Crete is a dream destinations for many fabulous reasons – great climate, great roads, affordable food and hotels, cheap car rental options. While planning our latest holiday, we knew we would rent a car for a few days, as it is almost impossible to enjoy this amazing island through the window of a tour bus.
While researching the topic, I found many options for online booking. However, as we were also planning to visit some remote destinations that can only be accessed by boat/need one way drive, and our packaged tour already included airport transfer, we decided to check on car rental as we go.
How to rent a car
We picked Agia Marina just outside of Chania as our base for exploring Crete. Having stayed here 11 years ago, I knew this is a perfect place with great infrastructure and affordable accommodation. When it came to renting a car, there was no shortage of offers. We did it the easiest way imaginable – booked it right at the hotel reception desk. The offer we got was for the smallest ever vehicle I’ve driven – VW Up! With daily rate of 40€ (full insurance included).
The car was delivered to our hotel and everything went smoothly. Payment is possible both in cash and by card. The company name is Eurocar and they offer great service – we really enjoyed the experience and advise they gave us regarding where to drive for best snorkeling in the south of the island.
Driving in Crete
Driving experience in Crete is not much different from back home, to be honest. The traffic is slow, roads are bumpy at times and in the mountains there are a lot of curves. In fact, you wouldn’t want to rush through these curves anyway – they are best enjoyed at slower speeds. Locals are faster and usually pass you by on the highway – luckily there is enough room on the right side of the road.
Petrol prices are quite high in Greece – around 1,70€ per liter. During our two days we drove around 300 km and tanked full for 30€. This is not too bad considering our car had a 1.0l engine, which was surprisingly snippy. Most of the time we drove in the mountains with occasional highways. In case you are doubting this car can handle the highway – don’t be worried, 90-100km/h is totally doable.
To rent or not to rent?
I would rent a car in Crete again, for sure. Driving is really easy and most drivers are also rentals, just like yourself. Locals are aware of tourists and pay extra attention. In addition to obvious reasons, such as visiting remote destinations and small villages, renting a car has many other advantages – choosing your own pace while exploring and shopping (no need to carry heavy bags). The last one was extremely handy, when we decided to visit larger supermarket that locals go to (resort stores are overpriced) to buy delicious local honey, olive oil and wine.