Booking & Planning

Rental Cars

Doorways has special rates with AutoEurope. If you can find a lower rate, they will try to beat or match it. You can also book flights through AutoEurope; call them at 800-730-8036.

In Italy, our rates include full insurance with a zero deductible. Rentals in France and Spain include basic insurance; you can upgrade to full coverage when you pick up your car, or you can cover it for less if you add it to your travel insurance (but this must be done when you purchase the policy).

Doorways can arrange to have a car and driver to meet you at the airport and take you to the villa and your car(s) delivered to and/or collected from your villa. There is a charge for this, of course, and you have to complete some paperwork in advance, but this is the most relaxing way to arrive. Our drivers know the way and can be in touch with the key holder.

Issues to consider when choosing a rental car:

  • Pick up and drop off locations & times: We advise clients to pick up and return rental cars at the airport rather than at a downtown location. Airport offices are open long hours and have the best selection of cars. Rentals are based on a 24-hour clock, so if you want to return the car later than the time you picked it up, book the car for an extra day to avoid expensive penalties for returning it late. There is no additional charge to pick up and drop off in different locations within one country.  There is a significant drop fee to change countries.
  • What size car: Rent as small as possible. Two smaller cars are renerally less expensive than a van. European cities are not van-friendly with their ancient, narrow streets and narrow parking slots.  Fuel costs more in Europe.Usually, it’s better (and less expensive) for two couples traveling together with luggage to rent two smaller cars instead of one larger one; it also gives you flexibility to pursue different interests and activities at times. They can still travel around together when the luggage is no longer an issue.
  • Manual or automatic: Automatic cars are more expensive and are reliably available only at airport locations.
  • Primary driver’s name: Additional drivers can be added when you pick up your car. The fee for additional drivers is typically about 10 euros per additional driver per day, paid on location. Car seats area also paid on location. 
  • GPS is availabe on request.
  • You are required to have an IDP (International Driving Permit) for Italy. You can get one at any AAA office or you can apply online at AAA.