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What to know about renting a car in Italy?

Renting a car in Italy

Reading time:
9 minutes
Date:
May 4, 2022

Italy is an ideal country to explore in in the comfort of your rental car. Discover the beautiful lakes, historic cities and breathtaking natural areas in the 'boot of Europe'. In this article, we will inform you about age restrictions, driver's license requirements, insurance, credit card use, and give you some useful tips for renting a car in Italy. Through our easy-to-use tool you will find the right rental car for every type of vacation and trip.

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Age restrictions for renting a car in Italy

If you have had a valid driver's license for at least one year, you can rent a car in Italy from the age of 18. What kind of car you can rent, and how much you pay for it, depends on your age. Learn more about what to expect when renting a car at 18, how that changes at 26, and what happens after turning 70.

Age under 21

Even if you haven't had your driver's license for a year, there are car rental companies in Italy where you can rent a car. You will need to pay a fee and can choose from only a limited number of models.

These are examples of cars you can rent:

Renting a car in Italy when you’re under 21
I can rent a car in Italy at 18

Age from 21 to 26 years

You can rent a car from almost any rental company in Italy from the age of 21. Although you can't rent all models yet, paying a fee will make more models available to you. Also, you still pay a young driver fee.

Good to know: not all rental companies apply the same rules. So before booking, always read the terms and conditions carefully.

Age of 26 years and older

You can rent a car anywhere in Italy with a valid driver's license from the age of 26. Some rental companies do not rent a car to people over 80 years old.

We have written a separate article with all the information about what age you can rent a car in Italy.

License and Credit card requirements for car rental in Italy

Which documents you need to rent a car in Italy?

If you want to rent a car in Italy, the following documents are required for all ages:

  • A valid driver's license for at least 1 year;
  • A valid passport or identity card;
  • A credit card.

If you live outside the EU, you also need an international driver's license.

Insurers impose mandatory conditions on car rental companies. As a result, some rental companies will limit the number of models available to you, if you have had your driver's license for less than 2 years, and sometimes even less than 3 years.

All-inclusive insurance for rental car in Italy

Want to rent a car in Italy without a credit card?

At the rental companies we investigated, it is not possible to rent a car without a credit card. However, some local rental companies do offer this option.

Here we would like to explain to you a bit more about the options of renting a car in Italy without a credit card.

Renting a car in Italy, quick and easy to book.

I want to rent a car

Rent a car with credit card in someone else's name

Renting a car with a credit card in someone else's name is not an option. You will not get the car. Is the credit card holder the secondary driver? Then you can ask to change the booking. The secondary driver then becomes the primary driver. Often there will be an extra charge to make this change.

Can you rent a car in Italy without paying a deposit?

Renting a car in Italy without a deposit or for a cash deposit might be possible with some rental companies. More commonly, rental companies require a credit card to charge a deposit.

What are the costs of renting a car in Italy?

Rent a car and pay the deposit in Italy with a prepaid credit card

Rental companies do not always accept prepaid credit cards. If you find a rental company that does accept this card as payment and for the deposit, please read the terms and conditions carefully before signing.

Do you want to rent a car in Italy with credit card?

Renting a car in Italy with a credit card makes everything much easier. Please note that the deposit (own risk) is deducted from the spending amount on your credit card.

On our website, you will find more details on how it works to rent a car in Italy with or without a credit card.

Insurance of an italian rental car

Insurance options for your rental car in Italy

For many people, choosing the insurance is the most difficult part of renting a car. To make things clear, we will explain several separate insurances and an all-inclusive insurance option below.

CDW (Collision Damage Waiver)

This damage insurance limits the maximum amount for which you are liable in the event of damage to the car due to collisions and accidents.

LDW (Loss Damage Waiver)

This is the CDW supplemented with coverage for damage caused by theft and/or vandalism.

TPI (Third Party Insurance)

This insurance, which is also required in Italy, covers civil liability (third party liability).

ALI (Additional Liability Insurance)

If the TPI does not offer sufficient coverage, this extra insurance can be taken out.

TP (Theft Protection), also called THW (Theft waiver)

An insurance to cover damage caused by theft.

PAI (Personal Accident Insurance)

This is a passenger insurance that pays out in the event of injury or death.

All-inclusive insurance

All-inclusive insurance offers good coverage without being liable for damages and theft. The coverage offered is not the same for every rental company. Before you accept this option, please read the terms and conditions carefully.

The insurance options described above are the most common. Often there are situations and/or incidents that the insurance options won’t cover; and the rental companies will provide other options to provide additional coverage.

Would you like to know more about the right insurance options you can choose for your trip? We have written an extensive article about insurances when renting a car in Italy.

Things to know when renting a car in Italy?

The best tip for renting a car in Italy is to get a credit card, if you don't already have one. Now, all rental companies require a credit card for the deposit.

Which specific traffic rules do you have to consider in Italy? How many glasses of Italian wine can you enjoy over dinner if you must drive afterwards? If you want to enjoy a carefree vacation, it is important to be aware of this.

Below we give the answers to these questions, among others. And even better, with our experience, we've put together a list of tips to take into account when renting a car. Road Trip Car has drawn up a handy checklist, so you can be sure to check the most important points when you pick up the rental car. You can download it for free from the same article!

