Car Rental in Santorini

All you Need to Know about Renting a Car in Santorini

Santorini Car Rental

Santorini is an island with many attractions, from sightseeing to breathtaking landscapes and sites, offering amazing views of the Aegean sea and the most mesmerizing sunsets worldwide. Thus, the perfect way to explore the volcanic island is via a car rental. By renting a car, you’ll be able to schedule your trip’s itinerary the way you like, as well as reach the most unreachable places and discover Santorini’s hidden gems.

Is a Rental Car Recommended when Visiting Santorini?

A rental car is definitely recommended when traveling to Santorini. Reaching the island’s many interesting sites is more convenient, easy, and stress-free with a car rental than when using public transportation or hard-to-find taxis. Santorini public buses -the only public means of transport on the island- are efficient and travel almost anywhere. Still, they aren’t usually punctual when it comes to their itineraries while traveling to your destination almost always requires one or even more changes of bus lines. On the other hand, Santorini taxis, besides being costlier than car rentals, are few. As a result, they often can’t meet the travelers’ needs.

How to Rent a Car in Santorini?

Santorini offers many car rental options. Truly, both international and local car rental providers are present at Santorini, with JTR Airport, Athinios Port, and Fira being their main areas of activity. Hence, if you are looking to rent a car in Santorini, you’ll have to follow two steps. Firstly, search, meaning getting to know your options. Check all the available car hire companies to have an idea about their provided services. Secondly, compare, and thus, contrast the results to end up with the best car rental deal.

How to Secure the Best Value-for-Money Car Rental?

  • “The early bird catches the…car”: The sooner you make your reservation, the better deals you’ll find. What’s more, early bookings give you access to a wider array of car types.
  • Take pics: Check out your car rental before leaving the pick-up location and take some snaps to capture already present damages. 
  • The DIY option: don’t add more drivers as you’ll be charged extra.
  • The drop-off time requires a lot of thinking: Santorini car rental companies charge per day. Thus, you should return your car before the 24-h deadline. Otherwise, you risk getting charged for an extra day. To this effect, plan your return journey accordingly. Start early at the drop-off point. Even if the roads are congested, you’ll still be at your destination on time.
  • Fuel up: By refilling the car yourself before returning it, you’ll save money as car rental agencies tend to charge a lot for gas. 

What Documents do you Need to Rent a Car in Santorini?

The usual documents are expected to be handed over when renting a car in Santorini. Therefore, you’ll have to deliver your ID or passport, the credit card you are planning to use, and your driving license. However, if your driving license is issued outside the EU, an International Driver’s Permit will also be required.

How Old do you Have to Be to Rent a Car in Santorini?

The age limit for car renting in Santorini is 21 years. Additionally, at least one year of experience (meaning you have to have held your driving license for at least one year) is required. Please note that for some car types (luxury, XL, etc.), higher age limits may apply while young drivers have to pay an extra fee.

How Much does it Cost to Rent a Car in Santorini?

The car renting fares vary depending on the vehicle’s type and the time of the year. Thus, during the high season and especially from May to September, car rentals are a lot pricier than during the rest of the year. In any case, the average price for a car rental is 35€/35$ per day.

What Car Rental to Use in Santorini?

Santorini’s road network is narrow and often winding (still, it is generally considered to be in good condition). Therefore, mini and economy cars are mostly preferred by tourists for their transfers around the island. In fact, Ford Ka and Fiat Panda are among the best-seller choices. 

Our Tip: Santorini is a hilly area. Therefore, if you are used to automatic cars, you should go for an automatic vehicle, even if it is slightly costlier than manual car rentals.

Where to Rent a Car in Santorini?

The most popular pick-up locations for car rentals in Santorini are Fira, Santorini Airport, and Athinios Port. Whether you are arriving in Santorini via plane or ferry, it is advisable to pre-book your car and pick it up at the airport or the port. In that way, you’ll save time and hassle from your airport/port transfer. 

Our Tip: You should inform the car rental company about the number of your flight or the name of your boat to keep track of potential flight or ferry delays affecting the pick-up scheduled time. 

How Long does it Take to Return a Rental Car?

You should expect a 5-10-minute procedure in order to drop off your car rental. Explicitly, after returning the car to the arranged location (and filling it up if a fuel-to-fuel policy is chosen), the car rental agent will inspect it, and as soon as verifying that there are no damages, you’ll be good to go.

Our Tip: Even if the procedure is short, you should drop off the vehicle at least 2 hours before your departing flight or 1 hour before your ferry’s departure. 

The Car Rental Companies Operate After Hours?

Some car rental agencies may offer after-hours services upon previous agreement. However, in that case, they usually ask for an extra fee.

Can I Rent a Car Without Insurance?

No, minimum insurance is necessary to rent a car in Santorini. However, you can also opt for the full insurance package, which keeps you covered in almost any case of damage or accident.

Our Tip: If you want to save some cash, before settling on your preferable insurance type, you should check if your primary car insurance extends to car rentals or if your credit card offers car renting insurance.

How can I Rent a Car Without a Credit Card?

The vast majority of car rental companies require payments with credit cards. Nevertheless, you can find some car rental agencies also accepting debit cards. In that case, however, you should be aware that the entire amount will be withdrawn from your bank account beforehand.

What are the Parking Options in Santorini?

Parking on the street in Santorini is the rule. Generally speaking, parking is free except if marked otherwise. However, it is strongly advised to leave your vehicle at the car parks outside the island’s villages, as driving around the narrow alleys can be challenging.

Our Tip: The most popular destinations are often overcrowded. Hence, finding a free parking spot can be tricky. In that case, all you can do is stop at the side of the road and wait or park your car on a more distant site and walk to your destination. Still, you should take into account the hot Greek summer sun…

More Info about Santorini Car Rentals

  • Some Santorini car rental companies have limits concerning the traversed kilometers.
  • Before picking up the car rental, you should ask the car rental agent all your questions concerning the vehicle’s use. 
  • In Santorini, motorists drive on the right-hand side. 
  • The alcohol limit in Santorini is 0.5.
  • Greek drivers often drive dangerously.
  • You should always keep the car’s documents inside the vehicle.
  • Talking on the phone is prohibited, and seatbelts must be worn at all times. 
  • The European Emergency Number is 112.