Driving

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
Elena
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:14 pm

Driving

Postby Elena » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:56 pm

Hi. I have never driven outside of the UK and am wondering if anyone knows of a driving instructor who could help me get to grips with driving on Crete. I am in Chania. Thank you.

Kilkis
Posts: 11093
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Driving

Postby Kilkis » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:12 pm

Sorry I don't know any driving instructors but it is no different from driving in the UK. Press pedals, wiggle stick, turn wheel. Instead of constantly repeating to yourself, "Left hand side - middle pedal brake". as you would normally do as a matter of course in the UK, simply change it to, "Right hand side - middle pedal brake. Works for me.

Warwick

peebee
Posts: 875
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:07 am
Location: Kalyves

Re: Driving

Postby peebee » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:34 pm

Try going out very early in the morning when there is not much around.
Remember to keep the white line on the drivers side (unless you are in a RHD car :-)).
Go anti-clockwise at the roundabouts, should you come across one.
Treat left hand turns as you would right hand turns in the UK and vice versa.
Use your right hand for the handbrake, otherwise you might end up on your back.

Maud
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:46 pm
Location: S.W. England/ S.W. Crete.

Re: Driving

Postby Maud » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:02 pm

If you are driving a LHD car it all comes naturally. You have to think about it a bit more with a RHD one, but only for the first few trips. Roundabouts, overtaking etc.

Good advice from Peebee. - Use the time when the roads are quiet to get some experience in.

Elena
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:14 pm

Re: Driving

Postby Elena » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:05 pm

peebee wrote:Try going out very early in the morning when there is not much around.
Remember to keep the white line on the drivers side (unless you are in a RHD car :-)).
Go anti-clockwise at the roundabouts, should you come across one.
Treat left hand turns as you would right hand turns in the UK and vice versa.
Use your right hand for the handbrake, otherwise you might end up on your back.


Thank you peebee and Maud. I think it’s a question of confidence as I’m in my sixties! That’s why I thought a couple of ‘lessons’ would help.

Kilkis
Posts: 11093
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Driving

Postby Kilkis » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:18 pm

I agree with Maud that driving here in a RHD car is more difficult, especially overtaking. I did it for six months and it was OK but I can't say that I enjoyed it and, having worked in the motor industry, I am used to simply getting in any car, driving it and worrying about where controls are when I find that I need them. Driving a LHD car on the right side of the road feels pretty natural very quickly, although you will probably bang the knuckles on your left hand a few time reaching for the gear lever and handbrake but it doesn't last long.

Most roads are not very busy except in the centre of places like Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion etc so get used to driving outside town before venturing in. When you do feel ready try around 16:00 in the afternoon or Sunday morning. Watch out for people pulling a long way out of junctions, especially roads joining from the right. Instead of stopping at the junction they will often pull half way across your carriageway. Lane discipline is non existent. Nobody will give way if you are waiting to pull out of a junction. If you give way don't expect any acknowledgement. Beware geriatrics in extremely old pick-up trucks. They have probably never taken a test in their life, don't have a driving licence, tax or insurance. Other than that most of the stupid things drivers do are irritating rather than dangerous.

I am not sure driving instructors actually teach driving very much. They more fulfil the legal requirement to have a certain number of lessons before you take your test.

Warwick

Elena
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:14 pm

Re: Driving

Postby Elena » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:10 pm

Thank you Warwick. It is a LHD car so, hopefully, I'll soon get used to it!

Guy M
Posts: 543
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: Kalamitsi Alexandrou

Re: Driving

Postby Guy M » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:53 pm

We live down an empty lane on the edge of a quiet village. My daughter started to drive 100 yards down the lane this summer (she’s 14). Our next door neighbour (in the only house near us) said: go to the car park in town - that’s where all our children and grandchildren learned how to drive when they were her age’.

Joan
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:16 am
Location: Sussex and Crete

Re: Driving

Postby Joan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:02 pm

We spend about half of the year in Crete and about half in England. I realise that I have learned the roads that I use. On the roads I use here I drive on the right, on those that I use in England I drive on the left. I look at the road in front of me and know it and respond. The roads here are much quieter - traffic is a clue in England. (I do quickly double-check where I am if I have any doubt, or on unfamiliar roads!) For me it's not affected by LHD and RHD - I mentally switch the controls immediately.

It's much easier than you think it's going to be.

Joan

evansmr1
Posts: 233
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:00 pm
Location: Pirgos, Kalo Horio,

Re: Driving

Postby evansmr1 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:51 am

My advice to to work through one of the following sites which challenge about the Greek driving law/procedures (yes, surprisingly there are correct road procedures) . The first one is the best, scroll down for the car section. The others are also good.

There are many differences to the UK, in particular, if on a roundabout with no approach signs (Stop/Giveway) priority is given to those approaching the roundabout.

http://testdriver.gr/en/index.php

http://tsoukalas.net/testdrive/test.html?1,2#a1

http://farfaras.gr/en/examination/car/

http://www.bestl.gr/shmataodhghshs10.html

I strongly recommend spending many hours taking the on line tests. BUT do not expect most of the Greek drivers to respect the rules, in particular Moped riders.
Mike
=============
Sic parvis magnaike

Kilkis
Posts: 11093
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Driving

Postby Kilkis » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:53 pm

evansmr1 wrote:...There are many differences to the UK, in particular, if on a roundabout with no approach signs (Stop/Giveway) priority is given to those approaching the roundabout...


This is just a particular incidence of the more general give way to the right rule, which, I think, applies across most of Europe. If there is no stop/give way signs and you are not on a priority road then you should give way to traffic entering your carriageway from the right everywhere.

Warwick

bobscott
Posts: 2556
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:36 pm
Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: Driving

Postby bobscott » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:38 pm

It is still somewhat confusing here in the Chania district when it comes to roundabouts. We still have the 'old' system running outside of the law courts, where if you are already on the roundabout, you MUST stop and give way to traffic joining it from the right. The other two roundabouts in the area, i.e. on the road to the airport are 'normal' - if you want to join the roundabout, you have to let traffic already on it go past. Elsewhere on the island I am not sure, but I don't think there are many other roundabouts, other than in Iraklio.

Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Tim
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:41 pm
Location: Near Sitia
Contact:

Re: Driving

Postby Tim » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:01 pm

We've got one, bob! You takes yer life in yer hands .....

Tim

Kilkis
Posts: 11093
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Driving

Postby Kilkis » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:55 pm

The main thing, Bob, is that signposts trump any general rules wherever you are driving in the world. In the three cases you mention I think it is signposted who has to stop/give way. Problems occur when there are no signposts and the general rule takes over if you don't know what the general rule is. Across Europe give way to the right is a general rule in many (all?) countries. The equivalent in the UK would be a give way to the left rule which does not apply.

Close to where I lived in northern Greece there was a straightforward crossroads of two quite small town roads. One had a stop sign in both directions but cars normally ignored it. Sitting on the balcony was frequently punctuated by the screech of brakes and sometimes the clash of metal on metal followed by a blazing row between the two drivers. The one on the road with the stop sign would be arguing that the other driver had not given way to the right. The other one would be arguing that the first driver had not stopped at the stop sign. Clearly each believed they were in the right.

Warwick

Kamisiana
Posts: 370
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: Driving

Postby Kamisiana » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:19 pm

Common sense easy :wink:


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