Independent Car Rental Reviews for Italy in 2024.

Learn About the Best & Worst Car Hire Companies in Italy.

Get Advice from Fellow Travelers on Booking the Best Italian Car Rental Deals.

Driving in Italy is not difficult or dangerous for an experienced driver, but renting a car might be! It's a mistake to rent from a company you don't know. A search for 'cheap car hire' or using a price comparison website could lead to a bogus damage claim on your credit card or a prepaid reservation that is not accepted at the car rental counter! How can a consumer know anything about low priced offers from Ecovia, Green Motion, or Joyrent?  Why rent from a broker with no phone such as DoYouItaly?

See A Detailed Opinion of Each Italian Car Rental Company Below.

The Car Rental World Has Changed.  Inexpensive websites have led to an explosion in internet brokers and car rental companies. Large car hire brokers advertise heavily and forge alliances with airlines and other travel operators. It may look like Ryan Air - as one example - is offering your rental car selection, but it's really offered by the broker who represents over 100 airlines!

You have no way to know if that unseen broker has adequately vetted the car rental providers offered. In our opinion, the car providers are not held accountable by these brokers so you are on your own. It is so bad, some rental searches will only return quotes from companies on our AVOID list.  QED: Goldcar on The

Do Not Reserve A Car Until You Read About The Actual Car Rental Provider.

How to Decide?  Forget choosing by price alone, and forget brand loyalty. Your contract will not be with the website or the broker, but with the car provider in Italy. You want the best price offered for a car hire provider with a decent reputation for operations in Italy. The brand you like at home may be handled by a different operator in Italy.

Parking violation in Liguria
Tickets are the renter's duty, but all agencies have a stiff fee 
for providing your info on each unpaid or autovelox ticket. 

Why Trust These Reviews?  Review sites are dangerous, too!  Review websites that keep scores have seemingly been manipulated by some companies through fake 5 star reviews - usually non-specific and short  - but notice the bad 1 star reviews are detailed stories.

We've formed the opinions expressed below by reading and evaluating the specific bad experiences of your fellow travelers. We've tried to include links to specific complaints to give you a sampling.  We have visited Italy for decades and rented cars there more than 60 times. We follow Italian news, car rental forums, and Italian traveler forums and we are skeptical and realistic enough to help you.  (See About Us & Disclosures below).

Car Hire Reviews Begin Here
No Risk

Open Europe Short-Term Lease   For long-term rentals (three weeks or more), a short-term lease for a new Peugeot, Renault, or Citroen (a/k/a DS) is unbeatable. This program for non-EU residents  provides the new car of your choice with full zero deductible insurance. Available for pick-up in France or - with an added fee - Italy, Germany, Spain & 3 more. For a guaranteed
automatic or larger model, this is absolutely the most reliable way to go. Unlimited miles, no damage worries, a GPS, no fee for added drivers, no upper age limit. Prices are all inclusive and comparable to ordinary car rentals with full insurance if all costs/add-ons/taxes are considered. We think the peace of mind is worth it (we’ve used this program on 11 Italy visits starting from Nice). It must be arranged several weeks ahead.

For An Open Europe Quote or Reservation:
                                                  Auto Europe Long-Term Rental (US $)
 You may need to click on Redirect page link.   See About Us & Disclosure below. 
Lowest Risk

Avis Review    Our most trusted car hire pick in Italy is also the country's largest car rental provider. Avis has excellent facilities in all larger airports and cities, and it has Italy's largest fleet of automatic transmission cars. Avis Preferred membership makes for a quick pick-up in most locations. It is professionally managed, and receives the few complaints and the company does seem to respond to dissatisfied customers. Note: In Italy, Avis and Budget are using the exact same cars - check prices at both and take the lowest - there's no difference.

For An Avis Quote or Reservation:  

You may need to click on Redirect page link.  See About Us & Disclosure below. Avis availability can vary by rental location.       
Sixt Reviews     This large company has many offices and does a lot of business. It has a loyal following and there have been few complaints in Italy over the years. Our search in January 2023 could find no serious complaints in 2022. Note that Sixt in Italy has sometimes denied rentals to non-EC drivers without an IDP in accordance with Italian law (see below), and their quotes are usually competitive but not the lowest. Starting in late 2018, renters in Sixt's 'SmartStart' program can pick-up cars at Milan & Rome airports without going to the counter.

