Traveling to a country that’s unfamiliar to you is exciting. The only way to genuinely enjoy the experience on your terms is by hiring a car and enjoying the countryside via a road trip.
An Italia leiebil (translation: Italy rental car) allows motorists to travel into the tiny villages, small towns, and other areas where public transportation is either restricted or won’t travel.
You can also choose to take occasional detours as you head along on your journey for an unexpected wine tasting that might cross your path. The idea is that you can personalize your excursion to your preference traveling at your pace with an itinerary that you set up.
The only suggestion when renting a car is that you avoid the big cities. Most visitors prefer not to drive in these areas. They can become congested with local drivers, and these motorists are recognized as aggressive and fast, taking a lazy approach to the rules and regulations.
It’s wise even outside of the city locations to become familiar with how people drive, traffic patterns, road signs, in order to be able to keep a nice pace and avoid potential accidents before taking a hired car into the busy roadways of the country.
What Should You Know When Renting A Car In Italy
Hiring a car in Italy will differ from renting in another country. Each region has its own set of guidelines and stipulations, as does each individual rental company.
With that said, when you call to reserve a vehicle, it’s wise to learn these rules upfront and possibly compare a few different agencies to see which one might serve your circumstances the best.
Nothing says you have to register with the very first rental provider you contact, especially if there are fees and charges you’re uncomfortable with. Shopping around is normal, and it’s expected that clients will do this.
You may need to do that anyway to find an auto that will serve your purpose, particularly if you need a manual transmission. Let’s look at a few tips and tricks to help you rent a car in Italy.
● Automatic transitions can be challenging to find
You will find automatic transmissions in Italy. These are actually beginning to develop a bit of popularity. Still, the vehicles broadly consist of manual transmissions.
If you know how to drive a stick shift, you’ll have a much more varied range of autos to select from, not to mention you’ll save some money on the hired car.
The indication is the expense is roughly 10% greater for the automatic transmission. If you’ve never driven a stick shift, you don’t want to learn in a foreign auto in a country you’ve never driven in with no clue as to the road rules or regulations and impatient motorists surrounding you.
● Two licenses are a necessity
Foreigners visiting the country will need to bring a valid driving license from their country of origin along with an IDP or International Driving Permit. That is required by law for anyone hiring a vehicle in Italy.
Most rental providers will need to see proof of this when the auto is picked up along with your home country’s valid license. It’s essential to remember the IDP doesn’t replace your standard driving license from your country of origin.
These will need to be carried with you at all times when operating a motor vehicle. The permit is responsible for translating your legal license details into Italian.
● Bigger cars might be necessary
It’s vital to ensure the car you hire is large enough that any baggage will fit inside the baggage compartment. There note to be frequent vehicle break-ins in the country, but these criminals are looking for something to be inside the car.
They’ll move on to a different auto if they believe there are no contents (despite the trunk being packed full).
That means you can’t leave anything inside, especially the hiring provider’s GPS navigation system, even if you’re only walking away for one second. Thieves know what they’re doing, work rapids, and are gone in no time.
● No deductible is worth the cost
The streets and roads in Italy are not ideal, with some being exceptionally narrow and twisty. People park so that cars are tight together, meaning the likelihood of dings, scratches, or worse, such as losing a side mirror, is likely.
These might appear insignificant damages as far as you are concerned, but when a rental agency begins to attach charges, these can be quite costly until all is said and done.
While it might cost a bit more, investing in the best insurance option is a wise choice to save from worry during the holiday and headaches after. You might need to research to find a place that offers a 0 deductible option, but, again, that’s also going to be the better choice.
● No getting away from tire chains
Beginning on November 15th in Italy and ending on April 15th, there is a law that all motorists must have tire chains in their car or mount snow tires on the auto regardless if you have intentions of traveling into the mountain regions.
The car rental provider representative will inquire whether you want to rent these with your hired car.
If you’re unaware of the law, it’s wise to question the request to the ground instead of merely declining so you understand why these would be a necessity. While it seems odd, and you might be tempted to avoid the added charge, be mindful that the authorities will fine you if these are not in the car.
● Drop off isn’t as stringent as some believe
While fees were incurred for those who chose to drop off their vehicle at a different location than where they originally picked up the auto, that’s gradually beginning to change.
The current flexibility allows travelers to enjoy the holiday as they choose with an itinerary that doesn’t need to loop its way back around to the original location. That doesn’t mean, of course, that charges won’t be imposed for selecting an airport as the location. There are almost always going to be extra fees there.
In this same vein, some rental agencies are incorporating a drop-off service that’s exceptionally useful for visitors exhausted after a flight with no desire to drive for an extended period. You can book a rental car to be dropped off after you arrive at your final destination and have had the opportunity to relax.
● Compact cars
It’s always suggested that drivers rent compact or small vehicles because the roads are small and narrow and parking spots are tight. But what if you have a group of people and everyone has their own baggage?
That speaks to getting a bigger auto. It might sound counterproductive, but it actually saves money and allows more fantastic holiday experiences if you rent two small cars that will fit on the small roads instead of investing in a large vehicle to fit everyone together.
This kind of convenience also allows the group to break up and enjoy separate schedules if they like, see different sights, go on a unique adventure, and then come back together at the end of the day.
Renting a car (or two) is the ideal way to experience a country that is new to you. When seeing a new place, every nook and cranny is magnificent and needs to be explored.
Only driving will allow that freedom and independence, especially on some small streets and in the tiny villages where public transport is unlikely to go.
Once you customize the itinerary, it’s a matter of heading out each day to realize your own schedule, albeit with the occasional detour for perhaps some wine tasting. That’s the bliss that is a road trip in a rental.