Many passengers hire a vehicle from the car rental companies at Florence Airport. Having your own rented vehicle is a wonderful way to explore this spectacular region of Italy, or to conduct your business activities. The airport is situated 4 km from the city center of Florence, in the territory of Sesto Fiorentino. It is considered to be one of the two most important international airports in Italy’s Tuscany region, and handles more than one and a half million passengers per year. Many refer to the airport by its other names, such as Amerigo Vespucci Airport, or Peretola Airport. In Italian, it may even be referred to as Aeroporto di Firenze.
All the major car hire companies can be found at the destination and their rental counters are located in the Arrivals terminal. The airport consists of two terminal buildings, one for departures and the other for arrivals. The Departures terminal is equipped to handle approximately 900 passengers, while the Arrivals terminal is able to accommodate 1,400 passengers, and together they are capable of handling more than two million passengers per year.
Auto Europa is one of the car hire companies at the airport, and they are open from 08:00 to 23:00, Monday to Saturday, and from 08:00 to 21:00 on Sundays. They offer a wide range of vehicles and services at affordable rates. Avis is open every day of the week from 08:00 to 23:30, and Budget is available from 08:30 to 23:30. Europcar’s hours are from 09:00 to 23:00, Thrifty is open from 08:30 to 23:00 and Maggiore is available from 08:30 to 22:40. Hertz is open from Monday to Friday between the hours of 08:30 and 22:30, while on Saturday and Sundays they are open from 09:30 to 22:30. Sixt is available from 08:30 to 19:30, Monday to Saturday, and from 08:30 to 13:00 on Sundays.
Passengers arriving at Florence can book their vehicle directly from the car rental counters within the airport, or make an advance reservation from their chosen company’s website address. All the car hire companies listed above offer comprehensive websites with easy to follow reservation processes. All their vehicle categories offered at Florence Airport are displayed, along with pictures of example vehicles in each category. Customers will also be able to see general features of the vehicles, and their estimated seating and luggage capacities. All the information required in order to rent a vehicle is available on their websites.
Vehicles at most car hire companies are booked by car category, and not by a vehicle’s specific make and model. However, there are some companies which offer this unique service, such as Hertz and Budget. Hertz has a wide range of vehicles which can be reserved in this way, in three different categories, namely, the Hertz Green, Fun and Prestige Collections. The Green Collection consists of vehicles which are environmentally friendly and fuel efficient, while the Fun Collection is an interesting assortment of convertibles and sporty models. The Prestige Collection may be ideal for the business renter who needs a presentation vehicle. Budget offers their Street Fleet vehicles, which are a range of cars which can be reserved by their specific makes and models. These may even include hybrid vehicles at certain Budget rental locations.
Car hire companies almost always offer extra equipment to hire. From the majority of Florence Airport car hire companies, customers can hire baby safety seats, satellite navigation systems, luggage racks and other useful items. A child car seat is essential if you are traveling with young children, as the road rules regarding seatbelts in Italy are very strict. If you are unfamiliar with the area in which you will be driving, a satellite navigation system is a superb piece of equipment to hire. GPS units offered by the car hire companies at Florence Airport are state-of-the-art pieces of technology, with many desirable features. They usually have a choice of languages, continuous road maps, color touch-screens, easy-to-use interfaces and an extensive list of pre-programmed points of interest. Sixt is different from the other companies in that they include a navigation system in the rental of most of their vehicles. Certain vehicles at Sixt are guaranteed to come with a GPS unit, while other vehicles will have a navigation system if there is one available at the time of your rental.
Driving in the city center of Florence is best to be kept to a minimum, as the streets are narrow and busy, not well designed to handle modern traffic requirements. During the week as well, the blue zone (zona blu) central area of the city is restricted for access by motor vehicles. This area is around the ‘viali di circonvallazione’ boulevards. Due to these reasons, most people hire a vehicle to travel around the outskirts of Florence, and to other areas nearby. The following speed limits are applicable in Italy: 90 km/h or 55 mph on the open roads, 50 km/h or 30 mph in residential areas and towns, and 130 km/h or 80 mph on the highways.
Car hire companies require the primary renter to be at least 21 years of age, and have a valid drivers license. The drivers license must also have been held by the renter in his/her country of residence for at least one year prior to the rental. UK drivers are required to have both parts of their driving license available, and foreign renters may need an International Driving Permit as well. Younger renters between the ages of 21 and 25 may pay a higher rental rate than usual, and may also not be permitted to rent certain larger or specialty type vehicles. A major credit card is usually required in order to pay for the rental.
Passengers can make general airport enquires at the information desk in the Arrivals terminal, and there is also a tourist information point in the same terminal providing information about Florence’s attractions and the surrounding areas.