Travel, Teach, Live in Europe and Middle East
Renting a car in Italy is as easy as renting one at home, and the freedom that driving in Italy gives travelers doubles their enjoyment of the country. Italian highways are excellent and well marked, and secondary roads are kept in good condition, so getting around is quite easy. many of the best experiences, such as the route through the Dolomites, recently classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are only available to road travelers.
Reserve a Vehicle Ahead
It is wise to reserve a car well before arrival, although offices for most major car rental companies are in all cities and at airports. Reserving in advance usually means better rates, and different options can be compared more easily. And the certainty of having a car is comforting. To rent a car, drivers must be at least 21 years old (the minimum age may vary by car category) and have held a license for 1 year. Drivers under the age of 25 may incur a young driver surcharge. An International Drivers License is required for rentals in Italy, although it is rare that anyone asks to see it. If traveling with children who need a car seat, it is important to bring one or to reserve one ahead to be sure of availability.
Car Rental Restrictions on Eastern Europe
Most categories of rental cars can be driven anywhere in Western Europe without restriction. Because of insurance regulations, there are restrictions on luxury car categories and on travel in certain countries. Most have special rental programs for driving into Eastern Europe, so be sure to mention this if the itinerary includes heading east from Trieste.
Most companies do not allow cars rented in Italy to drive in Albania, Bosnia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey or Ukraine without special arrangements in advance.
Although it may cost a bit more, travelers can rent cars from point to point without returning to the departure city. This is especially useful for travelers with open-jaw air itineraries, or those planning to take a cruise or tour from a different point than their arrival airport. There are fees for international one-way rentals and not all vehicles are allowed.
Car Insurance in Italy
Collision Damage Waiver insurance is mandatory in Italy, and usually included in the rate quoted. But be sure to verify this to avoid unpleasant surprises. Insurance on the contents of the car is extra, and unnecessary for those whose home-owners or home-renters insurance has an off-the-premises coverage.
Leasing a Car
Renault offers an attractive lease option for travelers who will be driving for 17 days or longer. Leasing a car has several advantages, including insurance, and is often a better value than rental. Renault will deliver the car to Milan airports for an extra charge, or it can be picked up at their office in the city.