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    Car hire in Palermo – Discovering the taste and soul of Sicily

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    Sicily is the perfect destination to combine idling on a beach with excellent food and rich culture. Placed right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it has always been a melting pot of cultures. The Phoenicians held it as a base on their commercial routes and today, Palermo is the most important city on the island and the perfect starting point for any tour.

    A lot of precious time on your holiday will be spared if you book a car hire from Auto Europe before your journey. A reservation is strongly recommended during the peak periods since the availability gets very tight. Auto Europe has been known as a car rental industry leader with unbeatable prices for over 60 years. Thanks to its great cooperation with numerous renowned global and local suppliers, you will surely find a suitable car hire in Palermo for your holiday. Picking up a car at the airport right upon arrival is the easiest solution, but Auto Europe also offers pick-up points in the most important cities. We also offer phone support every day of the week under +44 1233225114; our car rental experts will be glad to answer any question, clear any doubt or even take the phone booking directly.

    A very good way of covering the whole island would be to sleep in different places. A Palermo rent a car is the most convenient means of transport allowing a lot of freedom and flexibility. From there, you may drive to Catania and the Mount Etna, then head south to Siracusa and Noto and then drive up to the west to the Greek temples in Agrigento, to then return to Palermo.

    To facilitate round trips Auto Europe also offers camper hire or the possibility to return the car in a different city than pick-up to spare the return journey. These so-called ”one-way car hires” are on request and there is usually a fee to be paid locally for the extra service. During the booking procedure you will get the fee visualized, but this will need reconfirmation by our reservation agents.

    Why not take a look at the comments posted by some of our other customers on our Palermo car hire reviews page to find out what they thought of their recent Auto Europe car rental experience in the city.

    For more information about renting a vehicle in Palermo, click on the car hire related topics listed below:

    Suppliers Car Hire FAQs Travel Guide

    Where to Pick up a Car Hire in Palermo

    Sicily is one of the major Italian summer destinations and this is why Auto Europe has a wide network of pick-up stations and a very large choice of vehicles. On our portal you will therefore find the best car rental offers in Palermo and not only at the airport, but also directly in the city and at the central station.

    Palermo Airport

    The Palermo international Airport is named after the judges Falcone and Borsellino and lies 35 km (22 miles) from the city, in the town of Punta Raisi. It has been operational since 1960 and has been recently renovated. It is the third biggest airport in Southern Italy after Naples and Catania. Auto Europe works with the best international and local suppliers and to hire a car at Palermo airport right after landing is the quickest and most comfortable way to start your stay. The car hire desks are conveniently located in the arrival hall and the cars are parked right outside.

    Palermo Airport (PMO) "Falcone-Borsellino Airport"
    Website: https://www.aeroportodipalermo.it
    Address: Località Punta Raisi, 90145 Cinisi PA, Italy
    Telephone: +39 091 702 0698


    Book with the Best Car Hire Suppliers in Palermo

    Booking a car hire in Palermo on the Auto Europe website is surely the best option for you. We boast a long experience in the car rental sector worldwide and our first goal is customer satisfaction. For this reason we strictly select our partners: in Sicily we cooperate with many renowned international car hire chains like Avis, Sixt, Europcar, and Alamo, with big low cost players like Budget, Interrent, Keddy, and also with reliable national companies like Maggiore or SicilybyCar.

    Alamo - Car Hire Information SicilybyCar - Car Hire Information Avis - Car Hire Information Budget - Car Hire Information

    You can click the above logos for further information on four of our partner brands and if you have questions regarding other suppliers or specific requests regarding opening hours or on-site services please call our reservations agents available all days of the week.


    Frequently Asked Questions about Renting a Car in Palermo

    Contact Us

    When hiring a car in Palermo the Auto Europe portal is making your research very simple and your booking process quick and smooth. You will find numerous deals for a lot of different car categories and insurance options, each of them with very detailed description. By reading the below most important FAQs posed by our customers in Palermo, we are convinced you will make up your mind and understand which insurance type you prefer as a driver and which car type is going to best suit your travel needs. Once you have this clear in mind you just need to secure your car hire offer.


    Do I need a credit card to rent a car in Palermo?

    In order to pick-up your car hire in Palermo you absolutely need a credit card in the name of the main driver named on the Auto Europe pre-paid voucher. The reason is simple; car rental suppliers want a guarantee in case of accidents, fire or theft and therefore block a certain amount of money usually corresponding to the car rental excess on the credit card of the main driver. Under “Rate Details” you will find a list of the credit cards accepted by each supplier and the amount of the block performed. If your credit card cannot sustain high money blocks you can opt for zero excess packages, where the money sum put on hold is much smaller, or book with Auto Europe a basic car rental package and buy full insurance on site. For more in-depth information on the topic credit cards and deposits you can read our dedicated page or contact over the phone our car rental experts.

