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Scooter/quad/bike rental on Greek Islands

Scooter/quad/bike rental on Greek Islands

Apr 27th, 2016, 08:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 30
Scooter/quad/bike rental on Greek Islands

Hi everyone,

I'm looking into renting a scooter or quad on the Greek islands (Paros and maybe Santorini). All of the forum posts about this seem a few years old, so just checking if the info has changed at all. Are these things that are easy to learn how to use? And relatively safe as long as you aren't whipping around turns? Do I need to get some sort of international license here in the US to bring with me? Alternatively, what about renting a normal bicycle? Are these islands bike friendly? It seems like there are buses that are relatively cheap that take you between cities, but it could be fun to rent a bike/scooter/quad to be able to explore on my own. And then is it easy to take these things on a ferry if I wanted to go over to Antiparos?

Thank you!
acalish is offline  
Apr 27th, 2016, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,439
Just a comment. In the past there were scooters everywhere and tourists with road rash hobbling around.
In the past few years there has been a marked increase in the use of quads. Even inexperienced drives don't seem inclined to fall off of quads. They are however noisy and a bother for those of us walking.
We use the local bus or rent a car. For car rental you will need an international drivers license which you can obtain at your local AAA if you are from the US
stanbr is offline  
Apr 27th, 2016, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,189
I've rented a quad two times on Santorini and liked it. You do not need an international license. You usually leave your license as collateral for returning the quad. My friends always rent scooters, but I've never felt safe on one (and one friend wiped out and had to visit the emergency clinic on Mykonos to be treated ... thankfully, no broken bones, just scrapes). You can also rent a small car for about double the price of a quad.

I'm told that quads are actually less safe than scooters, but I guess I feel safer with four wheels. But they are easy to drive and go fairly fast.

I have never been to Paros, but I don't find Santorini very bike-friendly with all the hills and fairly long distances. That's why motorized transportation is better. But the buses do work, especially between Fira and Oia.
doug_stallings is online now  
Apr 27th, 2016, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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The scooters are easy to drive because they only have one speed, so there's no shifting. Just twist the accelerator and go. That said, they're dangerous if you don't have the skills. Think twice before renting one.

Sometimes it’s possible to rent a car, ATV or scooter just by showing your passport and a current drivers license. No problem.
If you get in an accident and don’t have the International Driving Permit 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!)
Your insurance, including what your credit card supposedly provides, 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 adjuster 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.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2016, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,648
I'm surprised that a Fodor's moderator is writing that you don't need an international license to rent a vehicle in Greece! This is what the US State Department says:
"License Requirements: Tourists and temporary residents who will stay in Greece for fewer than 185 days and plan to drive must carry a valid U.S. license as well as an international driver's permit (IDP). Failure to have both documents may result in police detention or other problems. Fines for drivers without complete documentation are high. The U.S. Department of State has designated two organizations to issue IDPs to those who hold valid U.S. driver's licenses: AAA and the National Automobile Club. Issuance of an IDP is quick and inexpensive, but must generally be done before a traveler leaves the United States."

Quads can be even more dangerous than scooters, because they have a very high center of gravity.
Heimdall is offline  
Apr 27th, 2016, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Make sure you have health insurance that will pay out if you have an accident. Not all trip insurance for instance will cover health costs as a result of a scooter/quad accident - they often specifically exclude these activities (along with canyoning, parasailing and other dangerous sports).
hetismij2 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2017, 01:27 PM
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We were in Paros this summer and heard about several horrible quad accidents involving tourists. Locals were bemoaning the fact that many tourists speed on these or don't really know how to drive them safely. Roads all over Paros are very dark at night. If I were you, I'd seriously consider a small car instead of a quad.
Weadles is offline  
Nov 20th, 2017, 01:31 PM
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>> If I were you, I'd seriously consider a small car instead of a quad.<<

I think the OP is safe since their trip was last year.
janisj is online now  
Nov 21st, 2017, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,439
While this is an old thread its still relevant. Apparently this summer there were many deaths on Quads and the Greek Government is proposing a ban of Quads from paved roads on the islands
While I doubt that they will follow through on this idea it is important to be aware of the danger in renting Quads. In September we saw Quads on major highways with drivers and passengers without shirts doing 60KM per hour oblivious of the traffic passing at 100.
stanbr is offline  
Nov 21st, 2017, 09:13 AM
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I'm now looking at this old thread. The poster doug_stallings had a Fodor's moderator icon after his name when the thread was new, and it was his comment about no need for an IDP to which I referred in my Apr 27, 16 post. The rental agency may not ask for one, but that doesn't mean it's not a legal requirement for non-EU license holders in Greece. The US State Dept link in the post is still current.
Heimdall is offline  
Nov 21st, 2017, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 233
If you need to get an International License then so so! It's not that expensive if you are coming from the US, maybe $30.

It's a small price to pay for being able to drive "legally" in Greece. If something does happen you'll have your International License to cover you.

The first few years we went to Greece we relied solely on public transportation (buses) to get us from Point A to Point B, which worked fine for the larger Greek Islands. However, we soon discovered what we were missing by not renting a car which could take us anywhere we wanted to go, at our own pace and schedule.

You don't need to rent a car for your full time anywhere but at least for a couple days it is well worth the extra cost.

Driving on a Greek Island is far easier than you could imagine. All you have to worry about are goats in the road and not driving over a cliff as you gawk at all the spectacular scenery you are witnessing

Even back home in the US I would rather have a car and metal around me rather than riding on a scooter, motorcycle, ATV or some other alternative vehicle.

The cost between the two can't be compared with the knowledge of being safer and more secure with a car rental.
crazyh is offline  
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