Car Renting in Italy: all you need to know before you grab the key
Waltzing under the blue sky, empty roads and a beautiful drive…
There is nothing more alluring to your holiday when you have the option of self-drive. Self-drive empowers you to be your own boss, unlike those jam packed itineraries that require to get up at a specific time and rush off to see the sights. That’s why today we are going to talk about car renting in Italy.
A holiday can be truly enjoyed when you rent a car and explore the beautiful places on your own. As the world connects globally, an increasing number of discerning travellers are option for a self-drive option. Families, young couples, friends, it suits any segments and is majorly a good way to enjoy a holiday.
Car renting in Italy: one of the best country to explore…
Europe and among it Italy is one of the most favoured destinations that attracts travellers from all over the world. Whether on business or leisure trip, it makes sense to reserve your rental car in advance to avoid any disappointment during your trip, but be aware of what you need to know about car renting in Italy.
Selecting a car rental company can make or break your vacation/trip. In an unknown land what you require the most is a reliable source for your travel needs. Once you have decided on taking a car rental, you need to do a thorough research for it. The most important aspect is selecting your car rental company. Once you hit the internet, there are hordes of car Rental Company which strut their services and even websites that offer to compare the rates and help you with the cheapest option.
However cheap service is not the criteria you should look forward when speaking about car renting in Italy. You need to keep in mind that a trustworthy source even though a little expensive will make your visit that much smoother and hassle free.
So what should be the elements that need to be considered while selecting a car rental service in Italy? You first need to know that there may be companies of the same name that exist in different parts and may have no connection with each other. First part is to verify the company. The about us page will tell you if it’s the same company that you are looking for or a namesake company.
Secondly, you should always look for the fleet of cars the company has to offer. Mostly the companies will advertise their inventory which will make it easier for you to decide on the vehicle that suits you most. The car make in Italy might be different than USA for example, and you should check it with the company rather than just assuming that the vehicle will be similar as found in other parts of the world.
All companies list their policies about usage, insurance, fuel policy, damage deductible etc. Make sure you read the fine print as to avoid any misunderstandings later. If you feel that you have not followed a particular point clearly it makes more sense to get it clarified over the email so that you have a written record of it. Be sure that your terms and conditions about usage timings and other things when you look for car renting in Italy are as clear as they can be before you provide your bank details to make the payments.
When you do research on the rental companies you will be able to find reviews about their services from fellow travellers. This is an important aspect as the fellow travellers will give an unbiased and clear review which will help you decide on which company to book the car rental from. It can also help you be aware of some finer prints that you may have missed before.
Once you get the car, you should carry out thorough inspection of the vehicle and even get the attendant to sign the receipt specifying the condition the car was handed over to you. If you wish you can also take pictures as a proof. This will come in handy when you are returning the car and there are any disputes that arise. Sometimes the car may have a prior issue and the car rental company might try and dump the blame on you. To avoid such a scenario, it’s important to self-inspect the car .
Every country has its own set of rules for driving and Italy is no different. The foremost thing to get acquainted with is the rules because you do not want to be caught on the wrong side of law.
Italy has a lot of limited traffic zones (called ZTL) throughout the length and breadth of the country. These are mostly historic places or important places. The limited traffic zones have restrictions on car traffic and must be aware of this so as to abide by it and plan your visit accordingly. There are signs conveying the same and you need to familiarize yourself for this.
As with a majority of the countries, Italy too has norms prescribed for speeding and you should be aware of those in order not to overstep on the speed radar and pay the fine. There are cameras on roads and motorways that track your speed and over speeding may lead to a fine of Euro 100 or more. In order to avoid that it is important to abide by the speeding rules. All the motorways and roads will have signs prescribing the speed limit and you need to follow the same. Mostly the speed limit is 50km/h in built-up areas, 90km/h on ordinary roads, 110km/h on dual carriages and 130km/h on motorways. In wet weather the limit is reduced to 90km/h on dual carriageways and 110km/h on motorways.
One of the major hassles of car renting in Italy is the confusing city traffic. It may get you a little while to get used to the way the traffic operates. Mostly car rentals are not suggested for getting around in the city. Car Rentals are for the offbeat places that you are planning to visit, the vineyards, country sides etc. Within the city the car rental will serve no major purpose and will only lead to wastage of money.
The most important and the basic thing for any person interested in hiring a car in Italy is that he should hold a proper international driving license. Your domicile country should issue the international driving license which will make you eligible for hiring a car and driving in Italy. Without the international driving license you will not be able to rent the car as most car rental companies insist on having this document before handing over the keys to you.
If you have a basis Italian itinerary covering Rome, Florence, Cagliari and Venice, the best decision will be to hire a private car with driver for the days you want to visit the country side. This will help save a lot of money and also reduce the hassle of navigation, looking for the signs and knowing what the traffic rules are. This will save you the parking fees, fuel cost and you can even fit in a tour guide and have a comfortable tour. However places like Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Tuscany can be explored more beautifully when you have you helm your own vehicle and surrender yourself to the natural and beautiful surroundings.
With the right amount of research and planning you can set off on that dream italian road trip, gallivanting from one town to another in your hired car: car renting in Italy will open the doors to an unexpected wonderful holiday!