*Based on an individual aged 31 with no pre-existing medical conditions taking single trip cover for 7 days to Spain. Cover starts on October 1, 2022 and ends on October 7, 2022. Price correct as of September 30, 2022.
We compare a huge range of one-way and return car hire deals from over 20 leading rental companies
Known for its pretty white washed buildings, traditional seaside tavernas and clear blue waters, the island of Santorini is a haven for holidaymakers after a true slice of Greek culture. Hire a car in 2022 and discover the charms of this spectacular island for yourself.
If you’re arriving on Santorini by air, you’ll find a range of hire car companies at Santorini Airport (JRT), located a 10-minute drive from Fira and half an hour from Oia. Major brands such as Hertz and Avis are here, as well as local operators, so it's easy to shop around for cheap deals.
The car hire desks at Santorini Airport are located in the arrivals hall or just outside the terminal building.
Car hire companies with desks at Santorini Airport (JTR) include:
Hertz/Thrifty (Tel: +30 22 8603 3670)
Budget/Avis (Tel: +30 22 86033887)
Sixt (Tel: +30 2286034102)
Avance (Tel: +30 2286033808)
If you’re arriving into Santorini by ferry or you simply want to hire a car for a few days of your trip, you might find it easier to pick up a cheap rental deal in a town rather than the airport. Santorini’s port and major towns all have car hire pick-up points, and you’ll also find many hotels and resorts may be able to organise rental too.
Having your own set of wheels in Santorini can be a godsend in high season, when the island’s bus network is packed with tourists. You may also find it easier to have a car in the winter months when the buses are less frequent.
If you do decide to hire a car in Santorini, you’ll find the roads are fairly quiet except in and around Fira, and other larger settlements, at certain times of the day. Place names and signposting are almost always in Greek and English, making navigation straightforward. It’s best to drive cautiously on most roads, especially winding coastal roads, as local drivers often travel along them at high speeds.
Most petrol stations in Santorini are full service, so wait for the attendant to fill up your car. When it comes to finding parking on the island, most towns and villages will offer free parking, which is indicated by a blue sign with a white P.
Santorini car rental rates are almost always cheaper if you book in advance, which can be a necessity in the peak tourist season when demand is high.
This is the quintessential Greek village, complete with traditional white buildings and stunning vineyards. It’s one of the most picturesque places to visit in Santorini, and its history goes back to the 17th century, when it was the home of wealthy wine merchants. Megalochori is dotted with historic mansions and has a delightful central square with some good local tavernas – an ideal spot to grab some lunch before moving on again.
Once the capital of Santorini, labyrinthine Pyrgos is now relatively off the beaten track – but it is well worth visiting to see its quaint houses and idyllic squares, as well as the remains of its 15th century Venetian castle. This is one of the highest points on the island, so there's an added bonus: stunning panoramic views as far as the eye can see. The castle is one of the best viewpoints.
Monastery of Prophet Elias
This peaceful monastery perches on Santorini’s tallest peak, just a short drive from Pyrgos. It was built in the 18th century and was once the location of a secret school that taught Greek language and culture during the Turkish occupation of the island. Nowadays, the monastery houses a museum that offers some interesting exhibitions, as well as workshops in printing and candle making. Like Pyrgos, it's a great spot for views of the island.
The road up to the Ancient Thera ruins is not much fun – it's cobbled, narrow and steep, and has near-constant switchbacks. Go for it if you're confident, but if not, try a local taxi or shuttle bus.
Frequent use of car horns is the norm in Santorini, so don’t worry if someone honks at you.
There are plenty of petrol stations about, but one tourist trail icon doesn't have one: Oia, please stand up. If you're heading here, fill up in advance.
All rental deals compared on TravelSupermarket include mandatory fees (for example, one-way and young driver surcharges) in your rental quote at the time of booking, meaning you’ll know the full price of your car hire upfront.
What age do I need to be to hire a vehicle in Santorini?
The minimum age set by most car hire companies operating in Santorini is 21. Anyone under 25 is classed as a ‘young driver’. If that’s you, expect vehicle category restrictions and a ‘young driver surcharge’.
What do I need to hire a vehicle in Santorini?
To hire a car in Santorini, you’ll need a valid driving licence, a passport or alternative of ID, and a current credit or debit card in your name. An International Driving Permit is not required if you hold a UK licence.
Do I need car hire excess insurance in Santorini?
You are not required by law to have car hire excess insurance in Santorini. That said, it’s one add-on that is highly recommended. With car hire excess insurance, you’re better protected if you have to make a claim – any excess you’re liable to pay is either covered or reduced, for example. A policy offered by a standalone provider is usually cheaper than what you’d pay at a car hire desk.
Can I rent a car with a debit card in Santorini?
You can certainly hire a car in Santorini with a debit card. However, many car hire companies prefer payments by credit card. As payments policies vary from one car hire provider to the next, it’s worth reading the terms and conditions ahead of making a booking.
Which rental companies are available at Santorini Airport?
The following car hire companies can be found within arrivals at Santorini Airport: Avance, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Sixt, Suntime and Thrifty. Pre-book to get the best deal and save valuable time.
Is it cheaper to rent a car at the airport or off site in Santorini?
Generally, it’s cheaper to hire a car off site than at the airport, as a ‘premium location fee’ will be added to your bill at the latter. Still, you can get a good deal at an airport, especially if you pre-book.
Can you rent a car in one city in Santorini and drop it off in another?
As some car hire firms have multiple branches in Santorini, it’s possible. To be sure, check with your provider in advance. However, the most convenient option is to pick up and drop off your hire car at the airport.
Can you rent a car the same day in Santorini?
It’s possible to rent a car the same day in Santorini, but you might find that your options are extremely limited. You’ll also pay more – walk-up rates are typically more expensive. Ideally, search and compare deals in advance online, and then pre-book your hire car.
Can I hire a vehicle at 21 years of age in Santorini?
If you are 21 years of age, you can indeed hire a car in Santorini – so long as you’ve held your driving licence for at least a year. Some terms and conditions will apply, so expect a ‘young driver fee’ and restrictions on the type of car you can hire.