Hello: Looking for suggestions on BEST car rental company in Italy? And what are all those small print caveates? Looks a little scary. Need to get from Rome, or outside of Rome, to Florence, then Cinque Terre, then to Venice. thank you.
Trains go everywhere on your list and a car is useless once you get to any one of them. What do the small print caveats say? Best is probably the cheapest of the majors - - use kayak.com and see what shows up. Remember that your credit card won't cover the insurance, so that's going to close to double the base price.
I'm not one of those who has taking trains as a religious conviction; however, for the itinerary you posted, it makes no sense to me to rent a car. You won't be able to use the car easily or at all once at any of your destinations, and you'll be paying heavily for parking. We have driven for some part of each of our 13 trips to Italy; and I have to say that driving there is NOT fun. Unless there are some details you haven't explained, I agree with the previous answer. Use trains.
Clare, don't you dare rent a car and drive in Florence, Rome, etc. unless you know what a "ZTL" is and where they are located. We always rest a car when we travel in the EU, but for this itinerary the train would be a great option!
Clare, you have named two areas (Venice and the CT) where you cannot drive a tourist car. You dare not drive in Florence as the entire historical area is in several restricted zones. These zones are called ZTLs. They get your license plate with cameras. Big traffic tickets. You simply do not drive in the historic areas of Florence. You can drive in Rome but you won't find parking. A rental car is great for Tuscany, Umbria, the Dolomites and many other places in Italy. Just not the four places you described. Except for traveling to and from the CT, how can you beat a really comfortable train traveling at 160MPH.
The "best" rental company for a trip from Rome to Florence to Cinque Terre to Venice is the one you do NOT use. A car is no use in those places, and can be a huge financial liability if you do not know what a ZTL is.
We did that exact same itinerary three years ago completely by train with no advance tickets purchased and it was terrific. we would not change a thing. All of those locations you are going to are fabulous. Wear comfy walking shoes and eat lots of gelato!
I hope Clare is paying attention. I will add my voice to the chorus--- you do not want a car for that itinerary. Trains are a lot more practical and will save you lots of money, especially if you book in advance to get the discount fares. If you had a car, you would end up paying toparkit, unused, at Cinque Terre and Venice. In Florence, you would have to stay on the outskirts instead of in the historic center with its ZTL's. Cars make sense for touring the small towns of Tuscany, or going other places not served by trains. Our last trip to Italy involved a short (2-day) car rental to get to a particular agriturismo we wanted to enjoy. But the drive was very stressful and we were happy to turnin the car at Pisa and get back on the train.