4422 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814   •   (301) 656-1670   •   ciao@bethesdatravel.com
Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 5:30pm  •  Saturday: By Appointment   •   Sunday: Closed

BEHIND THE WHEEL

  • Be sure you know when and where a car is necessary.  Don’t need it, don’t rent it!

 

  • An International Driving Permit, or IDP, is mandatory when renting a car and issued through AAA.

 

  • Most cars use diesel fuel and are the stick shift. Great gas mileage!

 

  • In-town parking:  Big cities are NOT car-friendly and smaller towns tend to offer municipal “pay & display” lots on the outskirts of town.

 

  • Small town car rental agencies usually close on Saturdays around 1 PM and reopen Monday morning. Plan accordingly!

 

  • On the Autostrada: Keep right except to pass! Passing on the right is a big no-no!

 

  • Avoid the TELEPASS and credit card toll lanes on the Autostrada. They may not accept your offshore credit cards! 

 

  • The same goes for gas station credit card terminals!  Best to gas up during normal business hours & avoid Sundays! (Or pre-purchase the “full tank guarantee”.)

 

  • The speed & reliability of Google Maps depends on your data plan.  ​

  • We recommend a portable GPS with European software. 

 

  • Keep your headlights on—even in the daytime!

 

  • Sorry folks, NO right on red!

 

  • Familiarize yourself with European road signs:  speed limits, ZTLs, etc. are commonly enforced by camera and fines are hefty! (Refer to BTC video.)

 

  • Highway rest stops, notably AUTOGRILL & CIAO, are a cut above.  Italians almost NEVER eat in the car. (Remember: dining is an art form!)

Never hurts to look at old-fashioned maps either!