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Why rent a car in Rome?

There are few destinations in the world that can claim to be quite the treasure trove of historical and cultural relics as the majestic city of Rome. Those visiting the Eternal City will be amazed by the vast riches, from iconic sights such as the Sistine Chapel to hidden gems like the Keats-Shelley House, celebrating these poets and their love affairs with the Italian capital.

However, while you might shrink from the idea of driving around this notoriously traffic-bound city, if you don’t hire a car to explore the countryside, seaside and villages within easy reach of Rome, you’ll really be missing out.

How to get to and around Rome?

If you’re flying to Rome, you’ll most likely arrive at the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO), located approximately 20 miles west of the city centre. The airport provides easy access to the city’s major hotels and attractions via train, buses, taxis, or by hire car.

If you’re hiring a car from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, you’ll find a range of car rental services in arrivals, offering a range of top brands – including Avis, Firefly, Sixt, Hertz, and Locauto – providing both cheap hire cars and executive models.

What brands are available?

Car hire brands available in Rome include Avis, Europcar, Budget, Sixt and Hertz.

Must-sees within an easy drive of Rome

Rent a car in Rome for a day or two and you’ll be amazed what you can do and see – and you’ll get a flavour of the real Italy.

Number one on your list has to be the seaside town of Anzio, which boasts a gorgeous Blue Flag beach and a colourful history. The notorious Roman emperor Nero used to hold parties here (you can still see the ruins of his villa), and it was also the site of the Allied landing in 1944. One of the biggest draws, though, is the ferry to the gorgeous island paradise of Ponza, called by some Italy’s best-kept secret and a great alternative to pricier Capri. Driving time: 1 hour 20 minutes.

The well-preserved ruins of Ostia Antica, Rome’s ancient harbour, are also surprisingly close to the capital, and give you a real flavour of how ordinary ancient Romans lived and worked. Highlights include the theatre (still used for performances), the baths and mosaics, ancient apartment complexes and an old tavern. Driving time: less than an hour.

Tips and tricks for driving in Italy

Italian roads (and drivers) have a daunting reputation, but with a bit of preparation and knowledge, you’ll be fine. For example, it’s good to know before you set off that hire cars in Italy tend to be manual drive, and that it’s illegal to turn right on a red light. It’s also a legal requirement to carry a warning triangle and reflective jacket at all times, although these should be provided with your rental car.

Be aware too that Italy’s drink-driving limit is significantly lower than the UK’s at 0.5mg per litre of blood (as opposed to 0.8mg in the UK) - a small glass of wine - and for drivers with less than three years’ driving experience, it’s zero.

  • Divieto di sosta - No stopping
  • Divieto di parcheggio - No parking
  • Tariffa orario - Hourly charge
  • Senso unico - one-way
  • Zona traffico limitato - LImited Traffic Zone (Don’t drive in these marked zones during the indicated hours of operation - even if you see locals doing it - unless you’re prepared to pay a fine!)
  • Ready to plan your Rome city break?

    To start organising your trip to Rome and other parts of Italy, use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.

    Remember that Expedia car hire comes with no hidden fees. The price you see is the price you pay!

    FAQs for car hire in Rome

    What’s the best price car rental in Rome?

    In the past 7 days the lowest priced car rental is £2 in Rome.

    What’s the average car rental price in Rome?

    On average, car rentals in Rome are £3.

    Why should I book a car rental with Expedia?

    When booking a rental car via Expedia you can easily compare a wide range of the most popular car hire companies and select the best option for you. There are no extra costs and no cancellation fees involved in booking a rental car with Expedia.

    How do I book a car rental with Expedia?

    You can book a car rental on Expedia either online or over the phone. You may have the option to reserve now and pay now, or to reserve now and pay later. The payment option will be indicated at time of booking. To collect Expedia+ rewards points for your car rental, sign in to your account before you book or create an account on the Payment page.

    Are there any additional costs when cancelling a rental car?

    Most rental car bookings are eligible for a full refund regardless of when you cancel with Expedia. Not all prepaid bookings qualify for a refund. Review your itinerary for details. If your prepaid booking qualifies for a refund, your booking must be cancelled at least 6 hours prior to pick-up for the refund. If you return your prepaid car rental early, you will not be refunded for any unused time.

    How can I cancel my car booking through Expedia?

    To cancel your car booking, sign in or enter your email address and itinerary number. Then select Find itinerary. Under Manage Booking, select Cancel Reservation, then CANCEL THIS RESERVATION. Most prepaid car rental bookings are non-refundable. Pre-paid bookings must be cancelled at least 6 hours prior to pick-up to be eligible for a full refund. To change or cancel a car hire that you booked as part of a holiday, please contact us.

    Should I book a rental car online before arriving or directly in Rome?

    Booking your car from home with Expedia ensures thay you can choose the type of car. You can also compare the different offers and additional services in advance to get the best offer for you. Upon arrival you only need to collect the keys before beginning your trip. In addition, you do not have to start searching for a suitable provider after arriving or reading the terms and conditions at the counter. This will save you a lot of stress.

    What insurance should I choose for my rental car?

    A comprehensive insurance is a good choice to avoid unpleasant surprises. That way you can enjoy your stay carefree and explore the area with your rental car.

    Do I have to pay my rental car in advance?

    We have a couple different options when it comes to paying for your car rental. Read on and see which is best for you. Reserve now, pay now: This option allows you to reserve your car rental and prepay at the time of booking. You’ll need a credit card to prepay, and can apply Expedia Rewards points to cover all or some of the booking cost. While some car rental companies may let you pay with a debit card, the driver still needs to present a valid credit card to cover the deposit upon pick-up. Reserve now, pay later: This option lets you reserve your rental car without paying in advance. When you get to the pick-up spot, just have whoever's driving present a valid credit card to pay the cost in full. The car rental company will also place a hold on your credit card in the amount of the car rental deposit.

    What do I have to pay attention to when hiring a car?

    When picking up your rental car, check for scratches or dents on the vehicle. Inspect the car carefully, make sure to take notes of potential damage and let the vendor know before driving off.

    Where can I find car rentals in Rome?

    Rental car companies can usually be found at airports and various locations in the city centre.