Advantages Of Renting A Car On Vacation In Chania
Know Before You Fly
Every year, tourists are drawn to the Greek city of Chania on the island of Crete to explore its historic landmarks, learn about its rich past, enjoy great dining and drinking options, enjoy leisure time on the beaches and more. And one of the best ways for you to get around the island during your vacation is to rent a car for the duration of your visit.
You can find rental car options available at Chania Airport or around the island, with many of the major international companies having rental services here. The exact cost of renting a car will depend on the number of days that you would like to have the vehicle, as well as the make and model of the car, with larger or more luxury rentals costing more than smaller cars.
There are several advantages of renting your own car that can make your trip to Chania more enjoyable, compared to paying for taxis or having to take public transportation.
First, you will have total independence for your trip, meaning that you can drive to anywhere you want across the island at whatever time works best for you – compared to having to wait for buses or taxis to pick you up, which can add much more time to even simple journeys.
Second, having your own car means that you can drive to the front door of your hotel or wherever else you’re staying, and directly to any places on the island that you would like to visit. But if you take a bus to get around Chania and beyond, then depending on where you’re heading it might not drop you off close to that destination. If that happens then you may have to walk a long distance to get where you’re going, which can be tiring and stressful.
Third, renting a car is something that you can plan as part of your vacation budget because it will be a set charge based on the type of vehicle and how many days you rent it. If you decide instead to use public transportation or taxis, you will have to pay for the fare each time that you make a journey, and this can be hard to budget for and also become quite expensive.
Fourth, if you rent a vehicle then you will also have complete privacy throughout your vacation, because the only people riding in the car will be you and your fellow travelers. That can be a great benefit compared to sharing a bus with strangers and struggling to find seats.
Fifth, renting a car while on vacation should also be much more comfortable then having to share a bus with people you don’t know, or squeezing into the back of a taxi. Instead, a car should give you and your travel companions plenty of room to stretch out, and this can make the trip more enjoyable, particularly if you decide to drive some very long distances.
Having a car for your vacation on the Greek island of Crete is a great way to explore the island, whether you stay within the city of Chania or decide to explore what else this destination has to offer. But before setting out on the road, it can be useful to learn about what driving is like during a holiday in Chania, so that you’re prepared for changes to how you might typically drive.
Understanding Chania’s road rules
Perhaps the most important legal requirement you must make sure to comply with are the speed limits, which can vary depending on where you’re driving.
In small villages the speed limit is 30 kilometers per hour, but this increases in larger villages and cities like Chania to 50 kilometers per hour and then up to 90 kilometers on the highway.
Going over the speed limit puts you at risk of getting a ticket and a penalty if you’re spotted by the police, so to make your vacation stress-free you should always drive under the limit.
Cars, buses, trucks and all other vehicles drive on the right hand side of roads throughout Crete, and they are given the right of way if they enter a road from this direction. If you are approaching a traffic circle then cars in the circle have to yield to those that are entering it.
Another important law to abide by is making sure not to drive if you are drunk, because there is a strict limit on 50 milligrams for every 100 milliliters of your blood. This equates to no more than a 200 milliliter glass of wine or 490 milliliter glass of beer, so it won’t take much to qualify as a drunk driver. And if you try to drive above Crete’s stringent limit on blood alcohol levels and are found out by the police, you could have to pay hundreds of Euros or even face time in jail.
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Top tips for how to drive in Chania
As well as knowing the basic requirements for how to drive on the roads in and around Chania, and which laws you will have to obey, there are several other important tips for driving that can help to make your time on the island more enjoyable and your car rides smoother and safer.
- Most gas stations will provide a staffed service to refill the petrol in your car, so you should not even have to step out of your vehicle for a refilling.
- You should drive carefully because some of the mountain roads in particular are not kept in top condition, and you may find that a few road signs are also hard to read.
- Local drivers are known to overtake cars at high speeds and sometimes without any use of their lights or horn to alert you, so be aware that this can happen.
- In smaller villages especially, keep an eye out for goats that can roam the countryside and sometimes make their way on to the roads, creating a hazard.
Chania Airport Car Rental Companies
Chania Driving FAQ
What is the speed limit when driving on roads in Crete?
There are three speed limits on the island; 90 kilometers per hour on the highway, 50 kilometers per hours in cities and larger villages and 30 kilometers per hour in smaller villages.
How old do I need to be in order to drive around Chania?
You must be at least 18 years old to drive in Crete or anywhere else in Greece, but be aware that rental car businesses usually require that drivers be at least 21 years old.
Are there any restrictions on drunk driving across Crete?
Yes, you cannot drive a vehicle if your blood alcohol level is above 50 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood, and you face financial penalties and even time in jail for violating this.
How do cars signal that they want to overtake you on the island?
If someone is driving behind you and is flashing their lights at you, this typically means that they want to overtake you and you should give them room to do so when it is safe.
Which side of the road do cars drive on in Crete?
All vehicles including cars must drive on the right hand side of the road across the island, and this also means that cars approaching from this direction are given the right of way.
Are there any hazards to beware of when driving in Chania?
Yes, you should be on the lookout for holes in the road, falling rocks and boulders from the nearby mountains, and goats and other animals that can sometimes block your path.
Can I use my credit card to pay for refilling my car’s petrol tank?
Yes, if your rental car needs more gas then you can pull up at any of the petrol stations on the island and the vast majority of these businesses will accept most major credit cards.
How easy it is to read the road signs when driving around Crete?
Unfortunately many of the island’s road signs are damaged, faded or covered up with dirt, so it can be useful to use your smartphone’s GPS to help with getting around the island.
Where can I park my rental car when I’m driving across the island?
Look for designated areas where signs say you can park for free or pay a small fee, or try to find a private car park, otherwise you risk a penalty for parking anywhere else.
Am I required to use seat belts for me and my passengers in a car around Chania?
Yes, it is mandatory for all people traveling within a car to use their seatbelts whether you’re in the city or elsewhere on the island, regardless of whether they are adults or children.
Should I look out for pedestrians that might be walking in the roads?
Unfortunately there are few sidewalks available for pedestrians in certain parts of the island, so yes, as a driver you should be aware of people that may be walking in the roads.
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