Guest Comments about Car Rental in Italy


Read this if you have any qualms about safety while driving in Italy!

A perfect sort of thing to discuss under an umbrella at the beach was the new vigor with which speed limits and other rules of the road are being enforced, fines have been raised and arrest is now likely for more serious infractions (in addition to immediate suspension of license and confiscation of vehicle). The campaign seems to be working, because the number of fatalities was much lower this weekend. What does this mean for you? Assuming you come to visit and drive, nothing so long as you follow the rules of the road. And how to avoid getting involved in an accident? Be alert. Italians have an undeserved reputation for indiscipline on the roads; it is true that they go fast, but they're quite aware of what's going on, drive accordingly, and expect others to too. Use your signals when you turn or switch lanes to pass (never pass on the right, and shift right if you're being overtaken). People will generally make room for you if you signal, and will expect you to accommodate them when they do. Be decisive -- if you just drift along people won't understand what you're doing. Know when you have the right of way (as a general rule, in the absence of a yield sign the car coming from the right at an intersection or circle has the right of way) and take it, unless doing so will get you into an accident. This brings us back to point one: be alert. If you are, Italy's a fun place to drive.


Kristin,

Our trip to Italy was wonderful and the autos you suggested for us were perfect! We had Renault Scenics (I think) but they had plenty of room for all our luggage and they were just great cars. The GPS was invaluable. And thanks so much for setting up for us to drop in Chiusi. That was so much less stressful than trying to drop somewhere in Florence, Arezzo or Rome!

Thanks again for all your help and suggestions. We have 2 close friends who are going to Italy in September and I'm strongly suggesting they use In Italy!

Take care and best regards,
David B.

Hi Kristin,

The entire rental process in Bologna went flawlessly. The automatic Mercedes performed perfectly throughout the trip. All of this helped make our 18-day sightseeing and eating adventure a great success. As we talked about, we bought the latest European map loaded Garmin GPS from Amazon. It was one of the best things I have ever bought. It paid for itself many times over. We never were lost for more than 1-2 minutes. The Garmin directed us through Milan on our way to Orta San Giulio, since it informed us that there were five major accidents on the autostrada. We never made a wrong turn going through Milan. It was amazing. We have driven in Europe several times before and never was it this easy. The Garmin is worth its weight in gold.

We also appreciated all the pre-trip information that you sent us about driving in Italy. It was incredibly helpful. It prepared us so well that the Italian drivers and the autostrada never bothered me. I did not find them to be bad or reckless drivers any more than those is Spain or the US.

Once again, thank you for your help. I would definitely use YOUR personal services again.

All the best,
Irv L.

Dear Kristin,

Thank you for all your input and help. You all were fabulous. When we had a bit of a problem with the car we called Patrick because we were having a really hard time calling Europcar car directly. Patrick responded immediately and helped and he was on vacation, now that is dedication and customer service.

Our trip to Italy and France was OUTSTANDING, Venice should be a must see, I wish I had known more about that area and visited Murano, but by the time I heard about it we were leaving for France. The only thing I would have changed about the whole trip was the weather, it was SO HOT I couldn't shop, now that is hot.

Thanks again,
Jill L.

Dear Kristin,

I have been meaning to contact you and compliment you on your recommendations and guidance for our recent Italy trip. The tours were terrific, Palazzo Bandino wine tour was a bit pricey but worth every penny to have such an in-depth as well as hands-on experience in the fields, winery and then tasting. By the way, the dinner here was excellent! The Florence cooking tour was fine, especially the time spent in the market. The car rental went smoothly, so overall, every part of our trip that In Italy planned, came out well. Thanks again! We will be working with you again the future.

Joan T.

Thanks Kristin!!!!

You have been EXTREMELY HELPFUL in obtaining hotel reservations in Tuscany AND a car rental. You even telephoned me to make sure we had the car voucher since we are leaving today. What a wonderful impression you give for initaly.com!!!

Sincerely,
Bonnie Mitchell L.

