Renting a car in Paros is handy for getting to places like Pounda Beach.
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Renting A Car In Paros: Tips By Seasoned Roadtrippers (2024)

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We think that renting a car in Paros is an absolute must for a fulfilling trip! We’ve been to Paros twice, and each time, thanks to our own vehicle, we managed to visit super cute and authentic villages and get to the most gorgeous beaches.

Author’s Note: Robin is our car rental expert and a huge road trip fan who has driven anywhere from Vietnam’s Ha Giang Loop on a motorbike to the German Autobahns by track.

The good news is that car rentals are very affordable here, and roads are fairly easy to navigate, so any driver, really, should be able to handle a car with ease!

In this post, we’ve gathered everything you need to know before hiring a car in Paros, plus all the tips and tricks we wished we’d known before our trip.

🚗 QUICK GUIDE 🚗
  • Looking for a hotel with free parking? We recommend Archipelagos Studios in Naousa or Panos Luxury Studios in Parikia.
  • Need a car? Browse Discover Cars for the cheapest deals with no hidden costs
  • Rental cost from €24* per day (*depends on various factors – check ⬇️)
  • Requirements: IDP, US, UK & EU driving licence + some age restrictions

Is Renting A Car In Paros A Good Idea?

Renting a car in Paros is a great idea if you wish to do more than just sunbathe and dine at your hotel or resort. If you want to explore and discover all that this fantastic island has to offer, you will need to rent a car. 

✅ A rental car allows you to set your own itinerary; you can go where you want, when you want and for as long as you want. Your own car will enable you to visit off-the-beaten-track locations or busy locations at quieter times of the day. 

✅ In addition to sightseeing, having your own car means you can drive to small, lesser-known villages, eat in local tavernas or sunbathe on isolated beaches.

✅ Plus, if you travel as a group or family, a car will make it cheaper to explore the island and easier to carry all the belongings necessary for a family day trip. 

✅ Another benefit of renting a car in Paros, Greece, is that you can choose to stay outside the main tourist areas of Parikia and Naoussa. This generally means that you will be able to find cheaper accommodation, but it will also result in a more authentic Paros stay. 

Paros Rent A Car: Logistics

You can rent car Paros port.
Ferry Port in Parikia Paros.

What’s the best way of renting a car in Paros Greece?

We’ve been to Paros twice, and from our experience, we highly recommend booking your car in advance of your trip (at least one month), particularly if you are travelling to Paros in the peak summer months. This is even more important if you hope to hire an automatic car rather than a manual car.   

To find the cheapest rental deals abroad, we always use Discover Cars, which in 99% of the cases has cheaper car rental offers than the local rental shops.

Discover Cars compares all the cars that will be available on Paros during your chosen vacation dates. It then shows you the cars in order of best reviews. (We, however, always double-check the reviews with Google Maps reviews of the company in the specific location. For example Alamo base in Paros Airport.)

The quoted price is the price you will pay as Discover Cars has no hidden or add-on fees

Another reason why we love Discover Cars is that they offer free cancellation should you change your mind about the car you have chosen or in case your trip plans have to change.

Car rental Paros Airport

One of the best things about renting a a car in Paros is that you can explore beyond Parikia.
When booking online, you can collect your car at the ferry port in Parikia.

Many visitors to the island rent a car from Paros Airport. This is super convenient if you’re arriving by plane.

There are several car hire Paros Airport companies such as Alamo, Enterprise, Avis, Budget and Sixt. Browse Discover Cars using Paros Airport as the pick-up location, and make sure you secure your preferred vehicle well in advance of your trip.

Car rental Paros Port

Paros Port is another popular location on the island for car rental. Many visitors to Paros will be island hopping their way across Greece, so Paros Port will be their first point of entry. It is also where day trippers from Naxos will arrive and rent a car. 

If you are arriving at Paros Port, avoid the uncertainty of rental car availability by booking a vehicle online in advance with Discover Cars, with a pick-up at Paros Port. 

How much does it cost to hire a car in Paros?

The cost of renting a car in Paros varies depending on the size of the car and the season in which you are travelling. In low season, you can get the best cheap car rental Paros has to offer. 

For example, hiring a small, 4-seat car in May starts from €24 per day. The same car can cost up to €74 per day if rented in July for just one day or €44 per day for one week.

Rent A Car In Paros: Requirements

Lefkes Paros
With your own car, you can visit hidden gems such as Lefkes.

Can US citizens rent a car in Greece?

