, but don’t give up, after some training you will learn to interpret them with some ease.
Speed limits, alcohol levels and gas stations
Speed limits are 50 km/h in built-up areas and 90 km/h on suburban roads. On the northern part of the island many roads are straight and offer excellent visibility: be careful, because at certain points there is a speed limit sign and soon after a traffic police patrol. Alcohol tests are frequent: the limit is 0.50 mg. If you get a ticket, you have to pay it at the tax office in the area where it was issued-don’t forget that before you leave for an excursion to another part of the island.
Most gas stations close between 9 and 10 p.m., although every town has at least one open at night. Gas stations are frequent in inhabited places, somewhat less so outside the cities, and the cost is similar to Italy. It is essential not to find yourself at night without gasoline or cash because not all gas stations have self-service or accept cards!
Frequently asked questions about car rental in Crete
Below are some quick answers to common questions about car rental in Crete.
What has changed in the car rental industry since the Coronavirus?
More and more people are choosing to rent a car to reduce contact and increase social distancing, avoiding the often crowded public transportation. Car rental companies have committed to higher hygiene standards to minimise the risk of virus transmission. All the safety measures we have become accustomed to are taken at rental desks, and cars are disinfected after each rental, especially the areas most at risk, such as seats, gearbox, handles and steering wheel.
Have car rental costs in Crete increased compared to the pre-Covid period?
Undoubtedly yes. During the pandemic almost all of the car rental companies in Crete were forced to reduce their car fleets to reduce operating costs.
However, the moment tourism in Crete restarted, due to the crisis in raw materials and electronic components, they were unable to buy back sufficient vehicles.
The consequence is that today each company has far fewer cars than in 2019 and cannot cope with the high demand. This results in higher prices and less availability, especially during peak season.
Therefore, the advice we give you is to book your car well in advance, both to get the best prices but more importantly to be sure of having the car for rent.
What do I need to rent a car in Crete?
All you need to book a car in Crete is a credit or debit card. However when you go to pick up the car you will need to have: a credit card in the driver’s name. Debit and ATM cards are not accepted; a copy of the reservation; a driver’s license that has been valid for at least 12 months; and an ID.
How old do I have to be to rent a car in Crete?
Car rental companies in Crete allow anyone between the ages of 21 and 70 to rent a car. However, some companies charge an additional driver fee for drivers under 25 and those over 70.
A car rental in Crete always includes: insurance against theft; limitation of liability for damage to the vehicle; local, road and airport taxes. Any extras or additional insurance coverage are extra.
What is not included in the rental cost?
Petrol, traffic and parking fines are not included.