Ciao friends at In Italy. . .well, our trip was beyond marvelous and we're already wanting to go back next year! Here's a bit of a review:

We rented our car through you, picking it up in Siena, then driving through Tuscany, CinqueTerre, back to Florence airport. There were four of us in our party, and we had a nice-sized car with plenty of room for luggage. When two of our party returned home to the US, we then exchanged it for a smaller one for just two of us. That was your suggestion, and it was a good one. My husband was happy to drive a cute Fiat 500 for the last part of our trip. The rental was seamless, even though my husband had forgotten his US driver's license. He had gotten an International Driver's License and thought that was all he needed. Somehow we never saw on the IDL that it clearly states you must ALSO have your valid driver's license with you. A misunderstanding we encountered was with pre-payment for gas. We took the pre-payment option, but on the written contract, the wording was confusing. We ended up filling the tank before we took it back, and the agent said we would receive credit for it on our CC, but that didn't happen. So, a word to the wise. . .take the pre-payment option and return the car with an empty tank!

So, Arrivederci for now. We'll be returning to Italy, I'm sure, and we'll be in touch.

Linda W. and family

Dear In Italy,

Through your website, we got in touch with Auto Europe and rented a car. Again, everything was just fine. As a suggestion though, in its area that talks about what driving in Italy is like, your website could consider advising potential car renters about the joys of refueling rental vehicles before returning to the rental agency. All fueling stations in the Milan Malpensa airport area are completely unattended. Fuel must be purchased through machines that will accept cash in denominations of 5 or 20 euro notes (no receipt or change issued), or bank cards with 5 digit pin numbers. If your pin number isn't 5 digits, the card won't work. The machines have disabled their ability to accept credit cards. So it's cash (no receipt, be prepared to argue at the car agency), or bank cards with 5 digit pin numbers. No problems for us, but others should be prepared for what they have to do to get fuel near the airport.

Darwin R.

Dear In Italy,

We went from Monterosso by train to Pisa where we picked up our rental car and drove to Greve in Chianti. There was a bit of an additional wait to obtain the car because the car rental agency is no longer located in the Pisa airport. Rather you have to go outside the terminal and fight your way onto a bus which takes you to the car rental area. However, we were given an upgrade in the form of a beautifully roomy Mercedes.

Jan M.

Hi Kristin,

Erwin and I got home Oct. 12 but have had two short trips and other things pending, so now maybe I can catch up here. Thank you again for the plans you made and for Patrick lining up our car. That was a great place for pick up as we just followed their directions and shot out of the city very easily. Thanks!!

Janelle B.

Through your website, we got in touch with Auto Europe and rented a car. Again, everything was just fine. As a suggestion though, in its area that talks about what driving in Italy is like, your website could consider advising potential car renters about the joys of refueling rental vehicles before returning to the rental agency. All fueling stations in the Milan Malpensa airport area are completely unattended. Fuel must be purchased through machines that will accept cash in denominations of 5 or 20 euro notes (no receipt or change issued), or bank cards with 5 digit pin numbers. If your pin number isn't 5 digits, the card won't work. The machines have disabled their ability to accept credit cards. So it's cash (no receipt, be prepared to argue at the car agency), or bank cards with 5 digit pin numbers. No problems for us, but others should be prepared for what they have to do to get fuel near the airport.

Once again, thanks for all your help in our latest Italian trip!

Ciao,
Darwin R.

Dear Kristin,

Thanks for the auto rental link. It saved me over $300 on this trip. I have used your site and only wish that you had the same for Greece and Spain. Your selections are great. We went to Praiano two years ago.

Jim C.

Hi Kristin

We had a great time in Italy and our car rental went perfectly. Thanks so much for your help!

Anne M.

Dear In Italy,

This is the best rental experience we've ever had. The booking service is extremely flexible. Our flight to Rome was delayed by 12 hours so we had to change our itinerary in the last minute, including pickup time and drop off location. All of these were done without a glitch at no extra charge. By the time we arrived at the Rome Fiumicino Airport at 2 o'clock in the morning on Sept 2nd, the whole airport was almost empty. The rental office hour is 7am-11pm. Due to the time zone difference, we didn't manage to get hold of the airport rental office so we were prepared to stay at the airport overnight. But to our delight, a rental representative named Stefano was there waiting for us, all alone by himeself, and gave us a free upgrade (please pass our sincere, heartfelt thanks to him)! A few days later, due to various reasons, we wanted to return the car earlier at a difference location in Italy. Again, it was handled graciously without any extra charge. After this pleasant experience, Auto Europe will be our first rental car choice in Europe.

Enyu W.


