Where to Rent A Car from Cinque Terre in 2024 - La Spezia, Pisa or Genoa?

Complete Info for the Best Car Rental after Your Cinque Terre Visit.

All Nearby Car Hire Branch Locations with La Spezia Car Rental Map & Genoa Car Rental Map.

Advice for Renting at La Spezia, Genoa (Genova), Genoa Airport, Rapallo, Lavagna, Pisa, Pisa Airport, Viareggio, Lucca.   See Our Map for Dropping Off a Rental Car in La Spezia.

You can't rent a car in Cinque Terre - or in nearby Levanto. You must take the train from the Cinque Terre villages to reach the nearest car hire office - this guide helps you figure out where to go. There are also no car rental offices in Portovenere or Lerici and this information applies after taking a bus or taxi to La Spezia.

...And before you reserve, read our most important article: Independent Car Rental Reviews for Italy

Sections Below:   From Cinque Terre - East / South / North
                                           From Cinque Terre - West / Northwest
                                           Car Rental Tips
                                           La Spezia Rental
                                           Auto Europe Link
                                           Genoa Rental
                                           Rapallo Rental
                                           Lavagna Rental
                                           More Info
                                           Other Rental Locations
                                           About Us & Disclosure                            

Tall Buildings in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Vernazza in the Cinque Terre                   CC by Alh1
Heading South, East, North. You should rent a car in La Spezia (except for Sat. afternoon or Sunday).  La Spezia is clearly your best choice for all destinations (including Milan) except other parts of Liguria, Piedmont (Turin), Val d'Aosta, most of France, or western Switzerland. All the details are below.

Driving out of La Spezia is fairly easy and the autostrada routes from La Spezia south to Tuscany (A12) or from La Spezia east to Emilia-Romagna (A15)  are very scenic and the traffic almost always light to moderate.  The La Spezia autostrada entrance is on our La Spezia Car Rental Map.

While Pisa Airport is the best airport for Cinque Terre, and it's the next good car rental location southbound, it involves either one or two transfers.  However, Pisa Airport does have all the major car rental companies and office hours which include all day Saturday and Sunday.

Other possible car hire offices to the south are Lucca downtown (Avis, Europcar), Pisa downtown (Europcar, Hertz), Pisa suburban (Hertz at Ikea), and Viareggio (Avis, Europcar, Hertz).
See More Info below for addresses of these branches, or use a Rental Link under the La Spezia listings.

Heading West, Northwest. Going north to rent from Cinque Terre can make sense if your destination is Liguria, Piedmont (Turin), Val d'Aosta, most of France, or western Switzerland.* For your car hire, there are three choices. 1.) Rent in Genoa city or Genoa Airport  2.) Rent in Rapallo (Europcar) or Lavagna (Maggiore) 3.) Rent in La Spezia and backtrack a bit.  Look below for details in each city.

The considerations are, 1.) Renting in Genoa center entails a transfer either by taxi or a 10-20 minute walk from Brignole train station. Renting at Genoa airport entails a transfer from the train stations either by Volabus (6E) or a taxi (15-25E). See our Genoa Car Rental Map. While you will have to drive out of this large city, you have the advantage of avoiding the section of autostrada between La Spezia and Genoa which also can be stressful. The city offices have Sat. hours, and the airport has Sat. & Sun. hours.   2.) Renting in Rapallo (Europcar) or Lavagna (Maggiore) provides a very easy transfer from the train, and takes you in the right direction. They're especially useful if you want a car to visit the Portofino peninsula area. 3.) Renting in La Spezia has a much easier transfer than Genoa if you want to rent from Avis, and a comparable transfer for the other companies, but you are also backtracking a bit.

* Dropping off an Italian rental car in a different country will incur a large extra charge.

