Corfu

By | 16th January 2018

Do you need a car in Corfu?

Do you need a car in Corfu > Should you rent a car in Corfu Greece > Corfu ( CFU ) Do you need a car in Corfu? Is it worth hiring a car in Corfu? Should you rent a car in Corfu?

Corfu Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all cost and quality factors. [Full notes - drive rating]

30%

  • Price alone isn't the only factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Corfu but clearly it's an important one. See our "why" section for more figures.
  • Cost factors include - price of car hire (peak and off peak season), car hire extras, fuel, tolls and parking costs.
  • Quality factors include - scenic drives, road quality and upkeep, general safety and congestion levels.
  • A complete index of all 10 factors will be uploaded shortly.

Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]

€80

 #75/300

  • This is the very lowest price we could find for a one week car rental period in Corfu during the quiet season.
  • You will almost always end up paying more than this figure, but any extra costs or supplementary charges are usually determined by the renter, so we cannot easily compare like with like.
  • In many cases, rental companies will offer a cheap rental and then expect you to take out expensive insurance waivers. There are always ways to avoid this!

How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]

 €285

196/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "why not" section for more suggestions.
  • For most featured destinations, the peak season will be during the summer, typically July and August for northern hemisphere destinations. However, peak demand might occur at different times, for example in some ski resorts or winter sun destinations etc.


Free parking score

Based on the number of hotels which offer free parking. Total 544 - of which 268 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

49%

#124/300

  • Free hotel parking is very useful to have when you are hiring a car, and it's always worth checking ahead beforehand.
  • If free hotel parking is not available, you might want to consider renting a car for a single day, rather than for your whole trip.
  • The availability (or lack of) free hotel parking can be a really important factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Corfu, as it can be a significant extra daily cost which you won't usually be paying at home!
  • Parking costs play a very major part in our consideration of whether or not it's worth hiring a car in each destination.
  • By using public transport, walking or hiring a bicycle, you can avoid having to worry about parking charges altogether! See our "why not" section for more suggestions.

Corfu public transport quick facts

Train score

Higher scores go to the systems which don't just take you to the most amazing places, but also to the ones which are easy to use, fast, reliable and frequent. A good train system on its own is usually enough to determine that you don't need to hire a car in many destinations.

00%

  • [full notes trains]
  • Trains include all kinds of urban rail system from trams up to metro and suburban networks.
  • Trains also include mountain railways and cable cars.
  • Generally, places with a good rail network will automatically mean that you don't "need" to hire a car, but you can still might find that on balance you are better off by having one.

Water travel score

This is a general rating for all types of water travel, including scheduled ferries, sea / rivers cruises and excursions in Corfu

80%

  • [full notes - water score]
  • The water score looks at means of transport on water - it does not consider water based activities like surfing or kayaking.

Overall public transport score

This is a more practical rating based on bus and rail travel, and also including ferries and other boat services, where they are part of the public transport network.

40%

  • [full notes - overall transit] buses | trams | metro | local & regional rail | national rail
  • Is public transport in Corfu good value, or is it worth hiring a car just because it is cheaper overall?
  • Even if public transport is cheap and reliable, you might still feel that you should hire a car in Corfu because it will still give you more flexibility to reach out-of-the-way places, especially in rural areas.

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Corfu. It includes factors such as the quality of the street environment, and whether you are likely to feel safe walking or cycling, together with the availability of bicycle hire and the ease of linking walking or cycling routes with public transport.

30%

  • [full notes - active score] walking (city) | hiking | cycling (city /  country).
  • A high active travel score means that you might not need a car in Corfu, because you can see everything you need to see using a combination of your own two feet and the public transport system.

Car rental in - Corfu Need v worth & should!

Whether you have come here asking "do I need a car in Corfu", "is it worth hiring a car in Corfu", or whether or not you "should" hire a car here, these are all slight variations on a similar theme. Here we break each one down according to the criteria we use for each question. This is a weighted score based on the values above. These are explained further in the text which follows - [#why] [#whynot]. Do you need a car in Corfu?

Do you need a car in Corfu?

