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Car rental companies in Pisa to Florence

Hello ,
I'm looking to rent a car for just one day to drive from Pisa to Florence.
Would like to pick up in pisa and drop off in Florence.
I've never rented a car in Italy before and I'm nervous about which company to go with.
I want to do my own custom tour of seeing San gimignano and Montepulciano in one day as a day trip on our way heading from Pisa to Florence.
Any and all Recommendations appreciated.

Posted by
5 posts

Check for car rental companies who have offices in both cities , also keep in mind that they will charge you an extra fee for dropping off the car in a different city. You will pay for the car rental like 30 euros and around 60-70 to drop it of in another city. Also keep in mind that parking the car in Florence city center where the ZTL is needed will cost you around 30-35-40 euros / 24h depends in what garage you park. If you have any questions , send me a pm. Gabriel

Posted by
3525 posts

This is the kind of thing I’d consider hiring a driver for. I’m all for driving in rural Tuscany under most circumstances, but you’re going to have to worry over where to pick up and drop off, getting timing right, driver can watch luggage in truck, etc.

Posted by
5 posts

Well ive been in Italy for 6367473 times never had problems when i had luggage into the trunk ... Drop off can be or can not be a problem as well, depends if the rental company have office in the city or only at the airport but most companies have offices in Florence because it is a tourist city. I have no idea how much a driver charge for the tour but if it is lets say 150 euros i can say is a good price compared with car rental costs....the car will cost you minimum 100 , gas and parking somewhere up to 20-30 euros assuming you will not park into the city center in Florence.

Posted by
9574 posts

Did a quick look on expedia for a random date in April and the one way charge was $80-85 on top of the daily rate. Depending on the size car you need you could easily spend ~$400, plus gas and parking.
If its just a 2 person tiny car that you need your total could be ~$200.

Posted by
4603 posts

We always book our cars thru
Plug in your dates and locations and see what they offer

I suspect it will be pricier than you expect
(Random date in June is $185+$53 drop off for an economy manual with pick ups city center-airport usually a bit higher)

All drivers must have an IDP ( International Driving Permit) that you can get at your local AAA

Another option might be
You can customize your trip with them

I am assuming you mean MONTEPULCIANO? Which is not exactly “on the way”

Posted by
4603 posts

A one day rental for 30 euros hasn’t happened in many years

But if you do drive in Italy be sure to do your homework and understand ZTLs, parking, speeding, etc or your cost will be more once you return home and find unpleasant surprises in the form of tickets.

Posted by
5 posts

Well I just came back from Italy exactly 1 week ago .... paid for a Jeep Renegade like 900 euros for 18 days with full insurance included-. About the ZTL you can not get a ZTL in Florence by yourself ... you have to go and park at a garage and you have 3 hours since you enter in the ZTL zone to get to that parking garage if not going to garage you will get a ticket which I think is 35 or 90 euros I asked a policeman but also asked whats the ticket for parking in ZTL zone and i dont remeber which was 35 and which was 90. Also after 8pm there is no ZTL until morning at 7 am.

Posted by
13835 posts

Check with a consolidator like AutoEurope. Try both (US website) and (European website). It is the same company but prices and offerings differ so check the best deal in both websites. Actually they also have another website called Kemwel. Same company again, but various websites with differing prices. I’ve never been charged drop off fees in Italy for returning at a different location, but that may have changed and may depend on the rental company. Last July Avis didn’t charge me drop off fees. Prior to Covid nobody charged me extra for drop off fees.

Montepulciano may be too far south to do in the short time you plan to have the car. Coming from Pisa I would visit Volterra, then on the way to Florence I would stop in San Gimignano as well. You can do both in the same day. Montepulciano not so easily, as it is too far.

Posted by
4603 posts

“You can not get a ZTL in Florence by yourself”

What in the world are you talking about??

