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Tips For Driving A Car In Corfu

Corfu is a beautiful green island with a stunning scenery and many sights scattered around the island which makes it perfect for a road trip. Whether you are planning to bring your own car on the ferry or rent a car upon arrival, there are many things to consider when driving a car in an unfamiliar environment or country. This might feel overwhelming, but there’s no need to worry as we have listed everything you need to know about driving in Corfu, from traffic rules, to parking, and many other tips to stay safe and have a comfortable trip around the island.

Why Drive In Corfu

Corfu is a beautiful island with great nature, amazing beaches, historic towns and many other sights. Although you can get around the island by bus, navigating the public transport is more complicated and you don’t get to stop everywhere you want. With a (rental) car you have much more flexibility and you can get to some of the most beautiful places on the island that you can’t otherwise get to. If you don’t feel like driving, you can also book one of the many available tours.

Getting To Corfu By Car

Since Corfu is an island there are no roads leading to it, but there are regular car ferries that will take you with your car to the island from the mainland of Greece (Igoumenitsa), but also from Albania (Saranda).

Renting A Car In Corfu

To avoid the hassle of taking your car on a boat you can also rent a car upon arrival in Corfu. The main place to do this is in Corfu Town at the airport or the ferry port, but there are also other places around the island where you can pick up a rental car. Prices very heavily based on the demand, so you can expect higher prices during the busy summer months, compared to the rest of the year. For the cheapest prices it’s best to search and compare the offers of different car rental companies via our car rental page and book upfront.

Is It Safe To Drive In Corfu?

Driving in a foreign country always feels a bit more adventurous because you’re out of your comfort zone, but it’s perfectly safe to drive in Corfu if you drive cautiously and adhere to the traffic rules. Many roads on the island, especially in the mountains, are narrow so always drive slowly and be careful of the oncoming traffic.

Traffic Rules

In Corfu the same traffic rules apply as in the rest of Greece. The rules don’t differ much from most other countries but there are a few things that are good to know that might be different than what you’re used to.

Driving On The Right

Like in most countries in Europe, in Greece (including Corfu) you have to drive on the right-hand side of the road.

Speed Limits

For your own and other’s safety, always adhere to the applicable speed limits when driving in Corfu. Unless otherwise indicated, the maximum speeds for cars are as follows:

  • Urban areas: 50 km/h
  • Outside urban areas: 90 km/h
  • Motorways: There are no motorways in Corfu.

Roundabouts

Traffic on a roundabout needs to give way to approaching vehicles entering the roundabout, unless this is otherwise indicated by signs.

Lights

In Corfu it’s not mandatory to have your (beam) lights on when driving during the day, unless the weather circumstances are causing reduced sight.

Mandatory Equipment

When driving a car in Greece, it’s mandatory to have the following equipment on board: a warning triangle, a first aid kit, and a fire extinguisher. If you rent a car, this equipment should be included but it’s recommended to check this when you pick up the car. It’s also recommended to carry yellow vests for all passengers and a torch with you.

Winter Tires And Snow Chains

The use of winter tires is not mandatory in Greece. The use of snow chains is only allowed if the road is covered by snow or ice.

Mobile Phones And Headphones

Drivers are not allowed to have a mobile phone in their hand while driving and can get a fine for doing so. Making phone calls is only allowed hands free. The use of in-ear or over-ear headphones is not allowed while driving.

Alcohol And Drugs

The maximum blood alcohol level to be allowed to drive a car in Corfu is 0.5 permille, but for drivers who’ve had their permit for less then 2 years, for professional drivers, and motorcyclists, the limit is 0.2 permille. Violations can lead to high fines and even to imprisonment, so never exceed these limits. Never drive under the influence of drugs as this is extremely dangerous and strictly prohibited.

Driving In The Mountains

Corfu has many hills and mountains, which means narrow and steep roads with a lot of bends. Driving in the mountains is not very difficult and rather fun, but it’s good to be aware of how to drive these roads. First of all, if you are descending down a declining road, you need to give way to the oncoming ascending vehicles if space is limited. On mountain roads it’s also important to use the correct gear based on the steepness of the road. When driving uphill, in most cases it’s recommended to use the 2nd gear, and shift down to the 1st gear when needed. When driving downhill, it’s best not to drive in neutral or use the clutch, but to shift down the gear to slow down. This way you avoid having to use the breaks all the time which is better for the car.

Toll Roads

There are no toll roads in Corfu and there’s also no need to buy a toll vignette like in some other European countries, so you don’t need to worry about any extra costs for driving around the island.

Parking

Street parking is free in Corfu, including in the old city Corfu Town, unless otherwise indicated or signs indicate that parking is prohibited. Also make sure not to park at a yellow line because this is prohibited. Paid parking lots are also available in the capital city and at some private locations in other parts of the island.

Petrol Stations

There are many petrol stations in Corfu and most of them are open from the early morning until the evening and some are even open 24/7. Most petrol stations offer service, so you don’t have to fill up your tank yourself, but they might try to sell you the more expensive petrol with a 98 octane level in stead of the cheaper and more common 95 octane level, so make sure that you get the right type of petrol (or diesel).

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