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Rental Car or other options Italy

Rental Car or other options Italy

Old Jun 2, 18, 10:46 pm
  #1  
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Rental Car or other options Italy

Going to be in Rome this summer, not planning to rent there except when leaving. The trip is Rome 4 nights, then to Positano 4 nights, then Bologna 4 nights then to London. From our research it seems train only makes sense to Naples then a car service or other. Looking at Rome to Positano by car service, Blacklane or a service that comes up on the train website seems to make more sense for the $100-200 extra to escape the hassles of a combined train and car service itinerary, we will have 3 large bags and other luggage for the three of us as it's a pretty long trip.

I've started looking at renting a car instead, at end of Rome segment all the way until end of Bologna so about 11 days. I won't have need in Positano for a car(I think-but maybe wrong) but I've been told by our air bnb owner that there is easy parking close by the place we are staying. She didn't mention the cost, however, and we are looking into that. It does seem that a train to Positano doesn't exist so it's a car service from Naples, a bus for a portion of it or from Naples(not going to happen), a boat from Sorrento(I think that's the most likely spot) or having a car.

I've been to Rome and other areas of Italy many times but I've never been to Positano. I've never had reason to rent a car in italy but have many times in other areas of Europe. I'm expecting the car to sit in Positano, but maybe side trips would be in order using the car. Bologna would be nice to have a car, though, as we plan a few days or day trips for sure there.

My plan was a car service Rome to Positano(or train to Naples then car service to Positano) and then a car service to Naples at end of Positano stay followed by a train Naples to Bologna or rent the car then to Bologna and keep to the end of Bologna trip. Looking at the pricing for all this it sure makes sense to rent a car, I think, looking purely at price but I'd like to hear your opinion.

If I do rent in Rome I'd prefer to pickup in a location that makes it easy to get out of the city, doesn't seem like a place I'd like to spend much time in. I looked at renting in Ciampino Airport, maybe the main train station, I'd be open to suggestions. FCO is so far away from the city I'm thinking that doesn't make sense but maybe I'm wrong. In Paris, I rented in Orly as that seemed to be close enough to the city center to make sense yet far enough to escape driving around the city itself.

Also, I've got a valid CA driver's license but reading online about needing to get an international driver's license. All the renting I've done in Europe was a number of years ago, my more recent trips have been all cabs/uber etc. I never worried about this before but should I now and/or is a requirement? I've also got a few credit cards with primary insurance coverage but I'm thinking Italy might be one of the countries it doesn't apply...

Any help is much appreciated!

Last edited by Jonesdds; Jun 2, 18 at 10:54 pm
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Old Jun 7, 18, 5:28 pm
  #2  
 
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You don't need an international driver's license in Italy to rent a car. In fact, the rental car companies are less demanding on this these days than they were a few years ago. However, if you get pulled over by police you could get ticketed because they can't "read" your license. You could get it overturned, etc but probably with an appearance, etc. So, it's more of a potential convenience matter than anything else. Getting one is trivial. Go to AAA with 2 passport pics (they'll take it for you too) and $20 and you get one valid for a year.

If you're looking to rent in Italy, try autoeurope (their co.uk site prices better). Check to see if any of your cards provide primary in Italy (I know Chase Sapphire Preferred does). If so, you're set. If not, look at the full coverage/no deductible options. Realize all rentals in Italy require insurance but the deductibles can be very high.

Relative to picking up a car in Rome, understand there are ZTL's throughout Italy (Zone Traffico Limitato) where driving is restricted without special authorization. Most of central Rome is in one. You can usually pick up there and drive out of the zone but you need to be careful you don't exit and then re-enter as that would trigger a ticket. Ciampino is towards the right direction for you. I like to use the Hertz at the Cavalieri Waldorf at Monte Mario. There are other outskirt locations - just use google maps to search for them. You may need to book directly with the agency to use them.

Relative to ZTL's - realize that many Italian towns (even small) have them now.

Getting a car in Italy can allow you to get off the beaten track and explore some interesting areas. Enjoy!
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Old Jun 14, 18, 10:53 am
  #3  
 
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Since you are looking into renting the car, and then having it sit for 4 days, I do not recommend getting the rental from Rome. I would recommend taking the train from Rome to Salerno, and then take the Ferry from Salerno to Positano. When finished in Positano, ferry back to Salerno and pick up the rental there for Bologna. I think it would be significantly less stressful than driving out of Rome, along the crazy roads of the Amalfi coast, then having it sit (and paying for 4 days of not using it!).

Seems a decent number of trains from Termini to Salerno (even a few direct under 2 hours), for 30-70 euro. Seems a decent ferry schedule from Salerno to Positano on SNAV or Caremar for under 20 euro (same headed back).

I think that for two people, it this makes sense. Approximate 100 Euro to train Rome to Salerno, then about 50 euro for the ferry both ways, for a total of 150 euros (based on average prices found). This also allows you as the driver to relax and enjoy the scenery more, and for the Amalfi coast, it is highly recommended.

Driving from Salerno to Bologna would be a fun adventure- but its about 8 hours driving. You can make a bunch of fun stops (Orvieto was great!), but in terms of time, maybe train is better?

If you do get a car, opt for the wifi hotspot if you dont have an international data plan on your cell. It makes driving and directions significantly easier.
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