Car Rental Tip_____________________________________________________________
Renting A Car in Italy. If you drive in urban areas at home, you can drive in Italy. Stick to well known rental companies. Some companies use low rental quotes as come-ons but they often lead to add-ons and worse. We have two articles to help:                                                     

Ourselves and many experienced travelers recommend the reputable car hire broker Auto Europe They allow you to compare several companies at once, get zero deductible (excess) insurance if needed, cancel easily, and have 24/7 English customer service.  

If you will be renting a car, please consider our affiliate links (which do not affect the prices offered).
 We may receive the standard internet commission for a click which results in a sale.

The car hire offices in La Spezia are spread around the city and only Avis is easily walked from the train station.  See all the locations on our La Spezia Car Rental Map  Note the hours: all are closed for lunch, Saturday afternoon and Sunday, except Avis is also closed on Saturday morning. Listed by distance from La Spezia's Centrale train station, they are:

Avis / Budget Car Rental Office, La Spezia, Liguria
Avis / Budget Car Rental, La Spezia
Avis / Budget La Spezia        Fratelli Rossilli, 74-76
La Spezia Car Rental Map
Located downtown next to the Hotel Genova, and near the central outdoor market, Avis/Budget is a level 10 minute walk from the train station - mostly on pedestrian streets. A taxi will cost about 8.00 Euro. Reaching it by bus is not an option. See our map for location or dropping off an Avis rental car. Note: Avis and Budget in Italy use the exact same cars - check both and take the lowest price!

Hours: Mon-Fri  9:00-12:30 / 15:30-19:00   Closed Sat. & Sun. (incredible but true).
Avis is our top choice for a rental car in Italy. They are professional, seem to have fewer complaints, and they do respond to customer disputes.
Rental Links: 
Avis/Budget via AutoEurope (USA)   Auto Europe(UK)

See About Us & Disclosures Below.  These affiliate links do not affect prices.
Maggioret Car Rental Office, La Spezia, Liguria
Maggiore Car Rental Office
Maggiore La Spezia   Via 24 Maggio, 45      La Spezia Car Rental Map
This office is a 25 minute walk from the train station or a taxi will cost 8-10 Euro. It's the nearest rental office to the cruise terminal. Note that Maggiore has few offices for drop-off in Tuscany.

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 08.30-12.30/14.30-19.00 Sat. 08.30-13.00 Sun. Closed

In our opinion, while generally reputable, Maggiore has had problems responding to customer complaints. Since it was purchased by Avis, we expect things will be improving.

The bus stops near the Maggiore office are "Porta Rocca" and "Ospedale". Bus schedule links can be found in our article Getting Around La Spezia
Hertz La Spezia   Viale San Bartolomeo, 389   La Spezia Car Rental Map
Hertz Car Rental Office, La Spezia, Liguria
Hertz Car Rental Office, Viale San Bartolomeo, La Spezia,
A taxi will cost 10-12 Euro from the Centrale train station. It's about a 45 min. walk. La Spezia Centrale does have a luggage check facility (reopened in July 2017).

 Hours: Mon-Fri 0830-1230 1430-1900, Sat 0900-1200, Sun closed.

We think Hertz is a decent rental car company, although some branches have management issues. They do respond to customer complaints.

The bus stop near the Hertz office is "Vecchia Dorgia". Bus schedule links can be found in our article Getting Around La Spezia.

Check for Hertz at AUTOEUROPE

See About Us & Disclosures Below.  These affiliate links do not affect prices.
Europcar La Spezia    Viale San Bartolomeo, 515     La Spezia Car Rental Map
Europcar Car Rental Office, La Spezia, Liguria
Europcar Rental Office, La Spezia.
A taxi will cost 10-12 Euro from the Centrale train station. It's about a 45 min. walk. La Spezia Centrale does have a luggage check facility (reopened July 2017).

Hours: Mon-Fri 08:30-12:30 / 14:30-18:30   Sat 08:30-12:30   Sun. Closed

In our opinion Europcar is, overall, a good rental car company in Italy, although individual branches can be lackadaisical toward customers or persnickety about alleged car damage. They do respond to customer complaints.

