Yahsu! There are a lot of things to keep in mind while driving in Greece. Greek drivers do not like to be told what to do, so traffic laws and regulations are not well respected. Following the rules is seen as a weakness of character by many Greek men. This is why you should remain calm at all times, even when other drivers honk their horn at you or attempt to pass you dangerously. If you are a nervous driver, beware. This might not be the place for you to take your car out on a pleasure ride! So the best tip for driving in Greece is "drive defensively".
Oh, and try to avoid the rush hours in Athens. In fact, try to avoid the rush hours in any city in Greece.
The roads in Greece are of different qualities as you travel around the coutnry. Most major cities are well interconnected with multi-lane highways. Because Greece is a country full of mountains, driving may be difficult, therefore extra caution is advised. But this comes with the advantage of spectacular views and scenic landscapes. Road signs are easily understandable as they contain standard symbols without any text.
The people of Greece drive on the right side of the road and the same traffic rules apply as in the United States. However, something new to US drivers would be circles and roundabouts. It is used as a perpetual-motion intersection to get traffic flowing.
Most of the roads in Greece are toll free, except two special roads known as Ethiniki Odos and the National Road.
The minimum age requirement for driving in Greece is 18.
Seatbelts for front seat passengers are mandatory. Greece is ranked second with the highest number of deaths caused by traffic accidents per million inhabitants among the 27 member states of the European Union, so it is a good idea for all passangers to be securely fastened at all times. Children below 10 years of age cannot sit in the front and must be seated at the back with a seatbelt fastened or in an approved child safety seat.
Speed limits vary depending on where you are driving in Greece. On freeways and expressways the speed limit can go up to 130kph.
Speed limits in Greece are as follows:
Be aware that speed limits for motorcycles are 40km/h, 70km/h and 90km/h respectively.
Although the legally allowed blood alcohol limit is higher than most countries (0.5 mg/ml per litter), going over the limit can cause you serious damage.
European citizens can use their own licenses. Otherwise, an International Driver’s license is required along with your domestic license. Be sure to carry all documents including driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance certificate along with your passport.
Parking laws in Greece are strict. It is illegal to park within 9 feet of a fire hydrant, 15 feet of an intersection and 45 feet from a bus stop. Some areas use parking meters but in others you might need to buy tickets from designated booths.
Most of the gas stations in Greece provide full service. They are well maintained, clean and usually efficient. free air pumps and water are available at every gas station. Most of them also have minimarkets which is quite convenient for long drives. Many gas stations offer self-service.
It is illigal to use horns in Urban areas, unless in case of emergencies or extreme danger.
It is illegal to use mobile phones while driving. If caught, you may be heavily fined.
It is important that every car is equipped with a warning triangle, a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher.