Wondering how to find a rental car in Tuscany or even if you need a car rental in Tuscany? If so then this expert’s guide is for you.
After all, I flipping LOVE Tuscany and have been many times. But, the process of renting a car in Tuscany can be more than a little daunting.
I mean, where do you rent a car in Tuscany? How do you rent a car in Tuscany? Do you even need a rental car in Tuscany? Is it safe to drive a rental car in Tuscany?
Yeah, the list of questions goes on and on since you’ve never been there and you have no idea what you do and do not need when it comes to rental cars in Tuscany.
And that’s where my expert advice comes in. I have been many times and will tell you everything you need to know about the best car hire Tuscany has to offer.
So, stop stressing and use this comprehensive guide to the best rental cars in Tuscany, Italy to plan the trip of a lifetime.
Now, let’s begin with my personal experience with renting a car in Tuscany with Discover Cars and we’ll conclude with a comprehensive FAQ section about renting cars in Tuscany.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
BUT FIRST…Is Renting A Car in Tuscany Worth It?
Okay, so I’m gonna be super honest here since I 100% do NOT want you to rent a car in Tuscany if you don’t need it.
So, the answer to this question depends on what kind of Tuscany itinerary you’ll be planning. If you want to stick to major cities and wine tours in Florence then you don’t need a rental car.
I mean, you can take a direct train during your 2 days in Florence from the city to Siena in 1.5 hours and for around $11.00.
Pisa is also super easy to visit via public transportation. Plus, if you take the train then you don’t have to worry about driving in the city, paying for parking, and ZTLs.
Other bigger cities that can be easily reached by public transportation are Empoli, Arezzo, Livorno, Lucca, Pistoia, and Viareggio.
Plus, smaller villages like Cortona and Montepulciano can just about be reached by train. But, you’ll definitely need to take an additional bus/taxi to get there.
However, if you really want to explore tiny villages and enjoy the Tuscan countryside then rental cars in Tuscany Italy are a must.
Not only can you go wherever you want and do whatever you want, but you don’t have to reserve tickets and plan out your itinerary in advance.
You also have the freedom to stop for photo ops if you see a stunning spot along the road and wanna take a wicked awesome selfie.
Plus, there are lot of public transportation in these areas. So, a rental car is not necessary.
Renting a Car in Tuscany with Discover Cars
I have been traveling to Italy since 2018 and I have been renting cars there ever since my first visit.
Now, I will be the first one to tell you that some experiences have been awesome (thanks to Discover Cars) and some have been terrible.
Personally, I LOVE and use Discover Cars since I have never had an issue renting a car from any of the companies that they have recommended.
They also help you QUICKLY and EASILY find the best price for your rental car in Tuscany and even offer FREE cancelation up to 48 hours before you pick up your car.
In contrast, when I tried to rent a car in Tuscany on my own I had to wait in a 2+ hour line to pick up my rental car in Tuscany.
Plus, I started to get mysterious charges on my credit card after I dropped the car off.
Then, when I asked them about it since there was no damage to the car, they vaguely mentioned “body damages” even though they said nothing when I returned the car.
Pro Tip: If you go to Trustpilot and look up “Discover Cars” another site will pop up and that is NOT the site I am referring to.
Now, let’s go over how I book a rental car in Tuscany whenever I visit.
STEP 1: Book Your Car in Tuscany Online with Discover Cars
Renting a car in Tuscany is EXTREMELY popular. So, if you want to rent a car in Tuscany between April and October then make your reservation RIGHT when you book your flight.
Additionally, May through September is literally the most popular time to use a car hire in Tuscany. So, rates will be steep, and rentals will be scarce. If you need to, try getting a rental car in a smaller city.
So, once you have your trip dates in hand, go to the Discover Cars website.
Give them your pick-up location, dates that you’ll need your Tuscany rental car, and drop-off location (if different from your pick-up location).
I decided to rent a car in Tuscany after my visit to Florence. So, I picked up my car in downtown Florence and then drove to Tuscany, dropping it off in Bologna before continuing my solo trip in Italy.
Anyway, as you are looking through Tuscany car rental agencies, be sure to keep an eye on the ratings and DO NOT rent from any company with a rating of less than 8.0 out of 10.
I know it’s tempting to just go with the cheapest rental possible but sometimes these companies have horrible customer service and can really destroy your trip.
Pro Tip: When renting a car, really think about the type of vehicle you need. Compact cars are great (and cheap) butt can have trouble making it up even small hills.
