Car Hire in Palermo
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Palermo is the capital of the largest Mediterranean island, Sicily. With a population of over 650,000, it is the sixth-largest city in Italy. This puts it far behind the two leading cities of Rome (2.9 million) and Milan (1.4 million). Palermo is also the most populous city south of Naples, which has almost one million inhabitants. The area of Palermo, which forms an almost natural harbour for the ancient port, is surrounded by a small mountain range named after the city itself. Some of the mountains even share parts of the city as it has expanded over the years. The mountains are part of the Madonie Mountains, which cover most of Northern Sicily. The landmark of the city is Monte Pellegrino - it is located on the bay of Palermo and offers a remarkable view of the city and the sea and also houses the famous Saint Rosalia. Thanks to its southern location and local climate systems, including its proximity to Africa, the Palermo area has some of the best weather in all of Europe! Summers are long, hot, and dry, with temperatures staying mostly in the 20s from May to October. There are more than 2,500 hours of sunshine in Palermo each year and it rarely rains during the summer months. The history of Palermo is one of the most unique and varied of any major Italian city. Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines strongly impacted the city and left their mark in the form of unique buildings. However, the greatest influence on the region was the Arab civilization, which made the city the capital of a Sicilian Emirate.
Basic info and car hire in Palermo
- Location: Southern Italy
- Population: 673 000
- Official language: Italian
- Currency: Euro (€)
- Weather: Mediterranean climate. Very long, hot, and dry summers ( 27-30°C) Mild and changeable winters (15-18°C). Palermo is one of the warmest cities in Europe (mainly due to its warm nights), with an average annual air temperature of 18 °C
- Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafés offer Wi-Fi.
- Road conditions: Major roads are in good condition, while some secondary roads are worse for wear.
- Car hire in Palermo: The most common pick-up point for vehicles is Palermo Airport. The average daily price for renting a car in Palermo is £9.4 / 11€ in summer, £8.6 / 10€ in spring, £6.8 / 8€ in autumn, and £6 / 7€ in winter. Please note that prices vary frequently. It is best to book a car 3 to 8 weeks in advance of your desired pick-up date - this will ensure you get the cheapest rental rate. Alternatively, it is also possible to find cheap last-minute car hire. Find the best deal on car hire in Palermo!
Driving in Palermo
Driving in Palermo can be challenging and drivers can be impatient. There are two toll roads in Sicily - the A18 between Catania and Messina and the A20 between Palermo and Messina. The A19 between Palermo and Catania is not subject to tolls, nor are the A29 and the expressway between Catania and Siracusa. Credit cards, cash, and Telepass are accepted at the toll gates.
- Age limits: 21 years old-25 for larger vehicles
- International Driving Permit: Yes, if you are a non-EU license holder.
- Additional papers: Identification(passport), a valid driving license, and valid proof of insurance.
- Additional requirements: Glasses (in case you need glasses, you must always have a spare pair in the car), light bulbs (are usually already in the car and are provided by the car rental company), warning triangle (2 are required for all vehicles registered in Italy and 1 if coming from abroad), high visibility vest (recently made compulsory)- First aid kit (not compulsory, but we strongly recommend you have it with you, just in case).
- Children in the car: Children up to the age of 10 may only be taken in the back seat and a suitable child seat must be available up to a height of 1.50 meters.
- Driving side of the road: Right hand
- Lights: Check that all lights are working, clean, and correctly aimed.
- General speed limits: The speed limit in cities is 50 km/h, although in certain areas the speed limit may be reduced to 30 km/h. Main highways are limited to 130 km/h, non-major highways to 110 km/h, and local roads to 90 km/h.
- Parking suggestions:
Car Hire in Palermo
Most popular car hire at Palermo
The most selected hire car in Palermo is the Fiat 500, Fiat Panda and Renault Clio. Renault Capture is also a popular option. The most popular car types in Palermo are Economy and Mini.
Popular Driving Routes
Popular One-Way car hire from Palermo
Want to rent a car for a one-way trip? No worries! Orbit Car Hire offers a variety of one-way Car Hire options in many locations outside of Palermo. One-way car rental is ideal for cross-town or cross-country travel, saving time by not returning to your original location. Start your reservation with Orbit Car Hire and find great options on one-way car hire at locations across the Italy.
Palermo-Catania (2 hr 40 min -214.3 km)
Palermo-Trapani (1 hr 18 min -106.6 km)
Palermo-Milan (15 hr 23 min - 1,467.0 km)
Palermo-Verona (14 hr 36 min -1,397.3 km)
Palermo-Naples (8 hr 1 min - 714.5 km)
Top 7 things to see in Palermo
The cathedral of Palermo is one of the most important architectural monuments of Sicily. It was built in 1184 by the Normans as a converted Christian church on the site of a Muslim Mosque previously built over a Christian basilica. This cathedral is a must-see when you visit Palermo!
The Teatro Massimo is Palermo's dominant opera house and performance hall for ballet. It was built between 1875 and 1897 and completely renovated in 1997 for its 100th birthday. It looks stunning and, to many American patrons, strangely familiar. The familiarity of the Teatro Massimo stems from its role in The Godfather: Part III, a fact you can use to lure non-opera lovers and teenagers in the door.
Chiesa della Martorana (Martorana Church)
The Church of the Martorana, also known as Chiesa di Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio, is simply breathtakingly spectacular. In the heart of Palermo, opposite the church of San Cataldo, this little church is a must-see when you visit this city. Do not be fooled by the plain exterior, because what awaits you inside is breathtaking.