The best tips for car rental in Italy, traffic rules and more

Traffic rules in Italy

The traffic rules in Italy do not differ much from those in Europe. Before jumping into your rental car, it is good to know the following rules:

The speed limit for passenger cars

Under normal weather conditions, and if you have had your driver's license for more than two years, the speed limit for passenger cars on 6-lane roads in Italy is 93 mi (150 km) per hour. Furthermore, within the urban area 31 mi (50 km) per hour, outside the urban area 55 mi (90 km) per hour, on highways 68 mi (110 km) per hour and on highways 80 mi (130 km) per hour.

Hands Free Calling

Hands-free calling is allowed.

Driving in the mountains

On mountain roads, climbing traffic takes precedence over descending traffic.

Tram on the road

If you stand still behind a tram, you are not allowed to overtake it, unless there is an escape hill, which allows you space to pass.

Spending the night in the car

Spending the night in the car on public roads is sometimes allowed in Italy. Check with the local authorities to be sure.

Traffic light on red

At dangerous intersections, you may continue carefully, if at the same time the red and green lights are on.

Who has priority?

Trams and line buses always have priority.

With a glass of wine at the wheel?

For drivers who have had their driver's license for more than two years, there is a maximum blood alcohol limit of 0.5 grams per liter. If you have had a driver’s license for less than three years, driving with any alcohol in your system is prohibited. Driving under the influence of narcotics is completely forbidden.

Where should I rent a car in Italy? Compare companies

Parking

Because of the often unclear rules, we advise you to park in a parking garage or a paid parking zone. Parking against the direction of travel is prohibited.

Breakdown on the road

Drivers and passengers are expected to always wear a reflective safety vest, if broken down on the road. If you break down outside of built-up areas, you must place a warning triangle outside of your car to warn oncoming traffic.

Bordercrossing, islandhopping or one-way rent

Rent a car in Italy and cross borders

Most companies accept border crossing from Italy to France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.

When booking, please indicate immediately which countries you would like to visit so that the rental company can reserve a car suitable for you to cross borders.

Island hopping by rental car

The costs can be very high, if you plan to take the rental car across to the islands and leave the car at that destination (= One-way). If you do not plan to travel back to the pickup location of the car, it is cheaper to rent another car at your next destination.

Island hopping with a rental car in Italy

Rent One-Way

In Italy, it is possible with most rental companies to return your rental car to a different place than where you picked it up, either on the mainland or on one island. You can only do this upon request when booking, and the cost is around 61 USD (€50) (for some car models this can be as much as 184 USD (€150)).

Which car should I rent and how rent it?

Which car should I rent in Italy?

  • A van for when you go on vacation with 6 or more people;
  • An SUV/4WD offers you comfort when you go on a roadtrip in Italy;
  • A convertible makes your trip a unique experience;
  • You give yourself a dream vacation with a luxury car.
Things to know before renting a car in Italy

How to rent a car in Italy?

In Italy, it is advisable to book a car online and well in advance of your vacation, depending on what kind of car you want to rent and what insurance options you consider important.

For your convenience, we have researched various rental companies on points that are important to most people. On this page you will find the results of several rental companies in Italy.

What is the price of a rental car in Italy?

The cost of a rental car depends on your wishes. Cheap rentals are nice, but often there are hidden costs so you will end up losing more money. Roadtripcar.com has conducted broad research into the costs and conditions of rental companies.

In our research, we compare rental cars that are fully insured and have an excess of 0 USD. The rental period was 14 days, the rental location Milan.

Please note: the list below is an estimate.

The cost, for a rental period of 14 days, in Milan, Italy, with the cheapest rental company with all-inclusive insurance:

Tip

Pay Attention! The rents below are based on the period before the disruptions in the market. It is not yet possible to say whether the price level will recover in the coming period. Currently the prices are considerably higher than normal. Please take this into account when looking for a rental car.

  • 24 USD (€20) per day for a small car, such as a Toyota Aygo;
  • 43 USD (€35) per day for a medium sized car, such as an Alfa Romeo Giulietta;
  • 46 USD (€38) per day for a large car, such as a Fiat Tipo Combi;
  • 105 USD (€86) per day for a luxury car, such as an Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
Age requirements for car rental in Italy

If you come across an offer that is very different from the prices mentioned above, please be wary.

Want to read more about our tips? We have written an extensive article in which we have collected all the tips for renting a car in Italy.

Which rental companies and experiences

You want to make the best choice for a rental car in Italy. Roadtripcar.com continuously researches rental companies and has made the following handy overview. This makes it easier for you to find a good rental car. We select rental car companies in Italy based on experiences, score, prices, possibilities and conditions.

At some rental companies, we read about bad customer experiences more often than at other companies. Don't be put off by this at first. People quickly tend to post bad reviews when the problem could easily have been avoided.

Our article on the most important tips for carefree car rental ( including a checklist) will help you minimize the chance of an unpleasant experience.

Information per rental company can be found on our rental company’s page. This way, you can choose at a glance from which company you want to rent a car in Italy.

Also good to read

Rent a car in Italy

From what age can you rent a car in Italy?

Want to rent a car in Italy but no credit card?

All about insurances of an Italian rental car

The best tips for renting a car in Italy

The best tips for car rental

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