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Car hire on the Greek Islands

Updated: 2 days ago


Some of the car hire offices at Kefalonia airport
Some of the car hire offices at Kefalonia airport

Over the years, we have used several companies for car hire on the Greek islands and aggregation websites, such as Holiday Autos. However, we have found a few tricks that work well and learnt some lessons!


We realised a couple of years ago that local offices of companies such as Budget and Europcar are franchises; they also operate as independent companies. For example, when we went to Skiathos in 2022, we contacted a local car hire company, based at the airport, and booked direct. This company was also an Enterprise office. Booking direct allowed us to pay in cash at a substantially lower rate than if we had booked through Europcar or an aggregation website.


Trip Advisor is a great place to ask questions about local car hire companies. We are always amazed at how helpful complete strangers can be!


In Corfu, which we have found expensive in the past, we found a travel agent/car hire company based just outside Kassiopi, at the north end of Corfu, North Corfu Travel. Again we paid in cash, but the process for collecting the car was brilliant. The car was left in a car park adjacent to the airport, unlocked, with the keys under the driver's floor mat! We picked up the car and drove to our villa. The next morning we went to the car hire office and completed the necessary paperwork. Again, paying in cash helped secure a good rate. We have used this company twice and will do so again when we go to Corfu later in 2023.


Having said that, websites like Holiday Autos and jet2carhire.com can have very good rates; we have used both. Booking.com also has car hire options, though we have never booked a car through them.


Other tips:


  1. We always pay extra when booking for the all inclusive insurance; this gives worry free driving!

  2. Try to go for a fuel policy of tank "full to full". The last time we went to Kefalonia, we filled up at the airport (the car was empty!) and returned it with a tank nearly half full.

  3. Aggregation websites can be good (and are quick and easy!), but sometimes a little bit of extra effort and time can get you a better deal.

  4. We prefer a car that is not brand new. We once hired a lovely, brand new car in Spain and spent all holiday worrying about stone chips etc. Even though we had the extra all inclusive insurance, it's still paperwork if anything happened. A car that is a few years old, especially on the Greek islands, means that it already looks 'worn in' with a few chips and scratches.

  5. Can you take a hire car to different islands? Despite many false reports on sites like Trip Advisor, you can take a hire car from the mainland or one of the islands to other islands on the ferries. Just check the booking terms and conditions to double check. We have done it many times.

  6. Booking a car ferry is advisable if you’re tied to a certain day/time of travel. We have used FerryHopper for our bookings. You usually get an e-ticket with a QR code that is scanned as you board the ferry. They ask for your car’s registration number, but if you have yet to rent your car, they ask you to enter RENT123. Top Tip: sometimes the ship is changed and not the one named on the ticket. If unsure, there are always plenty of people to ask!


Contact details of companies we have used for car hire on the Greek islands:


Corfu:


Kefalonia:


Lefkas:


Skiathos (also travelled to Alonissos and Skopelos):


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