Renting a car in Italy affords travelers great flexibility for exploring the countryside. Drivers can enjoy a great variety of rural road trips taking in Italy’s spectacular scenery, from lakes to mountains to the coast. Some of the most popular self-drive routes include the Amalfi Coast from Naples to Sorrento, the Stevio Pass in South Tyrol, the Sabina foothills near Rome, and the rugged landscapes of Sicily.
When choosing to rent a car in Italy, it is important to be aware that national law states that a collision damage waiver and theft protection must be purchased directly from your rental agency. Not all companies provide inclusive prices, so be sure to double-check when comparing rates. Other insurances, however, may be purchased through a third party, such as a credit card provider.
Children under 5 ft (60 in) tall must be seated in an age-appropriate baby or child seat. This must always be positioned in the rear of the vehicle, never in the front seat. Most rental agencies will provide child seats for an additional fee, depending on the size; for example, Budget charges between €8.50 ($9.60) and €25 ($28) per day. Make sure to book this service in advance to guarantee availability. Otherwise, you will not be legally allowed to drive.
A popular option when renting a car in Italy is to travel into neighboring countries like Austria and France. Most multinational agencies, like Sixt, Avis, and Hertz, will allow this kind of cross-border travel without a problem. It is always worth checking in advance, however, especially when renting a high-end car or planning a road trip to Eastern European countries.
25% of our users found a car hire in Italy for R1 473 or less
Book your car hire in Italy at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Off-airport car hire locations in Italy are around 71% more expensive than airport locations on average
Economy car hire in Italy are around 57% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about hiring a car in Italy
On average a car hire in Italy costs R1 247 per day.
Mini (Fiat 500 or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in Italy.
In the past 72 hours, the cheapest car hires were found at SURPRICE CAR RENTAL (R449/day), Viaggiare Rent (R560/day) and Italy Car Rent (R791/day).
Based on car searches on KAYAK, the most popular cities to hire a car in Italy are Bergamo (21% of total searches of users looking to hire a car in Italy), Lecco (14%) and Treviso (7%).
Italy has a reputation for being a difficult country to drive in, but this is largely unfounded: generally, roads are in good condition, and renting a car in Italy is usually a good value. The driving style can be more aggressive than what non-Italians are used to. All highways in Italy operate on a toll system, and payment is accepted by cash or credit card at the point of exit from the highway.
To rent a car in Italy, most rental agencies require drivers to be at least 21 years old and to have held a driving license for at least 12 months. Drivers under 25 will usually be charged an additional young driver’s fee, starting from €24.50 ($27.70) per day through Hertz. While the vast majority of agencies will accept an English-language domestic driver’s license, officially, any foreign driver needs to have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP); in case of spot checks by the police, it is advised to have one on hand.
Petrol prices in Italy are generally quite high, a liter of fuel costing around twice what it does in the USA. Expect to pay around €1.50 ($1.70) for a liter of diesel and €1.65 ($1.87) for a liter of petrol. To get the best mileage possible, consider renting a compact or midsize car or opting for a diesel model if available. Petrol stations are usually pretty commonplace and are well signposted, although they often have different prices for self-service and serviced fueling; the latter is usually around €0.10 ($0.11) more per liter.
The official speed limits are 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban and residential areas, 90 km/h (56 mph) or 100 km/h (62 mph) on single-lane highways, 100 km/h (62 mph) on national highways, and 130 km/h (80 mph) on autostrade, the large national highways that link major cities.
The rates displayed include all taxes and fees for hire cars for the class listed and were found by KAYAK users in the last 48 hours. Offers are subject to change and may not be available on all car hires listed or dates of travel. Some hire car providers charge additional fees for other services (GPS, infant car seats, etc.). Please check the website of the respective hire car provider.