We going to Santorini in May and plan on getting a car rental. Is an international license needed? I know some countries its not but i'm not sure there
Sometimes it's possible to rent a car just by showing your passport and a current drivers license. No problem. BUT.................... If you get in an accident and don't have the IDP you'll be in serious trouble with the Greek Police. Greek Law requires it and if you can't produce it you could possibly be detained until you come up with the cash to pay for any and all damages to the vehicles involved regardless of whose fault it is and whether or not the damages were pre-existing (especially if the other car belongs to a local seizing the opportunity to play the system!) AND................... Your insurance will be invalidated because technically you will have been driving illegally. And in that regard I also encourage you to take out the local insurance offered when you pick up the car, as much coverage as you can get. Don't rely on the automatic insurance your credit card claims to provide you. You'll be in a foreign country and there won't be a claims adjustor handy.
Just as important: Don't take "No Problem" as a substitute for indicating on the rental acceptance form every little scratch, dent, tear, stain, crack and missing part on the vehicle, inside and out and underneath. Take photos to back up your inspection. If the rental agent resists signing off on all that you've indicated walk away and find another agency.
Tom , Lee is giving you great advice !! To see more , go to the General Europe section and scroll down . There is an ongoing and VERY informative thread about this . I am one of those who always has an IDP to hand !!
tom, As Lee pointed out so well, YES an International Driver's Permit IS needed for driving in Greece. Note that it's not a "license" but rather a translation of the terms of your home D.L. (which you must pack along as well). Also as mentioned, you may never be asked to produce the I.D.P., but if you're involved in any kind of "road incident" and can't produce one, your holiday will become unpleasant very quickly! You'll have to give some thought to the issue of CDW as well. Lately, I've been opting for the maximum coverage from the rental agency, even though it's expensive. I'd rather pay more than have to worry about deductibles and other terms. I always renew my I.D.P. every year, whether I'm planning to drive in Europe or not. I have rented on Santorini and was asked to produce an I.D.P. Happy travels!
It is required and many of the Greek rental agencies require the IDP to even rent a car. And another vote for having an IDP for any foreign driving.
As well as having an IDP take pictures all around the car especially if it has no dings. It is hard to argue with a picture. We will be in Santorini in May also. Our hotel delivers the car to us and they pick it up after we leave. Love that island. We will be renting on Crete, Milos and Sifnos also. On Milos we will be doing a round the island tour for one day so will do that before we rent the car.