If you’re considering renting a car in Lake Como then you’ve come to the right place.
I mean, I would not rent a car in Rome if you paid me.
So, it makes sense that you would be wondering if you need a rental car in Lake Como and how to rent a car in Lake Como once you get there.
Well, I am going to answer all these questions and more since I have been to Lake Como twice – once with a rental car and once without.
So, I know the pros and cons of renting a car in Lake Como. And I want to share those insider tips with you. This way you can quickly and easily decide if a rental car in Lake Como is right for you.
I’ll also tell you exactly where I would get a rental car if I was going to Lake Como.
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Is it Worth Renting a Car in Lake Como Italy?
Renting a car in Lake Como has some major advantages, and it can be the best way to explore this beautiful part of northern Italy.
In fact, access to a car gives you much more control over your schedule and the freedom to travel wherever and whenever you like.
But, just in case you are unsure, here are some of the top benefits of renting cars in Lake Como.
- More Convenience – When you book a rental car, Lake Como and the surrounding area are yours to explore at your own pace. You don’t need to worry about missing the last bus back to your hotel or waiting for taxis to collect you. Plus, you’ll have easy access all the best attractions in Como.
- More Freedom – Although Lake Como has an excellent public transport network, not all attractions are easily reached by bus/train. With a rental car in Lake Como, you can explore smaller villages as well as popular attractions.
- More Space – If you hate being squished into crowded buses and trains, a Lake Como car rental will be perfect for you. You can choose the best car to suit your needs, ensuring that even the tallest person has legroom and enough luggage space for all your suitcases.
Personally, I always use Discover Cars to rent a car in Italy. It’s easily the best way to hire a car in Italy.
After all, Discover Cars searches many different companies to find the best prices possible based on current availability. This makes it super easy to find the perfect car to suit your budget and needs.
That being said you can DEFINITELY visit Lake Como without a car. And I am gonna talk about how you can do that right now…
Can You Get Around Lake Como, Italy, Without a Car?
Getting around Lake Como is very easy, and there are several options to choose from if you don’t feel like renting a car in Lake Como.
- Public Transport in Lake Como – Buses and trains depart regularly from Como’s central station. Therefore, it’s easy to travel by public transportation if you want to enjoy day trips around Lake Como. You can even take the train and spend the day in Milan.
- Lake Como Ferries – You can also travel by ferry as a foot passenger from Como to towns like Tremezzo, Lenno, and Bellagio.
- Guided Tours – If you don’t want to rent a car, there are tons of guided tours around Lake Como. You could even base yourself in Milan and take a day trip to Lake Como. But, none of these options offer as much flexibility. So, a car rental in Como is epic if you want to explore the area indepently.
Can You Uber in Lake Como?
Uber is not available in the Lake Como area. it is only available in the city of Milan. So, you cannot Uber around Lake Como.
Therefore, if you don’t want to use public transportation or taxis, you will need to rent a car to explore Lake Como and the surrounding area.
Renting a Car in Lake Como with Discover Cars
Believe it or not, I have been visiting Italy since 2018, and let me tell you, I have been there, well, A LOT. We’re talking well over 10 times!
Each visit gives me a new perspective on this beautiful country, and one thing I absolutely love doing is renting a car.
Now, there are some places where a car isn’t the best option (here’s looking at you, Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre), but when it comes to regions like Lake Comoe, having your own ride is truly a blessing.
So, who do I trust when I need a car rental in Italy? That’s easy – Discover Cars. I’ve rented through them multiple times and I’ve never had an issue with any of their recommended agencies in Lake Como.
What I love about Discover Cars is that they help you find the best price. They instantly compare the rates from hundreds of car agencies in Lake Como, ensuring you get the best deal possible.
And the best part? They offer FREE cancellation up to 48 hours before you’re scheduled to pick up your car.
Trust me when I say, I’ve had some not-so-great experiences with car rentals in Italy. But, I’m determined never to rent directly from an agency again.
But enough about my experiences, let me walk you through how I book a rental car in Lake Comoe when I visit.
Renting a Car in Lake Como with Discover Cars
When planning your trip to Lake Como, Discover Cars is an excellent platform from which to grab your rental vehicle.
I mean, once you have your travel dates confirmed, visit the Discover Cars website and input your pick-up location, dates, and drop-off point (if different from where you picked the car up).