This is essentially based on whether or not public transport and other "non car" options are good enough to get around and beyond the city. For the lowest "need" score, the destination should have a combination of excellent all-round public transport, great opportunities for walking and cycling, together with poor value car hire or generally poor quality roads. 
  • In destinations where both public transport and car hire options are excellent, the verdict for "do I need a car in  Corfu " will swing towards a strong no, because you can do absolutely fine without one).
Is it worth hiring a car in Corfu?

Is it worth hiring a car in Corfu?

Is car hire good value, especially during the peak season? How does this compare with transit fares? This question mainly looks at issues of cost and practicality.
  • In destinations where both public transport and car hire options are excellent, the verdict for "is it worth hiring a car in  Corfu" will swing towards whichever option offers the lowest overall cost for a group of 2-4 people travelling together.
Should you rent a car in Corfu?

Should you rent a car in Corfu?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
  • The final "carometer" swing is much more opinion based, and it takes into account which options will give you the truly best travel experience (n our humble opinion of course). Where a destination offers an excellent score with or without a car, the swing will go towards whichever option we feel gives the most truly unforgettable experience.
  • Ultimately, it's your choice whether or not you rent a car here. We're trying to give you something that's sufficiently far enough away from a "maybe" to help you make that choice. Ultimately, people only come to us because they are uncertain, but we don't really know what each person's preferences are. Whether we say you should or you shouldn't rent a car in  Corfu, you might also want to look up some of our other cities to see how  Corfu compares with other destinations in  Greece or  Europe.
  • By using public transport, walking or hiring a bicycle, you can avoid having to worry about parking charges altogether! See our "why not" section for more suggestions.


What does everyone else do?

Do most people hire a car in Corfu?

This is based on our observations of (a) car rental facilities and (b) what we think most people will do here. It's not an exact figure, just an estimate of how likely people are to get hold of a rental car here.
  • his is based on the percentage of people "in the market" who we think are likely to hire a car. This includes anyone arriving on holiday here who would usually hire a car on their travels, so it doesn't include people who don't usually drive (or don't drive), people staying with friends etc.

70%

Visitors per year (million)

  • Cities with more visitors are more likely to have more complex airport car rental arrangements, and generally they will also have better public transport, but this is not always the case, especially in North America.

1

  • [full notes - do as everyone else does?]
  • You may wish to go with the flow, or you might prefer to avoid doing the most popular or obvious option. This will vary according to the range of choice available. This tends to be much higher in destinations which are closer to the middle of the car or no car scale.

Who is travelling?

Your group size and travel budget has a major impact on whether or not getting a rental car is good value compared to using public transport as your main means of getting around. Ultimately, these are all "worth" questions:

Is it worth renting a car in Corfu if I am a solo / budget traveller?

Generally, hiring a car is not good value for solo travellers for multiple reasons, especially as most of the costs of renting apply to the car, not the occupants. With public transport, the reverse is usually true! However, there are always some places where you will need a car, simply because they are almost impossible to reach using public transport.

Is it worth renting a car in Corfu for 2 people travelling together?

A rental car can be good value for couples or for friends travelling together, but since most cars come with at least four seats, it's often still better value to use public transport. However, if you prefer to keep yourselves to yourselves, then you might still want to rent.

Is it worth renting a car in Corfu for families?

Families of groups of 3-4 people travelling together will always get the best value from a rental car. However, you may also be burdened with extra costs for car seat hire, and you well also prefer to use local trains and buses, if they are quicker than getting stuck in heavy traffic.

Where are you staying?

The place you are staying, together with the sort of places you want to see, will have a large impact on whether or not you "need" to rent a car:

Do you need a car in Corfu if we are staying in the city centre / main resort area?

Most large towns or purpose built holiday resorts will have some kind of public transport, whereas parking provision will vary greatly from one place to the next. 

Do you need a car in Corfu if we are staying on the edge of the urban area?

Typically you may be staying in an apartment or hmall house on the edge of a resort or urban area. These places usually have some level of public transport, but not as much as city / resort centres.

Do you need a car in Corfu if we are staying in a rural area?

