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If you spend a holiday in Piskopiano, Crete, you'll find many great bars and tavernas to visit but everyone complains about the hill up to the village of Piskopiano. The best way to travel is by scooter or quad - as the locals know! The roads are narrow in the villages and the town of Hersonissos, down the hill, is jammed with cars trying to get to Stalis and Malia or Heraklion. With a quad or scooter, you can use the back roads more easily and manoeuvre through the traffic to get to Star Beach or wherever you want to go...staying cool at the same time!
Obviously you want to be safe on the road so it's vitally important to check out the rental companies in Piskopiano, Koutouloufari or Hersonissos before you rent a quad or scooter.
There are many stories about fraudulent rental companies trying to make money out of customers who have accidents and intimidating them to pay thousands of euros for damages. The licence to rent vehicles should be displayed clearly in the shop and each vehicle should have a number plate in the rear if it's to be used LEGALLY on the roads.
Most people can spot a legitimate rental company but be aware of the 'kamaki' style used in Greece where people might call out to you on the street as you pass by with prices and special offers - this is ILLEGAL and suggests that the company is desperate. No serious, professional business does this - the quads and scooters should be attractive enough to sell themselves! HAVE YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN BEFORE YOU RENT A QUAD OR SCOOTER.
Some travel agencies have a formal contract with a quad / bike rental company so your rep may recommend renting from there during the 'welcome' meeting. This is a safer way to rent as you have the assurance of the travel agency and you expect them to work with a reputable company. BUT BE AWARE! Some reps work with rental companies for their own pocket. NO FORMAL AGREEMENT EXISTS BETWEEN THE TRAVEL AGENCY AND RENTAL COMPANY BUT THE REP IS GETTING PAID BACK-HANDERS FOR SENDING YOU THERE AND DOESN'T CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE RENTING OR YOUR SAFETY. Unfortunately, this is happening in the Piskopiano area with a First Choice rep, Gary, sending tourists to an illegal shop with dangerous vehicles that are not maintained.
If your rep recommends taking minimum insurance such as third party and going for the cheap deals, think about why the rep is doing this. Some are also taking back-handers from damage money the owner takes from the customer if the quad or scooter is returned with any damage. Third party insurance DOES NOT cover the rented vehicle. Check out the contract before you sign anything. A professional business will explain how insurance works and leave you to make the decision.
Be aware of companies offering you a quad or scooter for a very cheap rate - this is always too good to be true and you will regret jumping onto a vehicle that you might have to push for the rest of your holiday! The best way to use the scooters and quads is SOBER. So don't expect any insurance to cover you if you intend to drink and drive...take a taxi for those crazy nights!
DON'T FORGET YOUR DRIVING LICENCE!