If you are a U.S. citizen hoping to book car rental Paros Island, you will be pleased to learn it is an easy process.

You can rent a car in Paros – or anywhere else in Greece – using a U.S. driver’s licence. However, you must have had your U.S driver’s licence for at least one year and be aged over 21 and under 70. Note that if you are over 21 but are under 25, you are classed as a young driver and may have to pay an additional rental fee.

You are no longer required to show an International Driver’s Permit (IDP), but as more than 150 countries around the world accept the International Driver’s Permit (and very few solely accept a U.S. licence), it is well worth getting an IDP, particularly if you are a frequent traveller. Plus, there have been reports from Paros of rental car agencies and police asking drivers to produce an IDP.

You are eligible for an International Driver’s Permit if you are over 18 and have a valid U.S. licence. The IDP is easy to apply for either online or at an AAA office in the United States.

Can UK citizens rent a car in Greece?

Despite leaving the E.U., UK citizens can currently rent a car in Greece and on the Greek islands using only a British driving licence as long as they are over 21 years old and under 70. Plus, you must have had your UK licence for at least 12 months. 

However, as mentioned above, to avoid confusion, getting an International Driver’s Permit is a good idea.  

What are the requirements for EU countries?

Drivers from other EU countries need to show a valid, current driving licence from their home country. The same age rule applies: You must be over 21 but under 70 and have had your licence for at least one year. 

This driving regulation also applies to drivers from European countries who are not in the EU, such as Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Do I need an International Driver’s Permit to drive in Paros?

If you are from the UK, the U.S. or an E.U or European non-E.U country, you do not technically need an International Driver’s Permit to drive or to hire a car in Paros. 

However, if your driver’s licence is not in a recognisable English or Greek script, getting a universally understood International Driver’s Permit is a good idea. As previously mentioned, there have been reports online where rental agencies and police in Paros have asked drivers to show an IDP. 

Do I need insurance for renting a car in Paros?

Yes, you will need insurance for renting a car in Paros. 

Most rental companies offer a basic form of collision damage waiver (or CDW) with their rental car, but you can add on extras to provide you and the car with maximum protection.

We found that it’s cheaper to take the full insurance cover offered by Discover Cars, and their coverage is way more comprehensive than various car rental shops based in Paros. Despite that, the full insurance does make the daily rate much higher; we always take it just in case. We would never drive without insurance in our home country, and abroad is no different.

Tips For Car Hire Paros

If you're looking for car rental Parikia is an excellent place.

✔️ Get a full insurance cover

Renting a car in Paros is like driving anywhere else; it carries an element of risk, both to yourself and other road users. Therefore it is essential to take out full insurance coverage on your rental car, in addition to any personal travel insurance you may already have. 

However, many travellers feel that full insurance coverage is an unnecessary expense on top of rental car fees, especially in expensive summer months. But the question to ask yourself is, would you drive uninsured in your home country? If the answer is no, take out full insurance cover. 

✔️ Record the condition of the car

It is imperative to accurately record the condition of the rental car before setting off on your road trip. Avoid being hustled out the door and pause your eagerness to get going on your road trip – a few minutes spent closely examining the car now could save you a lot of money and stress later on. 

Start by looking at the paperwork you have been given. There should be a record of any dents, scratches or windscreen cracks that are on the car. If any damage has been noted, check this damage carefully to make sure the paperwork has accurately recorded the location and severity of the damage.

You can then proceed to record the condition of the car yourself. We always take videos of both the outside and inside of the car. Pay particular attention to potential problem areas such as the windscreen, headlights and bumpers/fenders.

If you see any damage, no matter how small, note it on the paperwork and get it verified by the rental car agent.

✔️ Make sure your hotel comes with parking

If you plan to drive around Paros island, make car parking a ‘must have’ on your hotel or Airbnb list.  

Having car parking on site (even better if it is a designated parking spot) will save you time and hassle each day trying to find a parking space nearby. This is a situation you will want to avoid when returning home in the dark after a long day of sightseeing, especially if you have kids or luggage with you. 

✔️ Take advantage of free car parks

There are lots of free car parks around Paros. They are in towns, villages, beaches and popular tourist locations. There are also fee-paying car parks, so make sure you park in the right car park! The free car parks may be a little further away from where you want to be, but they will save you money. Plus, for the safety of your car, it is better to park in a free car park than on the side of a narrow road.

Best Places To Visit With A Rental Car In Paros

If you are planning on renting a car in Paros, you will be able to travel all over this amazing island. We’ve listed some of the attractions on Paros that you will not want to miss below. 

