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Renting a car in Italy

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Renting a car in Italy

We are traveling as a couple to Italy for the first time. We would like to rent a vehicle. How difficult is this? What is a reliable company to use? Are there any things to be aware of?

Houston, TX
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1. Re: Renting a car in Italy

I rented a car this past May/June in Italy. Used Autoeurope, a broker. Online. it was excellent. They always beat the prices of the agencies themselves. I also called them from my cheap little Italian Samsung phone for reservations and a change in plans during the trip, which worked out great.

See:

www.autoeurope.com/go/cpc/…

We logged into the Autoeurope site through UK rather than USA. I don't know your nationailty, but the UK site gave us better prices than the American one. Just input your "UK address." It doesn't have to match your credit card. When I inputted my US address, it bounced back over to the US site. The autoeurope UK site:

www.autoeurope.com/go/cpc/…

GPS was fantastic. I brought mine from the USA, with new 2012 Garmin Italian maps and it was perfect every time except once, when there was a brand new road under construction. Bring a back up paper map. We had a large one we brought, showing roads + GPS + nice small manageable paper map from the Europcar agency where we picked up our car.

Verify opening hours of the place you are picking up/dropping off--they usually are closed for several afternoon hours.

Don't keep anything visible in the car when you leave it...no tourist items and maps, certainly no cameras/purses/luggage/GPS, even left unattended "for a minute" while you run into a market. Some suggest keeping an Italian language newspaper on the seat to be a bit less of a target for thieves. Make sure your rental car has a closed trunk, never an open space that allows your belongings to be visible.

Type in "ZTL in Italy" in the search bar on TripAdvisor and Google it. Google the images of the dreaded ZTL's. Very expensive fines for entering a ZTL (limited traffic zone, for residents/permit holders only). Ignorance of the signs and laws are absolutely no excuse. So, no whining later about on TA forums them if you get hit with hundreds of euros in fines up to 360 days later!

Here are some ZTL images:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ztl+in&hl=en&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=yPodUNfrAqbi2AXJkYGoCw&ved=0CEMQ_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=616#hl=en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=ztl+in+italy&oq=ztl+in+italy&gs_l=img.3..0i24.6808.7861.0.8821.6.2.0.4.4.0.92.177.2.2.0...0.0...1c.LS5DyQP-jN0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=6e318dcf4940b8eb&biw=1366&bih=616

I liked the tiny Fiat car to maneuver and for good gas mileage. Sometimes, the teensy, narrow roads near some smaller towns. And plnand to drive a stick (manual) and be able to stop at a red light light on a hill, then hitting the brake along with the gas pedal w/o backing into the person driving on your tail. Drive to the right--people will tailgate you and it's considered bad road manners to drive in the far left lane. And to many an Italian, an invitation to get inches from your bumper, flashing their lights. No bueno.

A couple of times we forgot where we parked--you often have to park far from your destination. Then we started taking I photos of the surroundings so we could see it on the phone/camera. Also I entered the car's location on the GPS and carried it in my purse as a "recently found" location.

There's so much to say on this topic.....There are many discussions on TA about renting a car in Italy. Type "rent car" or "renting a car" or "care hire" in the Italy forum search bar above for plenty of conversations.

Buon viaggio.

United States
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2. Re: Renting a car in Italy

This is a comprehensive guide to driving in Italy not just Tuscany:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187893-c140065/Tusca…

My avatar is one of the types of ZTL signs.

Here is a little information about car choices and some photos of driving conditions.

…blogspot.com/2011/01/driving-in-italy-car-c…

TAB

north carolina
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6,563 posts
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3. Re: Renting a car in Italy

Lanago2 has very good information. For whatever it is worth, I have rented cars in Italy perhaps 10 times. Used Hertz twice and Avis the other times. Both times with Hertz we had major problems, related to the particular local offices; every time with Avis it was all smooth and easy, no problems. Also, I have been well satisfied with the rates from Avis.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Renting a car in Italy

Get an International Drivers License! This didn't use to be required but it is now Italian law. We had a tough discussion with a Caribinieri officer (my husband questioned his demand for the license) and he was nice enough to let us go without a fine, which he could have imposed.

Get one at AAA.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Renting a car in Italy

It is NOT an International Driver's License that is required; it is an International Driver's PERMIT that is required - you get it AAA offices, it costs around $20 and requires a passport style photo.

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Renting a car in Italy

To be totally pedantic, it is an International Driving Permit. Not "Driver's" and not "License".

At least, that is what is printed on mine.

Summersville, West...
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7. Re: Renting a car in Italy

lango2, we planned on updating our Garmin for our Italy trip next year, so I am so glad you mentioned it in your post. Does it have scenic drives I had planned on purchasing a Michelin guide, but may not need to do so with our update. So, I take it that we can't go through the cheaper UK Autoeurope site with with a USA address. ?? Also, does anyone know if it is possbile to leave two pieces of our larger luggage with the car rental agency when we rent our car to save some car space and then retrieve it upon returning the car?

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Renting a car in Italy

People from the US can book through auto-europe.co.uk but be careful that you are comparing the same thing. There have been suggestions that the UK prices do not include as much insurance as the US prices.

Car rental companies generally do not provide luggage storage: their offices do not have anywhere secure.

San Jose, California
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9. Re: Renting a car in Italy

Be very careful using GPS devices (personally I dislike them and never use them). Recently a neighbor of mine had guests visiting. They arrived into Milan airport and were to drive to the Arezzo area. The GPS asked if they wanted to take "toll roads", which in their ignorance and unfamiliar with the area, promptly said "no". What should have been a 4 hour drive, became an all day, 8 hour drive with a 2 year old in the car!

GPS devices are notorious for sending you down farm lanes, strada bianca (white dirt roads), unnecessarily through small medieval villages with narrow roads, up one-way roads, through ZTLs, etc. In my opinion, they give a false sense of confidence vs. becoming familiar with signage, maps and directional signs.

Summersville, West...
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10. Re: Renting a car in Italy

Thank you, Sidneynick. I appreciate knowing that we might not get as much insurance, and there won't be any storage. Have a great day!