Bloggers Mal and Robin enjoying renting a car in Corfu and visiting beaches of the south cost.
|

Renting A Car In Corfu: 2024 Tips + Prices

Affiliate Disclosure Box For Renting a Car in Europe 101 Site

Renting a car in Corfu is a great way to see more of the idyllic island’s treasures. For around $40 a day, you can shoot off to lesser-visited beaches like Porto Timoni, explore historic buildings like the Vlacherna Monastery, and enjoy romance at legendary swimming holes like the Canal d’Amour.

We’ve been to Corfu twice as part of our adventures around the Greek islands. The first time we stayed in Acharavi and relied on public transport, which worked fine. The second time we stayed in Kavos and rented a car, which was so much better! It just made getting around a whole lot easier, so that we got to see way more of what this little gem has to offer.

In this post, we’ll cover all the essential info you’ll need, from the best car hire in Corfu to the parking situation to insurance coverage. We’ve even included four of our favourite places to visit by car.

๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ QUICK GUIDE ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ

  • Looking for a hotel with parking? Check Booking.com, search for the location youโ€™d like to stay in and filter โ€œParkingโ€ in the โ€œfacilitiesโ€ category.
  • In a hurry? Book your rental car here! โžก๏ธ Discover Cars

Should I Rent A Car In Corfu?

Porto Timoni.
Port Timoni Beach.

Is renting a car in Corfu worth it? For us, it definitely was, but here are some pros and cons to consider before you make your decision.

โœ… Exploring by car is convenient and comfortable. You can set your own schedule rather than being forced to rely on bus timetables or tour itineraries. It also means you don’t have to share your personal space with anybody else.

โœ… You’ll see more of the island. There’s quite a bit of Corfu you won’t be able to get to unless you have your own car or hire a driver for the day – which is considerably more expensive than renting a vehicle.

โœ… Stop for the views. Many of the roads cross scenic landscapes that you can more fully enjoy if you have your own car.

โš ๏ธ It’s more expensive to hire a car in Corfu. Buses are cheap, so even if there are four of you travelling together, they still offer better value for money.

โš ๏ธThere are additional expenses to consider. Aside from the basic rental, there’s also the petrol, the insurance, and the parking charges.

โš ๏ธ The roads can be basic. Although the main routes spreading out from Corfu Town are modern and well-maintained, these quickly descend into winding hillside streets or pothole-strewn tracks once you get off the main tourist trail.

Renting A Car In Corfu Greece: Logistics 

Car hire in Corfu will allow you to visit places like Kassiopi.
Kassiopi, Corfu.

The most important consideration to take into account if you decide to rent a car at Corfu is cost, but it’s also helpful to think ahead about things like parking and car pickup.  

How much does it cost to rent a car in Corfu?

We paid about $40 per day for a small, automatic car in June, which we booked a few months ahead of time.

That’s giving quite a specific example from our own experience, but prices can vary hugely according to several factors. 

First off, the type of car you choose obviously has an impact. If we’d gone for a manual vehicle, we could have shaved off a chunk of change from the total amount. On the other hand, a larger car from a big-name brand like Enterprise, Avis, or Europcar would have been more costly. 

Prices are also massively influenced by the season. During the peak of the summer holidays, you’ll usually see prices trip higher, so if you can travel outside of July and August, you’re guaranteed to see some savings.

Also, bear in mind that if you are younger than 25 years old, the price is often higher, or there may be an additional charge.

We used Discover Cars to find the best car rental in Corfu for our needs. They give you a broad overview of the different options, with an easy-to-use filter so you can narrow down the options to suit your preferences. 

โš ๏ธ While Discover Cars website ranks the cars based on top reviews, it’s wise to double-check the ratings of your chosen company on platforms like Trustpilot and Google Reviews. This extra step can safeguard you against potential negative experiences.

Is it difficult to drive in Corfu?

Paralia Sidari Corfu
Sidari.

Mostly no, but a little yes. We’ll explain! 

Overall, we had a fairly easy time driving around Corfu. Other drivers were mostly relaxed, and there were some very nice views. The well-travelled coastal roads from Corfu Town are in good shape, which adds to the sense of scenic calm.

However, there are also some mountain roads that are in less good condition. Plus, you can expect a few narrow passes and sharp turns to be thrown your way. 

We didn’t encounter anything that made us think, oh my God, I wish I’d never rented a car, but it does just require that little bit of extra concentration that some people might find stressful.

Is parking easy in Corfu?

Streets of Sidari Town.
In Sidari, the streets marked with yellow lines indicate no parking zones.

During peak summer, parking can be a little more challenging, but it’s not as bad as on some of the Greek islands we’ve visited. Possibly the most annoying thing about the parking is the prices!

