Rent a Car in Bologna: all you need to know!

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Rent a car in Bologna
Rent a car in Bologna

Rent a car in Bologna is the best way to discover what the city has to offer.

Arriving in the Emilian capital by plane, train or bus is really easy and comfortable, however once in the city you may want a vehicle that allows you to easily make every move. What’s better than a rental car to make this wish come true?

Rent a Car in Bologna: 14 Tips for you

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There are so many rental companies operating in the city and you will surely find the right car for you. But not before taking the right steps to avoid unpleasant surprises.

We have collected the best tips and things to know before renting a vehicle, so you can do it in complete safety and peace of mind. Are you ready to fasten your seat belts? Well, let’s go!

1.Most car rental companies only accept credit cards

Whether you go directly to the pre-established car rental company or decide to book your car online, it is essential to have a credit card at hand.

In fact, while for the reservation of the car, and relative payment, some sites and companies also accept debit or prepaid cards of the Visa and Mastercard circuit, at the time of collection you must necessarily have a credit card in the name of the main driver.

The credit card will serve as a guarantee to the company, who will debit the security deposit on it. This action will allow companies to protect themselves in the event of unforeseen expenses such as fines or damages not included in the insurance.

2.The security deposit requires a pre-authorization on the credit card

As we have seen, for the security deposit a credit card is required where the part of the money established together with the company will be blocked.

The money is therefore not debited directly but only pre-authorized, however the amount will be blocked until the car is returned. So make sure you have enough funds on your card and check that they are credited back to you at the agreed time.

It is important to remember that the security deposit is different from the deductible, although sometimes the amounts may coincide.

In fact, the deductible only concerns the damage that the insurance does not cover in the event of an accident, even this amount will still be blocked on the credit card.

3.The minimum age to rent a vehicle is 21 years old, for some companies

The minimum age to rent a vehicle, for some companies, is 21 years old, however there are companies that allow a 19 years old driver to rent a car.

It is useful to know that almost all companies apply a supplement up to the age of 25.

It is important to keep in mind that all drivers must be in possession of a valid driving license, as well as having obtained it for at least 12 months (for some companies the request goes up to 24 months).

4.Check carefully what is included in the rental rate

A fundamental step to take when renting a vehicle is to check carefully what is included in the rental rate. This will also allow you to make your choice more easily, understanding which offer is best suited to your needs.

Usually a basic rental rate includes:

  • CDW Insurance (Collision Damage Waiver), RCA Policy (Third Party Liability motor insurance) and TP (Theft Protection Insurance)
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Any airport and road traffic taxes


Some car companies usually add extras included in the price to the rental proposal. One of these is, for example, the free addition of the second driver, which usually involves an additional cost.

5.Pay attention to the deductible, which insurance to choose?

All rental agreements include at least one insurance. In addition to the insurance usually included in the initial rental rate, many companies offer the option of adding additional insurance for greater driver safety. In this case, the cost can rise considerably, so the decision must be carefully evaluated.

Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) insurance, for example, is chosen usually by those who want to avoid incurring the deductible, because in fact in many cases it goes to zero.

We remind you that the amount of the deductible can often coincide with that of the security deposit and is also blocked on the credit card provided.

To make the best decision and travel more peacefully, it is therefore necessary to understand immediately what is covered by the various insurances and how much the deductible is.

6.Which car to choose

To discover the city in complete safety and make the most of your holiday, it is essential to be able to choose the car that best suits your needs. Although sometimes the many offers of the various companies could be confusing, we recommend focusing on three essential points:

  • Choose a car that you are used to driving, so as to be more relaxed while driving.
  • Carefully evaluate the paths you want to take. Do you prefer to drive in the narrow streets of the historic center or perhaps in the adventurous roads of the Bolognese Apennines or even discover fabulous bologna countryside? This evaluation could be fundamental for the choice of the vehicle.
  • Pay attention to the luggage capacity and the number of passengers allowed.

7.Beware of fuel

One of the things to check when renting a car is certainly the fuel policy.
In fact, the rental agreement indicates whether it is a rental with:

  • Same to Same (or Full to Full) full tank to be returned full
  • Full tank to be returned empty, paying for fuel on site
  • Tank to be returned to the same level at which it was found

Many companies choose the first solution which is sometimes the most convenient even for the customer himself.

It is essential to pay maximum attention to returning the vehicle with the level of petrol equal to that present in the agreements made. Errors on the level of fuel, when returning the car, will only lead to extra costs that are not at all economic.

