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Car Rental in Italy: discover stunning landscapes, iconic architecture and art
The heart of Western Civilization’s most iconic architecture and art, Italy is worth visiting for still more: for excellent food, better wine, stunning landscapes, and compelling regional diversity. While you could certainly be happy to stay stuck in any of Italy’s cities, make the most of your visit by exploring the Italian countryside too. Book your rental car now!
To avoid crowds and still take advantage of some pretty spectacular weather, head to Italy between the beginning of April and the end of June or in September and October.
The official language of Italy is Italian; you are likely to find speakers of other European languages speckled throughout the country. English is most likely spoken in areas that see a lot of tourist traffic, and German is widely spoken in northern Italy along the Austrian border.
Italy is in the Central Time Zone, UTC+1.
The currency of Italy is the euro, and credit cards are widely accepted at grocery and retail stores. Take advantage of frequent ATMs to have cash on hand for restaurants, bakeries, and butcheries.
Distances are not to be underestimated in Italy; Rome is generally around 500 km (310 mi) away from other major metropolitan destinations, such as Milan, Genoa, and Venice. If you are interested in an extended road trip, however, a drive through the Italian Alps is a beautiful and exciting venture; head to Lake Como or Lake Garda (650 km (404 mi) and 570 km (355 mi) from Rome respectively) for some high-class living or some rugged mountain experiences, whatever your particular desire may be.
Cheap car hire in Italy is available in virtually every city, though you’re like to find the most inexpensive car rentals in larger metropolitan centers and especially at international airports, such as in Rome in the south; Turin and Pisa in the west; Venice in the east; Milan in the north; and Florence and Bologna in central Italy.
As a Schengen country, Italy accepts visitors from many countries around the world visa-free for up to 90 days. Double check entry requirements for your nationality before you depart, as you may be required to apply for a visa in advance of your departure.
Driving in Italy
Though roads are narrow and busy in the inner city, driving through the Italian countryside is a real pleasure, particularly in northern Italy, where the highway infrastructure is excellent and well maintained. Get off the beaten path during your visit in Italy and really take advantage of the beauty of the natural landscape by booking your rental car today!
- Traffic proceeds on the right-hand side of the road.
- In towns and cities: 50 km/h (31 mph)
- Outside towns and cities: 90 to 110 km/h (55 to 68 mph)
- On the Autostrade: 130 km/h (80 mph).
- It is prudent to pay attention to any shifts in speed limit, as speed cameras regulate all of the roads throughout Italy.
- Parking can be a challenge in major Italian cities, so book a hotel with complementary parking or ask your receptionist for recommendations for inexpensive car parks.
- Note that some town and city centers, such as in Siena, are Limited Traffic Zones (Zone a Traffico Limitato); you will incur fines of around $120 for driving in these zones without specific permission!
- All drivers with licenses from non-EU countries will need an international driver’s permit in addition to their valid domestic driver’s license to rent and drive a car in Italy. Otherwise, domestic driver’s licenses issued in the EU are sufficient.
- Most motorways - called the autostrade - are tolled.
- The minimum driving and car rental age is 18 in Italy, though all drivers under the age of 25 are likely to incur young-driver surcharges as well.
Cheap Car Rental in Italy
Car hire in Italy typically starts at around $10 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Italy:
- Renault Twingo or similar (mini class) – $10/day
- Volkswagen Polo or similar (economy class) – $11/day
- Fiat Bravo or similar (compact class) – $15/day
- Nissan Juke or similar (intermediate class) – $17/day
- Renault Scenic or similar (standard class) – $20/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Italy
As a general rule, the more popular the destination, the cheaper the rental car price; for example, best car hire in Italy is available for as low as $8 a day in Rome, $9 a day in Venice, and $13 a day in Turin. These prices drop by $1 and more if you extend your rental period by over a week.
Prices are also cheaper by half at airports. A car that costs $35 per day to pick up in central Rome costs less than $10 at the Rome Ciampino Airport.
There are numerous budget rental companies throughout Italy; Auto Click, Budget Rent, and Gold Car are among the cheapest, routinely renting cars at significantly lower prices than internationally well-known rental companies like Enterprise.