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Car rentals in Italy: All you need to know

Italy is one of Southern Europe's most popular destinations and one that offers a diverse climate and culture to all its visitors. Car hire in Italy is the most effective and affordable way to explore all Italia has to offer.

How can I get a cheap car rental in Italy?

With a cheap car rental in Italy from, you can see the country at your own pace with a few extra euros left over. Secure the best price on a cheap car by:

  • Comparing the prices of car rental deals;
  • Avoiding airport pick-ups or drop-offs, which can cost more;
  • Knowing in advance how much fuel and mileage you’re going to need so you can search by fuel policy for the best deal; 
  • Booking your car hire as early as possible to guarantee a cheap deal;
  • Sticking to one driver.

What do I have to keep in mind when renting a car in Italy?

It's worth remembering that between November 15 and April 15, winter tyres or snow chains are legally required in many cities in Italy. An overview of the rules can be found at In order to meet these provisions, vehicles in the regions where they apply are equipped with snow chains. The additional costs are usually included in the car rental price, but make sure you check first.

What Italian car rental companies are good?

You can rent quality cars for a good price from many reputable suppliers in Italy. Sixt, Auto Europe, and Europcar are among the big names. Check the reviews for a specific company before you reserve your vehicle.

What kind of car rental should I get in Italy?

This depends on what you plan to do as well as the size of your travel party. Will you be driving straight from the airport in Naples or Sicily to your local guesthouse or will you need something more robust to navigate Northern Italy and its snowy peaks? A popular car for the latter would be an SUV or a van, but if you're simply making a summer day trip, a small economy car rental might be right for you.

How old do I have to be to rent a car in Italy?

To rent a passenger car in Italy, you must be at least 18 years old, and have held a driver's license for at least a year. For larger vehicles there might be a higher minimum age. Remember that a young driver surcharge may be applicable for drivers under 25 years of age.

Do I need insurance when renting a car in Italy?

Yes. You should check if your car or credit card insurance covers renting a car in Italy. As a US citizen, you can purchase insurance at the checkout or from the rental company directly.

Can I book with unlimited mileage when renting a car in Italy?

It's often a good idea to opt for unlimited mileage, if you plan on driving a lot during your stay. You might find that while you save on the initial purchase with limited mileage, it works out costing you more to pay for the extra miles. Plan your trips in advance and decide what suits you best.

Can I use a debit card for an Italian hire car?

Many rental agencies do not accept debit cards, so have a credit card ready. Note that prepaid cards or cash cannot be used to pay for your rental. 

Is it possible to hire a car one-way in Italy?

One-way rentals are normally possible, but may incur a surcharge, depending on the rental car company. Check with the supplier for their various rental locations.

Which sights and/or cities are must-sees in Italy?

With a car rental, you can visit Italy's most popular cities. Our favorites include Bologna, the birthplace of ragù and home to an abundance of medieval buildings and beautifully designed porticoes. With the famous leaning tower of Pisa, the pretty piazzas of Verona (plus Juliet's balcony), and the waterways of Venice, there’s something to do in Italy for everyone. Cruise through the beautiful countryside of Calabria and discover the rural side of Italy before driving to Milan, the international fashion capital. Take a history lesson in Florence before heading to the capital city, Rome.

What is a good road trip in Italy?

The Amalfi Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason. The SS163 is one of the best coastal routes in the world thanks to its panoramic views and winding roads. As you coast along the cliff tops, you'll have the chance to breathe in the crystal-clear sea air and stop for limoncello and other local products. Take a break for lunch and admire the magnificent scenery of this 30-mile stretch of coastal beauty.

What activities is Italy especially good for?

Besides being a gastronomic paradise for foodies, Italy is also home to must-see beautiful beaches. Sardinia is a popular vacation spot for Italians and foreign tourists alike, who flock for its sandy coastline and archaeological sites. Cagliari is Sardinia'a historic capital and has fantastic city beaches, while Porto Cervo is a seaside resort in the northern part of the region, full of luxury spas, fine dining, and exclusive clubs and bars.

3 traffic tips to keep you safe

Our travel tips for your rental period include:

  • Be careful with cross border driving as there are territorial restrictions. Some cars are only allowed in certain countries, so make sure you read the terms and conditions of the rental company. In the event of breaching territorial restrictions, insurances will lose their validity.
  • Watch out for zones that are 'limitato', which won't be as familiar to you as they are to Italian drivers. In certain downtown areas at specific times of the day, you can’t drive down those streets - watch out for the signs marked ZTL when driving!
  • Of course, watch out for the speed limit in kilometers!

With your car rental in Italy, you never have to rely on public transportation or pricey cab rides. So, save your coins for the Trevi Fountain in Rome and book your transportation here on We offer the lowest prices on rental cars and take the stress out of your trip.

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