Pisa Airport has all the amenities required by their passengers, including a wide range of quality car hire companies. This airport is located only 2 km from the city center of Pisa, in the district of San Giusto, and is also commonly referred to as Galileo Galilei Airport, named after a famous Italian philosopher and physicist. Many passengers rent a car to explore this beautiful region of Tuscany, and will find driving in Pisa relatively easy.
The Pisa Airport car rental companies include Auto Europa, Avis, Budget, Easycar, Europcar, Hertz, Liberty Rent International, Locauto Rent, Maggiore, Sixt and Thrifty. The rental counters for these companies can be reached by a shuttle bus from the airport, which departs from outside the Arrivals area. Customers can hire their vehicle directly from the rental counters of their chosen car hire company, or in advance, from the company’s website address. It is most often recommended to make an advanced booking to ensure that your ideal vehicle selection is available, ready, and waiting for your arrival. In the Car Rentals Terminal, there is also the Smile Café, open every day for refreshments.
When reserving your vehicle, ensure to include any extra equipment that may be necessary for your journey, such as a baby safety seat, booster seat for older children or a satellite navigation system. Most of the car hire companies offer such equipment for hire. Certain companies, for example Sixt Car Hire, even offer a navigation system which is included in the rental price. Most of their vehicles will already have a GPS unit if there is one available at the time of your rental, and there are also certain vehicles which are guaranteed to include a navigation system. This item of equipment is wonderful to have with you, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area in which you will be driving. The navigation systems offered are state-of-the-art pieces of technology, featuring continuous road maps, color touch-screens, easy-to-use interfaces and many options which help you determine the best or quickest route to your destination. They also usually come pre-programmed with thousands of points of interest enabling you to easily find the nearest gas station, hotel, pharmacy, restaurant, golf course, tourist attraction, shopping center etc. at any time.
The vehicles offered by the car hire companies are usually divided into various vehicle categories, and one of these categories will be selected rather than a car by its specific make and model. However, Hertz and Budget do offer a range of vehicles which can be reserved by make and model. Budget’s Street Fleet vehicles make this option possible, while Hertz has three categories for this purpose. These are their Green, Fun and Prestige Collections. Reserving a specific make or model will ensure that you receive the vehicle which will meet your traveling requirements. Vehicles in Hertz’s Green Collection are considered to be environmentally friendly vehicles that are very fuel efficient. Many of the other car hire companies at Pisa Airport also offer environmentally friendly cars, and these include Europcar and Budget.
Although most Italian city centers are just too chaotic to drive around, motorists will find Pisa quite easy to navigate. However, a rental car is best for exploring the outskirts of the city and the surrounding Tuscan cities, as most of the main attractions in Pisa are within walking distance of one another, and there are also plenty of buses available in the city.
Drivers should stay under the speed limits at all times. The top speeds allowed in Pisa are as follows: 50 km/h or 30 mph in towns and residential areas, 90 km/h or 55 mph on the open roads, and 130 km/h or 80 mph on the motorways and highways. The road rules are strict in Italy, and under no circumstances should you be caught speeding or driving drunk. Heavy fines can be issued for such offences. There are various parking areas in Pisa, including paid areas and free parking lots. Park and Ride areas are available to the north and northeast of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, while free parking garages can be found on Via de Pratale and Via Carlo Cattaneo. On the streets, white stripes indicate free parking spaces, blue stripes show pay street-parking areas, and yellow lined areas are strictly for disabled drivers, or even buses or delivery vehicles. It is best not to park in yellow marked areas.
In terms of driving distances, Livorno is 20 minutes away and Lucca and Viareggio are 30 minutes away. Massa Carrara is a 40 minute drive, while Florence and Pistoia are 45 minutes away from the airport. Prato is 50 minutes, and other further areas include Arezzo (an hour and a half), Grosseto (one hour and 45 minutes), and Siena, which is a two hour drive from Pisa Airport.
In order to rent a vehicle from one of the Pisa Airport car hire companies you must be at least 21 years of age. A valid drivers license of all the drivers listed on the rental agreement must be shown when collecting the vehicle. Foreign drivers are often required to carry an International Driving Permit, or IDP, and UK drivers must have both parts of their license available. Drivers between the ages of 21 and 25 may need to pay a higher rental rate than usual, and may also not be permitted to rent certain specialty or larger sized vehicles. A major credit card in the name of the primary renter is required for payment of the rental. Most of the car hire companies accept the cards of American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard, Mastercard and Visa.
If you are unsure of which car hire company to choose for your requirements, you could search for a comparison website on the internet. A website such as this will display the rates and details for all the popular car hire companies on a single page, and this will make it easier for you to decide.
Information about the general services at the airport is available at the Information Desk in the Arrivals area, and there is also a Tourist Information Desk located just outside the Arrivals area.