As you sift through the various car rental agencies available in Lake Como, pay close attention to their ratings. I’d suggest avoiding firms with a score below 8.0 out of a possible 10.0.
Although it’s tempting to choose the cheapest option possible to “save money,” remember the age-old adage: You get what you pay for.
Therefore, extremely low-cost options often lead to subpar car rentals in Puglia and typically lack good customer service.
Pro Tip: Be mindful of the day and time you decide to pick up and drop off your car rental in Lake Como. Off-peak hours can sometimes mean an extra charge. In my case it was only like $15.00.
But still, always good to save money where you can in italy.
Go for Full Coverage With Discover Cars
Based on my personal experiences with car rentals in Lake Como, I cannot recommend Discover Cars enough.
They are not only economical but also provide comprehensive coverage, ensuring that your journey remains worry-free.
And you should 100% take advantage of their full coverage insurnace policy. Because even if you are a cautious driver, you cannot predict the unpredictable.
Yeah, I once missed a gigantic speed bump and ended up dealing with the consequences.
But, getting full coverage from Discover Cars means that this and so much more is totally covered – allowing you to relax and enjoy a worry free during trip to Italy.
In fact, 85% of people who rent cars with Discover Cars opt for full coverage since it covers dents, scratches, vehicle repairs, flat tires, broken windows, and even lost keys.
Yeah, the last time I rented a car in Lake Como, full coverage cost me just $6.71 per day. And that’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Additionally, Discover Cars’ insurance policy is extremely comprehensive, covering up to $3300 worth of damage – which isn’t the cost of the WHOLE car, but it’s a lot.
What Is and Is Not Covered by Discover Cars?
Now, the Discover Cars website states that 94% of customers are happy with purchasing full coverage.
And that makes sense. The policy is comprehensive and covers the car exterior, roof, refundable theft deductible, mirrors, windshield, windows, tires/wheels, undercarriage, lost keys/lockout fees, taxi fees, admin fees, and loss of use during repairs.
However, it does not cover interior damage, cleaning fees, damages incurred due to not adhering to the rental agreement, and damage from uncontrollable/unforeseeable events.
Do Car Rental Companies in Lake Como Accept This Policy?
All the companies I used in Lake Como had no issues honoring Full Coverage Insurance with Discover Cars. They also kind of have to honor this policy since it’s the law.
The only slight annoyance is that I has to pay a deductible to the local rental company upfront.
But, that’s pretty standard and the deposit is always returned once they verify that there are no damages/tickets/fines to the car.
Filing a Claim to Discover Cars
Now, in case you incur any damage to your car, you can reclaim any money you spend by filing a claim with Discover Cars.
They usually process claims within 48 hours and cover damages that total up to $3300.
While this amount is substantial, it obviously won’t cover the cost if the car is totaled, so it’s important to be careful on the road.
To file a claim with Discover Cars, simply use the login details you received in the confirmation email that you get when you made your booking.
You can then submit all the necessary information via their app or website and wait for your claim to be processed, usually within 48 hours.
So, if you’re planning to rent a car in Lake Como, I wholeheartedly recommend Discover Cars and their full coverage policy.
They offer well-priced car rentals, a comprehensive insurance policy, and a no-fee cancellation policy, which make them an excellent choice for your car rental needs in Lake Como.
Disclaimer Before Renting a Car in Lake Como
Please note that the information provided here is based on my own personal experience.
I’ve rented cars in Lake Como several times with Discover Cars and have had a positive experience each and every time.
However, your experience may vary, and I encourage you to reach out to Discover Cars for more information.
Best Places to Go with a Rental Car in Lake Como
Lying entirely within the Lombardy region of Italy, Lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy.
It looks like an upside-down Y that is 46 km long from north to south. So, it’s the ideal location for a road trip.
In fact, traveling around Lake Como by car is amazing since this is one of the most beautiful drives in Italy. Plus, you could easily conquer the entire distance in a day.
Or, split it up over two days since there are ton of insanely beautiful small towns and villages that sit around Lake Como.
Many have a jetty (or embarcadero) where you can hop on a car ferry. So, if you put your car on the ferry at Cadenabbia, you can sail over to Belaggio.
It’s one of the most famous Lake Como resorts of all time and is known as the “Pearl of Lake Como.”
