Renting a car in Italy – Things to consider

Renting a car in Italy - Things to considerAre you thinking about renting a car during your trip to Italy? If it’s so, here are some of the things you should consider when renting a car in Italy.


First of all, what type of car is it better to choose: petrol or a diesel?

There isn’t a right answer to this question. However, if you want to save some money, you should go for a diesel car. Indeed, in Italy diesel costs definitely less than petrol.


Should I get a car with a gps device or not? If you don’t have a good phone app, I strongly suggest you to rent a car with a gps device. Indeed, in Italy road signs aren’t always clear. Moreover, there are many no entry signs and one-way streets that can be a nightmare for drivers. In addition to this, in cities there are many TZL – areas of limited traffic – areas where you should not enter or you’ll get a fine.


Another thing you should consider when renting a car in Italy is the car insurance.

When you rent a car in Italy, some types of insurance are usually already included in the price.

Generally, these types of insurance are:

TPI: It covers your legal liability for the damage caused by you to a third party.

CDW: With CDW the rental company agrees to wave the costs of damage to the vehicle in case of collision. If you have CDW you’ll only have to pay an excess/deductible, not for the entire costs of the repairs. However, pay attention because some parts of the car aren’t usually covered by CDW such as the tyres, wheels, windscreen, undercarriage and roof.

TP: Theft protection usually insures you up to a fixed amount for loss and damage of the car you rented. I’ve heard that, in some parts of Italy, TP isn’t authomatically included in the price. So, you’d better check with the rental agency which insurances are already included in the price and which aren’t.

What is surely not included in the price is the option zero-excess.

Zero-Excess: this allows you to reduce the excess/deductible to zero, so you won’t have to pay anyting in case the car is damaged. Mind that the Italian name of this option may vary according to the rental car agency.


Car inspection is another important thing to do when renting a car in Italy. You should always remember to inspect the car before driving off. The car rental will give you a Condition report. This is a document where you should indicate all the damages, scratches, nicks, etc that you see on the car.

Indicating all the damages is essential because when you rent a car you usually sign a contract saying that the car you rent is perfect except for the damages indicated in the Condition report. So, you’d better pay a lot of attention if you don’t want to be unfairly blamed for causing damages to the car.


Big cars are comfortable, I know, however when renting a car in Italy, you should always keep in mind where you are and why you need a car.

For example, some of my students told me that they made a big mistake renting a big car when they were visiting Sardinia. And I wasn’t surprised at all to hear that. Indeed, there are many narrow roads on this Italian island, so choosing a small car is the best decision to take.

So, always gather information about the place you want to visit first, and only then decide the type of car you’d like to rent.


Be careful when driving in Italy because traffic laws might be different than the ones in your country.

Pay particular attention to ZTL areas, traffic cameras (they’re almost everywhere), and parkings.

I covered ZTL areas above, so let’s talk about traffic cameras. Traffic cameras are becoming more and more common in Italy. So, not to run a red light, and to comply with speed limits and road signs.

Be careful also when parking your car. Always check the signs and behave accordingly.

Fines can come also many months after the infraction and rental car companies generally will charge an administrative fee for them.

Have you ever rented a car in Italy? How was your experience?


Original image by Free-Photos

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