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 )

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

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?

Corfu Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

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

30%

 

Cheapest rate for one week

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

€80

 #75/300

 

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

 

Free parking score

Total 544 - of which 268 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

49%

#124/300

 

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

 
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Corfu public transport quick facts

Train score

 

00%

Water travel score

80%

Overall public transport score

40%

 

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Corfu. 

30%

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

Car rental in - Corfu Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Corfu?

  • Based on comparison with transit and walking/cycling?
 

Is it worth hiring a car in Corfu?

  • Based on value for money?
 

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?
 

Who is travelling?

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

What about for 2 people travelling together?

What about for families?

 

Where are you staying?

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

What if we are staying on the edge of the urban area?

What if we are staying in a rural area?

 

What is your attitude towards driving?

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

What if we are easy either way?

What if I prefer to drive?


 

Verdict

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

6

Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments
 

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?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:
 

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