Also, think about the day/time that you pick up and drop off your rental cars. Sometimes you will have to pay extra (I only paid $15.00 more) if you drop off/pick up your car outside of normal business hours.
STEP 2: Always Choose Full Coverage
Look, no one wants to think that something bad could happen when booking a rental car in Tuscany.
But the reality is that sometimes you don’t see that giant pot hole (or speed bump in my case) as you drive from Florence to Tuscany.
So, my advice is to always opt for full coverage when you rent with Discover Cars. I mean, 85% of renters go with full coverage and they can’t all be wrong.
This way you won’t have to stress about paying for scratches, dents, vehicle repairs, broken windows, flat tires, lost keys, and more when using a rental car in Tuscany.
Plus, full coverage is pretty affordable and only cost me $7.50 per day the last time I rented a car in Tuscany.
Additionally, coverage with Discover Cars is pretty comprehensive and covers around $3300 worht of damage.
So, make the right choice and choose full coverage when renting a car in Tuscany.
What Is and Is Not Covered by Discover Cars?
According to the Discover Cars website, 94% of customers are satisfied with full coverage. And that’s mainly because a lot of things are covered by their policy.
So, issues included under the terms of their policy are the exterior of the car (no exclusions), refundable theft deductible, the roof, mirrors, windows, windshield, the tires/wheels, the undercarriage, lost keys/lookout fees, admin fees, taxi fees, and loss of use fees during repairs.
Conversely, things that are not covered by their full coverage policy are damages that occur when you fail to adhere to the terms of your rental agreement, cleaning fees, interior damage, and damage from uncontrollable/unforeseeable events.
Do Car Rental Companies in Tuscany Accept This Policy?
The short answer is that legally they have to. But, any company that I have personally used has had no problem honoring Full Coverage Insurance with Discover Cars.
Sometimes, I have had to pay a deductible to the company upfront. But, they have always returned the money after inspecting the car and discovering that I have no outstanding tickets/fines.
However, if you bring the car back and it is damaged, the cost of the repairs will be taken out of your deposit.
You’ll then have to make a claim with Discover Cars to get reimbursed for what you paid.
But, they usually take care of this within 48 hours or less. Just remember that Discover Cars will only cover $3300 worth of damage with their policy – which is a lot.
As a result, you should have no problem renting a car from a reputable company with great customer service.
Submitting a Claim to Discover Cars
To submit a claim to Discover Cars, just use your login credentials (they are in the confirmation email you received when you booked your car) to log in to their app or website.
And that’s it. Submit all the necessary info and just wait for them to process the claim over the next two days.
I mean, you can go with a local company’s insurance but it will usually cost between $24 to $55 in Italy.
However, it is always an option to rent a car with Discover Cars and use Italian insurance issued by a local company.
This way you can still get a cheap car rental from Discover Cars and make the most of their no-fee cancellation policy.
Some other car rental agencies in Tuscany include Alamo, Hartz, SIXT, Dollar, National, Budget, Sicily by Car, Enterprise, Avis, Europcar, and more.
Please Read This Disclaimer Before Renting a Car in Tuscany
Please note that the info I am providing about how to find a rental car in Tuscany is based on my personal experience.
I have rented a car in Tuscany many times with Discover Cars and have never had an issue.
However, your experience might be different from my own and I personally have no control over that.
But, if you need any more info then I suggest you reach out to Discover Cars and ask a representative for further clarification.
Where to Rent a Car in Tuscany
The good news is that you can rent a car in LOTS of different places in Tuscany. Now, some of the most popular places to rent a car in Tuscany are:
- Pisa City Center
- Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA)
- Florence Amerigo Vespucci Airport (FLR) – easiest, where I usually rent from
- Florence City Center – I got my car rental here but I have heard it is easier to grab your rental from the airport
However, you can also rent a car in Tuscany in places like Lucca, Arezzo, Siena, Cortona, Livorno, Grosetto, Livorno, Chiusi, and more.
Pro Tip: Sometimes you may have to pay a fee to pick up your car in one location and drop it off in another.
Typically fees are between $75 and $100. So, ask about this first because it may be cheaper to pick up and drop off your car in the same place.