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you all for the great advice,
Could somebody please tell me what a ZTL is ?
The reason I want to rent a car is because looking at the cost of a driver in July it will run $400+ from Pisa to Florence with an hour stop at San gimignano in the middle.
I consulted with a Rick Steves advisor who said renting a car would be the best route to go &
Since It will just be my daughter and myself I thought perhaps we could get a small car and it would be more affordable been hiring a driver & we would have more freedom to see a bit of the Tuscan countryside on our way to Florence . Also Neither She nor I want to be trapped in a tour group for 12 hours and so
My plan is We would be leaving from Cinque terre early in the morning on our way to Florence. The reason I want to rent a car In Pisa is my daughter wants to see the tower and so I would pick up the car after we sight see and then we would day trip to Florence stopping at San gimignano in the middle.
I thought montepiciuliano might be closer than it is but now I'm reconsidering leaving that out of the itinerary and just visiting sites between Pisa and Florence. Will look up any recommendations for car companies that I'm given and I appreciate the information TIA.

Posted by
29679 posts

ZTL - (loosely translated as zone of limited traffic)

I could write a few paragraphs but there is a website which explains it much more easily for me. There are even photos. It is a German website but in English.

Basically most cities and towns in Italy have some form of ZTL where if you drive in without permission your car will have its picture taken with you behind the wheel, the rental agency will get a ticket, they will say it was you driving not them, they will charge you around 40€ or maybe more for telling the police, and eventually you will get a huge ticket in the mail, maybe as late as a year later. Then if you don't pay they turn it over to debt collectors. If you go into a ZTL multiple times you will get multiple tickets and multiple charges to identify you to the police and multiple tickets, if for example you are lost and go round in circles.

Posted by
7 posts

Apparently Voice texting my thoughts does not translate well 🤦
Though thank you for the information.
I did not realize it was that far out of the way from San gimignano to MONTEPULCIANO then to Florence
and so I thought it would be possible to drive it all in one day...
Now I will have to reconsider my plan of action.
Thank you again.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you all for the information.
I have not been back to Italy for 20 years and last I remembered you could rent a car for the day for not very much.. times have really changed . Now a car is $400+€ for a day & for a car and driver from Pisa to Florence is also 400+ 😳
I was just hoping to avoid getting trapped in a crowded bus on a tour
But add on all the possibilities of getting camera tickets without ever knowing I was in the wrong area seems as though renting a car will be more trouble than it's worth.
I will do more research and try to find the best way for my daughter to see the leaning Tower of Pisa and perhaps for me to be able to get back to see San gimignano again and then maybe do a separate tour to see Montepulciano on a different visit.
Thank you all again for the insightful and helpful information.

Posted by
4603 posts

You’ll be shocked at how overrun with tourists San Gimignano is now.
Take a look at

You can easily visit Pisa tower on your own as you travel from CT to Florence.

Posted by
13835 posts

I don’t know where you get the $400 quote per day.

I went to and simulated a 24 rental on May 18 at 10am (Pick up in Pisa) with return at Florence 24 hours later at 10am. I chose ALL LOCATIONS as pick up and drop off points although all rental car offices in Pisa are at the Pisa airport. Also if you want to return the car in Florence the same night you will be forced to return it at the Florence airport because the city locations all close by 8pm (The airport rental center closes at around midnight).

I also chose the insurance no deductible option (“refundable excess”), so that you are covered also for the deductible. This option is more expensive, but provides peace of mind since the deductible may be as high as €1000.

The prices I was quoted with the main rental companies in Italy for that 24h rental ranged from €68 with Sicily by car to €172 with Avis, with also various quotes in that range with other companies.

I also tried with the US website ( the same criteria. In that case prices were substantially higher: $275 with Hertz and even more than $300 if one chooses automatic transmission.

Choosing the manual transmission option will save you a lot of money when renting in Europe. Also economy cars rarely come with automatic transmission. If you want automatic transmission it will need to be a compact or higher level car.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks Roberto for all the information.
I followed the link above
But Considering I will be driving in late July its High season & it's $400. I haven't had a chance to check local agencies like Hertz But still if I opt for a tour after all it will only be a total of 136€ for both my daughter and I to see Pisa , San gimignano and sienna .
Don't love that idea because I hate tours but I'm now considering all the opportunities for me to get citations and it would be unfortunate to find out later in the mail that I got them could end up being a very costly endeavor to rent a car just to see San gimignano after all...

Also TY ChristeineH for the link and suggestion.