Dear In Italy,

My sister, her husband, my husband and I rented a car from you for our stay in Italy. My sister was delayed and contacted your company to tell them we would pick the car up late. When we all arrived at the Rome train station the car was ready and we were pleasantly surprised (shocked) to find a new (1,000 km) Alfa Romeo.

I have to admit that I was concerned with your low prices and what Avis would stick us with. The car was clean and perfect. We were thrilled. I wouldn't hesitate a second to rent from you again and to recommend your company.

I. Iacono

Dear In Italy,

Just a short note to say our one week car rental through your agency beginning and ending at the Rome airport went perfectly. This was a much different experience than four years ago doing it on my own where I paid 2.5 times your rate. I highly recommend your services.

Sincerely,
Jim L.

Dear In Italy,

The trip was very smooth. NOTHING bad to report. We visited Rome, Florence, Venice and Anghiari in a two week time period. We drove only in Anghiari, which is in Tuscany. My original reason for contacting your web site was found by a google search for driving in Italy. I found all of your information true and correct. Driving was fun and not a hassle. We got lost several times, but never to an extreme. As you web site stated, one should allow time for getting lost and it works out OK. We did just that. The Renault 1007 we rented was great. Make sure that anyone renting a car gets a small one, which is what most of them are anyway. And be sure that you can drive a stick shift, as that is what EVERYONE drives in Italy. Even the buses were standard shifts. This was not a problem for me.

Thanks again for your help.
Wilson M.

My husband and I just got back from a 6 week trip to Italy where we rented a car (reserved before we left home) and drove extensively. After getting some great information from Idyllchat and Frommers Message Boards and then comparing prices and convenience, I used a great website to book our car through Auto Europe. The website is In Italy Online and they have a lot more information about travel in Italy than just car rentals. I found them very helpful and I've been to Italy at least twelve times before this trip.

About the International driver's license: Better safe than sorry, they can fine you if you are stopped and don't have one. Why risk it when it's less than $20 and so easy to get at AAA.

Louise W.

Dear In Italy,

I'd like to acknowledge the assistance provided by Auto Europe when our van broke down shortly after arriving at Villa Belvedere. They were very helpful in having the van trucked back to Florence and arranging for us to pick up a replacement vehicle. It was a little stressful initially but all worked out well.

Charles M.

Dear In Italy,

I rented a car through Initaly in 2000 to tour Sicily. Our pickup day happened to be 11/1--All Saints Day--which is a national holiday in Italy. When I arrived at the car rental office in downtown Palermo, there were may people trying to rent cars. Because of my reservation through InItaly, I received priority treatment, escort to the car park, and was rented a Golf. It was quite an adventure returning to our hotel because I can get lost within one block! Nevertheless, when I found I was driving through the same district near the open market, I just asked "what would Pietro do?"

With that, I drove as if I lived there and ignored traffic signs that would take me away from my destination, the Giuseppe Verdi Opera House. My rental cost was much lower than anything I could have arranged there and the level of service was timely and excellent.

Reading your email today brought that fun memory back. Thanks for the updates.

Distinti saluti,
Peter M.

Patrick,

Thought you'd like to know that our car hire in Sicily which you arranged went very well - the car was nice and clean and reasonably new (18600 km) and was waiting for us in the car park on arrival. As usual I signed a blank Visa card before picking up the car (see below).

In your Sicily (and the rest of Italy?) instructions you should put in CAPITAL LETTERS that all car doors should be kept firmly locked at all times (except getting out and in, of course) and all windows kept shut. Why? On our first day in Catania, we were proceeding slowly down a narrow one way street when a Vespa/small motorbike suddenly swerved towards us going in the wrong direction, the rider stopping immediately in front of us about 2 inches from the front of the car. While we were distracted by this, his compadre wrenched open the front passenger door and grabbed Karen's handbag, then fled along the street. This was witnessed by bystanders and by the cars behind us. No one batted an eyelid - its obviously very common. We reported the loss of the handbag and its contents - passports, driving licenses, mobile phone, eyeglasses, gold pens, electronic organizer (with all our phone numbers), calculator, spare insulin, HRT tablets, wallet with 50, etc to the carabinieri who said it was a standard procedure....Luckily our other passports, money and insulin kit were in my jacket pocket, so we could continue our trip round Sicily.