     

    What insurance do I need for my car rental in Palermo?

    There is always a minimum legal car hire coverage for rented vehicles stated by the country’s law, usually requiring like in Italy Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), third-party liability and theft protection (TP). All these elements are of course included in all the deals on our website. The basic packages, which are usually cheaper, have an excess, which is a threshold up to which the driver is liable in case of accident, damage, fire or theft. The excess can reach up to GBP 900 or even more. In order to reduce your risk you can pay more for a “zero excess” option, sometimes available on our website, and if not, that can be purchased directly upon car pick-up.

    But we at Auto Europe came up with a mixed option which is going to be the best for your car rental in Palermo. We are talking about our “full coverage packages” based on the refundable excess formula. Yet still responsible for the excess, the clients who opt for it, will be able to receive the money paid on site back by contacting our customer service. The price for this insurance is an average between the basic and the zero excess packages, but what is really special about this alternative is the more comprehensive coverage that includes also wheels, roof, undercarriage, glass, car interior, towing expenses, mis-fuelling, key loss, and administration fees, usually not encompassed by the CDW.

    If you need additional drivers there are usually no limitations, they just need to sign the car rental contract as well, and pay a daily surcharge. If you are lucky for your destination Auto Europe has some promotions with free additional driver. If not have a look at the “Rate details” anyway because some suppliers allow free additional drivers in some locations.

    If among the drivers you plan to enrol some are under 26 years of age please check thoroughly under “Rate Details” for any age limitations or surcharges. Minimum age to drive a rental car in Italy is usually 19 years because the driving license needs to be held for at least one year. But each supplier can set its own rules. What is common is a daily ”young driver fee” for drivers under 26 years of age. If you still have doubts please call our phone number active all days of the week.

     

    How is the traffic in Palermo?

    Driving in Sicily, especially in the islands capital, given the high number of scooters on the streets and a widespread negligence of traffic rules, is often considered an adventure. If you rent a car in Palermo it can get chaotic at times due to speeding and passing without adequate signalling. Pedestrians crossing the street on a red light or simply aggressive drivers not respecting the rules could make driving in this charming city sometimes challenging even for skilled drivers. Just be patient and very careful. Another thing to remember is that the heart of the city is almost entirely a restricted traffic zone (Zona Traffico Limitato - ZTL) which has been established to lower traffic and air pollution. Access by car is allowed only to inhabitants and to those with a pass, which needs to be purchased in advance. There are daily, weekly or monthly passes. Cameras will register the number plates accessing the area and those without permission will be fined. The restrictions are in place only on working days from 8 am to 8 pm. If you would like to get more insight into driving in Italy please read our extensive guide.

     

    Where can I park my car hire in Palermo?

    The very heart of the city is, as previously mentioned, mostly a restricted access zone (Zona Traffico Limitato - ZTL) and you will be able to park here only if you have purchased a pass beforehand. In the rest of the city centre, free parking places marked by white lines are very rare. You will most likely find parking on the street marked with blue lines, which means it is to be paid for. Tickets must be purchased at the closest tobacconists or newsstands. You are supposed to mark or scratch the date and time and leave it in a visible place on your dashboard. There are also several toll parking areas in the centre and surroundings. One of them is conveniently located close to the Notarbartolo rail station, with all the main sights at close reach. If you are looking for a comfortable and safe parking solution, there is a multi-level underground parking at Piazza Orlando. For an exhaustive list of the parking areas you can check this link.

     

    Can I hire a motorhome in Palermo?

    Auto Europe not only offers great car hire deals, but also very convenient campervan rentals in Sicily. To experience this big island to the full, a road trip with the comfort of a motorhome seems to be the perfect solution. If you are visiting Sicily during summer, you should plan your itinerary and book your spot at camping places in advance. You can find more information about renting a campervan in Italy here.


    Palermo Travel Guide

    Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and has really a lot to offer besides from beaches and good food. The historical heritage of this important merchant base goes back to the years before Christ. While preparing for your holiday, get inspired with our brand new road trip in Sicily guide.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Palermo

    Once you have explored the bustling city, you should take advantage of your Palermo car rental to soak in some more Sicilian beauty. Following you will find some half-day or daily trip suggestions.

    Monreale

    The small town of Monreale is just 5 km away from Palermo, and could almost be considered one of its suburbs. It was founded by the Normans that left an architectural masterpiece, which is the cathedral known as “Duomo”. This big church is now a UNESCO site and displays almost 7.500 sqm of Byzantine mosaics in its interior.

