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Driving in Greece

If you're driving in Greece your checklist requirements are:

  • A valid, full UK driving licence - both the photo and paper parts
  • A GB sticker on the back of your car - unless your car has 'Euro-plates' (number-plates that show a circle of 12 stars on a blue background)
  • Your motor insurance certificate
  • A fire extinguisher
  • A first aid kit
  • Headlamp converters (stickers you put on your headlights when you're driving on the right, so your lights don't dazzle motorists coming the other way)
  • A warning triangle inside the car in case you break down

You must also:

  • Be 18 or over
  • Wear your seatbelt when travelling in the front of the car - it's advisable to wear one in the back too
  • Wear a crash helmet if you're riding a motorcycle

It's a good idea to have:

  • Spare bulbs for your car's external lights
  • A Camping Card International to give you additional proof of identity, third party liability insurance, plus discounts at a wide range of campsites and tourist attractions. Find out more here
  • A Green Card - it's a useful back-up to your motor insurance documents and shows you've got the minimum legal level of cover. If you'd like to find out more, contact your insurance company

Other things you should know:

  • You might have to pay motorway tolls - these are usually payable in cash so take plenty of change with you
  • It's illegal to carry any radar detection equipment, whether or not it's switched on
  • Petrol and diesel are readily available at most filling stations, along with Super 2002 which contains a lead-replacement additive. You can't get LPG for private cars
  • Don't let your tank get too low - petrol stations usually close in the evenings and on Sundays
  • Children under age 10 can't travel in the front seat without a suitable seat restraint
  • Children age 5 and under must use an appropriate seat restraint at all times
  • The speed limit is 50kph in towns, 110kph on open roads and 120kph on motorways
  • If you're caught committing a driving offence whilst driving through Greece, you'll be given a fine but you won't have to pay it on the spot
  • The drink-driving limit is 25mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood for most drivers - lower than the UK limit of 80mg per 100ml. If you've held your licence for two years or less, the limit is 10mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood
  • Many roads are three lanes wide, one lane going each way and a middle lane for passing from either direction
  • Where there's little room to overtake, faster drivers will expect other drivers to pull over at the side of the road so they can pass
  • You should only use your horn in an emergency
  • If you have an accident and you have a camera to hand, you're expected to photograph anyone involved in the incident, plus any potholes or damage in the road
  • If you're approaching traffic lights and they're about to change to red, check your rear-view mirror - locals may well speed up to get through
  • For the same reason, be careful pulling away when the lights change to green - you might find there are still cars coming the other way
  • The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises travellers not to hire motorbikes, mopeds or scooters - but if you must, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Find out more here

Useful guides and maps

    Michelin - National Map Greece
    Michelin Motoring Atlas: Europe

What RAC can do for you

RAC offers great-value, flexible RAC European breakdown cover tailored to meet your needs. We also offer comprehensive travel insurance, including cover for medical expenses, baggage, personal money and belongings.


Sources: Foreign & Commonwealth Office, www.nationaldrivesafe.co.uk, www.aboutdrivingabroad.co.uk.

Disclaimer: RAC are not responsible for the content of external websites. The information provided is correct as of August 2009 to the best of our knowledge and should be referred to for information purposes only - it should not be relied upon as formal advice. Please always check the current requirements of the country you are visiting before you leave.

There are regular strikes. These are sometimes called at short notice and can cause disruption to public transport in and out of Greece (including air travel and ports). Demonstrations take place regularly in central Athens, and have also taken place in other towns and cities. You should avoid all demonstrations and follow the advice given by local security authorities. See Major pre-planned strikes and demonstrations

In the early hours of 10 April there was a large explosion outside the Bank of Greece in central Athens. There are no reported injuries.

There is a general threat from terrorism and acts of political violence. See Terrorism

The emergency services number in Greece is 112. Calling 999 from a UK mobile in Greece will automatically transfer you to the Greek emergency services.

Around 2 million British nationals visit Greece every year. Most visits are trouble-free, but you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. See Crime

Carry a copy of your passport or other photographic ID which confirms British nationality at all times.

The Greek police will not accept rowdy or indecent behaviour, especially where excessive drinking is involved. Greek courts impose heavy fines or prison sentences on people who behave indecently. Your travel insurance may not cover you after drinking. See Local laws and customs.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

FCO TRAVEL ADVICE - know before you go - fco.gov.uk/travel
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