The bus stop near the Europcar office is "Campitelli". Bus schedule links can be found in our article Getting Around La Spezia.

See About Us & Disclosures Below.  These affiliate links do not affect prices.
Where To Stay to Visit Cinque Terre?
We list the Pluses & Minuses of all the towns nearby with Recommended Hotels.
Part 1 Liguria Hotel Guide & City Selector
Lerici, Portovenere, La Spezia. Visit Cinque Terre & enjoy the Gulf of the Poets as well.
Part 2 Liguria Hotel Guide & City Selector
Levanto, Bonassola, Moneglia, Sestri Levante, Lavagna, Chiavari. Visit both Cinque Terre & Portofino.
Part 3 Liguria Hotel Guide & City Selector
Rapallo, Santa Margherita, Portofino, Camogli, Recco.  The Perfect Portofino Peninsula.
Where the Heck are These Places?
Our Liguria / Cinque Terre Map showing the all the Towns.
Fountain at night on Piazza de Ferrari, Genoa, Liguria
Piazza de Ferrari, Genoa                                                                                                                  CC by Turismo in Liguria
GENOA  City & Airport
Genoa Train. Arriving by train to Genoa, the choices are somewhat inconvenient.  There are no major rental companies close to Genova Piazza Principe station (nor near the Cruise Port). Europcar, Hertz, and Maggiore are nearer to Genova Brignole station, but a 10-20 minute walk. Avis labels an office as 'Downtown', but it's really outside the airport!
Europcar Genoa City      Via G.Casaregis 42/1     Genoa Car Rental Map
Mon-Fri 08:00-12:00 / 14:30-18:30   Sat 08:00-12:00   Sun. Closed

Hertz Genoa City        Via Ruspoli 1/3 R   Genoa Car Rental Map  
Mon-Fri  0830-1900   Sat  0830-1230   Sun. Closed
Hertz at IKEA    Luigi Perini 5     
Hours: 24/7

Check for Hertz at AUTOEUROPE

Maggiore Genoa City    C.so Sardegna 275r    Genoa Car Rental Map
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 07.00-13.00/14.00-19.00  Sat. 07.00-13.00/15.00-19.00  Sun. Closed

Genoa Airport. At Genoa's Cristoforo Colombo airport the rental office hours include Saturday, Sunday and lunch. The companies include Avis/Budget, Hertz, Europcar, and Maggiore. To reach the airport from Brignole or Piazza Prinicipe train stations, use the AMT's Volabus which costs 6 Euro  A Taxi will cost 20-25 Euro from Brignole Station and 15-20 Euro from Piazza Principe Station. We show these places on our Genoa Car Rental Map.
Avis at Genoa Airport
Hours are Mon - Fri 7:30 - 23:00  Sat. & Sun 8:30 - 23:00
Avis Near Genoa Airport      Via Pionieri Aviatori D'Italia  
Open  Mon - Fri 8:30-13:30 and 14:00-17:00   We don't know why this office is here. Please tell us.
Europcar Genoa Airport
Mon-Fri 8:00-22:00  Sat 08:30-18:00   Sun 08:30-13:00 /14:00-18:00
        Europcar Home Page            Europcar Offers Homepage (UK) 

Hertz Genoa Airport
Monday-Sunday   8:00 - 23:00
Check for Hertz at AUTOEUROPE

Maggiore Genoa Airport
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 07.30-23.30 Sunday 08.00-23.30

Europcar   Via Gen. A. La Marmora, 33    Rapallo
This office is just a 5 minute walk from the Rapallo train station.
Hours   Mon-Fri 09:00-12:30 / 15:00-19:00     Sat 09:00-12:30      Sun. Closed

Avis(formerly Maggiore) Via Aurelia, 1   Lavagna
This office is on the Piazza just outside the train station.
Mon.-Fri. 08.30-12.30 14.30-19.00 Sat. 08.30-12.30 Sun. Closed

Check Avis/Budget through AutoEurope (USA)

More Info
Trenitalia (English) for train information. Trains might not show until a few weeks ahead, depending on the type of train and seasonal schedule changes. Use fake dates to see possibilities.

