September 7, 2011, 09:16 AM
driving in tuscany
We are currently having a wonderful trip via train, through Italy and will soon arrive in Tuscany.
We have booked to stay a week outside Certaldo.
We are a little daunted at the thought of renting a car & driving through Tuscany.
Are there car hire outlets in these smaller towns? Would hiring in a smaller town be better than hiring a car in
Sienna or Florence?
September 7, 2011, 10:38 AM
Don't worry, once you have the car you drive as carefully as you want to, Tuscany is for enjoying and the country roads make this easy. Italian drivers are a bit impatient and aggressive, but if they want to pass, they'll do it when it is possible, you can't stress about that!
Florence might be a little daunting as many of the car rental agencies in town are within the ZTL on Borgo Ognissanti near the SMN train station. Getting there to pick up the car isn't that difficult but getting out.... there are lots of one way streets although I am sure the car rental place will explain how to get out. Not to frighten anyone, but it would be a bit more challenging that picking up from the airport, for example.
Siena is a smaller town, the rentals are out of the city center and easy to drive out from.
I am sure there are car hire outlets in the smaller towns, but with local companies and not the international ones you might be used to. Searching on Google, I found 3 in Certaldo:
Certaldo Car Rental - Google Maps
Via Lazio - Certaldo
Tel. 0571 667575
Via Sanzio - Certaldo
Tel. 0571 666777
Via Bruno Ciari - Certaldo
Tel. 0571 665608
Via Veneto - Certaldo
Tel. 0571 652332
Whether renting from a smaller town is better or not, I do not know as I've had no direct experience myself in renting a car here. It is likely that the local rental businesses will have a more personal customer service than the others but I am not sure of the price, I would think they have to be within market rates otherwise they would do no business. You can try calling the ones above and compare what comes out by also searching on AutoEurope's search engine since the results are from many rental agencies.
Don't worry, once you get behind the wheel and do your first outing, you'll get more comfortable and see that you'll do fine.