Renting a Car in Heraklion, Crete: What You Need to Know in 2024

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Looking to rent a car in Heraklion, Crete?

You’ve landed at the right spot! While I don’t reside in Crete, I’ve visited the island twice and rented a car during both trips. I’m here to guide you through the process of renting a car in Heraklion, Crete, and help you feel confident about your experience.

By the end of this blog post, you’ll have a clear understanding of the car rental process in Crete and receive answers to the most common questions about driving on this stunning island.

Rental car in Crete
Me getting into a rental car in Crete

To kick things off, let’s discuss the best place to rent a car in Heraklion, Crete. Throughout my visits, I’ve had an excellent experience with Discover Cars, which I highly recommend. In this article, you’ll learn why Discover Cars is my top choice for car rentals in Crete.

If you’ve encountered mentions of Heraklion car rental scams, fear not – we’ll address those concerns to ensure you’re not caught off guard by hidden fees. You’ll also learn about car insurance in Crete, which is crucial for all car rentals on the island.

Ready to uncover the secrets of renting a car in Heraklion, Crete? Let’s dive in, starting with the process of renting a car in Heraklion with Discover Cars, and wrapping up with a FAQ about car rentals in Heraklion.

Renting A Car in Heraklion With Discover Cars

One of the tasks you should complete when planning a trip to Crete is to rent a car in advance. Not only does this save money, but you’ll also be certain that you’ll get a vehicle and can plan your vacation itinerary around the island without worrying about transportation.

There are several reasons why I recommend booking your rental car with Discover Cars:

  • This site compares rental car offers from multiple budget-friendly companies, so you’ll be sure to get the best deal.
  • The price displayed on Discover Cars includes all fees, taxes, and insurance – so you don’t have to worry about any hidden costs that might arise once you reach your destination.
  • Numerous people have had positive experiences booking with Discover Cars and have left reviews about each rental car company. This is useful if you want to ensure your experience will be hassle-free.

Reserving a rental car with Discover Cars is really simple, and I can demonstrate the process below.

Book Your Car Online with Discover Cars

Begin by choosing a pick-up location and the dates for which you’ll need the car.

Keep in mind that many car rental companies charge fees for operating outside of business hours. If you’re arriving or departing at night, you might want to consider using a taxi to get to the hotel and renting a car in the morning in the city.

Discover Cars search - Heraklion

After selecting your pick-up location and travel dates, you’ll receive a list of available cars and numerous options for filtering them to best suit your needs.

Be mindful of the pick-up location, as you can rent a car either at the airport or in the city of Heraklion.

Discover Cars search results - Heraklion

Once you’ve chosen a car for rental, you’ll see more detailed information about the booking. Although all of this is important, pay particular attention to the following aspects:

  • Pick-up location – even if you opt for the airport, the rental car company might be situated a bit further away, requiring you to use a shuttle service. This service is free, and the pick-up instructions are usually straightforward.
  • Business hours – if your flight is outside of business hours, there might be an additional fee for the rental car.
  • Fuel policy – remember this when returning the car. If the car has less fuel than the policy requires, you might be charged extra.
  • Rental conditions – the blue link at the bottom outlines additional conditions like the driver’s age, required documents, and the refundable security deposit.
Discover Cars booking details - Heraklion

When planning your car rental adventure in Crete, it’s essential to be aware of the driver’s requirements. The minimum age to rent a car is 23 years old, but note that drivers under the age of 26 may be subject to a young driver fee. On the other end of the spectrum, the maximum rental age is 75 years, and drivers over 70 may need to pay a senior driver fee. To be eligible for car rental, your driver’s license must have been issued by authorized authorities at least one year prior to the start date of your rental.

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Discover Cars - Refundable Security Deposit filter

Many companies will also ask for a refundable security deposit. The amount varies significantly, ranging from € 200.00 to € 1000.00, so you’ll need to check with your specific company in their rental conditions. This amount will be reserved on your credit card and returned to you after the rental period ends, unless the car’s bodywork is damaged, and that money is used to cover the repairs.

And that’s it – a straightforward process on how to rent a car in Heraklion, Crete.

View on a road from driver place in Crete mountains
View on a road from driver place in Crete mountains, Greece

5 Tips for Renting a Car at Heraklion Airport

To make your car rental experience as smooth as possible, I’m sharing my top five tips to help you navigate the process like a pro. Let’s dive in!

Book in advance

Trust me on this one; booking your car rental in advance can save you both time and money. When you book ahead of time, you’ll have a better chance of finding a great deal and securing the car that suits your needs. Plus, you can skip the stress of scrambling for a last-minute rental at the airport. And who doesn’t love a stress-free vacation, right?

Compare prices online

There’s no denying that we all want the best bang for our buck. To make sure you’re getting the best deal, compare prices from different car rental companies online. Websites like Discover Cars make this task super easy, as they compile offers from multiple providers, allowing you to quickly find the most budget-friendly option. It’s like having a personal car rental assistant at your fingertips!