Palazzo dei Normanni (Norman Palace)
The royal palace or Norman Palace of Palermo was built on the highest point of the city, above a Punic enclosure discovered in 1984 (it is in the territory of the Duke of Montalto Halls). During the Arab domination, the first nucleus was built between the rivers Kemonia and Papireto with typical defensive features, which is why it was called "Qsar", a term that in Arabic means more than a castle, but also a fortress for military purposes.
Visit the nature preserve of Monte Pellegrino. The mountains and surrounding sea make Monte Pellegrino in Palermo a wonderful tourist attraction. View Monte Pellegrino's pictures and find information about natural beauty. Monte Pellegrino Is One Of Palermo’s Most Popular Day Trip Destinations.
Officially called Piazza Vigliena but affectionately known as Quattro Canto (four corners), this beautiful baroque quarter of Palermo marks the intersection of two of the city's most important streets - Via Maqueda and Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Each of the Quattro cantos is adorned with statues of the four Spanish kings of Sicily and the four patron saints of Palermo, as well as symbolic representations of the four seasons - a masterpiece of the rich sculptural heritage of the period. As the gateway to Palermo's atmospheric historic district, Quattro Canti is the ideal starting point for your explorations of the atmospheric and centuries-old city centre, Vecchio Centro.
The Fountain of Shame
The Pretoria fountain, created by Francesco Camilliani, arrived in the Sicilian capital in 1574, after having embellished a beautiful garden in Florence for a few years: it was transported to the island in pieces-644 pieces, to be exact-and reassembled in its present location. The Senate of Palermo had bought it from the original owner, who had to solve his financial problems and pay off his debts.
Drive your rental car beyond Palermo
So you have already spent an afternoon or two strolling through Palermo's old town, admiring historic cathedrals and experiencing its lively streets by day and night. You have probably already fallen in love with Sicily, and renting a car will only enhance your experience. Even though driving in Italy is considered very difficult, you definitely will not regret it. Just a short drive from Palermo you can explore so many villages, medieval towns, beaches, and historic cities. If you come for anything, it's for the history and the beaches! Take a short drive to Mondello (just 12 km away), the popular beach known for its clear waters, palm trees, and light sand. Also impressive is Piana degli Albanesi Village (33 km away), home of the oldest artificial lake in Sicily, known for its delicious food and different culture. Fans of the Godfather and the Mafia should drive an hour to Corleone and spend some time learning about the Italian Mafia at an interesting Anti-Mafia Museum. Also, do not forget your camera and take a photo or two at the many locations in this beautiful Sicilian village. If you like history, then you will be thrilled by the ancient city of Selinunte, the largest European archaeological park just 100 km away.
Enjoy the culture in Palermo
Where to eat, drink, and party in Palermo
You will find that food is one of the best things to do in Palermo, as food and wine are the main attractions of Sicily. If you want to visit Palermo in a slightly different and fun way, we recommend a culinary tour, where you will find the best and most authentic street food vendors in Palermo while getting a wonderfully entertaining tour of the city and its most famous sights. The famous arancini should be at the top of your list of dishes to try. Seafood lovers will be delighted with the wide selection of fresh fish and seafood specialities such as Polpo Bollito or linguini with Gambero Rosso. You definitely will not miss sitting down in a good restaurant to eat fresh fish with a glass of delicious wine.
What you need to know about renting a car
What do I need to rent a car in Sicily?
A credit card in the name of the main driver needs to be presented. A security deposit may be required while renting a car so the credit card must have sufficient funds. You can find details about the security deposit listed while booking the vehicle as well as on your voucher. It is important to have a valid driving license with the name of the main driver as well as additional drivers when it applies. An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not clearly identifiable as a Driving License, eg, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (eg Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements. You will need to have identification with you such as a passport and ID cards. When you pick up your rental car you need to have your voucher with you.
How old do I need to be to rent a car in Sicily?
The minimum age to rent a car for Economy groups are 19 years old renters. For Compact, Intermediate car groups are available for 21 years old renters. Full-size vans and standard car Groups are available for 25 years old renters. With some suppliers for people over 75 years of age. Young driver surcharges may apply to many car rental companies for people under 21 years of age.
Do I need car insurance in Sicily?
Insurances are very important when renting a car and can be different between countries. When renting a car in Sicily with Orbit Car Hire the prices will include mandatory insurances in the country.
Do I need a credit card to rent a car in Sicily?
In most cases, a credit card is required to be presented in the name of the main driver. A security deposit may be required when renting a car so it is important to have sufficient funds on the credit card. When searching for a car at Orbit you can see credit card requirements from all our suppliers.
How do I find the cheapest car hire in Sicily?
You can find cheap car hire by comparing prices with all major car rentals at Orbit Car Hire. A good idea can be to book in advance as the prices can raise the closer to the travel period gets.
What is the cheapest rental car in Sicily?
You will find the mini car category or economy cars to be the cheapest car categories. Vehicles such as Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda often provide the best prices.
What is the best car rental company in Sicily?
You may find excellent service provided by companies such as Europcar, Enterprise rent a car, Sicily By Car, Autovia and Optimo Rent and Locauto.
What types and makes of rental cars deals can I find in Sicily?
You will find car types such as mini, economy, compact, Full-Size, and luxury cars. Popular rental cars are Fiat Panda, Opel Corsa, Renault Clio, Fiat 500.
Does my rental car have unlimited mileage when I book it for Sicily?
Most car rentals in Italy offer unlimited mileage in their offers.
Do I need an international driving license in Sicily?
Drivers license issued in Italy or within the European Union does not have to provide an international drivers license. For drivers with a license issued outside of the EU will need to have an international driving license as well as your standard driving license. You must have both licenses with you at all times while driving a car in Italy.
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