    Mondello

    The Palermo city beaches are very conveniently placed, but if you are looking for a truly spectacular one, then you should head east with your rental car to Mondello. Here you will be surprised by the enchanting landscape, noticed also by the filmmaker Visconti, who chose Mondello to shoot his famous “Gattopardo”. Nestled between the Mount Pellegrino and Mount Gallo, Mondello displays a 1,5 km long beach with white sand. But this is not all. If you fancy a stroll, you will discover a lot of Liberty villas dating back to the beginning of the 20th century when the noble families used to spend their holidays here. The most ancient beach resort is in Liberty style and has been renovated in 1995. This is a very elegant place where you can soak in the sun.

    Cefalù

    This little township with its 14000 inhabitants lies 70 km (43 mi) east of Palermo. It counts to the most beautiful Italian townships and hosts the third Sicilian cathedral enlisted in 2015 under the UNESCO sites. This is another example of Norman-Arabic style building dating back to the XII century. Visitors do not only come here because of this church but mostly for the fairy tale atmosphere and the enchanting landscape. Cefalù has wonderful beaches, beautiful panoramas and is part of the natural park of the Madonie mountains.

    Etna Volcano

    A bit further away, that is around 3 hours by car from Palermo, a natural wonder is awaiting for you, the active volcano Mount Etna. With its 10,922 feet height, it rages over the east side of the island. Once there you can hike by yourself towards the top or join a guided tour. Do not forget to stop in some of the small villages at the feet of the volcano, where you will feel like the clock has stopped fifty years ago. A visit to the nearby big city of Catania with its bustling night life is the perfect completion to this trip.

    What to do in Palermo

    Palermo is an enchanting harbour city with a very diverse cultural heritage. It is certainly a city of contrasts dominated by an eclectic mix of architectural styles, embodying the Arabic, Greek and Roman heritage visible on every step of the way, and revealing the traces of many famous emperors whose home it used to be.

    • Quattro Canti: This is a famous octagonal-shaped square located at the most famous crossroads of Palermo downtown. In the middle, there is a huge fountain and the four corners are marked by lavishly decorated buildings with a fountain at the ground level. City tours of the city centre depart from here.

    • The Cathedral: Palermo’s Cathedral is a UNESCO heritage site. Its construction dates back to 1185 and it is devoted to the Holy Mary, even if the dearest chapel to the inhabitants is the one dedicated to Saint Rosalia, the city’s patron. The building is huge and displays many different styles since it underwent continuous changes throughout the centuries: you will recognize Arabic, Norman, Gothic, Neoclassical and Baroque touches. Do not forget to walk around the whole building because also the side and back walls are richly decorated.

    • Street markets: When lunch time approaches, a visit to a traditional grocery market is a must. Palermo even boasts three: “La Vucciria”, “Ballarò” and “Il Capo”. The first two are the most famous. “La Vucciria”, located close to the harbour, started off as a meat market but nowadays you can find all kind of food there, especially fresh fish. Ballarò is the most ancient market with focus on vegetables and fruit sold by the local farmers. It stretches from the Casa Professa square to the bastions on Tukory Street. The prices are very agreeable and you can buy some fresh fruit or a tasty snack like the famous rice balls “arancini”. Rest assured you won’t understand a word of the dialect spoken there. But if you really want to see the authentic nature of this magic city you should really come to these colourful, chaotic and very lively places. These markets resemble the North African “suks” and are a legacy of the Arabic domination.

    • The Norman Palace: This palace is one of the most important sights in the city and is a UNESCO site as of 2015. It was built by the Arabic emirs in the 9th century and then taken over by the Normans, who used it as a fortress and royal seat. Under Frederick II, it became an imperial palace and after that, the seat of the Sicilian Parliament under the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Nowadays it still hosts the Sicilian regional parliament. The interior is richly furnished and its jewel is the “Cappella Palatina”, that is the Earl’s Chapel. This chapel, devoted to the Saints Peter and Paul, is world-famous because of its well preserved golden Byzantine mosaics and its precious decorations that resorted to the very refined Arabic techniques.

    • La Zisa and La Cuba: Strolling around Palermo discloses loads of architectural treasures. But the most fascinating are those of the Arabic-Norman age. The Zisa palace was built around 1165 as a summer residence for the Norman kings. It lies in the Western part of the city within the Genoardo royal park. Today it is the seat of the Museum of Islamic Arts and is since 2015 UNESCO World Heritage site. Facing the garden you will also find the Moorish palace known as “La Cuba” (Cuba sottana).

    Useful links

    Visit Sicily

    Official Palermo Tourism Website