Things to Do in Tuscany to See with a Rental Car
Tuscany is WAY more than all of the major cities that you’ve probably already heard of. So, if you decide on renting a car in Tuscany then some epic villages to visit include:
- Montepulciano – Sweeping views of the area
- Montalcino – Drink ALL the Brunello wine
- San Gimignano – Towers galore in this medieval village
- Pienza – Eat ALL the pecorino cheese
- San Quirico d’Orcia – Another great medieval village
- Bagno Vignoni – Take a dip in the hot springs
- Cortona – Under the Tuscany Sun was filmed here
- Monteriggioni – Historic, well-preserved, walled city
- Greve, Gaiole, Panzano, Radda, and Castellina – Chianti villages famous for this wine and lovely piazzas
Now, after visiting some of the best villages in Tuscany, explore top attractions like:
- Castello di Brolio – Castelo d’Albola and Castello Meleto are great too if you want to do a wine tasting.
- Sunflower Fields – Take lots of photos with the gorgeous sunflowers in Tuscany.
- Drive along roads lined with Cypress trees
- Sagras – attend a food festival in small Tuscan villages.
- Visit a Winery – Castello di Nipozzano, Capezzana, Super Tuscans (Bolgheri), Antinori (Chianti Classico) Vernaccia (San Gimignano), Brunello (Montalcino), and Castello di Ama.
- Giardino dei Tarocchi – Visit a fun garden that looks like something Gaudi created.
- Go to the Beach – Many can only be visited by car. You can actually take the ferry to Isola d’Elba and check out the gorgeous beaches there.
- Pistoia Zoo
- Chianti Sculpture Park
- Val d’Orcia – UNESCO World Heritage site where you can take stunning photos
- Go hiking in the Apuan Alps
FAQs About Renting a Car in Tuscany
Is It Easy to Drive in Tuscany? Is Driving in Tuscany Difficult?
Honestly, driving on the roads in Tuscany isn’t difficult. It’s not too challenging if you drive at the speed limit, which is between 50 and 70 km/hour on smaller country roads.
Just go slow, since the roads can be very curvy and very narrow, and you’ll find driving in Tuscany easy. Also, be careful in the evening when visibility is greatly reduced.
What is the Most Popular Type of Car to Rent in Tuscany?
The most popular (and best IMHO) type of car to rent in Tuscany is an economy car. Its small size makes it easier to navigate the narrow and windy roads that Tuscany is famous for.
Additionally, an economy car is a lot easier to park when the area is packed with tourists and parking spaces are limited in the high season.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Car in Tuscany, Italy?
Like in most countries, the cost of your rental car in Tuscany is going to vary based on what type of car you rent.
However, the cheapest car rental in Tuscany will start at around $25 per day for a mini. The price then goes up to $30.00 per day and $50.00 per day for an economy car and an SUV.
If you really want to splurge, you can even get a full-size SUV for around $100 per day. But I honestly don’t think that’s necessary for driving in Tuscany.
Where Is It Cheapest to Rent a Car in Italy?
The cheapest place to rent a car in Italy is in Catania where rental cars can cost as little as $3.00 per day.
What are the Rules for Renting a Car in Italy?
To rent a car in Italy, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old – if not you can always do an epic wine tour to Tuscany from Florence instead.
Just remember that if you are under the age of 25 then you’ll probably have to pay an additional fee for being a “young driver”.
Additionally, if you are an American citizen (and not a citizen of the EU) renting a car in Tuscany then you will need:
- An International Driver’s Permit – These are REALLY easy to get and you can just get one from AAA in the USA before your trip. This is basically just like a translated copy of your driver’s license for foreign officials.
- A passport
- A valid driver’s license from your home country
- A credit card for payment.
Do I Need Insurance When Renting a Car in Italy?
Yes!! The law in Italy requires that you have a Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection.
Both are a part of Discover Car’s Full Coverage plan and you should have no issue with car insurance when renting a car in Tuscany – or anywhere else in Italy.
Tips on How to Rent a Car in Tuscany
1. Pick Your Car Up in a Small Town/Airport
I try to do this when renting a car in Tuscany to avoid the traffic and chaos of driving in the city.
Yes, I have picked up a car in downtown Florence but many people prefer to pick their car up at the airport in Florence since it’s a lot easier.
However, you could also pick up your car in a smaller town. Just double-check the rate and do whatever is cheaper when booking your car on Discover Cars.
2. Be Prepared to Drive on Narrow, Windy, Gravel Roads and Get Ready for Roundabouts
There are a few things you need to know about driving in Tuscany. Firstly, there are tons of gravel roads. On the whole, though, the quality of the roads is good – just watch out for potholes, especially in cities.
So, make sure that your car insurance covers the undercarriage (Discover Cars does) since you are bound to damage the bottom of your car.
This is also why you do NOT want to rent a car that is low to the ground, like a sports car.
