Renting a Car in Rome: All You Need to Know

Rome is a marvelous mix of ancient ruins and vibrant life. With its rich history, every street corner feels like stepping into a different era.

But Rome isn’t just about ancient monuments – it’s also about the journey.

Renting a car in Rome offers you the freedom to meander along its cobblestone streets and go off the beaten path at your own pace. It’s also your passport to a number of exciting day trips outside the city. 

In this travel guide, you’ll find all you need to know about car hire in Rome, such as document requirements, pickup locations, and how to get the best car rental deals.

Do you need to rent a car in Rome?

With your own car, you can zip through Rome without the limitations of public transport, and there’ll be no need to use the extortionate local taxis.

And remember, the charm of Rome isn’t just within its city center. A car allows you to easily visit the amazing attractions on the outskirts of the city. 

Day trips become more leisurely, and you can spontaneously decide where to venture next. Imagine rolling through the Italian countryside, with the open road ahead. 

Here are some other reasons:

  • Group Friendly: Easier if traveling in a group or loaded with luggage.
  • Wallet Wise: Taxis and public transportation fares add up – renting might save you money overall.
  • Freedom Seeker: Travel anytime, with no need to adhere to bus/train schedules.

One of my favorite drives was from Rome to Ostia Antica. Weaving through the Roman countryside, the vibrant scenery and serene landscapes took my breath away. Arriving in Ostia Antica, the well-preserved ancient Roman city, was like stepping back in time.

Without an affordable rental car, this adventure wouldn’t have been possible. That’s where Discover Cars shined – it let me compare all the car rentals available in the city, so I could get the cheapest deal on a nice little car.

What requirements are there to rent a car in Rome?

So, you’re ready to start your car rental journey in Rome.

First things first, you’ll need a valid driver’s license. It’s your golden ticket to traversing the roads of this beautiful country.

If you’re from outside the European Union, an International Driving Permit (IDP) might be required as well. It’s best to double-check the specific requirements for your country of origin before setting off.

When it comes to booking a car, all the common payment methods are accepted: debit cards, credit cards, and even PayPal if you use Discover Cars

Keep in mind, when it comes to the deposit, a credit card – not a debit card – is essential. This card is used to secure your deposit, which is then released upon return. So, make sure you’ve got a credit card!

Also note, most car rental companies will only rent to you if you’re over 21.

Tips for renting a car in Rome, Italy.

Rome Car Rental Checklist

Here’s a full checklist for renting a car in Rome:

  • A driving license from your home country – at least a year old.
  • Over 21 years old to rent.
  • Possibly an International Driving Permit – if you’re from outside the EU.
  • Your ID (passport).
  • Credit card, debit card, or PayPal for payment when booking the car online.
  • A credit card in your name (not a debit card) for the deposit on arrival.
  • Extra insurance if you prefer.

Tip: Consider getting extra insurance when renting a car. It’s a safety cushion in case of any unexpected bumps on the road – shielding you from any unforeseen expenses.

What are some road trips from Rome?

Rome is a perfect base for day trips around Italy.

Ostia Antica

Once a thriving port town, Ostia Antica now stands as a well-preserved relic of Roman times.

You can almost hear the echoes of the ancient marketplace as you stroll the old streets. 

Travel time: 30 minutes each way.


Pompeii, frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, provides an unparalleled window into ancient Roman life. Its impressive ruins are a journey back in time. 

Travel time: 2 hours each way.


The Etruscan necropolis of Cerveteri offers a fascinating glimpse into ancient burial practices. The tombs, designed like homes, show the care the Etruscans took for their departed. 

Travel time: 1 hour each way.


Tuscia is a hidden gem filled with untouched natural beauty, Etruscan ruins, and medieval castles. You’ll find the time spent here worth every minute. 

Travel time: 1.5 hours each way.


This small city in Umbria boasts stunning views from atop a volcanic cliff. The Duomo and St. Patrick’s Well are just a few must-see attractions. 

Travel time: 1.5 hours each way.

How much does it cost to rent a car in Rome?