In fact, Belaggio’s beautiful buildings and cobbled streets make it a popular destination among tourists, especially in the high season.
Yeah, high season is from mid-June to mid-September. You should avoid Lake Como if you can since crowds, and traffic, can be AWFUL. And if you hop on a ferry as pedestrian, good luck finding a seat.
You could also drive to Milan for a day trip or a long weekend filled with great food, beautiful architecture, fantastic shopping, and some of the best gelato in Milan.
The drive to Milan will take around an hour from the city of Como. I would just avoid driving in Milan since the traffic, road signs, and parking can make it tricky.
Alternatively, head up to Chiavenna in the Italian Alps if you feel like a change of scenery. It’s a great place to enjoy delicious food and drinks.
Enjoy the quaint charm of this historic town, soak up the fresh air, and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Just allow two hours for your drive from Como to Chiavenna.
Now, at the northern tip of Lake Como, you’ll find the commune of Lenno. It’s the site of the Villa del Balbianello, which is famous for its beautiful gardens.
They’re so plush that they were featured in the James Bond film Casino Royale. It’ll take you around 45 minutes to drive to Villa del Balbianello from Como, even if you’re in an Aston Martin.
Renting a Car in Lake Como FAQs
Is It Easy To Drive In Lake Como?
Driving in Lake Como, or anywhere in Italy, can be tricky at first. The roads are very narrow in places, especially in urban areas, and the locals drive pretty fast.
You’ll also encounter a fair few blind corners and switchbacks where you’ll need to take be extra cautious. Yeah, I initially had some issues driving in Lake Como since I am so used to the wide open roads in the USA.
However, if you’re a confident driver, then you’ll be fine. If you’re not so sure of your driving skills, driving in Como can be stressful. So, take regular breaks and make a lot of stops when on the road.
Also research Italian road signs and parking rules before you travel. Oh, and be prepared to be a little bit pushy. I am from New York so that was NOT a problem for me.
Andyway, you just might need to be extra assertive sometimes, but if you’ve driven in NYC, it’s not all that different!
What’s The Best Place To Rent A Car In Lake Como?
The city of Como is the best place to rent a car in Lake Como, and you’ll have a choice of reliable car rental companies offering car rentals at great prices.
However, if you’re flying into Milan Malpensa airport, it’s easy to catch the train to Como and pick up your car from one of the car rental agencies in Lake Como.
The journey is short and sweet, takes around an hour, and trains run throughout the day.
Alternatively, you could rent a car from the airport and enjoy the 40-minute drive from Milan to Lake Como.
Whichever option you choose, it’s cheaper to collect and drop your car off at the same location.
If you pick up your car at one location and drop it off at another car rental office, you’ll probably have to pay an additional charge for what is called a “one-way car rental”.
How Far in Advance Do You Need to Rent a Car in Lake Como?
There aren’t too many places to rent cars in Lake Como, Italy. So, if you want to get the best rates on car rentals, book your car rental as early as possible.
Generally, the earlier you can book, the better the deals. You’ll often score low prices on a car rental in Italy by booking your car several months before your trip.
You can often find great deals with cheaper car rental rates, online booking discounts, unlimited mileage, and flexible/free cancellation options (like with Discover Cars).
You can rent manual and automatic cars in Italy, but manual cars are much more common in Europe. This means automatic cars are more expensive to rent and tend to get booked up ASAP.
So, book early if you only drive an automatic car like me!!!
Is it Safe to rent a Car in Lake Como?
Traveling to Lake Como is generally pretty safe. The area is well-policed, and there isn’t too much violent crime.
Of course, you need to use common sense and be aware of your surroundings, especially if you’re traveling solo in Italy.
So, never leave luggage or valuables visible in your rental car, and always park in well-lit areas.
It’s also a good idea to store a copy of essential documents like your passport and insurance policy in the cloud. This way you can always access important documents quicly, even if you lose the original.
If you’re renting a car in Como, check local traffic regulations before you hit the road.
Additiionally, always wear your seatbelt, whether you are in the front or back seat of the car, and always stick to the speed limit. Yeah, a friend of mine decided not to wear a seatbelt and got fined big time.
When is the Cheapest Time to Rent a Car in Lake Como?