If you visit Corfu Town on a day trip, we recommend heading to a parking lot that’s referred to on Google Maps as ‘Parking Corfu 2’. It’s a short walk from the centre of town, and we only paid €6 to park for the whole day.

Rent a car from Corfu Airport

Car rental from Corfu Airport is the standard. Most of the hire car companies are based around here, which means the prices are cheaper. 

From a visitor perspective, it’s also super convenient just to fly in, pick up the car, and make your own way to your accommodation.

Rent a car from Corfu Port

You can also rent a car in Corfu Port, which is marginally closer to the main town – but not by much. 

Car rentals are more expensive if you choose this as your starting/returning point, although you may decide it works better with your overall itinerary. 

Ferries come into Corfu from places like Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland, Ionian islands like Paxi, and even cities in Italy like Brindisi and Bari.

Corfu Car Rental: Requirements

Blogger Mal visiting Kanoni Beach.
The best part about hiring a car in Corfu is finding gorgeous swimming spots such as Kanoni Beach.

So what do you need to get a rent car in Corfu Greece? There are only a few essentials, and they’re all pretty standard:

  • A valid driver’s licence.
  • An additional form of ID like a passport or identification card.
  • Insurance.
  • Rental voucher

Is My US Driver’s License Valid In Greece?

Yes, anybody with a US driver’s license can legally operate a vehicle in Greece without any additional documentation. However, some car hire companies may request an International Driving Permit (IDP) as part of the rental agreement, so make sure to check the terms and conditions.

Can I Rent A Car In Greece With A UK Driver’s License?

Yes, renting a car in Corfu with a UK license is perfectly fine. It’s exactly the same as having a US license.

Do I Need Insurance For Renting A Car In Corfu?

Yes, insurance is a legal requirement when hiring a car in Corfu. Third-party liability insurance is mandatory, which is why most rental agreements come with it included, but make sure to go over the Ts and Cs before committing to a vehicle provider.

Do I Need A Credit Card To Rent A Car In Corfu Greece?

That depends. Some companies will only accept bookings if you supply a credit card that they can use to secure a deposit. Other businesses will settle for a debit card. 

Hiring A Car In Corfu: Practical Tips

If you rent a car in Corfu, make sure to visit Agios Spiridon Beach.
Agios Spiridon Beach.

To make sure everything goes smoothly, here are a few things we would recommend you do based on our own experience of renting a car in Corfu.

โœ”๏ธ Get Full Insurance Cover

We usually rent through Discover Cars and add their full insurance coverage onto the bill. It was about $15 a day for our Corfu trip, but the peace of mind was priceless – cheesy but true!

We’ve been especially conscientious about getting comprehensive insurance on the Greek islands after we incurred €900 in damages simply because a lady opened her car door into our vehicle, causing a huge dent in the side. Fortunately, we were covered, but that could have been a massive headache.

The Discover Cars coverage basically takes care of any fees you might have to pay related to excess charges for damage or theft, repair costs related to windows and mirrors, plus miscellaneous stuff like admin charges.

There are a lot of different policies out there, however, so you certainly have options. Whatever you decide to go with, double check all the fine print, paying especial attention to things like excesses, limits, and exclusions, which often catch people out.

Also, make sure to examine what’s covered by the basic car rental policy. At a minimum, we would expect the legally mandated third-party liability insurance as well as a collision damage waiver.

Corfu Porto Timoni
Porto Timoni Beach.

โœ”๏ธ Book Your Car In Advance

Cars can get booked out quickly between May and September when the tourist floodgates open. That’s especially true if you need an automatic. 

Of course, you probably won’t be completely marooned without any options, but you will find that the best deals and vehicles have been snapped up.

Hire prices fluctuate greatly based on supply and demand, so if you want cheap car hire in Corfu, make sure to get in there early.

โœ”๏ธ Use Credit Card For Deposit

We always use a credit card for a vehicle deposit, whether we’re trying to hire a car in Corfu or Cape Town. It not only tends to save you a few bucks, but it also means greater protection for your money.

In general, car rental companies will only put a hold on your credit card when taking a deposit. This hold will be quickly removed once the car is returned undamaged.

If you use a debit card, however, the deposit amount will be withdrawn from your bank account and held by the car rental company. When you return your car (hopefully unscathed), they will refund the money, but this takes longer than simply removing a hold, potentially causing cashflow problems.

Plus, because money is actually leaving your account, debit card deposits will eat into any daily withdrawal limit operated by your bank. Again, not ideal.

Kanoni Beach Corfu.
Kanoni Beach, north of the island.

โœ”๏ธ Record The Condition Of The Car

If this isn’t your first rental rodeo, you probably know that it’s always a good idea to check for any dents, scratches or other forms of damage before you drive your hire car out of the lot. 

We always take our time examining the windshield, headlights, and rear bumper, which tend to get damaged easily – particularly if you’re somewhere like Corfu, where the roads can be gravelly and uneven.

