Thessaloniki is a popular holiday destination for those looking to escape the daily grind. With dozens of cafes & restaurants, historical sites, and authentic Greek culture, it’s no wonder that thousands visit the city each year for a quick break. But with such a large influx of places to visit, many think that renting a vehicle is necessary to get around and see everything about Thessaloniki.
Booking a car hire in Thessaloniki Airport is the most cost-effective way to start your traveling. However, one concern for those planning a trip is the necessity of an International Driving License or not. In this guide, we’ll take a look at driving regulations in Thessaloniki and Greece – whether or not you need one to rent a car.
Do I need International Driving License to Rent a Car in Thessaloniki?
Each rental car agency in Thessaloniki has its own requirements for renting a vehicle. Some may ask for a deposit, others may ask for a credit card. Some may also require a passport photocopy and additional government-issued IDs. Inquiring about the agency’s requirements beforehand is always a good idea before you rent a car in Thessaloniki airport.
In general, to rent a car in Thessaloniki airport, you must have a valid National Driver’s License (NDL) that has been held for at least 1 year. If your driver’s license has been issued in Greece or anywhere within the European Union, you won’t be required to show an International Driving License. However, driver’s licenses issued from all non-EU countries need to be accompanied with a valid International Driving License (IDL).
Keep in mind that the International Driving License is not a substitute for a regular driver’s license. Therefore, when driving in Greece, you must always have your valid driver’s license and IDL with you. In addition, you must be over 23 years old to rent a car. Be sure to double-check with the rental agency for its exact requirements before moving forward with the rental process.
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How to Get an International Driving License
An International Driving Permit is relatively simple to obtain because only two agencies in the US are authorized to issue them, the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the National Automobile Club (NAC).
To apply, you need to fill out the respective agency’s application, pay the needed fee, and show two passport-sized pictures as well as a copy of your state-issued driver’s license. If you go to the main AAA office, they can take a photo for you at the time you apply. Once everything is approved and processed, you will receive an IDL after just a few minutes.
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Driving Tips in Thessaloniki and Thessaloniki Airport
It’s always good to familiarize yourself with the local driving regulations before renting a car in Thessaloniki Airport.
Greece, like many other countries, has its traffic laws. However, drivers are also expected to adhere to common courtesy and respect other road users. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Inside cities, villages, and residential areas, the speed limit on Thessaloniki is usually 50 km/h, although it can be as low as 30 km/h. On the other hand, the maximum permissible speed is 90 km/h.
- Parking regulations in Thessaloniki are enforced throughout the island, particularly in popular tourist destinations. Illegal parking can lead to a fine of up to 80 Euros and your vehicle’s plate number will be removed. If such a thing happens, It will be returned after 20 days.
- Seatbelts are required by law in Thessaloniki , so if you are traveling with children or have passengers in the car, be sure to wear your seatbelt at all times.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited – this applies to both Greek citizens and foreign visitors alike.
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