For A Sixt Quote or Reservation: 
 You may need to click on Redirect page link.    See About Us & Disclosure below.  
Budget Rent A Car Review    Budget is now fully active in Italy. Owned by Avis and sharing numerous facilities, it is marketed as a lower priced brand but Avis and Budget are using the exact same cars - check prices at both and take the lowest - the Avis Preferred program is the only real difference.. We had listed Budget as 'Small Risk' when it first started in Italy, but after four years we can find no serious complaints after re-checking in 2019.

For A Budget Quote or Reservation: 

Europcar Review   This company gets few complaints even though it is Europe largest. Based in France, the company is relatively responsive, and has a loyal following. They have an excellent web page describing the cars with customer reviews in Italian and English. We read several reports of intense 'upselling' of more expensive models in 2017, so don't be hurried at the counter and be sure the car is in the class you want. Keep in mind they own Goldcar and InterRent (see Avoid below).

For A Europcar Quote or Reservation: 
Europcar** at AutoEurope (US $)  
 Auto Europe (AU $)

You may need to click on Redirect page link.   See About Us & Disclosure below.  ** Availability varies with rental location.                                              ⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥
Little Risk

Hertz Review      This large renter is everywhere in Italy. Many renters like Hertz and there are relatively few complaints. However, the complaints get fairly bitter - such as this Venice Rental Complaint 2018. This makes us think Hertz has some poorly managed branches or franchisee locations. The company generally does respond to complaints. There is Gold  Counter (Membership) service at major airports and cities to provide express service.

For A Hertz Quote or Reservation: 

Hertz* at AutoEurope (US $) or Auto Europe (CA $) or Auto Europe (AU $)
See About Us & Disclosure below.      * Availability varies with rental location. 

Moderate Risk

Maggiore Reviews
  Maggiore is a large company with numerous offices, and is the largest van rental company in Italy (Amico Blu).  In 2015, it was acquired by Avis/ Budget and customer service has improved somewhat, but complaints of insurance overcharges are numerous lately. Be sure that the insurance choice on the digital document you sign is what you want and get a copy. At least one reviewer clains his document was changed afterwards. On the good side, complaints of unfair damage and fuel charges have become scarce. Maggiore -Bari Insurance on TA Forum 2017   Maggiore -Venice Fuel on TA Forum 2014 (prior to Avis).   

Enterprise / National / Alamo Reviews  Previously serviced by Maggiore, these brands are now establishing their own presence in Italy. We don't have much info, except to note that they also operate Locauto (see below) and some customer report Alamo reservations are handled by Locauto.

Sardinya Noleggio / Sardinia Rent-a-Car Reviews A low-cost operator on Sardinia that seems to satisfy most customers with not-quite new cars. The complaints we found were not major. Sardinya Reviews TA Forum

Smile Rent Reviews  Smile Car Rental is a new (2019) Avis venture at Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa airports. Its customers access  rental vehicles via their phones and an airport shuttle service, bypassing the rental desk. The car is even locked and unlocked via an app. Smile Rent is pay per kilometer and they offer four car classes. We list this as a moderate risk due to lack of traveler reports and because a reputable parent brand is not proven to be a predictor of a reputable offspring in today's car rental world.

Winrent Reviews  This company is relatively new  and uses some Sixt locations and some offices of car dealers, at least in part. It is likely a lower cost branch of Sixt as the website began in 2013 as part of  The airport locations may be outside the airports in some cases. The few reviews we saw described slow service, but were otherwise satisfied.

Very Risky

AutoEuropa Reviews
Sicily By Car Reviews  This company is frustrating. It seems they can't get their management act together, and the customers pay the price. We have experienced crowded counters, older cars, poor or no communication, sloppy management which leads to unjustified damage claims, and some rogue branches are the bitter cherry on top. Note that Autoeuropa with an 'A' is different from the rental broker AutoEurope with an 'E'.    AutoEuropa / Dollar / Thrifty on TA Forum

Cartrawler Review  This broker has partnered with numerous travel companies - airlines, airports, etc. - to take rental reservations, but we be leery of using them.  The website facade may be branded as, say, an airline - RyanAir Car Rental as one example. The Terms & Conditions specify that a prepaid reservations can be denied without refund if you don't have acceptable (but undefined) 'documents' or the proper credit card. We've seen multiple complaints about imposed car model switches and a slow or completely unresponsive company. Cartrawler on Forum 2017   Cartrawler on TA Forum 2018.

Dollar Reviews       See above, Autoeuropa operates the Dollar franchise in Italy.

