You might be planning to spend a holiday in Milan, Italy and if so, know that you’ll have a more enjoyable time when you rent a car. This will give you more flexibility to explore the city as well as the freedom to taste good food whenever or wherever you want.
Italy is rich in historical buildings, museums, sites, and old towns that you don’t want to miss anything. There’s an option for you to go to unpopulated areas if you’re uncomfortable mingling with too many people. You won’t have to wait for a public commute, and you’ll have a good time exploring old castles, villas, and vineyards everywhere.
The stunning mountains and countryside can be reached by luxury car, and this is something that you may want to consider. You might be in a much-needed break by yourself, and fortunately, you can show off to your friends that you’re driving a Rolls Royce or a Lamborghini while you’re in the country.
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to attract a lot of attention, you won’t have to worry, though. There are other options for cars like sedans and hatchbacks that can take you from one place to another more comfortably and conveniently. With sites like Goautos Milano, there’s always a huge possibility of getting the vehicle that you want, especially during the not so busy months. Shop around and compare prices so you will be able to save more.
Requirements in the Vehicle Rentals
For you to be allowed to rent a car in Milan, you need to have a standard driver’s license that’s in your possession for at least a year. If you don’t have an Italian or English driver’s license, you may want to carry a translation just in case this is required. Hand over your passport and be prepared to get the International Driver’s Permit. This can be obtained in countries like the USA in their local AAAs for about $20.
You may find that most companies don’t usually need proof that you have an International Driver’s Permit, but the local polizia may pull you over and ask for one. If the officer is having a bad day and you’re caught driving illegally, you may end up serving jail time and paying hefty fines. You may also want to carry cash to pay the penalties or the parking meters directly.
The allowed age to drive in Italy is 18. However, most companies require you to be at least 21 years of age. If you’re younger than 25 at that time of the transaction, they may charge you with higher fees and higher insurance coverage. Read the fine print and get a hassle-free booking before you go to Italy in the first place.
Credit Cards are a Must to Rent a Vehicle
You can’t precisely pay using cash in Italy, so get ready with your credit card with a higher limit. There may also be excess holds and other extra fees, but the best thing about this is if you have insurance from your bank, you don’t have to purchase another package from the firms. Getting covered by insurance in case of accidents is a must for these.
Having a Hold on your Credit Card
One of the reasons that you’re required to present a credit card is for the excess charges or the hold, as other people put it. Every single firm in Milan may require a hold in case they never see their vehicle again or in times of accident, so it’s best if you can prepare for this beforehand.
The range of the hold may be from $1000 or $2000, depending on the country and the company. When you book, this excess charge is typically shown on the website, so read the fine print thoroughly. Print your reservation details just in case because these fine prints are easy to miss, and you might end up with unexpected charges that you may not be happy about.
It’s highly discouraged to go to another country without trusty travel insurance, and this is something to consider. This is especially applicable if you’ve never been to a country before, so you should be prepared for different scenarios. If you’re just staying for a few weeks, short-term coverage may be ideal for you, and you can stop paying when you return home. Some websites offer these, so be sure to check them out.
Who wouldn’t love a guidebook while in another country? Some people are now too attached to the screens of their phones that they might miss other places that they should visit. Planning a trip with a guidebook as an itinerary might work well for you, especially if you’re planning to have a screen detox. Put that phone away, see the scenery and stop your car to take pictures!
What to Wear
One of your first considerations should be clothing in Italy. Fortunately, Milan does not have any strict fashion rules, and you can wear a dress that makes you comfortable. Everything will be simple, but you may want to dress up slightly. Italians are known for their stylish taste but make sure not to bring too much luggage so you can go around faster and hang out with the locals.
Should You Rent in the First Place?
The answer to this will depend on your preferences, where you want to go, what you’re going to do in Milan and the number of days you’re staying. If you have limited time to explore the city, go for it.
Public transportation in Milan is accessible, and many tourists describe them as “all right” and “decent.”. However, nothing can beat the freedom that driving a vehicle gives you. You can go the extra mile and, in a place where there are not a lot of tourists around. These rental services are worth it, and they are not that expensive.
Compare prices, get coupons, and check for discounts. Some platforms will provide you with comparisons, so it’s best to check them out. Go for the rental option to enjoy more!
About the ZTL Zones
Larger cities, especially Milan, Florence, and Rome, have various ZTL zones in them. These are the off-limits roads to the general public to reduce traffic and congestion. There are cameras everywhere in these streets, and they are monitored accordingly. You might get a ticket sent to your car company if you’ve violated one of their traffic rules.
Rentals will mean that these tickets will be forwarded to you. It’s best to study the maps and ask plenty of questions to ensure that you’re in the right zone. This is also present in smaller towns and countryside where only the locals are allowed. If you’re going to meet family and friends in these areas, you may want to ask them about biking in, walking, and parking outside the town center to be safe. These are notable in Siena, Perugia, and Lucca.
Mopeds and Scooters
Watch out for locals who are going about their day driving mopeds and scooters. Most of them are everywhere, and they have the right of way. Always treat them with respect, and they will do the same thing to your car. Be patient as some mopeds may drive erratically, and it’s way surprising if they suddenly pull out in front of your vehicle.
You might want to venture far in Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, or France. If this is the case, you need to let the rental firm know about your plans, but generally, it’s fine if you’re going to do so. Some of these countries are part of the Schengen Zone, and you should not be stopped when you’re crossing the borders. In many cases, you might not even be aware that you’re already in another country!
Speed Limits and Distances
Speeds and distances are generally measured in kilometers. Drivers may get help from existing signposts that are present on each stretch on the side of the roads and the change in speed that they need to do.
City limits are generally at 50km/hr, while the motorways and main roads can be up to 130km/hr. Vehicles that are on the right side usually have the right of way and turning in this direction under red light will result in hefty penalties.
Rural areas may be composed of single lanes and know that they are narrower when you compare them to the roads in the US. Generally, you’re allowed to pass on several places simultaneously, but you should pull aside to allow the locals to use the road. When another car is coming from the opposite direction, make way for them so they will do the same for you. Never park in these passing places and use only the dedicated areas for parking.
The speed limit is called that because you should stay under it while driving every time. They are not targeting, and you should only drive at a safe pace. Don’t worry if a local is driving faster than you, as there’s a higher probability that they are already familiar with the roads ahead.
Do a Thorough Inspection
The rental company will often ask you if you would like to investigate the car before you get it thoroughly. If you’re happy with what you’re seeing, you can choose to accept their offer but make sure to take pictures for your own safety. When they don’t offer to show you around, you need to do the checks and tests yourself. Take note of anything that has caught your interest, and make sure that your pictures have a timestamp for future references.
Agents may start outside and point out some of the scratches and bumps on the exterior. If these things already exist, take note of the damage and take pictures again. Know if the vehicle is roadworthy and durable, especially if you’re going too far places.
You may want to know how to operate the headlights on its exterior before leaving the parking bay area. Check the hazard and indicator lights if they are working in the first place. Know the location of the wipers, horns, and windscreens. Do a test drive and gauge if you’re comfortable inside.
Check if you can make changes to the position of the driver’s seat. Do some engagements on reverse gear and see how the parking brake works? This will require you to push some of the buttons, and you might not be familiar with them at first. However, in time, you might find yourself getting more comfortable. Some of the agents may even offer to set up the GPS without any extra charges, so go for it if you’re given the opportunity. Get an alternative vehicle if you’re not happy with the results.