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Driving for someone 70-75

By the time that we can get back to Italy in 2022( my estimation) I will be 75. We want to rent a car and travel in Northern Italy. I have read that the cut off age is 70 in some countries and 75 in others. Avis is supposed to be good for North Americans who want to rent a car. What is the actual age limit for Avis or any other major rental company in Italy? We might also be going into France. What is the limit there?

Posted by
6098 posts

We researched this in several countries and it seemed to vary by the car rental companies rather that the governments.

Posted by
178 posts

Like somebody else says, there isn't a legal age limit in Italy. There is a limit only each how many years you must do the checkup of physical condition. You can drive even at 100 years old, if you pass the visit.
A car rental company can add strictly rules, or even ask an higher insurance depending by age. So you must check into the rental company website.

Posted by
1174 posts

Doing a search, I found this information on another site:

"Seniors. Travelers of any age over the minimum can rent cars in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, or Switzerland.

In several countries, however, some suppliers impose maximum age limits to rentals, generally, or to rentals of some models of cars:

Denmark: Some rental agencies impose a maximum age of 80.
Slovenia: Some rental agencies impose a maximum age limit of 73, and renters ages 70 to 73 may face surcharges.
Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, and Slovakia: Some rental agencies impose a maximum age of 70.
United Kingdom: Some rental agencies apply an extra fee for travelers age 70 or over; some rental agencies apply a maximum age limit of 69 on some car classes.
Rental agencies in Ireland (Republic) nominally bar anyone over 75 from renting a car, and agencies in Romania bar anyone over 70. However, some rental agencies can apparently get around these requirements: Hertz in the UK, for example, says that it accepts drivers age 75 to 79 provided they have good driving records and a doctor’s statement that they’re able to drive capably."

Posted by
24616 posts

Very similar to what Bob‘s research shows, my father was renting cars in the UK and in Italy when at age 82. In the UK he used a local company in the Cotswolds, in Italy I think it was Avis – certainly one of the majors.

Posted by
2989 posts

There was a quite similar thread recently. I’ll repeat what I said on it. The best way to find out which companies (that’s the issue, not countries) will rent to you is to go to the AutoEurope or Kemwel website. Fill out their initial page, where there is a box to check if you are over 75. They will then show you only those companies that will rent to you. By doing that, you can also compare their prices with those on companies’ websites. AE and Kemwel may be cheaper. It’s not like 3rd- party air ticket or hotel reservations. AE and Kemwel are very good at dealing with problems and have 24/7 customer service.

Posted by
3419 posts

I just posted a version of this on another question:

Gemut.com is a good source for car rental information. They cover all European countries, including Italy. They are actually in Oregon, so phone calls are easy.

The free brochure from their website is a good intro to What you should know about renting & drivng a car in Europe in 2020. It will cover many of your questions, but it hasn't been updated this year yet, so consulting with Gemut by phone is a good idea.

Posted by
1137 posts

If you are going for 3 weeks or more, look at a short-term lease of a Peugeot or Citroen through AutoEurope.com. You can get a spanking new car with no age restriction and full insurance with no deductible, automatic or manual, with your options guaranteed. Yes, it costs more but there are absolutely no add ons and the peace of mind is great - we've done it 8 times.

Posted by
12063 posts

My uncle in Italy drove until age 92 after which he couldn’t anymore.....because he passed away.

Posted by
10 posts

In Italy, there is no law that prohibits people over 80 from driving. if you have a driving license it means that your country of origin has given you permission to drive so you can also drive in Italy. My suggestion if you want to rent a car is Maggiore or Herts also B-rent is ok. If you are thinking to drive in southern Italy forget it is too dangerous if you are not skilled to drive take a taxi or rent a car with a limo service driver.
bye

Posted by
24616 posts

not if you drive within the law. I've been driving there for 20 years and have never earned or received any penalties of any sort. But I knew before I went the first time what the laws and customs are and I don't speed.

Posted by
1137 posts

"Italy takes a predatory view of foreign tourists." is a truly ignorant statement. The huge majority of traffic tickets are given to... ITALIANS. Visitors who educate themselves and have some experience driving in a city will find that driving in Italy is not much different than driving in their home country.

Posted by
2989 posts

Since no one else has yet mentioned it, I’ll add that you need to get an international driving permit, which translates your U.S. license into a number of foreign languages. $20 or so at AAA. You. Also need 2 passport size photos.
Some people will tell you not to bother. Don’t listen to them. If you should get into an accident, you don’t want to be in breach of the law that requires you have the idp. Also, random road stops to check your papers are not unusual in Italy. Better to have a document in Italian than to count on local law enforcers to know English.

Posted by
2053 posts

As to the "predatory", that's not my opinion, that's the opinion of the Tourist Information Office.

https://www.bella-toscana.com/traffic-violations-in-italy/

If you haven't read that, Mike, you should.

And since Nigel will come back saying that he has never gotten a ticket, that's great. You seem to be in the minority. The problem is not frequent drivers like you, Nigel, but infrequent drivers who go to Italy assuming that it is like the USA or Germany or France. Italy is worse than any other location, by the admission of the Tourist Information Office web site indicated above:

"Local authorities around the world generate a significant proportion of their revenue from fines levied for infractions of various non-penal laws, notably driving regulations. This happens nowhere more than in Italy where many individuals and firms pay less income, sales and other taxes than they should so that local government seeks other sources of revenue."

This is a website warning tourists while promoting Tuscany.

Posted by
24616 posts

Is that actually the Tuscany branch of the Italian National Tourist Office (ENIT)? I am surprised that the website has ads and focuses only on particular businesses - my experience is that government offices don't promote one place over another, and don't have 3rd party ads.

I didn't see any notice on the website that they are the official office. I looked all over the site but didn't find it.

My understanding is that the official tourist office website for Tuscany is https://www.visittuscany.com/en/

Posted by
1137 posts

Anyone who thinks Italy is unique needs to drive along A8 autoroute on the French Riviera and count the cameras along the way - or talk to locals who are incandescent with anger at the persistent enforcement. Plus we all have more surprises in our European future, the EC is well along with technology that will communicate the speed limit to the dashboard of your car. While it might be nice to be advised of the speed limits, it will be exceedingly irksome to actually drive at some of the ridiculously low limits.

Posted by
1092 posts

Bella Toscana is an unofficial travel guide which has been around for years. For the most part it promoted a small number of Chianti region holiday rentals at its outset. Also, any decent car rental company will warn you of any possible pitfalls of driving in a particular country: https://www.autoeurope.ca/italy-ztl-zones/

"Don't drive in Italy. It's nerve-wracking even without the heinous traffic tickets." - The writer of the article shouldn't be driving anywhere, never mind in Italy.

Posted by
1480 posts

I drove a rental from Rome to Florence to Venice (all streets flooded) to Milan some years ago, and I now realize I should have just taken the train. I grew up driving in New England so it wasn't all so different, but it wasn't especially relaxing either. And parking's an expensive bitch. Train would have been much more pleasant. I could have filled in if needed with bus day trips or chauffeured cars.

At my current semi-advanced age, I would never rent in Italy unless it was absolutely necessary. France or Germany, maybe. Scotland or Ireland, maybe.

Posted by
5498 posts

Driving the Italian countryside -- lovely! Italian cities ?? Another story entirely!! We had a car in Tuscany / Umbria for about a week, picked up as we left Florence and dropped off at the Orvieto train station. No traffic or ZTL tickets, but we spent the next year expecting one in every mail. (This was done at 70+)
Italian trains between cities are cheap and frequent ... and an experience in themselves (just remember to validate the tickets.)