Firefly Reviews   Previously on our avoid list, we have not seen a serious Italian complaint for some time. The company is owned by Hertz and the cars tend to be somewhat older. In the past, we have read story after story alleging unfair practices, unresponsiveness, unjustified damage claims. Time will tell if the company has turned the corner, as policy improvements were noted when Firefly was fined in 2017. Firefly Fined 1.6MM    Firefly 2014 TA Forum    Firefly on TA Forum (2014)  

Fox Rent A Car   See above, AutoEuropa / Sicily By Car operates Fox in Italy.

Flizzr Reviews  Flizzr is a new division of Sixt and is offering low cost vehicles in most European countries. We have seen no Italian complaints at this point, but complaints on this TA Forum  regarding three other countries doesn't bode well for a new listing.. We found the Flizzr website off-putting as there are no phone numbers listed ever, and they try to attract people with the specious offer of  'Free Cancellation' for unpaid bookings!

Keddy Reviews       Keddy is a lower cost division of Europcar above. The operations seem to be from Europcar facilities and probably will utilize higher mileage cars. As of April 2, 2016, we could not even find a website for them. We haven't located any Italian experiences, but based on UK reports, there's reason for concern: Keddy on TA UK Forum

Leasys Reviews  See Drivalia above. Reviews This is the world's largest car rental broker, and was formerly on our avoid list with complaints such as this TA Italy Forum on Rentalcars.comYour risk level will depend on which car provider you choose since they act as brokers for numerous entrants to our Avoid listings including Joyrent, Ecovia and B-Rent. However in fairness, complaints have been few lately and we've seen a compliment or two where they went to bat for renters. Beware the 'documents' requirement in the fine print - it has been cited to deny prepaid reservations without refund.

Thrifty Reviews   See above, Autoeuropa operates the Thrifty franchise in Italy, but stay tuned.

Avoid Avoid Avoid  Is Our Emphatic Opinion.
This Avoid listing can never be complete, as each year several new companies will appear using the same abusive techniques. Advertise low prices and reassure with catch phrases, then make money by selling expensive additional insurance and/or switching the renter into a more expensive car and/or discovering scratches or dents when the car is returned. Protect yourself - do not rent from a car rental company unless you can find positive reviews with specific details so you know it's an established business.
Ace Car Rental     See Green Motion below.

ZTL's are clearly signed.
Enter only with a permit.
Advantage Reviews  When owned by Hertz, it had a very poor reputation. It was sold to private investors, though some locations may have become Firefly branches (see below). Now Advantage USA customers are handled by Europcar. We would avoid until the new owners & operators show themselves capable of changing the leopard's spots.

Atlaschoice Review Apparently another alternate name for Autovia, see

AutoClick Reviews  This is a new company offering inexpensive car hires all over Europe. Complaints appeared as suddenly as the company. The company is based in Mallorca Spain. The locations named airport are not at the airport. We wouldn't dare hire. AutoClick on TA Forum

Autovia Review    This is a relatively small company with locations in northern Italy. It is an offshoot of a large Italian car dealer. Numerous serious complaints (esp. Bergamo & Verona) alleging unfair damage claims Autovia on TA Forum  Ecovia on TA Forum and Trustpilot Reviews.

B Rent / B-Rent  New to us in 2017, it's an old story. Complaint after complaint all over Italy. Avoid. B-Rent on TA Forum.

Centauro Rent a Car Reviews  They are fairly new to Italy, yet the complaints began quickly. They are a Spanish company where, in our opinion, they have a below average reputation. This Italian report we read was eye-opening:  Centauro Italy on Trip Advisor 2018. More complaints by both Spanish and Italian renters are here: Review Centre on Centauro.

Do You Italy Review / DoYouItaly Review  This is an Italian virtual branch of DoYouSpain - a car hire broker that has irate customers motivated to DoYou the favor of warning you of their experience. Their website has the cheek to explain that they don't have a phone number in order to save you money. Here's a bad sign: a major review website seems stuffed with 5 star reviews of DoYouItaly - all short- while the 1 star reviews are specific stories.   DoYouItaly Experiences on TA Forum.

Drivalia Reviews  Is a low price or a good App enough offset long lines at the counter or worse? Formerly named Leasys, this company formed by Stellantis (Chrysler/Fiat) and Credit Agricole generates divergent opinions. The cars seem to be good, and many renters have no problems, but reading the Trustpilot Reviews makes it clear that if there's a problem, you'll need persistence and (more) patience to get justice. We received a credible account of several recent reservations at Pisa airport which the prospective renters believe were not filled because they were not buying Super Coverage. 

