Car rental in Naples, Italy: necessity or not?

Naples in Italy is not only a great city, the surrounding region also offers a lot of possibilities for every type of traveler. Whether you prefer to dream away at the beach, climb volcanoes or delve into the rich and fascinating history... Campania has it all. To fully enjoy this beautiful region, it's advisable to rent a car in Naples. In this article I tell you everything you need to know about car rental in Italy.

car rental naples

Renting a car in Naples, Italy doesn’t have to be expensive and you can see a lot more in a short time!

Car rental in Naples, Italy: cost

Renting a car in Italy is generally not very expensive. Naples is much cheaper than the rest of the country, and so is the cost of a rental car.
For a week of cruising around in a small car (with air conditioning, of course!) You pay between €60 and €100. That is indeed very cheap, because this means you actually only pay €8.5 to €14.25 per day. If you compare that price with the cost of excursions and tours, you’ll soon come to the conclusion that car rental in Naples, Italy is always a good idea.

I always compare the price of rental cars on websites such as RentCars.
At RentCars I almost always find the cheapest price, but don’t forget that you still have to pay the insurance (€5.5 or €11 per day extra).

Here are some price examples of renting a car in Naples (Via RentCars):

Renting a small car for one week (Opel Adam): €84
Renting a big car for one week (Alfa Romeo Giulietta): €111.12
Renting an SUV for one week (Jeep Renegade): €153.57
Renting a cabriolet for one week (Fiat 124 Spider): €181.79

Why would you choose for a rental car in Naples, Italy?

If you only visit Naples for a few days, and thus not explore the nearby area, I strongly advise against renting a car in Naples. In the city itself you can perfectly move by public transport or on foot. Moreover, it is very stressful to face the local drivers in their natural habitat. So you better stay away with your car.
But the travelers who stay in this city for a longer time can definitely add value to their trip by adding a rental car in Naples. I would recommend to first explore the city itself, and only then hiring a car.
Make sure you take time to explore Naples, because there is a lot to do here: from underground catacombs to the very first pizzeria in the world!
It’s a good idea to hire your rental car at Naples airport, because then you don’t need to book transport anymore once you need to return to the airport. And that -again- saves some money!

naples car rental

And if you can’t get there by car, you can also try with a boat…

Which attractions are easier to reach with a rental car in Naples, Italy?

The province of Campania has quite some more sights to behold than just Naples. Often these are also accessible by bus or train, but being on a holiday in Italy is also living according to la dolce vita. If you choose for car hire in Naples you will never be dependent on bus or train times and you will be able to explore everything at your own pace.
Here are some sights that you shouldn’t miss out on when you have a rental car in Naples:

Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius

Your visit to Naples can never be complete without having seen Pompeii and the volcano that erupted above this city in the year 79. Pompeii is truly a unique experience, because nowhere in the world you can see such a unique view on everyday Roman life. Everything has been perfectly preserved because of the lava; from everyday utensils to human (and animal!) bodies. You can also take the bus or train from Naples, but with your own transport you’ll get there much faster and easier. From the center of Naples it’s only a half hour drive by car. In order to be fully prepared for your visit, I recommend to also read this article.

Herculaneum

In less than half an hour in the south of the city you can find another archaeological treasure, which is often mentioned together with Pompeii. Herculaneum is less crowded than Pompeii, and actually it’s also better preserved. Unlike Pompeii, this city wasn’t overwhelmed by ashes first, but immediately by hot lava. You can also reach Herculaneum by train, but if you have a car you can more easily combine this day trip with Pompeii.

herculaneum visit with car

The Herculaneum is slightly less known, but according to some it’s even more interesting than Pompeii.

Sorrento

You can also easily reach this fantastic city by train, but then you miss the beautiful ride along the coast. Here you must stroll through the old center for at least an afternoon and watch out for the many shops where they sell the inlaid wood for which Sorrento is widely known. And the fresh limoncello is also worth tasting (and buying), by the way.

Amalfi

From Sorrento you can perfectly continue to the Saint Tropez of Italy: Amalfi. The ride along the Amalfi coast will make you stop for more than once if you want some stunning photos. On your way to Amalfi, you should definitely halt in the ridiculously picturesque town of Positano, reminiscent of the enchanting Capri.
The gorgeousness of this place will absolutely enchant you. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that so many celebrities spend their summers here.

amalfi coast naples car hire

The Amalfi coast. Colorful houses, conviviality and beautiful beaches.

