Usually, you will get a much better price if you do this and will be assured that a car is available, especially if you want an automatic. Generally, these days most rental car companies offer automatic as an option but make sure that you ask for because it is not a guaranty; you may be charged extra for the automatic feature. My suggestion is when renting a car try to get a smaller sized car, a car the size of VW Golf, or a Honda Accord if that will accommodate all your passengers and luggage. There are several reasons to go for a smaller vehicle: Gas prices in Italy are quite high. The price you see at the pump in Italy is per liter and you have to multiply that by four. A gallon of gas will run you about $8 or more. The second reason you will want a smaller car, is many of the roads are narrow when you get into the smaller towns and you want to be able to navigate these with ease.
When you go to pick up your car do not be surprised if you are given an upgrade to a larger car, Turn it Down! The rep from the car company will try to convince you that a larger car is better but do not fall for this; make sure you get the car you rented. If you are automatically given this great upgrade but are unaware of it until you get to the car itself, go back and ask for a smaller vehicle.
Normally, I don’t get insurance when I rent a car in the U.S. but in Italy I do get the extra insurance because not all credit cards will cover insurance in Italy, check with your credit card prior to leaving. When you return the car, ensure that it has a full tank of gas and get the receipt from the rental car company that the care was returned in good shape with a full tank. One year my husband and I were in Florence and we had to bring our rental car back to the rental car company because it was low on oil (that is another story for another article) and a large Volvo Wagon was being towed in with the front end completely wrecked. A woman was running frantically into the garage area yelling that she had filled the tank, that is how important it is to return the tank full.
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