Ecovia Reviews  This is an alternate name for Autovia, above, or just read about the jokers here. Ecovia on Trip Advisor Forum 2019

Freecar or Free Car is the organization behind Joyrent (see below). Enough said.

Goldcar Reviews   According to us, this company has managed to give gold a bad name. Goldcar on TA Forum 2014    Goldcar on TA 2017 We have not the adjectives to describe the misery caused by taking the lowest price. Recently a British newspaper gave Goldcar some proper publicity - Goldcar in The Sun. It reports that the European Consumer Centre Italy reported Goldcar was fined two million euros by the Italian competition authority (AGCM) as the Spanish and Italian branches of the company used “unfair commercial practices”. Owned by Europcar!

Green Motion Reviews    This company has appeared recently with many complaints of a virulent nature. Note they are not located in or authorized at Pisa airport. Green Motion Complaint Site  Green Motion on TA Forum.  We have read (see Noleggiare below) that the UK company Direct Car Excess (AIG) will not even cover you if you rent from Green Motion!

Honk Car Rental Reviews   Honk seems to be either a car rental broker or a branding logo. In either case they are not an actual car rental provider.

InterRent Reviews  InterRent is a lower cost division of Europcar above that we first heard of in 2017. It expanded rapidly and so did the complaints. Our Avoid opinion is based on a report from a UK consumer survey:  InterRent Named As the Worst...

Italy Car Rent Reviews  Operating in Pisa and in Sicily at Palermo and Catania, these folks seemingly can spot a scratch that somehow escaped the renter's notice - again and again and again. Italy Car Rental on TA Forum 2017-18.

Joyrent Reviews  This is another new car rental company that immediately began receiving complaints. This company seems to excel at launching customer anger into the stratosphere. Joyrent Complaints on TA Forum.

Karym Rent We received a credible report alleging serious multiple unjustified credit card charges against this company after a rental in Rome. This website looks dodgy to us, and the final blow is the website's bad grammar.

Leasys Reviews  Now called Drivalia, see our Avoid opinion above.

Locauto Reviews   Originally an Italian company, it was acquired by Enterprise in Feb. 2013, but the current website doesn't mention that. No matter, the one constant are reports of incredibly the poor service, angry complaints, and allegations of unjustified credit card dharges. We suggest you don't sing in that chorus.  Locauto Multiple Complaints TA 2017   Locauto On TA Forum 2018

Noleggiare Reviews   Operating as Noleggiare SRL all over Italy, we would run away from this company after reading this thread TripAdvisor on Noleggiare Forum 2016-18 or reviews here Trustpilot on Noleggiare. Note the entry that says the UK company Direct Car Excess (AIG) will not cover you if you rent from Noleggiare! (noleggiare simply mean 'to rent' in Italian, so you may see the word in other company names).

OKMobility  This Spanish company is new to Italy, with four outlets as of June 2023 in Catania, Rome, Pisa, and Milan. Would you catch the No Cancellation section of the two page Terms & Conditions? Read some Trustpilot Reviews or rely on our well-considered summary opinion: they really suck.

Optimo Rent Reviews Seems to be a new sprout from Autovia (see Avoid above) and the website gives no location addresses. Airport locations seem to be new as well We have read six reviews: one happy, one ok, two unhappy, two seriously wounded - one alleging doctored documents & photo, one a Belgian tres, tres en colèreOptimo Rent Review.  Same business address as Target Rent (see Avoid listing). We have the full angry face.

RyanAir Car Rental Review We were on a Ryan Air flight to Poland once where the stewards walked the aisle selling porn DVD's like it was duty free. The Ryan Air car hire website is run by Cartrawler - see their avoid avoid avoid review above and feel free to make your own analogy.

Rhodium Car Rental  Rhodium is a new division of Gold Car. In our opinion, you should avoid this company as well until travelers report good experiences.

Target Car Rent Reviews  A new company appearing lately as '' with largely negative comments. Same business address as Optimo Rent (above) and therefore probably related to Autovia (see Avoid above). Target Car Rent on TA Forum

Recommended Approach.  We advise getting your car from a company with the fewest problems reported (Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Budget, Sixt) either direct or via an established reputable car rental broker. Numerous internet car brokers are just newly created marketing inventions. Yes, the price going in will seem to more than other advertised prices, but it's the price coming out that counts. 

