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Tips for Driving in Greece

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 26 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Tips For Driving In Greece

For most people, their understanding of driving in Greece is that it’s a bit insane and only for the strong-willed! Many of the legal rules of the road appear to be ignored by local drivers and tourists often fall into the trap of copying the locals. This can be fairly dangerous as it takes great local road knowledge to be that confident and safe in potentially dangerous situations, so try and remain calm, stick to the rules and learn as many tips as you can before heading off.

Essential Tips for Driving in Greece

In order to drive legally in Greece, you must have your full UK licence and be at least 18 years of age. Similar to many other countries in Europe, Greece has a legal driving age of 18, so you can’t drive there aged 17, even if you have a full UK licence. If you are even thinking about this, you should be aware of the consequences of it. You may find yourself facing a hefty fine or have your vehicle impounded. Trying to recover your vehicle when you don’t speak the language can be tough, so think carefully before breaking the law.

In Greece, anyone riding in the front of the car must ensure they are wearing seatbelts. They’re not legally required to be worn in the back, but with such a high accident rate, it is worth ensuring that everyone in the car has belted up. Children under the age of 10 aren’t allowed to ride in the front of the vehicle, so make sure they are safely belted up in the back. It is illegal to use your cell phone if driving in Greece and if you’re caught doing so you can be fined.

Speeding Laws in Greece

Although there are strict speeding laws in Greece, many locals completely ignore them and you’ll often see cars speeding past you with no thought for your safety or that of those around them. Try to remain calm and don’t get involved in ‘racing’ or trying to overtake some of these drivers. They’re familiar with the road and are generally used to driving in such a manner, as unsafe as it may be. Learn the local speed limits before you go and stick to them at all times.

  • Motorway Speeds – 120 km/h
  • Open Roads – 110 km/h
  • Urban Roads – 50 km/h

One of the most common problems with speeding in Greece is that there are a large number of motorbikes, mopeds and other two wheel vehicles around. They often weave in and out of the traffic, putting themselves and others at risk. If you’re speeding it’s very difficult to keep track of where these vehicles are so slow down a little and stay focused on everyone around you.

Another important aspect of driving in Greece to remember is that the drink driving limit is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. If you’re caught driving over the limit, you can be fine or could lose your licence.

Road Rules in Greece

Locals drive completely differently to tourists in Greece so don’t worry if at first you feel a little overwhelmed. There are a number of different road rules to consider when driving there.

  • You may be fined for using your horn without good reason
  • Mountainous roads are extremely dangerous, slow down at all times
  • Highways have a white line along the nearside. This allows slower traffic to pull across it to allow for overtaking
  • Get your fuel when you can. Service stations are generally closed on a Sunday and don’t usually open past 7pm every night
  • Parking is forbidden within 9 feet of a fire hydrant so watch out for them
  • Carry loose change with you as there are a few toll roads that require you to pay in cash
  • Drive on the right hand side of the road!
  • Dial 112 for emergency help, 100 for police or 199 for ambulance

Restricted Areas in Greece

If you’re planning to drive in Athens, be aware that the central area there doesn’t allow car access in a bid to reduce congestion. The restrictions don’t apply to cars owned by foreigners who are visiting the country, or to rental cars, but if you buy a local car there to travel around in, you won’t be able to get into the city centre.

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