Posted by
4603 posts

I have not done a tour with Roberto but do know they book up early and they get excellent reviews

I’m with you on bus tours but there are many to choose from
They will cover a lot more ground than you could on your own, so sometimes it is really worth it

Another well known, well reviewed company is www.walksofItaly.con

Another is Walk About Florence or Tuscany? Something like that

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks Christine I actually have a couple tours with walks of Italy booked in Rome & Florence .
And I found a tour through the get your guide App that is one day & covers Pisa, sienna & San gimignano for under under $160 total for the both of us .
I just thought the challenge of driving would be fun and if I could have included seeing Montepulciano as well it might have felt worth it.
but if it's going to cost me an arm and a leg to visit your swamped areas then in the end I just don't think it's worth it to try and rent a car for one day after all.

Posted by
4603 posts

Get your Guide is a reseller
See if you can figure out who actually does the tour and book with the actual company ( could be less expensive)

Usually under something like “more details” or “more info” on the listing

Posted by
13835 posts

I have not checked for July, which is high season but incidentally is also the time of the year when I go to Tuscany every single year and always rent a car for the entire period (always with AutoEurope or Kemwel, its sister website)

It is too early to check rental prices for July now. I noticed over the years that AutoEurope tends to have more contract deals within 3 months from the time of travel. In any case you should check prices also in their global site (, which is geared to European customers, as prices there tend to be lower. I usually book my cars for July in May or even early June.

I can tell you that before Covid, in the month of July, I never spent more than $80/day, with very large cars. I went back to Italy after Covid in July 2022 and spent $1500 for over 2 weeks (so over $100 day) for a compact car (a Fiat500 L, a large hatchback). I doubt you will spend more than $150 a day, it is simply impossible. Check again later. For $400 you should be able to find an economy car for 3 days not one.

An alternative could also be to go to Florence and visit San Gimignano by bus while you are in Florence as it is not far.

Personally I also think that going from Cinque Terre to Pisa then San Gimignano and maybe somewhere else is too ambitious on the same day. From Cinque Terre to Pisa it is at least a two hours trek. Then you need time to drop off your luggage at the station storage facility (15 min at best) followed by at least 10-15 min to go by taxi from the station to the Piazza dei Miracoli (where Duomo, leaning tower, baptistery are). Even assuming you want just a photo pretending to hold the tower you will spend another half hour there. Then you need to go back to the station to pick up your bags and take the people mover to the Pisa airport to pick up the car. So another hour is gone, There you need to go through the wait and process for the rental car pick up, and find your way to the freeway entrance, which fortunately is near the airport. From the time you arrive at Pisa airport to the time you enter the freeway will certainly take another 30 min at best. By now it is probably way past midday and already tired by the busy morning activities and travel and you are still in Pisa. Now you are on your way to your next destination. Assuming your first destination is San Gimignano, it is a 1,5 drive plus time to park outside of the walls and walk inside to see the town. 2 more hours are gone. Add another hour or more to see the bare minimum, then you need to get back to the car. Potentially you could have gone first from Pisa to Volterra (one hour drive), visit Volterra, then go to San Gimignano (45 min drive). The drive from San Gimignano back to Florence is over one hour. To all these time estimates you need to add the time to get lost and maybe pit stops for bio breaks (including some food).

So no matter how you look at it, it is going a very busy day with very little time devoted to the driving tour (basically afternoon only). If you want to see Pisa, take your time there, and forget the basically half day car rental, then head to Florence. Then if you stay in Florence a few days you can visit San Gimignano by bus from Florence or even rent a car while in Florence for a truly full day.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you Roberto,
That's all very good information and you have very valid points.
I think I became a little over ambitious with all the possibilities of how much closer everything is to each other there then it is here in the US.. Then I had reached out to a Rick Steves consultant who said just take a train to Pisa Then rent a car in pisa & drive it to Florence.. as if it was going to be that easy 😳
So glad we have have this awesome forum to check in with others on 🙌
I'll check back on car prices closer to my trip , though if it were just me I would skip Pisa all together go drink wine had a vineyard somewhere...
Though my teenage daughter really wants to see Pisa and I think she should as well as the tower's in San gimignano. So we may very well do a tour after all.. we'll see. Anyways thanks again for the insight especially the pre-covid insight compared to the post covid insight.. it'll be very interesting to see Italy again after having not been there for 20 years.. I Can Only imagine a different this trip is going to be from my last.. 🤞
At least now I have technology to help us find our way & perhaps we'll find some reprieve from The hords of tourist in and out of our adventure somewhere there...