The cost of renting a car in Rome varies depending on the vehicle type and rental duration, but on average, expect to pay between €30-€70 per day.

However, there are opportunities for savvy travelers to score a deal.

For instance, there are often great discounts for early birds who book their rental car well in advance.

Especially during the peak tourist season from June to August, planning ahead is essential. With the influx of visitors, prices can skyrocket, so book early to snag the best deal.

Tip: Do you know that renting a car for five days instead of just two or three might only add a small cost?

Pickup Locations Rome

Next up, let’s tackle an important question: Where should you pick up your car in Rome?

  • Fiumicino Airport: Just outside the city, it’s a handy pick-up point if you’re flying in, saving you a trip into the city.
  • Ciampino Airport: A bit further from the city center but still a convenient option if you’re arriving by plane.
  • Termini Train Station: Centrally located, perfect if you’re arriving by train or staying in the city center.
  • Downtown Rome: Several locations are scattered around the city, allowing you to pick the most convenient one for your stay.

Booking ahead using a comparison site comes with many perks. Your chosen car will be ready and waiting at your preferred pick-up location. No more worrying about availability – just grab your keys and start exploring!

What type of car is best to use in Rome?

The ideal car type for Rome depends largely on your needs and comfort.

If you’re traveling solo or with a partner, a compact car could be perfect. They’re easy to maneuver and park in Rome’s busy streets.

However, for families or larger groups, an SUV or minivan provides ample space. Keep in mind, though, parking and navigating narrow streets could be a bit trickier.

Lastly, for an iconic Italian experience, why not rent a classic Fiat 500? It’s the perfect car to zip around Rome’s ancient streets!

Tip: Most rental cars in Rome are manual. If you prefer automatic transmission, make sure to book in advance.

Is driving in Rome difficult?

Driving in Rome can seem daunting for first-time visitors.

Between aggressive city drivers and the constant hustle and bustle, there’s always something happening on Rome’s streets.

The city’s narrow, congested roads offer their own set of challenges. Throw in limited parking and rush hour traffic – think 7 am to 9 am and 5 pm to 7 pm – and it’s no walk in the park. Drivers should anticipate tight turns and obstructed views.

Moreover, the central neighborhoods can be a labyrinth of similar-looking streets, making it easy to lose your way. We recommend using a navigation app like Waze or Google Maps.

Also, be attentive to pedestrian lines and stay alert for foot traffic. When all else fails, don’t forget – your car horn is your best friend in Italy!

Rome Driving Rules You Should Know

Navigating Rome’s roads requires some knowledge of Italy’s driving rules. Here are a few key ones:

  1. Right of way: Unless marked otherwise, vehicles from the right have the right of way at intersections.
  2. Speed limits: Residential areas have a limit of 50 km/h, outside urban areas, it’s 90 km/h, and on the highways, it’s 130 km/h.
  3. Seat belts: They are mandatory for all passengers. Don’t forget to buckle up!
  4. Drinking and driving: The legal blood alcohol content limit is 0.05%. Better to be safe and avoid drinking before driving.

Is it a good idea to rent an electric car in Rome?

Considering renting an electric car in Rome? It could be an excellent idea.

Rome is increasingly supporting electric vehicle use as part of its green initiative, and you’ll find an expanding network of charging stations throughout the city.

Electric vehicles offer a smooth and quiet driving experience, something you might appreciate amidst the busy Roman streets. Not to mention, you’ll be doing your part in reducing carbon emissions.

But remember, driving in Rome can be demanding, and range anxiety could add another layer of stress.

Be prepared to plan your journeys around charging station locations and availability.

Tip: Rental companies often have a limited supply of electric cars. To ensure you snag one, book ahead and dodge disappointment.

FAQs About Renting a Car in Rome

When should I book a rental car in Rome?

To snag the best deal on your rental car in Rome, you should book ahead. This is especially crucial during the peak tourist season of June to August when demand skyrockets.

Can you rent a car for a day in Rome?

Absolutely, you can rent a car for just a day in Rome! However, bear in mind that the daily rate could be higher compared to a longer rental period. It’s all about balancing your needs and budget.

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