One established broker we like is AutoEurope. They have a good reputation and have been in business for decades.They offer a low price guarantee; easy changes and cancellation; as well as available less expensive zero excess (deductible) insurance. Whoever you use, check out the actual car provider! We hope you'll thank us by making your reservation through the links below - which do not affect the prices offered. See our Disclosures below.
AutoEurope(USA)         AutoEurope(UK)        AutoEurope (CA $)        AutoEurope (AU $)

*Dangerous Approach 
Never never make a reservation if you don't know and research the actual rental car providers. Your contract will be with that provider and they will have authority to charge your credit card!  Holiday Autos may offer unidentified cars, as does Honk Car Rentals, and Cartrawler and Kayak do on some offerings. Reserving a rental car through an airline is almost always more expensive. 

More Info

Before you pick-up your car, read our story: Car Rental in Italy - Pick It Up Right 

Airport Rentals. Confirm that a car rental company is physically located at your airport with our handy listing of Official Italian Airport Websites (with Authorized Car Rentals and Ground Transport links).

Rental car size is hard to understand, and some companies are fuzzy with class names - what is Economy? For example, the Fiat Panda is has smaller baggage space than others in Economy. Try this page to compare car dimensions: Auto Dimensions.

Price Differences & Residency. Since residency is not citizenship and residency is not proved by a driver's license, we think you should take the best price. We have rented without a problem through Avis Italia with an Italian address though we are not residents and have US driver's licenses. Here's a link leading to two extensive Fodor's Forum discussions:  AutoEurope(US) vs AutoEurope(UK) 

Driving in Italy Guide (PDF)  An excellent guide with photos (3MB).

IDP: International Driver's Permit  Drivers with licenses from non-EU countries are required by Italian law to provide an IDP (or an official translation) along with their driver's license, except for the UK which has a separate arrangement. Car rental companies MAY decline to rent if you don't have one. This should be obtained only from a vendor authorized by your country's Department of State. Other websites offering to supply one are fraudulent! In the USA, the authorized entity is the AAA. In Canada, it's the CAAIn Australia, they are issued by the States: IDP info on other countries: AutoEurope IDP

ZTLs Made Easy. Be sure to learn about the restricted driving areas of Italian cities before you travel. This article Italian Limited Traffic Zones (ZTL) has all the info as well as maps of the Rome ZTL, Milan ZTL, Florence ZTL, and Pisa ZTL.

Maps. For driving around Italy, we recommend Touring Club Italiano (TCI) 1:200,000 paper maps, even if you will have a GPS or Smartphone App (or offline Google map).  It's more expensive (they're about $10. in Italy), but easier to find the maps before you arrive, - here are Amazon links to some of the TCI maps.  (See About Us & Disclosures below).

Flyer Talk is a frequent renter oriented forum. Flyer Talk Car Rental Forum

Traffic Tickets in Italy.  Complete info is beyond the scope of this article. However, this comment on a Rick Steves Forum may put you at ease about possible ramifications: "...debts arising from traffic fines are no longer reportable to US based credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Transunion) even if incurred in the USA .....That is due to a change in regulations following a 2015 settlement between the credit bureaus and attorneys generals from over 30 states."

Aggrieved?   If you're an EU resident, one of these services might help.  European Car Rental Conciliation Service or European Consumer Centres.

Link: Trip Advisor Italy Forum. Use the search function to check on a rental company, and help others by posting your experience. Spoiler Alert: all the rental companies get complaints - try to judge the volume, the bitterness and the company's response, if any.

Cinque Terre Bound?  We really don't recommend driving to the villages, but after you may need a rental car. Lucky for you, we have written a killer article: Link: Where to Rent a Car from Cinque Terre? Equally useful for the Portofino area.

2017: Our 56th Italy trip.
About the Authors & Disclosure

We are Martha and Mike from Boston- recently retired photo editors who enjoy travel, food, and helping people. We have visited Italy for three decades, and we live in Liguria part-time. 

We have no connection to the car rental or hotel industries, and we receive no payments or free stuff for our writing or opinions. We only provide links to products or services that we would use ourselves. We may receive the standard commission for clicks on links that result in a purchase. Using the links do not affect the prices. Your clicks will help support this site. 

Opinions By Mike, Grammar by Martha
Last Updated November 18, 2020.

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