Make sure any issues you find are documented on the hire car paperwork and that you have evidence of the damage in the form of photos and videos taken with a handy smartphone. 

โœ”๏ธ Drive On The Right Side

As with everywhere else in Greece, people drive on the right-hand side in Corfu. That should be good news for most people unless you’re used to being behind the wheel in the UK, India, Australia, or South Africa.

โœ”๏ธ Watch Out For Potholes

One of the downsides to car hire in Corfu is the potholes. These aren’t a dealbreaker by any means, but some of the more rural roads definitely have a propensity for moon craters! 

Canal d'Amour Corfu

โœ”๏ธ Have Your Documents Always With You

Aside from your driving license, keep the rental agreement with you inside the car for reference. It should contain details about the basic insurance coverage, including the legally mandated insurance, but if you have an additional policy, it’s also a good idea to have that nearby, too.

โœ”๏ธ Accommodation With Parking Space

Renting a car in Corfu is a lot easier if your Airbnb or hotel provides parking. That way, you don’t have to scurry about trying to nab a spot on a nearby road or pay overnight fees at a parking lot.

In our experience, a lot of places on the island do come with some form of parking, but make sure to check things like whether it’s public or private, whether it’s on site or a walk from the property, and whether it’s included in the quoted nightly rate.

Best Places To Visit In Corfu By Car

Deciding to hire a car in Corfu means opening up parts of the island that other people don’t get to see. There are many beaches, towns, and other hidden gems to discover, but here are our favourite four to get you started. 

๐Ÿ“ Porto Timoni

Renting a car in Corfu allows for visiting places like Porto Timoni.

A narrow strip of land separates the two beaches that makeup Porto Timoni. A mix of pebbles and sand, it’s an absolutely gorgeous place to strip off and go for a snorkel or a swim.

These twin beaches are only reachable from the landside if you hike down to them from the nearby habitation of Afionas. This rather sweet, small hilltop village is thought to be thousands of years old, making it one of the most historic places in Corfu! 

It’s worth visiting Afionas just to wander the pretty streets for a half hour or so – a bit longer if you grab a meal at one of the local tavernas, which boast incredible views over the sea.

From Afionas, it took us about 30 minutes to get down to Porto Timoni, striding across picturesque terrain. Make sure you pack proper shoes, as this is not the trail for flip-flops! 

Some people prefer to approach the beach by boat, as the hike can be hard work in places. We’d strongly recommend the walk, though, because, along the way, you’ll pass a couple of superb viewpoints where you can stop to snap a few pics and just drink in the scenery.

The Porto Timoni beaches are admittedly on the small side, so get here early during the high season if you want to snag a space.

๐Ÿ“ Cape Drastis

Hiring a car in Corfu will allow you to visit places like Cape Drastis.

Jutting out into the sea like a slim finger pointing towards the island of Ereikousa, Cape Drastis is a dramatic land formation that’s distinctive and unique, even for the Ionian islands!

From the cliff, it’s not possible to reach the beaches that cling to the sides of the cape, but you can walk down to a boat jetty where a vessel will take you (for a fee, of course) to the narrow spits of sand.

We saw a lot of people driving as far up the road towards Cape Drastis as possible and parking along the side, but we’d recommend actually trying to find parking in the village of Peroulades, a bit further back from the cliff.

While Peroulades isn’t as lovely as Afionas, it is a convenient jumping off point not only for Cape Drastis, but also for the nearby Loggas Beach, which is a stunning place to enjoy the sunset. 

๐Ÿ“ Canal d’Amour

Canal d'Amour Corfu

Reachable from Peroulades as well as the larger town of Sidari, Canal d’Amour is a narrow-ish channel of water enclosed by cliffs.

It gets its romantic name from an old wives’ tale (or possibly tourist-oriented legend) that claims anybody who swims in its waters will meet their soulmate. 

Since we’re already set in that department, we can neither confirm nor deny the effectiveness of this bit of sea in promoting amorous affection! What we can say is that it’s a beautiful spot to go for a swim, at least when the waves are calm – it can get quite choppy on rough days.

The nearby area is filled with beach bars and restaurants, so there are plenty of options when it comes to refreshments as well. You may not fall in love with a person at the Canal d’Amour, but you’ll probably fall in love with the frozen cocktails at D Amour Beach Bar

๐Ÿ“ Vlacherna Monastery

Car rental Corfu will allow you to visit Vlacherna Monastery Corfu.

Renting a car in Corfu isn’t all about getting to brilliant beaches.

The Holy Monastery of Vlacherna is a 17th-century building that housed an order of nuns for a couple of hundred years. These days, it’s open to the public, who can explore the compact grounds, which include a small chapel and a souvenir shop.

