Before anything else, it’s important that you know these 3 things about self-driving in Italy:
- They drive on the wrong side of the road for us Brits.
- The countless toll booths are pure evil.
- Look for those white parking lines. They mean free parking for the whole day!
Renting A Car
We rented a car through the easyCar website and went with the company, Locauto. We chose to go with a Fiat Panda.
- We paid £13.30 per day
- A deposit of £500
- £80 to cover insurance for the 9 days of rental
- A full tank in the Fiat Panda costs roughly £40.
We took photos and videos of literally any sign of wear on the car, just to be safe.
We decided to take our own sat nav from home so there were no additional costs. Just make sure that your sat nav includes GPS in Italy.
The Fiat Panda is a great car for just solo travellers and couples really as they are rather small. Also, the driver’s seat has minimal room so we don’t recommend it for the tall people in the world. Luke is 5ft 9 and his knees were pretty cramped.
We didn’t have any problems renting from Locauto. We picked up our little Panda and dropped it off without any issues at all so we’d recommend them.
Our Experience of Italian Driving
This was our first time road tripping and also, our first time driving in a different country ever
Driving on the other side of the road was really easy to adjust to. However, when Luke was in a flustered state, he’d kind of forget that he needed to drive on the right side of the road. Awks. So top tip, stay calm or just pull over and take a moment.
The Italians tend to use the painted lines on the road as guidelines rather than strict road markings. They sort of just sway or drive half in one lane and half in another. They also drive pretty darn fast!
To sum up, as long as you drive carefully, you’ll be fine and you’ll soon get used to the other drivers and start to just roll with it.
Things To Know
- Petrol costs: 1.60 euros per litre
- Street parking spaces are colour-coded
- Blue: Paid parking
- White: FREEEEEEE!
- Yellow: ‘Special’ parking
- The cost of the tolls can really add up so to prepare yourself, check out: Sixt Toll Map and the Autostrade website
- At the tolls, do not go through the Telepass lane. This is for people who pass the toll on a regular basis and therefore pay monthly.
- You need to be aware of the restricted traffic zones (or Zona Traffico Limitato– ZTL) because they’re common in the main cities. There are cameras around the perimeter of the zone which will register your number plate and you’ll be fined so look out for this sign.
Verdict On Self-Driving In Italy
Self-driving in Italy was so much fun and we’re so glad we didn’t decide to use public transport. It meant that we could:
- Do things when WE wanted to rather than sticking to a train schedule.
- Stay outside the main cities and save money on accommodation
- Pull over when we spotted a photo opportunity
- Explore hidden spots in the Tuscany countryside
- Find different gems in the Dolomites
- Sing along to Disney songs without being judged