Car Hire in Athens
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Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. It is located in Attica and is considered one of the oldest cities in the world. The first evidence that life existed here dates back to the 11th and 7th millennia B.C. Many of Western civilisation's intellectual and artistic ideas originated here, and the city is generally considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, which is why many refer to it as the historical capital of Europe. Athens is the birthplace of democracy, art, science, and philosophy of Western civilisation. In addition, many famous and essential philosophers lived and worked in Athens, forming the foundation of modern philosophy. The most famous philosophers from Athens are Plato, Socrates, Pericles, Euripides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus.
Today Athens is a modern western city with a perfect coexistence of antiquity and modernity. Many monuments in the city perfectly connect today's Athens while giving us a glimpse of life from thousands of years ago. This fantastic multicultural city is truly a must-see for any visitor. It offers a wide variety of cultural, historical, and religious sites for you to visit. There are also a variety of high-quality museums, galleries, theatres, operas, etc., so the cultural offerings here are truly impressive.
But there are not only cultural, historical, and religious sites in Athens; there is much more that this city offers. There are many great shopping opportunities in the city centre, from large shopping malls to small boutiques and shops selling handicrafts or branded clothing. Gastronomy also plays a significant role here to enjoy many different restaurants and taverns in Athens with numerous different menus. You can enjoy traditional Greek cuisine or order dishes initially from other parts of the world.
The unique thing about Athens is that every neighbourhood has something special to offer. So, you will find something different in every corner of this city. After you leave the city, you can visit the beaches near Athens. Apart from the beaches, some fantastic natural beauties around Athens will enchant you. So, all in all, Athens has everything to offer that a discerning tourist is looking for. You can find everything that you can find in other parts of the country. You can explore history, art, culture, politics, gastronomy, nature, etc. All you need to do is make a good plan before you come to Athens because there are so many different things to see and do that you need to be well organised if you want to see everything that interests you. One thing is for sure, the city of Athens will not disappoint you.
Basic info and car hire in Athens
- Location: Attica, Greece
- Population: 664,046
- Official language: Greek
- Currency: Euro
- Weather: Athens has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate
- Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafés offer Wi-Fi.
- Road conditions: Most roads in Athens are in good condition.
- Car hire in Athens: The most common pick-up point for vehicles in Athens is at Athens airport and Athens Downtown. Please note that prices vary frequently. It is best to book a car 3 to 8 weeks before your desired pick-up date - this will ensure you get the cheapest rental rate. Alternatively, it is also possible to find cheap last-minute car hire. Find the best deal on car hire in Athens!
Driving in Athens
Renting a car in Athens is the best solution if you want to explore Athens and its surroundings. The traffic in Athens looks very hectic and confusing at first, but if you focus on the road and follow all the rules, you should not have much trouble driving on the streets of Athens. It would be best to remember that the locals go faster and can be pretty nervous at times, especially during the summer tourist season when the city streets are busy because of the many tourists. If you plan on driving in Athens during the summer, be prepared for some traffic jams.
The roads here are in good condition, but keep in mind that Athens is very different from driving on the Greek islands or in smaller towns outside of Athens. When you leave the city centre, the traffic immediately lessens. When you go to Athens and drive into the surrounding areas, driving becomes a joyful experience because the scenery is beautiful, the roads are in good condition, and the traffic is not as heavy as in the city.
When driving in Athens and the surrounding areas, keep in mind that there are many motorcycles on the roads, so you need to be extra careful.
The fines for not following the laws and regulations are strict and expensive. Running a red light or ignoring a stop sign will cost you 700 euros. Not wearing a seat belt in a car is punishable by 350 euros. Talking on a mobile phone without a hands-free device is punishable by 100 euros. Driving under the influence of alcohol is punishable by a fine of between 200 - 1200 euros and a probable driving license suspension of between 10 days and six months, depending on how much the breathalyser test shows.
- Age limits: The minimum age to drive a car in Greece is 18 years old. The minimum age to rent a car is 21 years old, and some rental companies for people over 75 years old. Young driver surcharges may apply to those under 25 with many rental companies.