The average rental car cost in Lake Como varies throughout the year. But, you’ll find the best deals on a cheap car hire in Como in February.
Yeah, renting a car is more expensive during the rest of the year, especially in the summer months and around Christmas or Easter.
Your Como car rental costs will also vary depending on a couple of factors, like the type of car you book, the popularity of the vehicle you choose, and how far in advance you book.
So, renting a small car in Como, Italy, costs an average around $55 per day. But, it could be as little as $20 per day in the low season.
You may even find special offers that take the average price of a vehicle rental down to as low as $4 per day. But, on average the price of a large car rental will be higher than this.
And honestly, I would not count on spending $4.00 per day on your Lake Como car rental. It is more the exception than the rule.
Now, Discover Cars is the best place to book a cheap car hire in Italy because they search through all the biggest car rental companies to find the cheapest rental cars in Italy.
That means you’re sure to find the best car to suit your needs and your budget.
What Do You Need to Rent a Car in Italy?
The minimum age for renting a car in Italy is 18. However, you can generally only rent a car in Como if you are 21 or over.
In fact, many car rental companies add an additional fee for young drivers under 25. FYI, you must also have had your license for at least a year.
However, the good news is that Discover Cars does NOT apply a young driver charge to anyone under 25.
Additionally, to rent a car in Italy, you must have a credit card in the main driver’s name, and your credit card details will be kept on file in case of any damage.
Your rental company will also place a hold on your card, which is released when you return the car in the same condition as when you picked it up.
The hold amount varies between rental companies, but it’s around €600 ($640) if you book a car through Discover Cars.
Can I Rent a Car in Como without an International Driver’s License?
Renting a car in Italy as an American without an international driver’s license is possible as long as you have a passport or your home driver’s license.
However, that doesn’t mean driving in Italy without an International Driving Permit is legal.
According to Article 135 of the Italian road code, foreign drivers from outside the EU must have an International Driving Permit or an official translation of their home driving license to drive in Italy.
In all actuality, an International Driving Permit is just a translation of your home driver’s license, and it’s easy to get an International Driving Permit from AAA before you travel to Italy.
Yeah, you should 100% have one since the Italian police are known for carrying out random car checks.
And if you get pulled over by the police and don’t have the necessary permit, you could be fined between €400 and €1600! Yup, talk about YIKES.
What is the Best Type of Car to Rent in Lake Como?
I highly recommend booking your rental car through Discover Cars. They have a wide range of cars available, including SUV rental and luxury car rental.
Some of the types of car rental options they offer include:
- Mini Car – Fiat Panda, Citroen C1 or similar
- Mini Elite – Fiat 500 or similar
- Economy – Hyundai i20, Open Corsa or similar
- Economy Elite – Peugeot 208 or similar
- Compact Car – Fiat 500X, Opel Astra or similar
- Compact SUV – Citroen C3 Aircross or similar
- Compact Elite – Opel Mokka or similar
- Standard SUV – Volkswagen T-Cross
- People Carriers – Ford C-Max or similar
- Intermediate Cars – Seat Arona or similar
- Intermediate SUV – Alfa Romeo Tonale or similar
- Luxury Car – Opel Mokka, Tesla Model Y, BMW M series or similar luxury models
Depending on availability when renting a car in Lake Como, a convertible rental might be possible.
However, if you’re looking to rent a sports car in Italy, unfortunately sports cars, classic cars, and vintage cars aren’t available through Discover Cars.
However, most popular car group in Lake Como is probably the mini car and if this is your first time driving in Italy, it’s a good idea to pick a smaller car.
Yeah, roads are narrow and parking spaces are tight so I was never disappointed when selecting a small car as my car rental in Lake Como.
In fact, some of the most popular car models to rent in Como include the Toyota C-HR and the Fiat 500X.
But, make sure you rent a car with enough trunk space for all your luggage. This will save you the hassle of having to upgrade if you decide the car you get isn’t big enough!
How Much is Car insurance in Lake Como?
When driving in Italy, you’re legally required to have two different types of insurance coverage: Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection.
However, full coverage car insurance is highly recommended, as this will also cover other essential costs like roadside assistance, repairs, or replacing lost keys.
You’ll also be fully covered even if someone else hits your car in the parking lot.
