Car Rental in Italy

Sep 23rd, 2010, 12:00 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3
Car Rental in Italy

We will be taking our first trip to Europe ( Italy) in April. I have explored several car rental company options (we are renting a car for a week in Tuscany). Does anyone have any strong recommendations regarding who to use, or to avoid? Anyone have experience using SixT for their rental? Thanks for any advice you can give us.
Jim_Calantropio is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 01:05 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
This may help---note the last paragraph:


DRIVING IN ITALY & SOUTHERN EUROPE

Q. SHOULD WE DRIVE IN ITALY?
A. Of course you should if your driving skill & confidence would allow you to drive a rental car in Vermont, Colorado or California. But, be advised of these tips:
* Avoid driving in the major cities except for picking up or dropping cars
* Have good maps—study them in advance—and have a GOOD NAVIGATOR.
* Stay in the right lane except when passing and use your rear view mirrors

Q. WHAT CAR SHOULD I GET AND WHERE DO I GET IT?
A. It is best to rent your car before you leave for Europe. The best source we have found is www.autoeurope.com [800-223-5555] who is a broker for several car vendors. They will quote you prices to include the variables that are often omitted by others, such as unlimited mileage, mandatory insurance coverage with some deductibles, and VAT taxes. It is wise to compare prices and coverage with their sister company at www.kemwel.com. Autoeurope will match any comparable quote, and are famous for their customer satisfaction if problems do arise with the vendor. The best model will depend on your needs, but for best value we suggest you select a compact car with manual transmission. Automatics are available but will cost you about 30% more and may limit your model options & pick up locations.

Q. ARE ITALIAN DRIVERS AS CRAZY AS I HAVE HEARD?
A. Yes & no! They are certainly aggressive, but they are also more skilled than many USA drivers—both are a function of necessity. Italy is one of the most crowded countries in the world and the drivers have evolved these characteristics
* They are notorious tailgaters. If that bothers you, pull over and let them past.
* On the AUTOSTRADE they will drive fast, but will stay in the right lane except when passing and will use their blinkers when passing—YOU SHOULD TOO !
* They will often pass on 2-lane roads with traffic coming. Frankly, they expect you, and the oncoming car, to adjust to the shoulder and make 3 lanes of traffic.

OTHER ROAD TIPS FOR YOUR DRIVING SANITY:
1. Learn the meaning of the sign “ SENSO UNICO” and take heed [ONE WAY ].
2. Be sure to get your ticket when you enter the AUTOSTADA system & be prepared to pay the toll when you exit it [ rule of thumb—300 km=15 Euro]. You can use your credit card in the VIA lane at the toll both, or buy a debit VIACARD in advance.
3. Do NOT attempt to follow road numbers—that will frustrate you. But, do pay attention to the directional signs that point to your destination [ TO MONTALCINO]. And, be aware if that road leads eventually to a larger city [ ROMA—SIENA ETC.]
4. Unless you have a diesel car, you will want to fill the tank with benzina from the green pump. Most stations will pump gas for you and will take credit cards.

NOTE: As of 2005, an International Drivers Permit[IDP] is required in Italy.
You can obtain them from your local AAA office. You will need a valid US driver’s license, two passport photos, and $15. The photos can be taken at the AAA office.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 01:06 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 238
this thread might help ...

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...c-question.cfm
screen_name_taken is offline  
Sep 24th, 2010, 02:39 AM
  #4  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,952
Also, make sure you read up on limited traffic zones (ZTL) and speed cameras on highways. There are numerous threads here on getting tickets from entering a ZTL, especially in Florence and Pisa.

Both can cost you a pretty penny.
J62 is online now  
Sep 24th, 2010, 05:30 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,522
Some people report not needing their IDP, but mine was asked for last month when I picked up the rental.

Know your road signs. Click on the other road sign links on the right for other signs.
http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/road_s..._signs_cr2.htm

Equally important, parking signs and payment.
http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/driving/parking.htm
kybourbon is online now  
Sep 24th, 2010, 05:35 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,522
Two things I'll add to the good advice above:

- No matter who you end up renting with you'll
always have some people say they were great and others say stay away. I have used AutoEurope and their leverage with a rental firm can help if you do have a disagreement.

- Be sure you can drive a manual transmission.
Automatics can cost a lot more and people sometimes get a manual even if they've reserved a slush box. You have enough time to learn or to brush up before you go if necessary.

Rob
ParisAmsterdam is offline  

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