Beware!! Island drivers are shocking and unfortunately dangerous. In Argostoli they will double and triple park, or they will just stop dead and get out to get bread or a coffee. They will illegally park in the most bizarre of places and they will honk you if you take too long to move. They do not stop for pedestrians especially on pedestrian crossing and they will honk you if you do. They will not use their indicators at any time and they will not allow you to enter the traffic stream even if you are indicating to do so. They speed and consider themselves excellent drivers while talking, gesticulating with both hands, smoking, eating, drinking, and txting on their mobile phones. They never wear seat belts and their children are often loose in the back or front seat ready to become projectiles. Car seats are a rare site.
The island is very rugged and mountainous with very steep narrow roads. If you tend to drive mostly on motorways you will find these roads a challenge. On some hairpins curves you need to chop down to first gear to get round. Make sure your car hire has the capacity to drive these roads especially with the added weight of passengers in the car. The locals know the roads well, please make way and let them pass or else they will attempt to pass regardless and endanger everyone.
The quality of cars and scooters to hire can be problematic. We only recommend two companies because their cars are new and well maintained. Rent a car in Kefalonia. , Greekstones-rentacar .
If you are not an experienced motor bike or scooter rider I would not recommend this mode of transport. If you do choose this I would strongly recommend getting very good personal insurance. Every year we see bad accidents because of inexperienced riders with pillion passengers and poorly maintained scooters. The wounded often have to be air lifted out.
Having said all this, don’t be put off, you know the worst, stay off scooters, get a decent car and personal insurance, strap the kids in and let the locals pass, and you will be fine. Drivers should be wary for potholes, rocks that may have just rolled down the hillsides and animals such as goats and sheep who may just be round the next bend.
Without a reservation you will not get a car over summer or over the main religious holidays, all companies are booked out well before this time. To ensure the best car options I strongly suggest you book your car, bike and accommodation at least 6 month prior to your trip. If travelling from North America where automatic vehicles are the norm, it is essential to pre-book such a vehicle prior to arriving on the island as they can be hard to locate, especially in high season. Also be aware that visitors from Canada and the USA require an International driver license to rent a car on the islands or anywhere in Greece. Make certain that your rates include CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) which gives additional cover. We are happy to help with car bookings .