So, when you see how crazy the driving in Italy is and how close they park to each other, you’ll realize why full coverage car insurance is such a great idea!
The daily price of car insurance in Italy will vary depending on factors like your age, driving record, and rental car type.
Tips for Renting a Car in Lake Como
Here are a few tips to make it easy to rent and drive a car in Como, Italy.
1. Check Your Rental Agreement
Be sure to check your car rental agreement carefully and ensure all the details are correct before you sign it, including details about your insurance coverage.
2. Check the Condition of Your Car
Unfortunately, some dishonest car rental agencies will try to charge you for damage done before you rented your vehicle. Yeah, I have had this happen and it sucks.
So, when you get your rental car from the pick-up location, check carefully for scratches, dents, or other damage both inside and outside.
Walk around the car with the rental agent, pointing out any issues and filming/taking photos of the car with your phone.
This way, if there are any problems when you return the car, you can use your video to prove that the dents and scratches were there before you even though about renting a car in Lake Como.
However, renting a car with Discover Cars makes it easy to read reviews from previous customers. This way can can check to see if your rental company has a good reputation.
3. Make Sure you Know How to Use Your Car
Check where all the controls are before you drive off in your Lake Como rental car.
If you’re unsure where to find the fog lights or how to use the hand brake, you can ask the rental agent before leaving.
4. Parking in Lake Como
Parking spaces are often color-coded. So:
- Blue spaces are paid parking
- White spaces are free parking
- Pink spaces are parent and child parking
- Yellow spaces are for disabled people
That being said, it can be hard to find parking in Como and the small towns and villages around Lake Como.
Yeah, in my experience there are a very limited number of parking spaces, especially free parking spaces. Plus, the parking spaces in Italy aren’t always designed for bigger cars (like an Escalade).
So, people will often park REALLY close to your car. However, if you have full coverage then you won’t have to worry about paying for a hefty repair bill if someone dings your rental car in Lake Como!
5. Fill Up the Gas Tank Before Returning Your Car
Your Lake Como rental car will porbably have a full tank of gas when you get the keys. So, make sure you fill the tank back uo before you return it at the end of your rental period.
If you return the car without a full tank, you’ll be charged for the cost of the fuel plus an administrative fee.
Yeah, I have found it to be WAY cheaper to return the car with a full tank of gas than to pay the mildly exhorbitant fee that throw at you.
Also, make sure you know which pump to use – “Benzina” is unleaded gas, and “Gasolio” is the Italian word for Diesel.
6. Know the Driving Laws in Italy
Some laws you should know before driving in Lake Como are:
- You must carry a valid driver’s license, insurance paperwork, and registration documents when driving.
- Everyone in the car must wear a seatbelt when driving in Italy.
- Using your cell phone when driving is forbidden unless you have a hands-free device.
- Speed limits are generally between 50 and 70 km/h on minor roads, 90 km/h on main roads, and 130-150 km/h on the Autostrada (highway). But, speed limits drop to 110 km/h on the Autostrada during bad weather.
- Be careful if you’re not used to roundabouts. The traffic on roundabouts in Italy flows counter-clockwise, and traffic coming from the left has right of way.
- Using your headlights is mandatory in bad weather or when driving through a tunnel.
- The general blood alcohol limit is 0.05%, or 0.00% if you are under 21 or have held your license for less than 3 years. The safest option is not to drink and drive.
- Only locals can drive through the inner town ZTLs (limited traffic zones), and there’s a hefty fine if you get caught driving through one. So avoid ZTLs, even if Google Maps directs you that way.
7. Drive in a Clockwise Direction around Lake Como
The prettiest route around Lake Como is clockwise. So, if you’re starting from the city of Como, head towards Cernobbia first.
This route keeps you closest to the shores of the lake and offers the most scenic views.
Yeah, I made the mistake of going on a counter-clockwise direction and while the views were good, they weren’t AS good as they could have been. So, learn from my mistakes!
8. Take your Time
It’s entirely possible to drive around Lake Como in around four hours. But, I mean really, why would you?
The whole point of renting a car in Lake Como and driving there is so that you can take your time, take in the panoramas, and enjoy hidden gems that other people don’t get to see.
So, it’s way better to divide the journey into two sections, with an overnight stop in between. This way, you can enjoy exploring some of the prettiest towns in Lake Como.