Advice on Kefalonia car hire

CDW, petrol policy and credit card or cash on Kefalonia

There are many questions regarding Kefalonia car hire insurance, the age of a driver and payment procedures. What is CDW, what is the minimum age to rent a car and can I rent a car on Kefalonia without a credit card? Am I allowed to take the car over to the neighbouring islands? Find Kefalonia car hire information on these subjects.

How does the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) with excess work?

Collision Damage Waiver is included in the car rates of many local car rentals on Kefalonia (not all). CDW has an excess on their cars (in the US known as deductible). The amount of the excess depends on the car rental and often also on the car group.

The excess amount can range from 450 Euro for small cars to 1250 Euro for the higher car groups. Some car rentals have a fixed excess rate for all car groups.

Excess means, that if a renter has a CDW with an excess of e.g. 500 Euro, and the accident/damage was the fault of the renter, he has to pay up to 500 Euro of the repair cost for the rented car.

Full Collision Damage Waiver (or Super CDW)

If you wish to lower the excess to a smaller amount, you can do so by paying a certain amount per day which can range between 7 Euro and 29 Euro per day. It depends on the car rental and/or on the car category.

Some of the car rentals lower the excess down to several hundred Euro, others down to 50 or 100 Euro and a few as far down as zero excess. You are not obliged to pay for Full CDW. Exceptions are the few car hire agencies that have Full CDW included in their rate.

Kefalonia car hire – do not leave asphalted roads

CDW and Full CDW rarely cover the underside of the car, glass, wheels and tires.

Only a few car rentals include these damages in their cover but only if the damage is not the result of driving off-road.

Minimum age to rent a car on Kefalonia

Some car hire agencies require a minimum age of 21 years, others 22 or 23, for higher car categories you have to be at least 25 years old. Some charge extra if you are under the age of 21 or 22.

In any case, you must hold your valid driving licence for at least one year at the time you hire a car. Some require two years. All this applies also to the additional driver.

Is there a maximum age for hiring a car on Kefalonia?

Some companies limit the age of the car renter at 70 or 75 years. Others charge a fee if the driver is over 70 or 75 years old.

Is an International Driving Licence necessary?

Members of the European Union have to present a valid national driver’s licence which has been issued at least one year before renting the car. (Some car rentals require two years).

Non-European Union residents need an International Driving Permit (IDP), often referred to as the international driving licence. This is required along with the national driver licence. On its own, the IDP will not be accepted.

Please note: with the Brexit UK citizens may need an International Driving Permit.

Don’t forget to have your ID-card or passport with you when picking up your hire car. Also, a possible additional driver needs to show driving licence and ID-card/passport.

Kefalonia car hire insurance

Petrol policy

Some car rentals hand out the car with a full tank and you return it full.

Usually, the car rental asks you to return the car with the same level of petrol in the tank as it had at pick-up.

In a few cases you are charged for the petrol in the tank on arrival and then you request to be refunded for the value of the remaining petrol when you return the car.

The best is to choose a car rental with either the “full taken-full returned” regulation or the “returned as taken” regulation.

A petrol station is situated 200 metres from the airport.

Pick-up and drop-off times

The rental periods are based on 24-hours units. It means if you pick up your car at 11:00 am you should drop off the car latest at 11:00 am again. Some car hire agencies accept a later drop-off up to one hour, sometimes even two hours. This has to be agreed with the representative. Others only accept 30 minutes delay.

If you drop-off the car later than agreed, the car rental has the right to charge a penalty fee per hour or even an extra day.

Early hour drop-off, late hour departure flight

What to do, if you have to return your car and still have hours to wait at the airport for your departure flight?

Outside the airport gate, there are two cafeterias, one of them with a small pool. Both have a snack bar, where you can spend as much time as you want.

The alternative could be to rent a day room in a nearby hotel. You can spend the day there and get a taxi back to the airport later. A nice, family-run hotel with a pool and pool bar is the Astra Village Hotel. It is situated only 5 minutes from the airport.

Taking the car over to Ithaca, Zakynthos (Zante) or Lefkas

Planning a trip to one of the neighbouring islands requires the permission of your car rental. Sometimes even written permission. Before booking the car you could contact the car rental to ask how they handle such a request. Maybe they can have written permission ready for you on arrival, if necessary.

A few car hire companies charge extra for a ferry insurance if you go over to the neighbour islands.

Car hire Kefalonia payment procedures

Credit card payment and deposit

Most of the car rentals require payment by credit card. Usually, the renter must be the holder of the credit card.

If you don’t opt for the Full CDW cover some of the car companies block the excess amount and possible surcharges on your credit card.

If you book with a company that blocks a deposit on your card, keep in mind that this amount is not accessible for you during your holidays. That means, either have good credit on your card, have a second card with you or take enough cash with you for your holiday expenses.

There are several car rentals that don’t block a deposit on your card.

Kefalonia car hire without a credit card

There are a number of car hire agencies on the island accepting payment by debit card or cash payment.

The best time to book a car on Kefalonia

The earlier you book a car the better. If you wait until the summer, it can be difficult to get the car you selected. This applies especially to the automatic cars and the 7-seaters and 9-seaters. They are in short supply during high season.

From July through August, the people carriers are mostly sold out. The best time to book is winter or early spring to make sure you get the desired car.


Bottom Line: Most of the local car rentals have the CDW insurance included in the car rate and charge extra to lower the excess sum (Full CDW).

A few companies charge extra for CDW as well as for Full CDW.

The best is to read the ‘terms and conditions’ which are usually placed at the bottom of a website. You can see there if the CDW is included in the rate and how high the excess is. Find out the rate per day to lower the excess, if you wish to pay for Full CDW.

A few local car hire agencies have Full CDW included in their rates.

Read more about Kefalonia car hire tips and advice.

For questions and assistance please contact me.