8.Checking the car before departure

Once you have chosen your car, the attraction of reaching the Bolognese hills in one leap is great, you can already see yourself on board with the window down and the wind in your hair.

First, however, it is better to stop and check your vehicle, a suggestion that may seem trivial but sometimes taken lightly can lead to unpleasant surprises.

Better to be meticulous and check your car thoroughly, both inside and out. Not only in search of any previous scratches but also to check that everything is really there, from the spare wheel, to the vehicle registration document, to the fuel agreed in the contract.

To feel safer, you can also take some photos. Be ready to point out any anomalies instantly to the renter.

9.Pay attention to the LTZ rules and road signs

To enjoy your tour of the city in total serenity, it is good to take a look in advance at the ZTL, the limited traffic zone, and access methods.

Remember that in the historic center there are also areas where vehicular transit is always prohibited and that there are lanes that can only be traveled by buses. To avoid fines it is therefore advisable to keep your eyes open.

With these little tricks, driving through the enchanting streets of the center will be very easy.

10.Beware of cancellation policies

When booking your car it is important to pay attention to the cancellation policies. Almost all companies allow you to change or cancel your reservation free of charge within 48 hours before the scheduled pick-up time, however it is not a fixed rule.

Any additional insurance or deposit paid is usually also reimbursed but it is good to check immediately if your contract provides for it.

11.Check the times and the place for returning the car

Respecting the agreed times when returning the rental car is a golden rule. Delaying, even just a little, will entail an expensive additional expense, so it is a good idea to choose the drop off point, and time, carefully right from the start.

While entering into the rental agreement, you may decide to choose a different place to return the vehicle from that of delivery. This choice can usually be convenient from a practical point of view but less from an economic one.

Whatever your decision, we suggest that you examine in advance the way to take for the return of the car, so as to be sure to arrive on time.

12.Look for a gas station near the drop off location

Have you rented a car with the full to full policy? Look for a gas station within a few kilometers of the drop-off point and make sure it is open 24 hours a day so that you can return the fuel at the agreed level.

13.What to watch out for when returning the car

When returning a car, the key word is “check“. You have in your head the fresh memories of your beautiful trip to the Emilian capital, however there are several things to watch out for right now:

  • Make sure that you do not leave any of your items in the car.
  • Make sure you have all the rental documents at hand.
  • Be aware of any damage, even minor.
  • Ask when the deposit on your credit card will be released.

14.The best car hire companies in Bologna

In the city of Bologna there are many car hire companies to rely on.
Among the most renowned are: Hertz, Goldcar, Sixt, Europcar, Ecovia.

All of them have multiple locations, mostly concentrated towards the Central Station and the BLQ airport, which are easily reachable.

The advantages of renting a car in the Emilian capit

If you are wondering why to rent a car in the Emilian capital, we will answer you.

Below you will find some of the advantages that the rental can bring to those arriving in the city by other means of transport.

Reaching urban parks such as Margherita Gardens, San Michele in Bosco and Villa Spada easily

Thanks to a rental car you can immerse yourself in the green of the parks that surround the town with extreme ease. In a very short time you can, for example, admire the suggestive panorama that San Michele in Bosco can offer you.

Visiting the Basilica of San Luca without effort

It is possible to reach the top of Colle della Guardia through a pleasant and panoramic road that will lead you to a large free parking lot, a stone’s throw from the majestic Basilica of San Luca.

If you prefer to get there on foot, do not miss the article: walking tour to San Luca

Visiting the 5 most characteristic villages near Bologna

Among the many attractions to see nearby you cannot miss these enchanting hidden villages, go and discover them with your rental car and our dedicated article.

Reaching the Bolognese Apennines for trekking

Thanks to your car, the exciting discovery of the Bolognese Apennines is within reach.

Reaching many important destinations nearby

Bologna is perfectly connected to many nearby cities of art, and by hiring a car you can reach them much more easily.

Renting a car directly at the airport will help you to reach your accommodation in comfort without having to waste time looking for the pick-up point.

There are so many rental points that can be easily reached on foot from the central station, an ideal choice especially for those staying nearby or in the heart of the historic center.

4.6/5 - (5 votes)
This article was written by:
Ivan Agolino
I am a curious traveler and I passionately dedicate myself to the search for new tastes and emotions. I have made Bologna my home and every day I venture into its alleys to discover some new secret that I transcribe in these articles. I hope I can convey all the love I feel for this splendid city!
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