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Travellers need International Driving License for car rental in Greece

Non-EU travelers will be required to hold an International Driving Permit (IDP) together with a valid national driver’s license if they wish to rent vehicles in Greece.  According to recent regulation, the law foresees hefty fines in case of violation for both customers and rental services as well as seizure of the vehicle.

The Greek Car Rental Companies Association (STEEA), representing rental services across Greece, is calling on the transport ministry to re-examine the law and make clarifications.

“The lack of clarity on the part of the ministry will lead to misinterpretation and heavy fines in cases where – wrongly so – drivers did not hold an International Driving Permit,” STEEA said, adding that the said law “discriminates against car rental companies in that penalties apply only to rental services”.

“This may pose a problem for tourists who neglected to bring the international permit because they will not be able to rent a car in our country. The fines are huge and a circular from the ministry is needed to clarify the situation especially in view of the start of the summer season as it may impact car rental companies and tourism overall,” STEEA director Anna Vlachava told the Athens News Agency.

In most cases, issuing an IDP takes about a day and is valid for a year. For travel to EU countries, Greeks can apply for a relevant one- or three-year permit from ELPA (Automobile and Touring Club of Greece).

I read somewhere that an IDP is needed also for motorcycle rentals.

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5 comments

  1. As far as I know this was allready the case but not enforced. We started asking for IDP since 2015 (see also https://gr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/driving-in-greece/) for everyone outside the EU

  2. “In most cases, issuing an IDP takes about a day and is valid for a year. For travel to EU countries, Greeks can apply for a relevant one- or three-year permit from ELPA (Automobile and Touring Club of Greece).”

    Just to clear your statement :- Greeks do not need an IDP to drive in EU countries. I thought everybody knew this.

  3. i don’t know what happens with the non-UE persons in greece… (means also the swiss residents). a package from switzerland costs : 15€ as fixed tax + 24% fipia/TVA. i received a package from switzerland which costed me more in taxes than its value.

  4. Hecataeus Miletus

    Not sure why this is an issue because as long as I can remember, all non-EU citizens require their national (or US state) drivers license along with the international driving permit if they are going to drive in Greece as a tourist. In fact, the Greek police can ticket you for not driving with a proper license if you don’t. It’s just now the rental car companies need to check, as they should have always done prior to renting out cars. Every tourist, prior to a trip to a foreign country, just like they check VISA requirements, should check driving requirements.