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Car Sharing In Rome – Useful Facts That You Need To Know

Using car sharing in Rome can be challenging for foreigners, but this detailed guide makes it easier with the frequently asked questions that you might have.

Car Sharing in Rome - Freedom of Movement

Freedom Of Movement

Rome has a very effective public transportation system that can help visitors to the Eternal City reach any site that might interest them. It is inexpensive, available and easy to use, but sometimes you are looking for another option and Car Sharing might be the solution for you. These are the frequently asked questions that should help you to decide if sharing a car is right for you.

What Is Car Sharing In Rome?

If you are familiar with services like ZipCar, you probably know what Car Sharing entails, but if this is the first time you are looking for information about it, let’s see if I can help. Car Sharing is when someone rents a car for a brief period of time to run an errand or travel someplace hard to reach. Unlike traditional car rental services, it isn’t typically used for full days or multiple days and more typically for only a few hours. Rome has car sharing services available even to tourists from the US.

Who Are The Best Companies For Car Sharing In Rome?

Of course this is subjective, but the most popular car sharing services are:

  • Carsharing Roma – I have had success with this service and if you have a US drivers license, I would recommend starting here. The prices are reasonable and they seem to have cars, both gas and hybrid, available all around Rome.
  • ShareNow – This service is part of the larger group of companies that offer rental services in Rome, like FREE NOW and Zity. Unfortunately, at the time of me writing this post, they only accept people with EU driving licenses as customers. Hopefully that will change in the future, so stay tuned.
  • Enjoy – I have had trouble registering for this service while using my US license. I believe there is a problem with their App. I would expect if you have an Italian or EU license there wouldn’t be the same problems. Hopefully this will be resolved in the future.
  • Drivalia – Their eGo! Service allows for short term rentals, either as a one-time purchase or you can buy minutes and maintain a balance in their “wallet”.
Car Sharing In Rome - US License Holders

For US License Holders

Can I Use My US License For Car Sharing In Rome?

You can use your US drivers license while driving in Italy, but as I had mentioned above, some of the services either require an EU driving license or their App doesn’t work correctly with a US license. The important thing is that in addition to your state license, you also need to get an International Drivers license. There is no additional test for this license, you just need to go to AAA and buy it. It provides the translation of your US license and is a requirement in Italy.

How Do You Register For Car sharing In Rome?

This can be accomplished, depending on the service, either on their website or on their App. Choose a service you want to try and download their App. Create an account and upload the required documents, like your driving license and passport, and you will be on your way. When I registered with Carsharing Roma, their App wouldn’t work initially because I needed to send them a copy of my International Drivers License, and after a couple days to review, I was approved for rental.

Car Sharing in Rome - Fairly New Cars

Fairly New Cars

How Much Does A Car share Cost In Rome?

Prices vary between the service providers, so I will give you some average costs that I’ve encountered. The costs are based on the day, the length of time the car is being used, the distance you are traveling and the type of car, or some variation of these. Some rentals can cost .20€/Minute with 200km included, 5.76€/hour plus .20€/km driven or you can reserve a car by the day.

In addition, some have additional costs to “unlock” the car, make a reservation or even register as a customer. For example, I paid a one-time fee of 15€ to register with Carsharing Roma. Some of their other costs are lower, so I wasn’t too concerned about it. Anecdotally, I just rented a Lancia Hybrid for 67 Minutes and drove around 11km for a quick errand, and it cost me 8.65€.

Is There A Car Sharing App?

You will need to download the App for the individual car sharing service because all of the reservation, unlocking and returning of the cars is managed through the app. In some cases you will need the App to register for the service, but in most cases the App is a requirement to manage your rentals.

Car Sharing In Rome - On-Street Parking

On-Street Parking

Is It Worth Hiring A Car In Rome?

Parking in Rome, and in the historical center (Centro Storico) is a nightmare so unless you feel comfortable paying for off-street parking for your rental car, I wouldn’t recommend it. Using a car sharing service makes it so much easier because the cars either have reserved spaces, like with Carsharing Roma, or you can park them anywhere in their “zone” for free, as long as it is legally parked, like with Enjoy. In addition, the public transportation symptoms in the major cities makes it so much easier to get around the city, instead of trying to drive a rental car.

If you are traveling out to the countryside or between multiple cities, renting a car by the day might make more sense.

Can You Rent A Car In One City And Return It In Another Italy?

Car Sharing services are usually based in a single city, so traveling between cities probably won’t be an option. You can use Car Sharing services for one-way trips, but it is typically confined to the zone of a single city, like the metro area around Rome. If you do the traditional car rental services, like with Avis or Hertz, you would be able to rent a car in one city and drop off in another, but you can expect to pay a premium for that option.

Is There Something Like Uber In Rome?

Uber as you know it doesn’t exist, but something “like” Uber does. This is more ride sharing than car sharing, and you might know it better as a Taxi. There are Apps, including Uber’s, that you can use to call a Taxi in Rome and that are easy, fast and effective. Check out my “FAQs About Taxis In Rome” for more information.

Is It Safe To Rent A Car And Drive Around Italy?

Absolutely it is safe. As with any large European city, petty theft is an issue, so you will want to be certain not to leave anything visible in your car. I have seen early morning evidence of smashed windows, so it is something to be aware of. Apart from that, Italians love driving and it is a great way to see some “off the beaten path” types of towns that would be hard to reach by train.

Car Sharing in Rome - Reserved Parking Spaces

Reserved Parking Spaces

More Traveler Information About Getting Around Rome

Using car sharing in Rome is only one of the many ways to get around the Eternal City. Check out some of these other articles that highlight the options that are available to you and plan your visit accordingly.

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