Double-check your pick-up location

When renting a car at Heraklion Airport, it’s essential to double-check your pick-up location. Some car rental companies are located directly at the airport, while others might be a short distance away, requiring you to take a shuttle. Make sure you’re aware of the exact location and any potential shuttle services, so you don’t waste precious vacation time wandering around the airport.

Review the rental conditions

I know, I know – reading the fine print isn’t the most exciting part of planning a vacation. But trust me, it’s worth it! Make sure you review the rental conditions, including details like the driver’s age, required documents, fuel policy, and the refundable security deposit. Being aware of these specifics can help you avoid any surprises or extra fees down the line.

Inspect your rental car

Before you hit the road, give your rental car a thorough inspection. Check for any scratches, dents, or other damage, and make sure everything is documented on the rental agreement. It’s also a good idea to take photos of the car’s condition before you drive off. This way, you’ll have proof of the car’s state at pick-up, protecting you from any potential disputes when returning the vehicle.

And there you have it – five handy tips to make your car rental experience at Heraklion Airport a breeze. With a little preparation and attention to detail, you’ll be well on your way to exploring the beautiful island of Crete!

Closeup of Toyota Auris staying among mountains near Sitia town on Crete island, Greece

What are common car rental scams in Crete?

While Crete is a popular destination for tourists, and most car rental companies operate ethically, it’s essential to be aware of some common car rental scams to avoid any unpleasant surprises during your trip.

  1. Excessive Insurance Charges: Some rental companies may try to upsell unnecessary insurance coverage or charge exorbitant fees for basic insurance packages. To avoid this, use a reputable site like Discover Cars that has no hidden fees.
  2. Hidden Fees: Some rental agencies may not be transparent about additional fees, such as extra driver charges, airport surcharges, or fees for young drivers. Always read the rental agreement carefully and clarify any ambiguities before signing.
  3. Damage Charges: A few dishonest rental companies may try to charge customers for pre-existing damages to the car. To protect yourself, conduct a thorough inspection of the vehicle before driving away and take photos or videos of any scratches, dents, or other issues. Make sure the rental agent acknowledges these damages in writing.
  4. Fuel Scams: Some rental companies may have unfair fuel policies, like charging for a full tank of gas and expecting you to return the car empty. Familiarize yourself with the company’s fuel policy and choose a rental agency with a fair and transparent approach.
  5. Bait and Switch: Occasionally, a rental company might offer a specific car model at an attractive price, only to provide a different, less desirable vehicle upon arrival. To avoid this, confirm your booking and car model in writing, and consider choosing a reputable rental agency with a large fleet and positive customer reviews.

By being vigilant and well-informed, you can steer clear of these common car rental scams and enjoy a hassle-free road trip in Crete.

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Balos Beach, Crete, Greece
Photo by Eleni Afiontzi on Unsplash

Renting A Car in Heraklion: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions I receive when discussing car rentals in Crete, specifically in Heraklion. If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Is it safe to rent a car in Heraklion, Crete?

Yes, it’s safe to rent a car in Heraklion, Crete! The island is a popular tourist destination, and car rental companies are well-equipped to cater to visitors. Just be sure to choose a reputable rental company, like those featured on Discover Cars, and follow local driving rules and regulations.

Is it safe to drive in Crete?

Absolutely, it’s safe to drive in Crete! While the island’s roads may be a bit winding and narrow in some areas, they’re generally well-maintained and easy to navigate. Just be sure to familiarize yourself with local driving rules and regulations, stay alert, and drive cautiously, especially in more remote regions.

Chania, Crete, Greece
Photo by Matthieu Oger on Unsplash

Is driving in Crete easy?

Driving in Crete can be easy and enjoyable, particularly if you’re prepared for the island’s unique road conditions. While you may come across some winding roads, narrow streets, and occasional steep inclines, overall, navigating the island is relatively straightforward.

Is it worth renting a car in Crete?

Renting a car in Crete is definitely worth it for those looking to explore the island at their own pace. With a car at your disposal, you’ll have the freedom to visit hidden gems, stunning beaches, and picturesque villages that might be difficult to reach by public transportation. Plus, you can create a personalized itinerary, allowing you to make the most of your time in Crete. So, if you’re up for an adventure and eager to uncover the island’s beauty beyond the usual tourist spots, renting a car is a fantastic option.

Can I rent a car in Heraklion and return it in Chania?

Sure, just select the appropriate pickup and drop-off locations in the Discover Cars search. There are several cars that you can rent in Heraklion and return in Chania.

Discover Cars - different locations

Is there Uber in Heraklion?

Uber is not available in Heraklion or anywhere in Crete. However, you’ll find that local taxis are easy to come by and can be a convenient option for short trips within the city. For those looking to explore the island more extensively, renting a car remains the best choice, as it provides the flexibility and freedom to discover Crete’s stunning landscapes and charming villages at your leisure.

Do you need a car in Heraklion, Crete?

While you don’t absolutely need a car in Heraklion, Crete, having one can significantly enhance your experience on the island. Heraklion itself is walkable, and public transportation can get you to some of the popular tourist spots. However, renting a car provides the freedom and flexibility to explore Crete’s hidden gems, beautiful beaches, and quaint villages at your own pace. With a car, you’ll have the opportunity to venture off the beaten path, discover lesser-known attractions, and create a personalized itinerary that suits your interests. So, while it’s not essential, having a car in Heraklion, Crete, can truly elevate your island adventure.