About 15 minutes’ drive south of Corfu Town, the monastery sits on its own little islet, which is rather cutely called Pontikonissi Island (Mouse Island). A short pedestrian path across the sea connects it to the mainland. 

We got a bird’s-eye view of the building from Cafe Kanoni, a well-situated spot that also provides some incredible views of planes landing on the small strip of runway that constitutes Corfu International Airport. There have been a few times when we’ve been quite so close to the aviation action!

There’s also a slim strip of beach nearby where you can have a swim and drink a beer if the heat becomes a little overpowering.

How To Get Around Without A Rental Car In Corfu

Renting a car in Corfu Greece will allow you to stay in more remote places such as Acharavi.

Can you get around Corfu without a car? Yes, you can, and we don’t want to make you feel like you’ll be completely lost without one. We did, after all, manage perfectly well on our first trip, staying in Acharavi – which is not exactly the most well-connected place.

While we personally found a car to be the most convenient way to get off the beaten track, it’s certainly not essential for a stay of 3 or 4 days, with buses, buggies, and taxis to help you out.

By Bus

Corfu has two main bus systems, known as the City Bus (aka the Blue Buses) and the Green Buses.

The City Bus covers the extended Corfu Town area, mostly along the east coast. Its routes run to beachy resort areas like Ipsos and Benitses, but also the cute hilltop town Pelekas, a bit further west. 

These buses are relatively frequent, running every half hour, hour, or two hours, depending on the time of day and the route.

The Green Buses are longer distance, covering the far north of the island (e.g., Kassiopi, Sidari) as well as the far south of the island (e.g., Messonghi, Kavos). 

Some of these routes are quite infrequent, so you’ll need to plan your timings carefully if you don’t want to get stranded.

Bear in mind that almost all roads lead to Corfu Town. That means that if you want to go from one part of the island to another, you’ll probably have to stop in Corfu to change. Don’t expect direct connections.

Car hire in Corfu is not needed if you stay in Corfu Town.

ATV/Buggy Rental

There are ATV and buggy rental places scattered across Corfu. We saw a lot more on the east coast than anywhere else, but you can find them in most beach towns.

Although you must have a full driver’s license to rent an ATV or a buggy, these funky means of transport can be a more convenient (not really cheaper) option than getting a car. Our logic is, if you only plan to leave the area around your accommodation once or twice during your trip, why bother to go the whole hog with a hire car?

Of course, there are additional road risks to consider when renting an ATV or scooter, but overall, Corfu seems safe enough.

Booking in advance will of course guarantee you a rental, and some places will run out during high season. Plus, usually you can get a discount for pre-ordering an ATV/buggy, especially outside peak season.

By Taxi

The luxury option for travelling around Corfu is to take taxis. Pricy and not especially convenient, we’d only really recommend it if for a short journey around the Corfu Town area. Then again, it’s nice to have the option in a pinch.

Corfu is also one of the few places where Uber operates in Greece. However, there’s a minimum fee of €36, so it’s certainly not cost-effective over short distances.

Are taxis expensive in Corfu?

Taxis are the most expensive transport option in Corfu. The first time we visited, we didn’t rent a car, and we paid about €15 to get from the airport to the town, a distance of less than 5km.

Corfu Town

What is the best area to stay in Corfu without a car?

Corfu Town. As we’ve already mentioned, most of the bus connections to other places on the island run through here, which makes it the most convenient location to base yourself. 

Of course, if all you plan to do is lie on the beach outside your hotel, then it doesn’t really matter where you stay, provided you have an airport transfer!

Renting A Car In Corfu: FAQ

Hiring a car in Corfu allows for visiting places like Agios Spiridon Beach.
Agios Spiridon Beach.

What is the best mode of transportation in Corfu?

Renting a car in Corfu. Having done one trip without a vehicle and one with a vehicle, we can say with certainty that it’s a lot more fun driving yourself around the island, exploring hidden nooks and crannies. Plus, it’s nice to be able to adjust the aircon to your own preference!

How many days in Corfu is enough?

You probably don’t need any more than 5 days in Corfu. That’s a long enough period to enjoy plenty of beach time while also exploring some of the local sights like Achilleion Palace and Vlacherna Monastery. At a minimum, we’d suggest a 3-day long weekend.

Is Corfu walkable?

Corfu Town is very walkable, even though you might not feel like covering the distance between the New Venetian Fortress and Faliraki Beach in the 32-degree heat! Getting to other parts of the island, though, isn’t really possible on foot. You’ll need a car or a bus ticket.

Renting A Car In Corfu: The Wrap-Up

Bottom line: is it worth hiring a car in Corfu? Yes, we think so, especially if you’re staying outside the main town. 

Sure, renting a car in Corfu entails additional costs, but it also means savings in terms of time spent travelling. Plus, you’ll be able to reach hidden coves and sandy stretches that just won’t be on the radar for most travellers. 

Similar Posts