On our last day in Catania, exactly the same thing happened, but the car doors were now locked and they failed miserably.

We deposited the car at the airport with a full tank. The rent car carpark was totally full, so I left it at the side of the carpark. The hire office was closed (8.15 a.m.) so the documents, petrol voucher (showing we had just filled up on the way to the airport), car keys and blank Visa card voucher were posted through the letter box. I just hope the Visa debit will only be the $10 fee.

With best regards
CHRIS C

Patrick,

Just a short note to let you know that everything went really smoothly with our recent car rental. There was no problem picking the car up and all the admin was just as you said it would be.

We even tested the system when our rental car was broken into on our last day. Thankfully nothing was stolen (although we weren't sure whether to feel happy or insulted by that!) and we weren't approached for any additional payment.

It still takes a little getting used to that the best way to rent a car in Italy is with a company in California, but I will have no hesitation in recommending your service to any friends who plan to travel in Italy.

Regards,
Tom M.

Dear In Italy,

Please tell Patrick that we were also blessed with a rental car that was four grades up from the Opel Vectra we booked. We were given a Mercedes S 200, the powerful motor of which was useful when we were traversing the Appenines. No extra cost; they must have been out of Opels.

Our experience with Initaly was superb.

Best,
John D.

Dear Mr. Cooper,

Yes, we did receive the faxed voucher and at a perfectly decent hour. Although I warned you, even I didn't expect that you would have that much trouble reaching us with the fax. I'm sorry that it took so much of your time. We very much appreciate your persistence and that consideration of the time differences. Your solicitude confirms that we made the right choice for our car rental. All the details of the voucher are exactly what we requested. Thanks again for your efficiency and exceptional service.

Sincerely,
William W.

Dear In Italy,

Driving in Italy is not as bad as most articles make it seem and Italians are great drivers in spite of their creation of extra lanes, speed, and bumper tag. I think their experience in busy cities, on narrow roads, on winding mountain roads, on high-speed autostrada, and through long tunnels has prepared them well for many situations. We only saw one accident in the three weeks we were there and it was a minor one. Someone said, "Pay attention to what you're doing. The Italians will take care of themselves." I found that to be true.

Velma L.

Dear Patrick,

Italy was fabulous! I'm already checking fares for a return trip. The car worked out well -- no problem -- we managed to get out of Rome safely and though driving on the autostrada at first was daunting, by the end of the week Tom was a pro (new nickname is Mario as in Andretti) on those winding country roads and in the tiny streets. Thanks for all your help in setting this up. Will definitely use In Italy for the next trip too.

Maya G.

To Patrick/Mary et al,

A quick note to thank you for your help in organising the car hire in Sicily, from where we have just returned.

Compared to a number of other travellers who had booked through other companies and recounted horror stories of cars not being ready, overcharging etc., ours worked as smoothly as could be.

I have passed your e-mail address to a colleague of mine who is travelling to Sicily on honeymoon in August, and I am sure he will be in touch with you.

Thanks again,
Allen & Adrienne K.

Patrick,

We returned from Italy last Friday delighted by our dealings with AutoEurope. We were picked up at the airport and taken to the office on Naples by courtesy bus and once all the paperwork was signed we were taken to the car park and shown the car - a brand new Daewoo Nubira with only 4500 km on the clock. Very impressive. The man from AutoEurope guided us out to the Autostrada and we were then on our own. Great service.

Driving in Italy was an interesting experience - especially since we Brits insist on driving on the wrong side of the road here and so that first trip to Sorrento was a little stressful. And as for the wretched scooters!!! But the soon I got used to it - (basically he who dares wins!!!) and really enjoyed having the car available etc. we saw so much more than we would have without it. Great fun eventually.

Thanks for all your help and for the excellent service provided. Next time we are travelling I send an e-mail for another quote as well as make sure my colleagues know about your services.

Keep up the good work.

Yours,
Pete P

Dear Patrick,

I arranged for the car we used in Tuscany through Patrick of your office. As our train would arrive just as the car rental office closed, we warned them we would be arriving a few minutes after closing and Patrick got their assurance they would wait. When we arrived, the office was closed. It had not occurred to anyone that the day of our arrival was the day on which Roma played Firenze, in Firenze, for an important soccer cup. Everything was disrupted, and we assume the Avis office staff got distracted and forgot to wait the extra few minutes.

