Hello! I will going from Rome to Siena. Want to rent a car to explore Tuscany. I had figured taking the train out of Rome to Orvieto, picking up the car, explore a little, and then head to our agritourismo in Siena. Auto Europe will only let us pick up the car in Rome, at the rail station or airport and drop it off in downtown Florence. Im worried about driving in the city, any comments or suggestions??? Thaks!!!
Whatever you do, use caution if you must drive in Florence. I'm sure that you need a permit to drive in the historical sections of the city. They get you with cameras and send you a nasty ticket via a collections agency months later. Perhaps you can drop it off in Siena and take a SITA bus into Florence (www.sitabus.it).
You cant pick up a rental on a Sunday????
DO NOT drive in Florence. We were in Italy for 3 weeks last summer and had to drop off our car downtown. We just received a letter stating that we owe almost $400 because we apparently drove on streets that we didn't have a permit for. What a racket they have going? Two of the tickets were 2 minutes apart! How else can you drop a car off in Florence! Stay away!
I have a somewhat similar question. We are a family of five arriving by train from Venice into Tuscany, staying near San Gimignano for a week. We want to pick up a car when we arrive in Tuscany, and when we leave we will train to Rome. I'd like to get the car at a location that is not too busy (ie: dont' want our first driving experience to be downtown Florence). I was thinking maybe Sienna. Anyone know if car rental out of Sienna or some other small city just south of Florence is possible, or have suggestions for companies? Thanks!
I suspect that your problem was with the day or time (Sunday or 2:PM) that caused the resticted options. Try again using a week day and working hours.
Consider picking up the car at Florence airport.
You have been given some excellent advice! Stacey is correct...do not drive in Florence...or you will get one of those tickets for driving in the wrong area. Do like Larry suggests; rent you car in Rome and leave it in Siena. The bus from Siena to Florence is a fantastic transportation option. In fact we stayed in Siena, and bused daily to Florence. Simple, fast and easy.
I always use Autoeurope; and I book thru their web site; which lists tons of options. We picked up our car in Rome at the Bourgeshee park. It was an easy drive from there out of town. They gave us excellent directions. Go to their website, and fiddle with ALL of the options. If you have any questions; CALL THEM! They are great people who will be glad to help you.
Don't rent your car without getting it with a GPS, or better yet, buy one here, (like we just did for our XMass Germany/Portugal trip), learn how to use it, and then you can drive ANYWHERE YOU WANT without any problems. But stay out of Florence!
Mark, go to the autoeurope website and peruse their options. You will be able to see all of the locations that they have available in each city, and then pick the one that looks best for your trip.
They are a consolidatior that uses all of the majors: Hertz, Avis, Europcar, etc. I first found out about them thru a travel agent friend, and they come reccomended by Rick Steves.
Again, get a GPS with your car, or buy one here and learn how to use it. Trust me; we could drive anywhere when we used the GPS. (Into the middle of cities or on country lanes.) If I missed a turn 'cause I was yakking, or not paying attention, a new option was provided in a few seconds. When you have a computer that gives you voice commands, coupled with pictues, your car travels are fun, and not a chore.
Thanks Steve. I'll shop around. To the earlier suggestion of picking up at the airport in Florence, I've looked into that a bit as some friends said that they did this and it was easy to get out of town. I'm still looking, but it appears trains don't go to the airport - so a transfer from a station would be required, and we were also told there is a hefty airport pick up tax applied to the rental (14%?).
I have to agree with the previous posters. Driving in Florence should be avoided. Our experience was renting a car at Europcar/Avis--not absolutely sure but it was near the Arno--we were headed to the Chianti Road and managed to get there fairly quickly. If the Avis place had been anywhere else it would have been challenging. Returning the car was tricky--we missed a major turn at a roundabout and were on the autostrada but when we crossed the Arno we knew we could manage to get the car back to Avis. The streets changed names on every block but fortunately we had a detailed map. What a great feeling to turn in that car!
Gina, I see lots of cities in the Tuscany area that you could pick up the car. For example, Chiusi is only about 30 miles from Orvieto and is right on the A1. Also as a test I put in -- rent the car in Chiusi and drop it off in Sienna. The website said no problem.
Even if there is no rental in Orvieto, there are lots of other towns such as Chiusi that do offer it. We've rented a car in Perugia (rental office is right at the train station).
I strongly agree with the others who said either rent or bring a GPS unit.
Thanks all for the advice. I ended up booking with AutoEurope to pick up and drop off at the airport. We are paying an airport tax, and having to transfer from the train station to do it, but we're willing to do that to avoid driving in Florence. For others needing to connect the train and airport, there is an ATAF bus (local bus) that goes from the Florence airport to the train station every half hour or so (and back). See: http://www.ataf-linea.it/Template/ListLinee.aspx?LN=en-US&idC=180&idC_L=180
In France I rented with Hertz. I picked up my car at airport and dropped off in Bordeaux. And I made more then one change after booking,regarding where I was going to drop off. The last being a day before drop off. No problems. I will be in Italy in April and have reserved with Hertz again. But will drop off and pick up at same place. If you go to their web site you can book yourself and pick up and drop off any place they have an office which there are many. Give it a try.
I did the opposite, picked up car in Florence, dropped in Fiumicino through Europcar.Discovered that Siena has an Autoeurope outlet(in 2004),other companies,too.Worse than the car trouble that led to that discovery was long,long trip to Rome.Car dropoffs in Florence are near edge of city. Traffic not too bad, if you are quick to read signs & have directions.