- International Driving Permit: Visitors need a valid driving license to drive a car in Greece legally. Drivers of motorcycles up to 125cc must be at least 18 years old, while drivers of mopeds (up to 50cc) must be at least 16 years old. Driving licenses issued in E.U. and EEA countries are accepted. With an International Driving Permit (IDP), you can legally drive in Greece and 174 other countries and present your valid driver's license. Only two organisations issue IDPs: Automobile Association of America (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA), and you can order it online if there is no office near you.
- Additional papers: Identification (passport), a valid driver's license, and valid proof of insurance. (It is advisable to take out insurance with the car rental company if your policy does not cover you when driving in Greece).
- Additional requirements: Warning triangle (mandatory in every vehicle), headlight deflectors (for cars from UK. Depending on the vehicle, you may either need deflector stickers or have to adjust the beam manually), fire extinguisher (mandatory in every car), first aid kit (mandatory in every car), warning triangles, spare wheels are required, and hands-free devices with hearing aids if you are talking on the phone while driving.
- Children in the car: A suitable child seat must be fitted for children under three years of age. Local authorities approve child restraint systems that comply with the ECE R44/03 standard. A suitable child seat should also be used for children between 3 and 11 years of age smaller than 1.35 meters. Adult seat belts are already approved for children over 12 years of age and over 1.35 meters tall. If you wish to fit a rear-facing child seat, you may do so because the front passenger airbag is deactivated.
- Driving side of the road: Right
- Lights: In poor daytime visibility, use low beam headlights. The use of high beams in cities is strictly prohibited.
- General speed limits: Unless otherwise stated, the maximum speed on the motorway is 120 km per hour. On rural roads, you may drive 110 km/68 mi per hour. In residential areas, the speed limit is 50 km/31 mi per hour.
- Parking suggestions: Parking is prohibited in Greece: Within 5 meters (m) of intersections, within 15m of railway crossings, within 15m of bus and tram stops, within 3m of a fire hydrant, within 5m of a stop sign, or traffic light. In some streets, signs indicate which side of the road to park on. Parking fees vary from city to city, with meters usually operating between 30 minutes and two hours. In Athens, particular parking areas are reserved for tourists. E.U. disability cards should be recognised in Greece. However, to be on the safe side, you should apply for a card from the Institute for the Rehabilitation of Disabled People in Athens or from local prefects in other provinces.
Car Hire in Athens
Most popular car hire at Athens
The most selected hire car in Athens is Ford Fiesta, with Renault Clio and Seat Ibiza also being a popular option. The most popular car types in Athens are mini, economy, and compact.
Popular Driving Routes
Popular One-Way car hire from Athens
Want to rent a car for a one-way trip? No worries! Orbit Car Hire offers a variety of one-way Car Hire options in many locations outside of Athens. One-way car rental is ideal for cross-town or cross-country travel, saving time not returning to your original site. Start your reservation with Orbit Car Hire and find great options on one-way car hire at locations across the Greece.
Athens-Megara (40km with approximately 40 minutes of drive)
Athens-Tebe (90km with about 1 hour of drive)
- Athens-Korinth (106km with about 1,5 hours of drive)
Athens-Lefkada (360km with about 4-4,5 hours of drive)
What to see in Athens
There are countless fantastic sights to visit in Athens. The city is an open-air museum of sorts. You can see many different historical, cultural, and religious sites, each offering a specific and unique look at the beginnings of Western civilisation.
The Acropolis of Athens is where many ancient myths, the most remarkable religious festivals, the earliest cults, and several important events in the city's history are. The museum houses a collection from the archaic period to the Roman period. The museum is divided into different sectors, each representing a specific time and area.
The Acropolis is considered the most important historical site in the western world. Since it rises on a rock above Athens, it is visible from all parts of the city. The Acropolis was first settled in the Neolithic period (4000-3000 BC). The first monumental buildings were erected here during the Mycenaean era. People lived on the Acropolis until the late 6th century B.C.
There are many other places in Athens that you should not miss when exploring the capital of Greece. Here are some suggestions: Kerameikos, Byzantine and Christian Museum, Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, National Archaeological Museum, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Stavros Niarchos Park, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Theatre of Dionysus...
