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Non-anxiety-producing car rental return on sunday in rome??

Non-anxiety-producing car rental return on sunday in rome??

Apr 7th, 2018, 10:02 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,021
Non-anxiety-producing car rental return on sunday in rome??

I plan to head for Italy in late May. I plan to rent a car the day after arrival in FCO. After two weeks, I will return the car and spend 5 nights in Rome. I've not booked the car yet. Before I do, I'd like some help with logistics. Since this will be a Sunday, many rental locations will be closed. Anyone know which ones will be open? I will be coming from the east, from Sulmona in Abruzzo. I've read terrifying (to me) reports of returning cars at Termini but not sure if I have other options, other than heading to one of the airports. (??) Not sure if the locations near Borghese are open Sundays. (??)I know this is not a big deal to some people but I am nervous even at the thought of the driving. I'd love some advice.

Should I bite the bullet and return to FCO, or (better location for this) Ciampino, and then take a taxi to my hotel in historic center? Or is there a way to navigate to an open city location without either one of us landing in hospital with coronary attack or psychiatric event? Mercifully, I think ZTL is not an issue on Sunday but could be wrong about that. I usually use the brokers to rent, but any tips on which actual agency to request would be helpful.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 7th, 2018, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Well I have always been glad that I wasn't driving anywhere in central Rome. We have returned cars at Ciampino several times and it's been quite easy. We then just took the airport bus to Termini from there, also very easy (and cheap). I wouldn't mess with driving in Rome, even on a Sunday. The fact that you used the word "anxiety" should tell you something (which you probably already know).
isabel is offline  
Apr 7th, 2018, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2018
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If the car rental office in Sulmona is open on Saturday mornings, do you need the car Saturday afternoon? You could get rid of the car in Sulmona on Saturday and take the train to Rome on Sunday. You might even be able to do that dropping off the keys and car to the Sulmona office on Sunday, or some other regional office enroute.
kitbag is offline  
Apr 7th, 2018, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 127
Or here's a thought:

If you've never been to Tivoli, May is a nice time to go. You could drop off the car there on Saturday morning, sightsee and spend the night, then have a very easy time getting into Rome on Sunday. (Even if you've been to Tivoli and seen the sights, you could stay at one of the grand spa hotels and swim and soak for the evening, and thus have a VERY relaxing journey into Rome.)

Last edited by kitbag; Apr 7th, 2018 at 11:42 AM.
kitbag is offline  
Apr 7th, 2018, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
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We returned our rental car at the main train station and it was easy. All the companies are represented, although the actual drop off was at a building across the road. The hardest part about the drop off was driving up to the floor to do the drop as the ramps were a bit narrow.
we were driving from Cortona and to get to the station we drove on the outskirts of Rome. We are from Australia and drive on the left. But we had absolutely no drama with this drive.

millie2112 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2018, 08:11 AM
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Join Date: May 2005
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Ha, Isabel! I DO know!!!

This is why Fodor's can be so great. These are each excellent suggestions! I just asked the partner/driver, who wants to chance it to Termini for budget reasons. But I am leaning towards return at Ciampino; taxi fare cannot be that much from there to central Rome. We are staying at a luxury hotel so how silly to worry about that, right!?

But each suggestion has much merit and great to keep in mind.
We have four nights in Sulmona which might be one too many, so we could conceivably leave on Saturday and head to Rome....but that would not solve the return dilemma...
I will wait and think about this. Many thanks again for all of your help!!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 8th, 2018, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 157
A taxi from Ciampino to downtown Rome is only 30 EUR:
Taxi - Aeroporti di Roma

Note that "Authorized Taxi vehicles are white with a “TAXI” sign on the roof. The symbol of the Municipality of reference is fixed to the front doors and the licence number is located on the doors, on the back and inside the vehicle."

My guess is that rental car offices will be open much longer at Ciampino that at Termini, so if you are not planning on arriving in the morning, Ciampino could be the better option. For instance if you won't get your room until 15:00. I would definitely consider the Ciampino option even though I wouldn't mind driving into Termini. I understand your anxiety given Rome's reputation but driving into Termini from the east and on a Sunday shouldn't be that bad.
ticino is offline  
Apr 8th, 2018, 12:51 PM
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When we landed at Ciampino last year, there were buses waiting to take passengers downtown. Ciampino is most likely your best bet. I wish more airlines flew in there. My seat mate worked at the US Embassy and said she always took the bus downtown to her apartment when she landed at CIA.
One time we rented a car in Rome on Via Veneto and drove out. It wasn't too bad as it was a Sunday. The search functions on AutoEurope should be helpful as far as which locations might be open.
Enjoy Rome!
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Apr 10th, 2018, 05:25 AM
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Thanks again! Ciampino is looking like the best bet for us. I will make some calls this week and nail down the rental.

BTW: This will not help me, but Costco allows a second driver for no charge in several European countries if you rent from them.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 12th, 2018, 08:45 AM
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The Terravision bus at Ciampino to Termini is only five (5) euros each and it's comfortable, takes maybe 40 minutes and they operate about every 30 minutes.
whitehall is offline  
Apr 13th, 2018, 02:55 AM
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 232
You could always visit the rental car websites and browse to find which locations are open on Sunday.

The Ciampino idea sounds like a cogent strategy.

I've driven in Roma many times and it was not so crazy. If you've driven in a big city here in the USA you would have some valuable experience navigating the traffic in Roma.

Buon viaggio,

Last edited by rbciao47; Apr 13th, 2018 at 02:56 AM. Reason: Added a few more words.
rbciao47 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2018, 04:37 AM
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Thanks! Funny..I live in Manhattan and drive my car there more than any other location. To me it's not at all scary, but I have such fear about driving in big foreign cities!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 4th, 2018, 06:18 AM
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I just returned the car, at Ciampino, last Sunday, driving there from lunch in Carsoli, Abruzzo after two weeks with the GPS-equipped automatic rental booked through Kemwell. This proved to be an excellent idea, even though we arrived while Europcar (but not the other agencies) were closed for lunch and chose to wait about a half hour until the counter reopened at 5pm, rather than leave the car in the lot and the keys in the slot.

It's a bit of a walk to the front of the terminal to the taxi line and it began to thunder and pour just as we set off; happily, a driver in the taxi lot took pity on us and broke the line to pick us up. Easy drive, 30 Euro, and we gave him a tip.

On a related note, they did not ask for the Internationall Driving Permit when we picked up the car in Fiumicino. During our visit to Sulmona we met a Canadian couple who had just been stopped at a roadblock. The police who stopped them did not ask to see the IDP; this couple (who visit twice a year to see family) did not have one, in any case. They showed the police the Canadian lisence which was sufficient.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 4th, 2018, 06:24 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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good to know, glad to have the feedback

yes the need for the international license is a bit variable. If the policeman is able to read and write English and/or is experienced with the various shapes of licenses it is not difficult. However, if they are not then you start down the tricky road of [email protected]@@ing off a policeman who is writing you a ticket, which is generally not the right way to go.

The car rental companies just don't care, they have checked your real license and you are on your own.
bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 4th, 2018, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Glad to hear all went well.
KTtravel is offline  
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