What’s the best place to rent a car in Crete?

The best place to rent a car in Crete largely depends on your preferences and travel plans. Many visitors choose to rent a car at the airport, either in Heraklion or Chania, for the sake of convenience upon arrival. Alternatively, you can rent a car in the city centers or at popular tourist destinations across the island. It’s important to compare prices, read customer reviews, and choose a reputable rental company, such as Discover Cars, to ensure a hassle-free experience. By doing your research and booking in advance, you’ll be able to find the perfect car rental option to suit your needs and make your Crete adventure one for the books!

Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece
Photo by Egor Myznik on Unsplash

What’s the best car rental at Heraklion Airport?

My personal recommendation is Discover Cars, which I’ve found to offer excellent customer service, competitive prices, and a diverse selection of vehicles. To make an informed decision, it’s essential to compare various rental companies, read customer reviews, and consider factors such as additional fees and insurance options.

How much does it cost to rent a car in Heraklion?

The cost of renting a car in Heraklion can vary depending on factors such as the type of vehicle, rental duration, and the time of year. Renting a car in Crete for one week in the high season (July) in 2023 starts at EUR € 236.53. Keep in mind that prices can fluctuate, and last-minute bookings or peak tourist seasons may result in higher rates. To secure the best deal, it’s recommended to compare prices, book in advance, and take advantage of any available discounts.

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What is the best way to travel around Crete?

The best way to travel around Crete largely depends on your personal preferences and travel goals. Renting a car is a popular choice, as it offers the freedom and flexibility to explore the island’s stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, and charming villages at your own pace. With a car, you can create a customized itinerary and venture off the beaten path to discover hidden gems. Alternatively, you can rely on public transportation, such as buses and ferries, to visit popular tourist spots, or even join guided tours for a more structured experience. Or you can also book guided tours to the most popular destinations and enjoy your vacation hassle-free.

What do I need to rent a car in Heraklion, Crete?

To rent a car in Heraklion, Crete, you’ll need two essential documents: a valid driving license, a passport or ID card, and a credit card. Your driving license should be recognized internationally or issued by an EU country. The credit card, in the name of the primary driver, is necessary for the security deposit when you pick up the vehicle. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rental company’s specific requirements, such as age restrictions or additional paperwork, before booking.

What side of the road do they drive on in Crete?

In Crete, just like the rest of Greece, they drive on the right side of the road. This might take a little getting used to if you’re from a country where you drive on the left, but don’t worry! With a bit of practice and extra caution, you’ll quickly become comfortable navigating the island’s roads.

Lasithi Plateau, Crete, Greece
Photo by Joshua Kettle on Unsplash

What are the top car rental companies in Heraklion, Crete?

There are several top car rental companies in Heraklion, Crete, catering to various preferences and budgets. Some of the highly-rated options include EasyAuto, CarQ, Alma Car Hire, SIXT, Alamo, and Royal Rentals. These companies offer a wide range of vehicles and services to ensure a smooth and hassle-free rental experience. To find the best fit for your needs, it’s essential to compare prices, read customer reviews, and check for any additional fees or requirements.

Why is Discover Cars so cheap?

Discover Cars offers competitive car rental prices due to several factors. As a comparison platform, they aggregate offers from various providers, ensuring a range of cost-effective options. Their online operation reduces overhead costs, and they often have promotions or discounts. Additionally, customers can opt for basic packages without extras, further reducing costs.

Top things to visit in Crete

Now that you have a rental car, you must be wondering – what to see in Crete? There are so many things to see and do that a one-week vacation won’t be enough!

However, if you had to choose just 3 most iconic things to do in Crete, I’d suggest these:

  1. Exploring the Palace of Knossos, the ruins of the ancient Minoan city where the legend says the Minotaur lived
  2. Visiting the stunning beaches of Elafonissi and Balos, which are considered some of the most beautiful in the world
  3. Hiking the Samaria Gorge, which is regarded as one of the best hikes in Crete

Travel tips and tricks:

  • Save big on flights with Skyscanner.com – This incredible tool lets you find the most affordable airfare to your dream destination. You’ll love their “Whole Month” feature, which displays the best prices for the entire month. If you’re flexible with travel dates, this is a game-changer for scoring the cheapest tickets.
  • Stay in the heart of the action – I always find the perfect accommodation on Booking.com. Their map view lets me filter hotels by my budget and select ones that are right in the center of it all. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this easy way to book your ideal stay!
  • Go beyond the resort – I’m all about making the most of my trips, and GetYourGuide.com has been a lifesaver for booking unforgettable tours and day trips. It’s the most hassle-free way to dive into the local culture and explore the hidden gems in every new place.
  • Hit the road with DiscoverCars.com – There’s no better way to explore your destination than by car! Renting a vehicle has never been easier, and with their competitive prices, you’ll have the freedom to create your own adventures.

I highly recommend trying these tools for yourself – not only will you save money, but you’ll also create memories that last a lifetime. Happy travels!


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