Drive your rental car beyond Athens
Renting a car is always a good idea in Athens, especially if you want to explore Greece properly. The roads are in pretty good condition. The scenery is breathtaking. There are countless cities, villages, historical sites, resorts, cultural sites, natural wonders, etc., in this country you should not miss. There are also many great places to visit outside of Athens. But of course, Greece is most famous for its islands. There are so many stunning islands in this country that you will have difficulty deciding which one to choose. It is best to explore one part of the country at a time, perhaps visiting several islands. Most of them are connected in regional units and represent a specific area of the country. One thing is for sure: you will have a great time on any of these islands. It's up to you which one you choose. The best thing to do is read up on the destinations at home and then plan according to your preferences. Some places offer different types of holidays for different tastes and different profiles of travellers.
But of course, Greece is so much more than just islands. There are so many fantastic places in this country that you will enjoy a trip through Greece. The roads are mostly in excellent condition, so you will have to think carefully about which parts of the country you want to explore.
Greece, or many would say the cradle of western civilisation, is the southernmost country in the Balkan Peninsula. This perfectly situated country of over 2000 islands, around 170 of which are inhabited, has access to the whole world via the sea and also has a beautiful inland area full of mountains and volcanic soil, a rich culture, many historical and religious sites, delicious food and genuinely lovely people - a place that every person should visit at least once in their lifetime. There are so many different things to see and do here that you are sure to find something for yourself.
If you are planning a holiday to Greece, you should make a good plan. A rental car is the best solution if you want to explore the country to see different places, try other foods and meet different people from different parts of Greece. First, you need to decide if you want to explore the islands or are more interested in the interior. There are plenty of activities you can do for both options and plenty of sights you can visit.
Greece is a country that is a mixture of Europe, the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. It is located in Europe, Asia, and Africa and is the legacy of Classical Greece, the Byzantine Empire, and almost four centuries of Ottoman rule. All this gives the country a great religious, cultural, architectural, and political background that contributes to the country's diversity.
The size of the country is equal to that of Britain, and it is divided into six main regions: Central Greece: the Píndos Mountains, North-Eastern Greece: Makedonía and Thráki, Eastern Greece: Thessalía and Attikí, Southern Greece: the Pelopónnisos, Western Greece: Ípeiros and Akarnanía, The Islands of Greece. Each of these regions has something to offer you. It is best to rent a car and explore the area by region. You will need time to explore this country well, so it may be best to explore the provinces one by one. The roads in Greece are in good condition, the people are friendly, the country is beautiful, the food is delicious, and the sights are breathtaking, so all you have to do is buckle up and drive safely.
Where to eat, drink, and party in Athens
Athens is a great culinary destination. You can enjoy all kinds of Greek cuisine here. Some restaurants serve traditional Greek dishes from different regions of the country. In addition, there are also many modern restaurants serving contemporary cuisine.
Athens also has a vibrant nightlife. As in all big cities in Greece, there are many nightclubs and discos where you can party all night long and listen to any music you like.
Best restaurant in Athens
Cinque Wine & Deli Bar
Thes "Greek Creative Cuisine"
A Little Taste of Home
Enjoy Just Falafel
What you need to know about renting a car
How do you make a booking with Orbit Car Hire?
You can easily book your vehicle with Orbit Car Hire. First, you must choose the date and location of your rental in our booking form. In the next step, you can pick the vehicle you want from the list. After filling out the personal information form, there is a step where you choose the payment method and fill in your credit card information. Finally, you can print out your voucher needed at pick-up time.
What are the charges for security deposits?
Every car rental has a security deposit policy. You will find the information about the security deposit while booking the vehicle or on your voucher.
What if I would like to change my booking?
How do I cancel my booking?
You can cancel your booking free of charge at least forty-eight hours before your rental is due to start. For further information, please read the Conditions of Use. Our customer service team will address your requests in due time:
- Phone:+44 20 8089 0089
- Email: email@example.com
When do I pay for the rental car?
You pay a small deposit when making the booking as a guarantee. The remaining balance is paid when you pick up your rental vehicle. Please keep in mind that the payment at the counter is paid in local currency.
What is included in the price?
Most of the reservations made by Orbit Car Hire include unlimited mileage, local tax, mandatory fees, and collision damage waiver. In steps 1 and 2 in the booking process or on your voucher, you can see all the details about your booking inclusions.
Are there any hidden fees?