Also, go slow since roads are narrow/windy, with tons of roundabouts that you’ll need to make your way around. You also need to watch out for cyclists since they are literally EVERYWHERE.
Pro Tip: Windy roads mean that travel times will take longer. Plan accordingly. Also, anyone prone to car sickness should take motion sickness pills before you set out for the day.
3. Check Your Vehicle for Damage When You Pick It Up and Make a Video
Whenever I pick up my rental car in Tuscany, I always make a video of the exterior of the car BEFORE I set out on my trip.
This way the company can’t claim that any of the old dents and scratches on the car are my fault and charge me for them.
4. Get To Know Your Car
Before you leave the rental agency in Tuscany, make sure that you know a few things about your car. Ask what type of gas the car needs and learn how to back up the car.
Additionally, you’ll want to make a mental note of the nearest gas station since you’ll want to fill your car up with gas before you return it.
Yeah, some companies will charge you a fee if you don’t return the car with a full tank of gas.
5. Rent the Smallest Car Possible
Roads are small, narrow, and usually have no shoulder. So, parking can be difficult to find (at best).
So, you’ll want to rent the smallest car you can – preferably one with sliding side doors so that you can fit into smaller parking spots.
Just make sure that your small car can still fit all of your luggage and everyone riding inside.
6. You’re Probably Gonna Get a Ticket
I can’t remember the last time I got a parking/speeding ticket in the States. Yet, somehow, every time I am in Italy I end up getting billed for random tickets.
So, if you rent a car in Tuscany, don’t be surprised if you get billed for a parking ticket or speeding ticket after you return the car.
7. Don’t Drive at Night
Like in most places, when the sun goes down, visibility is greatly reduced. Plus, there are few – to no -street lamps in more rural parts of Tuscany.
Add to this the fact that many animals tend to come out at night (think foxes, deer, wild boar, and porcupines) and you may want to steer clear (love me a good pun) of driving at night.
8. Know the Different Types of Roads in Italy
Some of the types of roads that you’ll find in Italy include:
- Strada Bianca (gravel road)
- Strada provinciale (provincial roads)
- Strada regionale (regional roads)
- Strada Statale (national roads)
- Superstrada (highways)
- Autostrada (toll road), and strada bianca (gravel road) – Use these if you want to cover large distances quickly like with the A11 from Pisa to Florence, the A1 from Milan to Naples, and the A12 from Genoa to Rosignano.
9. Learn The Difference Between Paid and Free Parking
Okay, so parking spots in Italy tend to be VERY narrow. Spots are also color-coded to help you determine where to park.
In general, yellow spaces are for handicapped/official vehicles, white spaces are free, blue spaces are paid, and pink spaces are for pregnant women/moms with young kids.
Pro Tip: Honestly, just park outside the center of town and walk/use public transportation to get inside the city. It’s just a WHOLE lot easier.
10. Don’t Rely on Google Maps/GPS
So, Google Maps can be helpful but I would definitely have some paper maps just in case you lose service in the countryside.
You can also download maps to your phone but the speed limit can be inaccurate and the route suggested can sometimes take you to a ZTL.
Pro Tip: ZTLs are limited traffic zones and if you don’t have permission to drive there you will get fined. ZTLs you can drive in are near parking garages or at a hotel in a ZTL.
However, to drive in these places you MUST register your license plate with local authorities first. Typically, a hotel or parking garage will do this for you but it’s always good to make sure they do this.
11. Know the Speed Limit
Don’t listen to your GPS and know the speed limits in Tuscany. In general, the speed limit on the highway is 90 km/h, on small, country roads it’s between 50 and 70 km/h, and on toll roads, it’s 130 km/h.
So, do NOT speed and slow down on the toll road to 20km/h if it’s raining or if the weather makes driving dangerous.
Yeah, speeding is a big no-no since there are many autovelox, or speed cameras, in place all across the country. But, you’ll see warnings for “controllo electronico della velocità” and everyone will slow down.
Pro Tip: You may encounter Sistema Tutor (point-to-point speed cameras) on the toll roads between Florence and Bologna.
Basically, the camera will photograph your license place in one place and then in another place and average your speed between the two places.
If the camera catches you speeding then you’ll have to pay a fine by mail.
12. Don’t Drink and Drive
Like the US, Italy has pretty strict laws to prevent drinking and driving. So, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content above 0.5 g/l (0.5%).
For drivers 21 or under (as well as pro drivers), your BAC needs to be 0.00%.
So, basically, don’t drink and drive…EVER. Use a designated driver, hire a driver, or use public transportation if you plan to visit the best wineries in Tuscany.