Autostrade Italia  Plan your route, see traffic conditions & warnings, find tolls and rest stops.

IDP: International Driver's Permit  Drivers from non-EU countries are required by Italian law to possess an official translation along with their driver's license. Car rental companies MAY decline to rent if you don't have one. The IDP 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 CAA. In Australia, they are issued by the States: SmartTraveller.gov.au

Map Link: Where to Park for the Piazza dei Miracoli & the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Parcheggio di Piazza dei Miracoli    8, Via Vecchia di Barbaricina, 2,  Pisa PI, Italy

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 ZTLMilan ZTLFlorence 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 maps).  It's more expensive (they're about $9. in Italy), but easier to buy the maps before you arrive, - here are Amazon links to some of the TCI maps.  (See About Us & Disclosures below).
TCI Tuscany 1:200K  TCI Liguria 1:200K   TCI Veneto+ 1:200K  TCI Umbria/Marche 1:200K
Enjoy Your Visit to La Spezia, read our story: La Spezia Travel Guide: Top Ten Attractions
Other Locations Mentioned

Lucca Downtown
Avis      Viale San Concordio 404   Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30-13:00 & 15:00-18:30   Sat 9:00-12:00
Europcar  Viale Castracani 110     Hours:  Mon-Sat  9:00-13:00  Mon-Fri  15:00-19:00
Pisa Downtown
Europcar   Via Lungarno Sonnino 1   Hours: Mon-Sat 8:30-13:00  Mon-Fri 15:00-19:00
Hertz  Via Cisanello 168                      Hours: Mon-Fri 830-1230 & 1500-1830   Sat 830-1230
Pisa Suburban
Hertz  Via Rino Ricci 8  (IKEA)    Hours: 24/7
Viareggio Station Area & Downtown
Avis Via Aurelia Nord 101A  (10 min. to train) Hours: Mon-Fri  8:30-12:30 & 15:00-19:00  Sat.  9:00-12:30
Europcar Via Aurelia Nord 143 (10 min. to train) Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00-13:00 & 14:30-18:30 Sat. 8:30-12:00
Hertz    Viale Marconi 107/A (at the shore)  Hours: Mon-Fri 900-1200 1530-1830, Sat 900-1200
Travelling beyond Liguria? Use this Booking.Com.Italy link for accommodation anywhere in Italy.
Some of Our Area Stories
Spring Weather & Holidays in Liguria  When should you should visit? Answers on the left.
Getting to Portofino - Walking, Hiking and More  Walk, Hike, Boat or Bus to famous Portofino.
Portovenere Travel Guide - The Top Ten Attractions  All about beautiful nearby Portovenere.
Complete Summer Cinque Terre, Portovenere, La Spezia Boat / Ferry Schedules
A Guide to the Local Food around La Spezia  Food of the Gulf area, including Cinque Terre.
Most Beautiful Villages of Liguria Part 7 Four Gulf villages including Tellaro, Montemarcello.
The Jewish Ghetto of Lerici  An ordinary Ligurian street crowded with a unique history.
The Forgotten Villages of the Gulf of the Poets  Hike to ancient abandoned villages above Lerici.

We help everyone, NY Yankees included.
About Us & 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. As is internet convention, we receive the standard commission for clicks on many of the affiliate links that result in a purchase. Buon Viaggio.

We only list car rental companies with numerous branches in Italy that have - in our opinion - a reputation for fair dealing and reasonable customer support. We are not aware of any car rental companies in La Spezia that we have not listed.

Photos credited 'CC by' are used via a Creative Commons copyright license thanks to community-minded photographers. They are not altered, and can be found on Flickr.

Written by Mike.
Ligurian Proverb:  Ogni promessa e un debito. (Every promise is a debt.)