There are no hidden charges! All mandatory surcharges and fees are presented in the 3rd step of the booking process and our Terms and Conditions. Please note that additional charges may apply for some rentals in the case of:
- Out-of-hours surcharge (when picking up the vehicle outside of office hours),
- One-way fee (when returning the vehicle at a different location),
- The service charge for fuel (prepaid fuel policy),
- Young/senior driver fee (the car hire company sets this condition and is usually not about the regulation of the specific country),
- Excess and deposit amount (before hiring, you need to ensure your credit card limit is high enough for the deposit amount to be blocked, which usually equals the excess amount or higher).
We advise our clients to read the Terms and Conditions carefully before the rental to avoid surprises. Our knowledgeable customer service agents will gladly help you with any questions via phone, email, or live chat during our opening hours.
What is a voucher, and why do I need it?
A voucher is a document that confirms your booking, the price, and the payment of your booking. Having your voucher with you at the time of pick-up is mandatory. If you do not have the voucher at the pickup, the vehicle provider may refuse to release the vehicle to you or change the rental price.
What is an airport or premium location fee?
A Premium location/airport fee is a fee that covers the location service costs. This fee is usually included in the price but may still occur at some locations and is charged locally.
What is Premium Coverage, and how does it work?
Premium Coverage is an optional service by Orbit Car Hire that, if accepted, covers your financial accountability for damage or theft to the hired vehicle. This is not insured with a car hire company that reduces the excess amount, but a cover refunds you if the car hire company charges you for damage or theft. With this option, you will be reimbursed up to 3000 EUR. You can read the Terms and Conditions or contact us for more information.
How do I find cheap car hire online?
Prices vary frequently. Booking a car 3 to 8 weeks before your desired pick-up date is best - this will ensure you get the cheapest rental rate. Alternatively, it is also possible to find cheap last-minute car hire.
How many countries do you compare to?
We at Orbit Car Hire compare car hire prices in over 140 countries, including popular destinations within Europe such as Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Iceland, Croatia, Malta, France, Slovenia, and Germany.
What currency should I use to pay for the car?
You can pay the confirmation fee on Orbit's page in EUR, GBP, ISK and USD. When you pick up your car hire, you will pay the remaining balance in the currency of the pickup country.
Can I rent a car from inside the terminal?
You can hire a car from inside the terminal. When you compare our offers, you can filter "In Terminal" to see all the offers we have that are inside the terminal.
What is the cheapest car to rent?
The cheapest car to rent is the Fiat 500, Volkswagen Up and Fiat Panda.
Can I add a driver to my booking?
You can always add a driver to your booking when finding your car hire deal on Orbit Car Hire. If you have already made a booking, you can contact us to add the additional driver. You can also add a driver to your booking when you pick up the vehicle.
What payment methods are accepted?
You can pay with a debit and credit card when booking with Orbit Car Hire. We accept Mastercard and Visa.
Can I drop off my car at a different location?
Yes, you can. When you look for car hire deals on our webpage, you can press "Yes" to "Different drop-off location" and see all the best deals for one-way car hire.
How can I add a flight number to my booking?
You can add a flight number on our webpage when booking. If you already have a booking, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and our customer service will add your flight number to the booking.
Do I have to pay for toll roads?
If you drive where toll roads are required, you are responsible for paying for the toll roads on which you drive the rental vehicle.
What does deductible mean?
If a rental car is damaged or even stolen while on rent, there will be a limit to how much the renter has to pay to repair or fix it. Excess (also known as deductible) is a name for the amount that has to be paid. This excess is different between countries and car rental companies in each country. Depending on the car rental company, this can include fire, vandalism, theft, or loss of use while the car is being repaired. You can read more about deductibles right here.
What is a Collision Damage Waiver?
Collision Damage Waiver, or CDW, is a basic car rental insurance offered to renters by a car company. CDW limits your financial liability in case of damages to the body of the hired vehicle with an excess. The driver is responsible for paying for the excess, but the car rental company waives the rest of the cost. This excess can be different between rent a car company.
What is Theft Protection?
Theft Protection is a car rental insurance that car rental companies offer. It protects the renter up to a certain amount from the risk of stealing the rental car or somebody trying to steal it. An excess, also known as a deductible, comes with each Theft Protection. This excess is the limit to what the renter would have to pay if the car is stolen or if somebody tries to steal it.
Which brands can I compare with Orbit?
With Orbit Car Hire, you can compare car hire with all the major car rentals like Europcar, Enterprise, Alamo, Sixt and Budget. You can also compare over 100 local companies from all over the world.
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