The beautiful Roman villas along the coast

If you’re on your way to Sorrento, you should definitely stop in one (or all three) of the luxurious villas that were built by rich Romans along the coast. You start in the town of Torre Annunziata where you’ll find Villa Poppaea. This is claimed to belong to Sabina Poppaea, the wife of the famous emperor Nero. More than twenty rooms are open to the public, outside is a swimming pool of 61 meters long (in which you are unfortunately not allowed to swim). Besides these, you can also find the Stabian villas in the south: Villa Arianna with its beautiful frescoes, and a bit further lies Villa San Marco. The latter has an area of ​​no less than 11,000 square meters.

The palace of Caserta

Reggia di Caserta is also called the Italian Versailles and lovers of extravagance only have to drive about half an hour to admire this splendor.
The architect, Luigi Vanvitelli, didn’t think too much of a room more or less, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this UNESCO world heritage site counts a whopping 1200 rooms! The complex also includes a beautiful royal park and a promenade with canals and fountains. Do not miss the English garden with the seductive Bath of Venus either. It is absolutely stunning here!

palace of caserta naples

The Palace of Caserta. Awaken the royal blood in yourself!

Ravello

Finally, I want to conclude with Ravello (even though there is much more to see with your rental car), which is particularly difficult to reach by public transport because of its location in the hills.
Once you get to Ravello, I am sure that you won’t be disappointed for choosing a rental car! From here you have an almost unmatched view of the valleys, vineyards and the sea. The gardens of Villa Rufolo are also a nice place to stay and visit.

ravello naples car hire

The views from Ravello are heavenly!

What rental car to choose in Naples?

The South Italian roads are all extremely accessible, so it would be stupid to pay a lot of money for a jeep. If you don’t mind spending some money for your rental car in Naples, Italy, then why not live the dream and rent a convertible? Driving with an open roof along the Amalfi Coast is a fantastic experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Moreover, they’re not even that expensive (just look at the screenshot of RentCars below). But of course you can also simply opt for the cheapest rental car.

convertible rental naples italy

Traffic rules in Italy

Like in most European countries, the Italians also drive along the right side of the road. And just like everywhere else in the world, wearing a seat belt is also mandatory. If you are going to drink a nice glass of wine, you can. But make sure that you don’t have more than 0.5 mg of alcohol in your blood. If you are halted by the police, the fines won’t be cheap…

Furthermore, these are the speed limits:

50 km/h: within the built-up area
90 km/h: smaller roads outside the built-up area
110 km/h: larger roads outside the built-up area
130 km/h: motorways
I strongly advice you to keep to these limits, because the speed cameras along the Neapolitan roads are growing every year.

Parking rules in Naples

Just like in many other European cities, the Neapolitan urban planners didn’t take cars into account when they were constructing the city. Consequently, the streets are very narrow and it can be difficult to maneuver here.
Add the local pazzi (crazy) drivers, and you have the perfect ingredients for a chaotic driving experience. As I mentioned earlier, I would avoid driving in Naples itself. If you want to do this anyway, you should of course be able to drop your car somewhere. You can easily leave your car behind in one of the paying car parks outside the center.

If you prefer to park closer to the center, you can park in the street and with a bit of luck even in the central area (Via Carbonara, Via Foria, Via Poerio, Via Cyril and Piazza Mercato).

Parking is allowed where you see blue lines, and from Monday to Sunday from 8 am to 8 pm the following rates apply:
Monday – Saturday: first hour two euros, then 2.5 euros per hour
Sunday + holiday: 1 euro for every two hours

Furthermore, please keep in mind that the historic center, Piazza del Gesù and the Mezzocannone are part of the ZTL zone (zona traffico limitato or zone with limited traffic). You can’t drive here with your car, and if you do so you will get fined.

parking naples car rental italy

Parking in the city center is very difficult, but outside you have plenty of room!

Online car hire in Naples, Italy

Renting an inexpensive car in Naples is best done as far in advance as possible via the worldwide web. This will give you a big discount without a doubt.
In terms of car rental companies, I can really recommend RentCars because they are checking out multiple (over 100) car rental agencies for the cheapest prices automatically.
For car hire in Naples you must be at least 18 years old, but many companies refuse to rent a car to someone younger than 21. Often, drivers under 24 years also have to pay an extra cost (about 20 euros per day).
An international driving license is not necessary for European citizens, but if you’re coming from somewhere else I suggest that you also have an international driving license.

Most travelers spend their holidays in Italy in Tuscany or opt for a city trip to Rome or Venice. These are absolutely amazing cities, but Naples is so much more unique and authentic. Southern Italy is so different from the north and you have to come here yourself to discover all of these differences. The area around Naples will definitely make you want to come and visit again and from here you can also travel to that other Italian jewel in no time: Sicily.

italy car rental naples

In some parts of Naples the streets are really too narrow for a car, but there is so much to discover outside the city as well!

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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