Rural proprties might include larger villas or apartments, but they can still be within a short walk of a bus stop or local railway station, and the opportunities for hiking and cycling might also be substantial, depending on the destination.

What is your attitude towards driving?

We can give you suggestions based on whatever we consider to be a "typical" visitor to Corfu, but ultimately your decision is also going to be influenced by whether or not you ususally prefer to hire a car in the first place.

Should I hire a car in Corfu if I prefer not to drive?

This is especially the case when there is only one main driver in the group, and it's based on the attitude of the driver rather than their passengers! The main driver may also simply prefer to use public transport, or they may prefer to take scenic train journeys where available.

Should we rent a car in Corfu if we are easy either way?

This is more aimed at the typical visitor who isn't that bothered about how they get around, as long as it is the most convenient / best value option.

Should I rent a car in Corfu if I prefer to drive?

For people who usually prefer the freedom and flexibility of having a hire car. Is it still best to rent a car in Corfu, or are there good reasons not to?

Greek islands might not initially look like the sort of places where a hire car is a particularly good idea, because nowhere is particularly far from anywhere else, parking is always a challenge, and the major places to visit tend to be relatively closely spaced along the shoreline. Local buses are also usually widely available, they tend to be fairly cheap, and they operate throughout the day.

Do you need a car in Corfu? Introduction

When someone asks "Do you need a car in Corfu?", this often breaks down to two key questions:
  1. Can you actually get around using public transport, or is a car all but essential?
  2. Is it worth hiring a car in Corfu? Is it good value for money, compared with non-car options?
Over the next few sections, we wil look at the pros and cons of driving in Corfu as a tourist, and ultimately weigh these up, so we can answer the key question of Should you rent a car in Corfu?
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

For many independently minded travellers, Corfu is also a natural place from which to start a trip onto the Greek mainland and beyond by ferry, and this sort of journey might already be continuing onwards from Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

Yet Corfu is also large enough for the failings in the local bus system to become apparent.

Why should you rent a car in Corfu?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip? In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Corfu?

Firstly, there’s always the complex question of congestion – at busy times do you want to be rammed into a bus that is standing room only, or would you rather be sitting and choking traffic, but within the space of your own rented car? My personal view is that I’d take the bus any time, but many people would prefer to sit in their own private metal box. Then there is the reality that as with many Greek islands, the buses are almost completely focused on going in and out of Corfu town, which means that to get between any other points on the island that aren’t on a direct line in or out of Corfu town, you will probably have to change bus, and this starts to mean a lot of hanging around. If your accommodation is situated anywhere other than on the routes the buses serve, then you will also need to add time to walk to and from the bus stop, and they tend to be much further spaced apart in Greece than they are in many northern European locations. You can also forget about real time running information when taking Greek local buses anywhere outside major cities like Athens or Thessaloniki.

  • Buses are often slow, unreliable and inconvenient – even on a small island like Corfu.
  • Unless you are staying in Corfu town, many bus trips will need a change of service.
  • As a rule of thumb, the most distant points from Corfu town will take around one hour to drive, in low traffic. Needless to say, you can add to that considerably if you want to travel by bus, unless you are just moving point to point on trunk routes.
  • There are no bus lanes, no bus priority routes of any kind, and of course there’s no railway or tram either – Corfu is an island which has been developed primarily with the motorist in mind, even if parking problems can be horrendous! [See below].
  • Fuel prices in Corfu are roughly in line with the Greek average, atlhough there is a small difference in cost over mainland cities like Athens – in July 2017, this was around €0.03 per litre. Fuel costs are unlikely to be a major concern when driving on Corfu, as driving distances are still low. It’s far more important to get a good car rental deal, if you feel you need one at all, and to watch out for return empty fuel polices – these are becoming less common, but they are still the norm with some providers. If you have to start with a full tank, you may well find that you don’t end up returning it empty, so the rental company keeps the fuel – watch out for this one, given the small size of the island!

Why not? Visiting Corfu without a car

What is public transport like in Corfu? What about local conditions for walking or cycling? Can you rely on public transport and maybe a few taxis for most or all of your trip? Are there some times of year when it's easier to get by without a car than others? When should you rent a car in 2?

