3 Surprising Costs of Renting a Car in Italy and How to Deal With the Charges

3 Surprising Costs of Renting a Car in Italy and How to Deal With the Charges, Shutterstock: Alessandro ColleBefore you take off for Italy, you might have a very romanticized image of renting a car. With the wind in your hair, the Coliseum in the background and you behind the wheel of a vintage Fiat, this image can be very far from what you end up experiencing. It is one of the best ways to reach those vineyards, cliff clinging villages and the far reaches of the boot. However, renting a car to traverse this boot can take its toll on your wallet. While you might think your rental car cost is the price you book with a company, Italy tends to want more beyond the rental rate. Though it might be bubble bursting, by knowing these sneaky charges when you rent a car in Italy, you can better map out a budget for your Italian travels.

Road Tax: Most rental agreements include a number of charges, but they also tend to exclude the road tax charge. This charge is usually anywhere from two to four euros per day, for up to a certain amount of days or up to a certain euro amount depending. While a few euros here and there might not seem like much, the road tax cost can quickly add up for travelers in Italy. For example, I rented a car for 12 days, at a road tax rate of €3.50 per day. My rental agreement did not include the road tax charge. It also charged the road tax up to 20 days, rather than a set euro amount. After 12 days in Italy, my rental car company charged me $57 for road tax. With an original rental price of $280, this extra $57 seemed pretty surprising. While you can’t avoid the road tax charge for the most part, travelers should go over rental agreements before you book with certain outlets. Some might offer a better road tax rate or euro to day limit than others.

Tolls: Italy is chock full with toll roads. The Automobile Association website has a good listing of Italy toll roads and the costs between certain distances. On my recent trip, I avoided toll roads by setting the GPS to avoid all toll roads. However, Italy’s back roads are certainly not as well maintained, with bumpy rides, slow ups through towns every few minutes and longer routes. If you avoid the tolls, your journey could take several hours longer and you might spend more on gas. Again, if you want to stay on the main roads, you can always be prepared and budget accordingly by adding up what your toll charges will be for your specific route.

Parking: I saw my trip budget sail out the window with each parking garage I had to enter in Italy. Parking in Italy is where most travelers’ budgets die. Especially in the case of historic cities, parking garages can be anywhere from €12 to €20 per night. If you think you can avoid parking charges by booking hotels with parking, think again. Seldom could I find hotels on my route that included parking. While there is no set way to avoid parking charges in Italy, you can do your research. Many lots might charge more than the one right next to it. Also, I always asked my hotel if there were any free parking options in town. On occasion, they would direct me to parking lots and spaces a little bit further from town but free nonetheless.


Photo: Alessandro Colle 

Post your Comments

Book with OneTravel

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Cars
Click here for calendar
Click here for calendar
Seniors: (65+)
Infants on lap:
Infants on seat:
Save on Bookings with 3+ pax
or hotel stays of 3+ nights
this month withSM25


  • 4 Travel Lessons Learned From Christopher Columbus’ MistakesComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 13 Oct 2014
  • Before you set sail on your own travels of discovery, be sure to keep these travel lessons in mind, all learned from the mistakes of Columbus. He might have sailed the ocean blue, but he didn’t always go about travel in the best of ways....read more

  • 5 Scan-tastic Reasons to Visit Sweden's Koster IslandsComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 10 Oct 2014
  • About a month back I had the pleasure of visiting the Koster Islands, Sweden's most westerly populated (if only sparsely) islands. Just south of the Norwegian coast, it’s a rugged and beautiful part of the world and a great place to “get away from it all” without having to give up on any creature comforts....read more

  • October is National Poetry Month in Great BritainComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Jen Westmoreland Bouchard, last post 09 Oct 2014
  • Throughout the month of October, Great Britain celebrates historic and contemporary poets. Founded in 2000, National Poetry Month kicks off on National Poetry Day, which is typically held on the first Thursday of October (this year it was October 2nd). The festivities continue all month long with poetry readings, book releases, library events, and educational opportunities....read more

  • 4 Movie Travel Destinations to Visit in EuropeComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 08 Oct 2014
  • While being a couch potato, curling up with a bowl of popcorn and a film featuring far away locales has it perks, moviegoers can truly step into the screen by visiting those film locations in person. In particular, Europe tends to make for a pretty backdrop for film and also for adventuring. Here are four film locales where you can play the part of actor or actress all while traveling through some Europe’s most appealing destinations....read more

  • 4 Great Blogs for Travel Tech TipsComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 07 Oct 2014
  • What's the best gear, app, camera, tablet, SIM card etc for your particular style of travel? I dunno. But maybe one of these bloggers can steer you in the right direction. Here's a list of five of the world's best blogs to read for the latest travel tech tips and trends....read more