📍Parikia

car rental Parikia

Parikia is the capital of Paros and is the town next to Paros ferry port. Unlike many port towns, Parikia is well worth exploring. 

The charming Parikia old town is lined with traditional white-walled houses with blue shutters and is a maze of narrow, car-free alleyways. If you would like to learn about the diverse history of the island, check out the Archeological Museum of Paros or the Byzantine church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (Church of the Virgin Mary).

Walk along the bustling seafront promenade, where, in 10 minutes, you will arrive at Livadia Beach. A further 10 minutes on foot brings you to Parikia Beach; both beaches have sunbeds and umbrellas for rent.

📍Naoussa

If you're looking to rent a car Naoussa is one of the best places to visit.

Naoussa is a charming coastal village on the northeast coast of Paros, a short 10-kilometre drive from Parikia. It boasts some of the best seafood restaurants on the island, so it is a perfect spot to stop for lunch or dinner. 

You can visit the 13th-century Venetian Fort ruins and Agioi Anagyroi Church or join a wine-tasting tour at the Moraitis Winery. You can also spend a couple of hours exploring the village’s traditional Cycladic architecture, strolling around the harbour, or viewing Naoussa from the sea on a caique boat. 

Don’t miss Nouassa’s gorgeous sandy beaches, such as Santa Maria or Monastiri. 

📍Lefkes

Paros Lefkes
Paros Lefkes

Lefkes is a traditional Greek village in the centre of Paros, which is surrounded by pine forests and olive groves. 

One of the best things to do in Lefkes is to get lost in its maze of narrow paved alleyways lined with tightly packed white-washed houses overflowing with bougainvillaea. Slow down and grab a coffee and a sweet pastry in Agia Triadi Square before visiting the 19th-century church of the same name or the small but interesting Folk Art Museum

📍Paros Beaches

visit Monastiri Beach Paros by a Paros rentalcar
Monastiri Beach Paros.

With a rental car, you can visit the best beaches in Paros. There are so many amazing beaches to choose from!

In the north of the island, you can visit Kolymbithres Beach, best known for its unusual granite rock formations, sandy Piperi Beach or the gorgeous Santa Maria Beach near Naoussa. 

In the south, you can drive to Chrissi Akti, known for its long golden sands or cover yourself in the healing mud at Kalogeros Beach. 

If you like organised beaches with sunbeds and facilities, head to Monastiri or Pyrgos Beach, or if you prefer secluded, unspoilt beaches, go to Molos or Legeri Beach (which is nudist-friendly). 

How To Get Around On Paros Without A Car?

Bus

Bus Paros
The bus station in Parikia.

Paros has a good network of air-conditioned buses that run on regular schedules between Parikia and Naoussa and to other towns and villages across the island. Bus schedules are more frequent in the summer than in the quieter winter months, but as the buses are run for locals rather than tourists, you can use the buses at any time of the year. 

Using comfortable, coach-style buses is a cost-effective way to explore the island, but you will be limited to the bus route and schedule. To fully explore the island and at your own pace (particularly in the evenings), you will need to hire a car. 

Bus tickets are cheap but vary in price according to the length and route of your journey. You can also buy a one-day ticket that covers the whole island. Children travel for half price, and students also receive a discount with proof of I.D. There are bus stations in Parikia and Naoussa and bus stops in most towns and villages. 

Paros buses are operated by the Paros Land Transport Network or KETL, and the KETL website provides their bus routs and timetables.

Water Taxis

Naoussa is one of the best places to visit in Paros by car.
A picturesque marina in Naoussa, Paros.

You can also catch water taxis from Parikia and Naoussa Harbour to several locations around the island and neighbouring Antiparos Island.

For example, in Parikia, you can catch a regular water taxi to and from Marchello and Krios Beaches. From Naoussa, you can get a water taxi to and from popular beaches such as Monastiri, Legeri and Kolympithres. 

Water taxis are cheap, quick, and easy to use, and they provide a different perspective of the island. However, if you visit outside peak season, you may not find a regular schedule. 

Scooter

scooter rental Paros
Only hire a scooter if you have previous experience with motorbikes.

If you prefer independent travel in Paros scooter rental is another popular form of transport on the island, particularly with young travellers. 

Scooter rental is cheaper than hiring a car, and it has cheaper running costs. Plus, it will be easier to find parking in busy towns and villages. 

To hire a scooter in Paros, you will need a valid driving licence from your home country that includes motorbikes and scooters up to 125cc. 

