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Help with driving in Italy

vlapinta

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This will be the first trip to Italy for us and we plan on renting a car in Tuscany just to drive in Tuscany. We are aware of the ZTL and international driver's permit required. My question is about insurance. We are Hertz gold members and we have a Marriott credit card (no foreign exchange fees) Do we need to get out own car insurance? Any one have experience renting in Italy recently?
 

Passepartout

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When we have rented in Europe, insurance was included. Check with both your credit cards and your car insurance carrier at home to see if you are covered in a rental car in Europe.

TUGgers wouldn't intentionally mislead you, but the straight scoop will come from the liable parties.

Jim
 

Laurie

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Insurance purchased from the rental car company is (or was, the several times we have traveled there) mandatory when you rent a car in Italy. It's different from most other European countries. So your Italian rental car will cost more than in most European diestinations.

If you pick up a rental car in another country and drive into Italy, your credit card will probably cover you, depending on the card. But that's not economical, unless you drop it off in the same country where you pick it up.
 
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You will receive a mandatory insurance when you rent your car in Italy however it will not be comprehensive. There will be extras such as tyre and glass protection that are optional (and expensive) add ons.
 

CCR

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Many credit card companies will not cover you for insurance in Italy. We called American Express before our rental and Italy is one of two countries in the world they won't cover. We drove all over Naples and the Amalfi Coast and after navigating those roads I totally understand why. It was fun driving a stick shift again but these areas are probably some of the most difficult areas to drive in in the world!! Complete chaos while driving.
 

artringwald

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Many credit card companies will not cover you for insurance in Italy. We called American Express before our rental and Italy is one of two countries in the world they won't cover. We drove all over Naples and the Amalfi Coast and after navigating those roads I totally understand why. It was fun driving a stick shift again but these areas are probably some of the most difficult areas to drive in in the world!! Complete chaos while driving.

You are brave. We took a bus tour of the Amalfi Coast in October, and as this picture shows, cars coming the other direction had a very tight space to squeeze in between:

276%20not%20much%20clearance%20between%20the%20wall%20and%20our%20bus-L.jpg


Truck drivers would sometimes reach out and fold their mirrors back to make more room. I'd never consider driving in Amalfi. For the OP, driving is probably much easier in and around Tuscany.
 

Xpat

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This will be the first trip to Italy for us and we plan on renting a car in Tuscany just to drive in Tuscany. We are aware of the ZTL and international driver's permit required. My question is about insurance. We are Hertz gold members and we have a Marriott credit card (no foreign exchange fees) Do we need to get out own car insurance? Any one have experience renting in Italy recently?

I believe car rentals in italy always include collision and theft insurance but the deductibles can be quite high (1000+ euros for collision and higher for theft).

There are usually options to reduce the deductible which they try and sell you at check-in but these tend to be quite expensive (25 euros or more per day). The car rental websites are usually not very transparent with these charges but if you call them they will tell you how much the deductibles and options cost.

I rely on my credit card for car rental coverage and luckily haven't had to use it yet. You need to carefully check the terms of coverage of your credit card as there can be all sorts of exclusions (countries, car makes, 4WD etc..). Dealing with rental cars is what I dislike most about traveling in Europe or internationally.
 

Laurie

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You are brave. We took a bus tour of the Amalfi Coast in October, and as this picture shows, cars coming the other direction had a very tight space to squeeze in between:

276%20not%20much%20clearance%20between%20the%20wall%20and%20our%20bus-L.jpg


Truck drivers would sometimes reach out and fold their mirrors back to make more room. I'd never consider driving in Amalfi. For the OP, driving is probably much easier in and around Tuscany.
Great photo, thanks for the memory! Sometimes all the autos have to back up, on steep inclines, to let a bus around a switchback. We have done that on the Amalfi coast - yikes!

Tuscany is much easier - to the OP: don't be intimidated by this. Auto is definitely the best way to tour Tuscany. Just don't drive inside the hill towns or cities, there are always parking lots right outside the walls. Tuscany is large and rural, and very beautiful.

If you rent your car thru someone like autoeurope.com, you will transact in English in the states, and they can probably help you understand the insurance provisions.
 
