Car rental Questions for Italy

Jul 21st, 2014, 05:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 78
Car rental Questions for Italy

I want to rent a car in Venice and return it there or somewhere else in northern Italy. Can I take it out of Italy without any issues? I do have an international license.

What about car insurance? For some reason most credit cards don't want to ensure drivers in Italy.
Thanks for any insight anyone might have for me.
Jill is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 06:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,519
This may help:


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

A. It is best to rent your car before you leave for Europe. The best source we have found is [888-223-5555] 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 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.

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.

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 $20. The photos can be taken at the AAA office.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 06:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 78
Thank you,
Jill is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 06:45 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 78
Yes, you'll need to buy their insurance. We've always used autoeurope, and ask our travel agent to make the reservation before we leave the U.S. Make sure you tell the company the other countries you'll be visiting. And remember that manual cars are less expensive than automatic.
KellyGreta is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,916
Take out of Italy without issues? Read the terms and conditions that comes with your rental. For example, for Autoeurope, this is what it says for cars rented in Italy: Cars are not permitted to travel into Eastern Europe.
greg is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 12:09 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,095
Look in detail at the insurance, in southern Italy you will find car theft insurance being proposed (it is there for a reason).
bilboburgler is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 12:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,668
You can hire your car in the Venice area and return it elsewhere, but you may incur extra fees for the service. Check with the hire company. If you want to drive outside of Italy, again inform the hire company who again, may charge extra.

When you arrive at the desk, they will offer you various insurance options. Your car will be insured for basic risks and they will offer Collision Damage Waiver(CDW) in case you have an accident. This is usually expensive and not manadatory. You need to take a view on it. There may be other options like theft etc. Again, get a full quote to include everything before you rent, so there are no unseen costs.
Rubicund is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 03:16 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
You need to do some smart research. Certain rental companies confuse their customers, hoping they'll spend more money. Some of the responses on this thread and around the internet are a waste of bandwidth.

CDW and Theft Protection is mandatory in Italy. It is not an option. When you get to the final page of car rental shopping on the internet, the final price for any Italian rental will include CDW and Theft Protection. I wouldn't trust a rental company who doesn't show this info in the final price.

For instance, if you book through Auto Europe, their Basic Package (with insurance) includes:

Value Added Tax (Vat)
Liability Insurance
Fire Insurance
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) - with deductible
Theft Protection (TP) - with deductible
Unlimited Miles

You can purchase a zero-deductible add-on policy for No-Deductible CDW/Theft Protection. If you anticipate getting into an accident or having your car stolen, and you want a zero-deductible insurance policy in Italy, you have to pay extra for the zero-deductible policy. The zero-deductible policy is not mandatory. (Some other resource may cover this expense if needed, like a credit card, personal insurance policy, etc.)

The question one must answer when considering renting a car in Italy (or anywhere): how competent a driver are you? How experienced? If you get into an accident or the car is stolen, and you don't want to pay the deductible amount you will owe, you'll need to purchase the zero-deductible policy. Those car rental rates are among the highest.

You can certainly drive your rental car to neighboring countries if you book through Auto Europe. Their policy reads:

"Cars are not permitted to travel into Eastern Europe or any African country (i.e. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, etc.). Vehicles may not travel on ferries and/or to Island locations without pre-approval from Auto Europe."

Each rental car company will have its own policy. You need to do comprehensive research.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 04:39 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,668
The reason for my "not mandatory" comment was that we rented from Avis at Pisa airport last year and when I looked at the invoice this morning, no CDW is mentioned on it.

Maybe they included the CDW in the cost? The bottom line price that shows on the invoice was the amount they charged, no extras.
Rubicund is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
"Maybe they included the CDW in the cost?"

Mandatory means it has to be there whether it is posted as a separate cost or not. It's the law. Rental companies may pressure you at the counter to "add" the zero-deductible insurance add-on, but the law does not require you to accept that cost. However, it's important to know what the deductible is. It varies from company to company, perhaps car to car. If you get into an accident or the car is stolen, you can be sure the deductible will be charged to your credit card, and you will have given them permission to do this when you sign the contract.

I have years of experience comparing costs and contract details among competitors, but I only rent through Auto Europe. AE does a pretty good job of presenting an itemized breakdown of costs, and if you find a great deal elsewhere on the internet, AE will match the price. AE has the most customers in all of Europe, which gives them the greatest clout. They are a great company with terrific customer service. In over 30+ years, they have never done wrong by me. I'm not alone.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Apr 17th, 2012 02:14 AM
Sep 24th, 2010 05:35 AM
Feb 3rd, 2010 08:48 AM
Jul 29th, 2008 05:10 PM
Mar 3rd, 2008 02:22 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:39 AM.