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Essentials

Driving licence

National driving licences conforming with the model in Annex 9 of the 1949 Convention or in Annex 6 of the 1968 Convention or with the European Communities’ model are accepted.

Visitors may ride mopeds or motorcycles of any cylinder capacity or drive private cars in Greece if they have reached the minimum age required in their country of residence. A foreign driving licence does not entitle the holder to drive in Greece until the age of 18yrs old.

International Driving Permits (1949 or 1968) are recognised.

Important documents

When driving in Greece the following documents should be carried: 

  • Full, valid driving licence* 
  • Proof of insurance/green card (third party or above)
  • Proof of ID (passport)
  • Proof of ownership (V5C certificate)

While driving in Greece you are required by law to carry the following items. Hefty on-the-spot fines can be issued for failing to carry specific items: 

  • Headlamp beam deflectors (depending on your car, you will either need deflector stickers or have to adjust the beam manually)
  • Vehicles registered in Greece or abroad must carry a warning triangle
  • Fire extinguisher/first aid kit are compulsory on board private vehicle
  • Motorcyclists: riders and all passengers of motorcycles must wear crash helmets

Rules of the road & regulations

Rules of the road

Overtaking & passing

Drive on the right, overtake on the left.

Overtaking is prohibited when approaching an unguarded level crossing and if the vehicle has stopped for safety reasons.

Priority

Outside towns, traffic moving along a main road has priority at intersections. In towns, vehicles coming from the right have priority. Vehicles approaching roundabouts must give way to vehicles coming from the right.

Warning of approach

All motor vehicles must be fitted with an audible warning device with a low pitched, regular tone. Multi-toned sirens, hooters and whistles are strictly prohibited. 

The horn must not be used in towns, unless it is the only means of avoiding an accident.

Towing

Inventories are not required unless the trailer contains special equipment.

Maximum dimensions:
Height: 4 metres
Width: 2.55 metres
Overall length: 18 metres (vehicle + trailer)

Seat belts

It is compulsory to wear seat belts on all seats equipped with a belt. If a visitor is exempted from wearing the belt on medical grounds, he must carry the medical certificate of exemption accompanied by a translation into Greek.

Travelling with children

Children under 3 years must be placed in a suitable child restraint. Approved child restraints are those conforming with standard ECE R44/03 (or later).

Children between 3 and 11 years, measuring less than 1.35m must be seated in an appropriate child restraint for their size.

From the age of 12, children measuring over 1.35m can wear an adult seat belt.

Placing a rear-facing child restraint in the front passenger seat is allowed only on condition that the passenger airbag is deactivated.

Speed limits

Ordinary RoadsMotorwaysBuilt-up Areas
Moped40 km/h40 km/h
Motorcycle70 km/h90 km/h40 km/h
Car90/110 km/h130 km/h*50 km/h
Car with Caravan or Trailer80 km/h80 km/h50 km/h
Lorry up to 3.5t80 km/h90 km/h40 km/h
Lorry over to 3.5t80 km/h80 km/h40 km/h
Lorry carrying dangerous goods50 km/h50 km/h40 km/h

* Maximum speed limit of 130km/h allowed on motorways except when a road sign indicates a reduced speed limit

Penalties

On-the-spot fines

The Greek police is authorised to impose fines in cases of violation of traffic regulations, but fines may not be collected on the spot by the police. Motorists must pay the fines within 10 days otherwise legal proceedings will be started.

Confiscation of vehicles

Confiscation of vehicles takes place only in the case of very serious offences and only after a court of law has issued such a decision.

Parking

Parking regulations

Regulations concerning standing and parking conform to the provisions of the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic.

Enforcement of parking regulations

Wheel clamps are not used in Greece.

Vehicles can be towed away by the police. The driver must pay a fine for its release.

Traffic lights

Traffic lights

The international 3-colour traffic light system is used.

Drink/drug driving

Legal limit

Legal limit: 0.05% (equivalent to 0.25 mg per litre of breath)

A lower limit of 0.02% (0.10 mg per litre of breath) applies to novice drivers who have held a driving licence for less than two years, to motorcyclists and to drivers of commercial or business vehicles.

If the amount of alcohol in the blood is 0.05% or over, this constitutes a criminal offence and penalties are imposed.

Alcohol

The police may impose a test on any suspected person in order to establish if he is under the influence of alcohol.  Drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol are compelled to accept this test and their refusal may lead to penalties including imprisonment, a fine and the withdrawal of their driving licence.

Availability of fuel

Petrol and lubricants are readily available in all towns and villages.  LPG may not be used in private cars, only in taxis.

Means of payment

Some petrol stations accept credit cards.