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CCR

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Great photo, thanks for the memory! Sometimes all the autos have to back up, on steep inclines, to let a bus around a switchback. We have done that on the Amalfi coast - yikes!

Tuscany is much easier - to the OP: don't be intimidated by this. Auto is definitely the best way to tour Tuscany. Just don't drive inside the hill towns or cities, there are always parking lots right outside the walls. Tuscany is large and rural, and very beautiful.

If you rent your car thru someone like autoeurope.com, you will transact in English in the states, and they can probably help you understand the insurance provisions.

Oh that brings back such memories!! Thanks for the picture. We had to pull in mirrors all the time. The locals would drive so fast on blind corners and the nuns just walking along the road as if their lives weren't at risk on those curves. What an experience
 

AnnaS

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You are brave. We took a bus tour of the Amalfi Coast in October, and as this picture shows, cars coming the other direction had a very tight space to squeeze in between:

276%20not%20much%20clearance%20between%20the%20wall%20and%20our%20bus-L.jpg


Truck drivers would sometimes reach out and fold their mirrors back to make more room. I'd never consider driving in Amalfi. For the OP, driving is probably much easier in and around Tuscany.

Thank you also for this picture. Memories come back from our 2007 trip/tour bus ride on the Amalfi Coast. It was definitely fascinating watching them drive. I was born in Italy and remember very well the tight spaces/no sidewalks/cars have the right of away, etc. I don't know if I was more in awe of the view or impressed with the drivers :rolleyes:
 

pedro47

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Most automobiles in Europe are not automatic and are compact. They are standard shift . Roads are very narrow and the speed limit are much higher than in the States. Plus, the police officers are much more stricter in my opinion.
 

lizap

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Love, love Italy, but it is one of the countries where I make sure we are insured to the max..
 

dsmrp

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Yes AMEX specifically didn't cover car rentals in Italy.
So we took out a supplemental coverage policy.
 

PStreet1

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Italy has an extremely high auto theft rate (the company my daughter works for sends people there all the time, and they often have rental cars stolen), so I expect that contributes more to credit card companies not insuring cars there than the condition of the roads.

The "I" countries are the ones not covered by credit card insurance: Italy, Ireland, Israel.
 

jehb2

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GPS

buy one here and learn to use it. We got a Garmin form Costco. It worked great. Seriously, how did tourist get around Italy before GPS. Tons of round abouts
 

newportbeach

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Driving in the countryside of Tuscany and in small towns is one thing. Driving in Rome and major cities is crazy beyond belief. Avoid it and you will be much happier. Trains are a great options, and then when necessary cabs work. Towns
have no parking, and finding a gas station is not as simple as on every corner. In fact, one time I found the gas pumps actually on the sidewalk and you simply
parked along the curb and the attendant filled up your fiat. Ok, yes everyone drives a fiat.
 

lizap

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I agree. To see the countryside and villages in Tuscany, you really need a car..

Driving in the countryside of Tuscany and in small towns is one thing. Driving in Rome and major cities is crazy beyond belief. Avoid it and you will be much happier. Trains are a great options, and then when necessary cabs work. Towns
have no parking, and finding a gas station is not as simple as on every corner. In fact, one time I found the gas pumps actually on the sidewalk and you simply
parked along the curb and the attendant filled up your fiat. Ok, yes everyone drives a fiat.
 

Mike&Edie

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We were there a little over a year ago and I drove (my second time). I love driving in Italy as I guess I wanted to be a race car driver in another life. Exciting! We had no choice when we rented and had to get their insurance.

I would like for all to be aware, however, that almost a year after we got back - I received three photo tickets in the mail. Could not believe it. We paid it because we plan on going back and don't want any problems.

Have a great trip!

Mike&Edie
www.fulltimetimeshare.com
 

optimist

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The same thing happened to us where months after we got home, we received two speeding tickets at 200 euros each. We have no idea where the infraction happened and ended up paying because we also wanted to go back.
We are actually doing the same thing as the OP in a couple of weeks, renting a car in Florence airport and driving through Tuscany. A little nervous about the same thing happening but we will keep well away from major city centers and hope for the best.
 
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