We will be renting a car in Florence to drive to Siena and Tuscany. I really don't want the car (or the costs of parking) while we're site seeing in Florence but was thinking of renting one for our drive. I have heard that renting away from the airport is better and that you can get hotel delivery. Has anyone done this? Will they also pick the car up? If so, who do you reccomend (rental car agency)? Should I have the hotel arrange for it? We will be staying at the Bernini Palace Hotel. Any help is appreciated.
Stay out of Florence city with that car. Get it at airport and get right on the highway. Florence is a nightmare to drive in, full of oneway streets that it is easy to get trapped. The older central part of the city can be driven in IF you have a permit. Otherwise you will collect an expensive ticket. Car rentals and hotel parking garages SAY they have obtained a permit for your car...but surprise, after you are gone you find otherwise. Plus, the old central part is very, very congested and occasionally street is impassible. Otherwise, car rental in rural and smaller towns is just fine.
We have rented from EuropeCar, waited till the day we needed it, and they charged a small fee to drop off the car at our Hotel. (but this was not in Florence) Some of the best rates are from AutoEurope, which is kind of a consolidator.(they use a lot of EuropeCar sites.)
You could you go to each Companies web site, check out the rates, and their locations. Then check prices at some of the locations (it is always cheaper to rent in the city, and return the car anywhere you want, even at the airport) Then Gooogle map their locations and the hotel location to see if this is a simple request for them.
Better yet, just call Auto Europe's 1 800 # and ask them what they can do for you! They have a whole bunch of locations in Florence, and they have a 1 800 # plus EMail.
We rented from SIXT a couple of years ago. They have an office a few blocks from the train station and out of the city center. It was easy to pick up and they gave great directions to the highway. Returning the car there was just as easy. I believe they would deliver the car, but it might just be easier to pick it up to avoid the traffic. Picking it up at the airport is an option, but you have to figure in the extra time and cost of getting there are well as the surcharge for most airport rentals in Italy. Have fun!
We reserved a car from the states for our last trip and were all set to pick it up when we realized that we were a day early (rookie itinerary planning I guess.) We took a taxi to the airport and requested a change in our reservation. They did not have any cars but directed us to Sixt car who fixed us up. Fabio was a real character. We still talk about him three years later.
Airport was definitely easier.
In Italy you pay a 20% additional fee for renting a car at an airport. Try whenever possible to rent at a train station like Termini in Roma or a city location.
DO NOT DRIVE IN FLORENCE....limited parking, lots of traffic......really a walking city. You can also take a train away from the city and pick up a car there....That is probably what I would do. Marilee
Driving in Florence is a nightmare. Make sure your hotel has parking or don't rent a car.
Buses and trains are a great way to explore Tuscany without the hassle or expense of a car. If you need a car pick it up in town just outside of Florence to avoid driving in Florence.
Just returned from Italy and rented a car in Florence. We picked it up at th Hertz office near the train station. We made about 4 turns and were out of the city and on the highway. I would think that getting out the airport and renting there would be more of a hassle.
I am also planning to rent a car in Florence to drive through Tuscany, Umbria, and drop off on the Adriatic. Both Sixt and Hertz list more than one Florence location for pick up. Does anyone know which address would be the convenient one near the train station and (easier) to get out of town?
Amy, where did you return your car? Charity, where do you intend to return your car? Randy
I will be returning the car in Rimini or Pesaro, depending on which rental company I use, Sixt , or Hertz.
It is good to return to a smaller city with a location that is easier to find and get to. Their hours may be more limited.
Check the prices at Autoeurope. Go to their website and play around with locations and prices. You won't believe the difference by just picking a different location. They have plenty of locations, since they are a consolidator/ wholesaler and use Europcar, Hertz, Avis, etc. I.E. they will use the same agency you pick, but they will be 20 to 40% less!
Then look at the various locations they list in Florence, and plug their address into Google maps. Voila, you will be able to see where the rental agency is, in relation to the train station. Then you can use Google maps, or the Michelin maps site, and plug in your "from" and "to" and you have a map out of the city. We did this for Rome, got a great rate on a car since we rented it "in the city", and had a wonderful, easy to follow map out of town.
Thank you all