Is It Worth Hiring a Car in Sicily? Cost | Rules | Documents
Is it Worth Hiring a Car in Sicily?
Hiring a car in Sicily is the most practical thing to do if you intend to travel the length and breadth of the island. This is because the public transport network isn’t extensive, with many places of interest not interconnected. However if you are sticking to exploring the east or the west side, then you could use public transport or rely on guided tours.
Although Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, it is not enormous. In fact driving around the coast of Sicily only takes 11 and half hours without stopping. You can easily travel around to do this 10 day itinerary to visit all the historical town.
Additionally if you’re traveling with children, renting a car might be more cost-effective. Considering the expenses for each family member, public transport could end up costing more than a car rental. Plus, having a car provides you with greater flexibility.
If you’re exploring the east or west of Sicily like in these 4 day itineraries, using public transport is usually a more cost-effective option. However, some tourists prefer guided tours to visit attractions.
Most tours usually depart from Catania or Palermo, making these cities convenient places to stay. Although some guided tours are expensive, they provide historical context and transport you to different destinations, eliminating the need for a car.
There are also guided tours available at the destination itself, which are usually less expensive. In such cases, you can make your own way to the starting point.
To get more information about public transport you can refer to the article on getting around Sicily.
Car Rental Cost
The cost of hiring a car in Sicily for a day starts from €58 and goes up to €921. This is determined by the model of the car and rental company. However renting a car for longer is more cost effective. Prices start from €167 for a week for a compact model verses €3287 for larger models.
This means that renting a compact model for a week is around €24 on a daily basis. Similarly, larger models cost around €470 on a daily basis for a week.
If you want to rent a car in Sicily, it is best to use Discover Cars. They let you compare prices from all the car rental companies in Sicily so you can find the best deal. Plus, Discover Cars has a great reputation and a high rating on Trustpilot because they really look after their customers.
Other Additional Costs
There are other additional costs when renting a car. Apart from the rental fee, you’ll need to factor in fuel expenses and be aware of congestion taxes and road tolls in different towns and cities.
This comprehensive guide on driving in Sicily provides all the necessary information. It includes details on costs and strategies to avoid paying tolls and taxes. It’s a valuable resource to help you navigate these aspects and make informed decisions during your trip.
To hire a car in Sicily you will need the following documents:
- Booking confirmation
- A valid driver’s license*
- Passport or ID card
- Credit card in the main drivers name
*There are several conditions for driver’s licenses for you to rent a car:
- Your driver’s license needs to have been issued at least 1 year before the starting date of the rental.
- The license needs to use the Roman alphabet. Otherwise you will also need to provide an International Driving Permit in conjunction with your original license.
- For driver licenses issued in countries not part of the Geneva / Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (e.g., China), you will need to provide an official translation of the license in Italian and the original license.
You should also note, that someone else’s credit card (including family members) are not accepted. The card also cannot be a prepaid card, and no other types of payment methods are accepted. That includes virtual payments (e.g. Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc..), cash, and cheques.
Rules for Hiring a Car
There are various rules for hiring a car. I’m going to go through them in some detail in this section.
The good thing about Discover Cars is that you can easily check all the rental conditions. There is a link saying ‘Rental Conditions’ clearly marked just under the company rating. In the pop up that appears, you have all the information you require to check the conditions of each rental company.
1. Cross-Border Travel
If you want to travel to other parts of Europe from Sicily by car using a ferry, it’s important to know that not all rental companies will allow it. Some may have restrictions or not permit it at all.
If you plan on traveling outside of Sicily, make sure you check the rental company’s conditions. They might also have limitations on which countries you can visit. Moreover, once you find a company that allows European travel, you should inform them about your travel plans in advance.
2. Security Deposits
Security deposits for hiring a car in Sicily are high, but is refundable if all is fine with the car when you return it. In general you will need to pay a minimum of €500 for a week. However if you have a larger model car the security deposit could go up to almost €4000.
The strange thing is that some rental companies change the security deposit amount depending on the duration of the rental. So the security deposit for a compact model for a day could be €1000.
To be perfectly honest I’m not sure why it works this way. However some other companies still keep their security deposits consistent.
Another thing you should bare in mind, is that you need to pay the security deposit with a credit card. They will not accept pre-paid cards, virtual payments (e.g. Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc..), cash, or cheques.
3. Child Seats
Children that weigh less than 36kg and less than 150cm tall need to have a car seat, in accordance to Italian regulations. You can bring your own car seat for you child or you can hire one as an optional extra.
The costs to hire one varies from one car rental company to another, but they are usually €65 to €80. You can easily include this as an optional extra from the filters on the side on the desktop version of Discover Cars.
4. Optional Extras
You can also add, a GPS navigation system, an additional driver and in some cases you will need to add snow chains. Some rental companies in Sicily provide snow chains for free during winter time, but not always.
5. Minimum and Maximum Age Requirements
|Car Company||Minimum Age||Maximum Age|
|AbbyCar||19 years3||85 years9|
|ACA Rent||19 years3||74 years|
|Alamo||Age requirement varies depending on the car.3||N/A|
|Autovia||19 years||75 years|
|Avis||25 years5||80 years6|
|B Rent||19 years3||90 years|
|BRID||20 years1||75 years|
|Discover Cars Choice||21 years3||N/A|
|Easycarhire||21 years3||80 years8|
|Ecovia||21 years3||74 years|
|Enterprise||Age requirement varies depending on the car.3||75 years|
|Europcar||Age requirement varies depending on the car.3||N/A|
|Felirent||19 years2||80 years7|
|Italy Car Rent||21 years4||N/A|
|Key ‘n Go||25 years5||80 years6|
|Noleggiare||21 years3||80 years8|
|Rental Plus||19 years3||N/A|
|Rent Smart 24||19 years3||N/A|
|Sicily by Car||21 years1||80 years|
|SurPrice||19 years3||80 years|
|Viaggiare||19 years3||85 years7|
1 Young driver fee applies to drivers under the age of 23
2 Young driver fee applies to drivers under the age of 24
3 Young driver fee applies to drivers under the age of 25
4 Young driver fee applies to drivers under the age of 26
5 Young driver fee applies to drivers under the age of 30
6 Senior driver fee applies to drivers over the age of 70
7 Senior driver fee applies to drivers over the age of 75
8 Senior driver fee applies to drivers over the age of 76
9 Senior driver fee applies to drivers over the age of 79