In addition to full coverage insurance for the scooter, it is essential to check whether your travel insurance allows you to hire a scooter or motorbike. Generally, your travel insurance will not cover riding a scooter or motorbike abroad if you do not have a scooter or motorbike licence at home. 

You can expect to pay from €20 for the cheapest bike in low season, rising to €40  a day for the same bike in peak summer months. 

ATV

Paros atv rental

If you like your transport a little more adventurous, a Paros ATV rental may be an option for you. All-terrain vehicles are an exciting and scenic method of transport that will enable you to get off the beaten track and fully explore Paros. However, it is important to remember that these vehicles are not toys and must be driven with caution. 

If you want to rent a quad bike in Paros, you will need a current valid driver’s licence. Plus, like scooter rental, it is essential to check the terms and conditions of your travel insurance carefully.

Sadly, accidents do happen to tourists on quad bikes. Quad bike or ATV rental prices start from €40 per day in low season to €60 per day in high season. Like rental cars and scooter hire, discounts are available for long-term hire. 

Taxi

If you need to travel somewhere quickly (for example, to get to the ferry port or the airport), then taxis are your best option, especially if you have a lot of luggage. 

You can catch a taxi in almost every town and village in Paros and to and from the ferry port and airport, but whilst taxis are easy to use, they are not a cheap method of getting around Paros. 

Only travel in registered taxis with licensed taxi drivers. You may want to bring your own car seats if you are travelling with kids as there is no guarantee of getting good quality age-appropriate car seats in the taxi.

Know that sticking out your thumb to hail a taxi in Greece (like you would for hitchhiking) is considered rude. Instead, wave your arm or hand at the driver. Don’t be surprised if there is already someone in the taxi with the driver. Taxi sharing is common on small Greek islands, and the other passenger will be dropped off before the driver continues to your destination. 

Are taxis expensive in Paros?

Taxis in Paros are not expensive compared to other European destinations, but they are more expensive than using the bus on Paros. Plus, if you use taxis frequently, it could end up being more expensive than hiring a car. 

Paros taxi prices are controlled by the Greek government. You will pay a minimum fare (or a base fare) for short journeys, with longer journeys calculated on a metre per kilometre travelled. The per kilometre rate will increase at night or in the early morning hours. 

Where To Stay In Paros Without A Car

renting a car in paros

If you are not hiring a car in Paros, the best places to stay on the island will be Parikia and Naoussa

Both locations offer a wide range of accommodation and dining options, and several attractions are within walkable distances. In addition, you can walk to sandy beaches from both Parikia and Naoussa. 

Both locations are easy to get to and from the airport and the ferry port. If you want to explore the island, both towns have good bus and boat links and taxi ranks. 

Rent A Car In Paros Island: FAQ

renting a car in paros
Church of Saint Constantine in Parikia.

Is it difficult to drive a car in Paros?

Driving a car in Paros is relatively easy. There isn’t much traffic, though you will inevitably encounter more vehicles in peak season. 

Roads are generally well maintained with good signage. The main road in Paros is a coastal ring road around the entire island. There is also a cross-island road via Lefkes, which is hillier and has some blind bends and summits.

Is it worth it to rent a car in Paros?

Yes, it is definitely worth renting a car in Paros if you feel comfortable driving there and are eligible to do so. You can get out and about on your own timetable and fully explore everything that the island has to offer. 

What is the minimum age to rent a car in Greece?

The minimum age to rent a car in Greece is 21, regardless of your country of origin. Some companies will rent you a car at 21 but charge you an additional young driver’s fee if you are under 25. 

How many days is enough in Paros?

You could see the principal sights of the island in one day as you can drive a full circle around Paros without stopping in one hour. But to fully appreciate this special destination, its food and scenery, you will need at least 3 – 4 full days in Paros, ideally longer. 

Is Paros walkable?

The main tourist locations of Parikia and Naoussa are very walkable. They are compact towns with attractions a short walk from each other, plus some car-free roads and areas. You can even walk to local beaches from Parikia and Naoussa. But to get from town to town, you’ll need a bus or a car.

Renting A Car In Paros: Final Word

So, do you need a car for Paros Greece? If you want to see and experience everything this gorgeous island offers, then the answer is yes. 

Renting a car in Paros is an easy process, and once you set off on your road trip, driving in Paros is not difficult compared to other places in Greece. And, from our experience, Discover Cars offers the cheapest deals and most comprehensive insurance coverage for a worry-free trip.

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