Patrick had supplied a toll free number for us to call if there were any problems, and called it. Within a few minutes arrangements had been made for us to pick up a car at the airport. After a brief taxi ride, we got to the airport where our car was waiting, and without my saying a word, we were told that to make up for the inconvenience we were upgraded. When the weather turned hot a few days later, we were very glad of the air conditioning the better car carried.

Best wishes,
James C.

Dear Patrick,

I would like to thank you and your team for the car rental. Everything went very well, and I drove 1332 km (800 miles) in 14 days. The car, a low mileage Fiat Punto, performed flawlessly throughout our journey, and I can confirm that its top speed is 182 km/h (109 m/h). The only rant I have is that the owner's manual in the glovebox was in Italian only.

We wanted to have a tasters of Italy for our first trip there, and we covered a lot of ground: Roma (3), Assisi, Firenze (3), Venezia (2), Verona, Portofino, Pisa (1), Siena, Roma (1), Tivoli, Monte Cassino, Pompei, Sorrento (1) and Capri. Next time we'll visit Turin/Milan/Come, we'll return to Rome, and then we'll visit southern Italy and Sicily. Of course we'll rent the car from inItaly.com!

Thanks again!
Pascal F.

Patrick Cooper,

Just letting you know that I/we survived the sicilian driving. Car was waiting for us at the airport - it was not the fiat meara we expected but a ford mondeo diesel station wagon. It did the job - seated five and space for the luggage - though somewhat underpowered. The "stand by" small car was not needed. I had to provide a credit card imprint despite the voucher and when I went to turn it in there was no additional charge. When I raised the question I was told not to worry about it (I think that is what he said). I'll see in the coming weeks whether additional charges come through.

Driving in Sicily was an adventure - rules of the road re lanes and lane changes seem to have no impact on the driving. Who gets there first claims the right of way. Posted speed limits seem to have no effect on the driving and stop signs are treated as optional as are many of the traffic lights. It was exciting in a frightening kind of way.

Anyway I wanted to thank you for your help and give you some feedback.

Sal C.

Dear In Italy,

Back from Rome yesterday I can tell you that everything went well. Avis were definitely on their toes, seemed to have a lot of bookings from other people on my flight, not a word of demanding any extra payment for not being open. So I will tell all my Italy-loving friends here that it is a good idea to reserve a Fiat through you.

Best regards,
Jan B.

Greetings Patrick,

Many thanks for your services - it all went smoothly. Unfortunately I broke my arm while sking!! so we ended up returning from Venice instead of Verona so there was a drop-off charge. Thanks again - we shall certainly recommend you to our friends.

Best regards,
Alvin

Dear Patrick,

I want to thank you for your help and your excellent service. This proved to be a very easy and efficient way to make car reservations and I will not hesitate to use your service again in the future.

Debbie B.

Dear Cynthia,

All of my InItaly reservations and accomodations worked out quite perfectly. My car was just as ordered in Rome, an Opel Vectra with automatic, air and a trunk. Had I known about the width of most Italian city streets I probably would have ordered the smallest car available!!! But, it was a real trooper for the 3700 miles (yes, miles) I logged on to it in three weeks. I wanted to stay an extra day in Sorrento (oh, my!) and Avis was easy to work with. They even picked up the car at the Rome Sheraton Golf so I did not have to deal with the return at the airport or in town (at a price, of course).

Hello Fabio,

Our trip was quite delightful, in no small part thanks to your organization. The car rental worked out very well. The car was terrific - practically brand new -- and had plenty of room for us and our luggage.

Lydia T.

Dear Kristen,

You folks are really good!

Thanks, Tom S.

Dear Patrick:

I truly appreciate your follow-up. You and your firm are very professional. I will certainly contact you for needed car rental, and recommend you to any friends traveling abroad.

Leo D.

Dear Patrick,

I am amazed at your prompt reply despite the time difference. Your explanation is clear and made me relaxed. Thank you.

Dear Patrick,

A quick thanks for the car arrangements which worked out great. We had a fantastic vacation and the free upgrade we received in Perugia helped.

Humphrey

Dear In Italy,

Thank you for all of your help - I picked up the car on Friday March 26 - and had absolutely no problems during the rental - of any kind.

Dear Patrick,

Hire went very well - got an upgrade which was nice - thank you. Stupendo!

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