Corfu is absolutely not the sort of location where a hire car is strictly necessary, nor is it particularly desirable to have one if you think you can do without. It’s also the sort of destination where if you are just sticking to the island itself, you’d be unlikely to save any money by getting a rental car and splitting the costs between even a group of even five people, because the buses will always be a great deal cheaper. If you are a large group anyway, it would be quite easy to make a few taxi rides and split the costs – then at least, parking isn’t your problem.

  • Roads in Corfu can become very congested during the peak holiday season – going by bus won’t take you away from the congestion, but it will relieve you of the driving stress!
  • Parking in Corfu is an absolute nightmare, especially in Corfu town. Watch out for streets where no restrictions are posted, but from time to time, fines still get issued. You will still be liable in a rental vehicle.
  • Long distance buses now depart from the modern bus station – but it’s still not that well linked with Corfu town services. Corfu bus times & info.
  • There are lots of islands to explore, using boat launches from either Corfu town or Agios Stefanos. However, the latter isn’t so easy to reach by bus as there are only around 3 services per day.
  • If you are here in the peak holiday season, when buses tend to run a little bit more often, and you need to be up at dawn to find that one remaining parking space in Corfu town, then the pendulum tends to swing more towards not getting a hire car in Corfu.
  • Corfu is one of the few places in the world where you can actually walk from the airport straight into town – but you probably won’t want to if you are arriving in the day time and you have a heavy bag. Allow aorund 30 minutes between airport terminal and town centre, or 45 to the harbour.
  • Taxis are reasonably well priced, especially when compared to northern European prices (check locally for latest tariffs).

However, when it comes to convenience, a car still might be worth considering, especially for a family, and especially if you are staying in a villa outside the main towns in Corfu. It’s also possible to pick up a hire car in Corfu and then start a road trip into mainland Greece. A car makes a lot of sense for heading towards the spectacular rocky outcrops of Meteora, but only if you return it to the place where you hired it from.

What about one way car hire from Corfu?

Is it worth hiring a car in Corfu and then dropping it off somewhere else?

Corfu one way car hire price sample was looked up by comparing low season prices between different pick up and drop off points, where the rental company would allow a one way rental to or from Corfu. Corfu one way rental prices are compared using Avis, due to their simplicity of pricing. You may find better deals through firms who specialise in dealing with a lot of one way rental traffic.

The problem with any kind of one way rental deal from Corfu is that because you will be picking the car up on an island, the rental company is going to incur a substantial cost to get it back to the original car hire office, unless they can match your Corfu car rental up with someone coming back the other way. 

  • The base price for a one week car hire in Corfu was £152.
  • Even if you just wanted to drive around the mainland, and drop your car back at the mainland port of Igoumenitsa, your car rental cost increases to £270.
  • This price shoots up to £348 if you want to drop the car off in Thessaloniki. This would be an ideal place to head out from if you wanted to visit Meteora.
  • A one way car hire from Corfu to Athens would cost only a little more at £370.

Clearly, one way rentals in Corfu are not particularly good value, and this is a combination of Greece not being a particularly good place for one way rental deals in the first place, and the extra costs of Corfu being an island added on top of that.

Ratings

Our slider ratings range from 0 (it isn't even possible to hire a car, e.g. Hong Kong) through to 10 (you really must rent a car here, e.g. Phoenix, Tampa). However, most places are somewhere inbetween these extremes, and this is where it gets more interesting! Further ratings breakdowns, including a much more detailed public transport rating, are currently being added. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Verdict

What is our final score for Corfu on the Carornocar scale?

Remember, this isn't so much a rating of the road network, or a score for what we think of the buses or trains, but it's simply a scale showing the swing between whether or not we think a rental car is a good idea here.

6


Do you need a car in Corfu?

Our Corfu car hire advice is based around people who are asking the question “should we hire a car in Corfu” rather than at looking at what we think the majority of people would do, Hence the chances are, if you are thinking about getting a car here, you will probably still find it’s best to do so, but it really would be a very marginal choice.

Would you hire a car in Corfu?

Have you driven in Corfu? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Corfu}? Do you need a car in Corfu? For some or all of the time? Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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