Car rental Sicily
The benefits of signing up
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Offers
Why rent a car in Sicily?
Sicily is a great place to explore by car. Rich in traditions and diverse in heritage, it offers everything from impressive historic sites and cities inhabited since ancient times to charming fishing villages and some of the most fascinating wild terrain in Europe. Getting a rental car is your best bet to see as much as you can.
Top ways to enter Sicily
- Palermo Airport: Formerly known as Punta Raisi, the airport is located some 35 km (22 mi) northwest of Palermo, the regional capital. The airport serves around 5 million passengers every year.
- Catania–Fontanarossa Airport: By far the busiest in Sicily, this airport serves nearly 10 million passengers every year. It is located just 4 km (2.4 km) southwest of the city proper and is connected to it by the A19 motorway.
- Trapani Airport: Its full title, Vincenzo Florio Airport Trapani–Birgi, is quite a mouthful, but flying to this small and cozy airport on the western edge of Sicily is another great way to reach the island.
- By sea: It is also possible to reach Sicily from the Italian mainland by ferry. One of the most popular routes takes off in Salerno, Campania, and ends in the Eastern Sicilian city of Messina, the travel taking up around eight hours. It is possible to bring your rental car on a ferry, but ask your car rental provider in advance if they permit it.
Top cities and places to visit
- Palermo. The Sicilian capital’s long and fascinating history can be seen in its many monuments, buildings, and museums. Palermo is also a great place to start exploring the island’s unrivalled cuisine.
- Syracuse. Once ruled by ancient Hellenes, Syracuse is still perhaps the most Greek-influenced city of Sicily and perhaps all of Italy. Visit Parco Archeologico and the 5th century B.C. theater where ancient plays are still performed every summer.
- Etna. The still active volcano that is set on a margin between the tectonic plates of Africa and Eurasia is arguably Sicily’s number one natural attraction. Go on a challenging hike to explore its rugged slopes, or, if you’re more into comfort, get in a cable car that will take you close to the summit.
- Messina Province. The Sicilian province that’s closest to mainland Italy is known for the port city of Messina, the charming hillside town Taormina and its Greek theater, as well as nature areas like Parco Fluviale dell’Alcantra and Parco dei Nebrodi that tempt travelers with their gorgeous mountains trails, caves, and waterfalls.
- Agrigento Province. Although perhaps not as famous and more subtle in its pleasures than some other parts of the island, Agrigento is the perfect place for a long and leisurely holiday thanks to its serene towns, ancient Greek temples, and pristine beaches.
- Trapani Province. The westernmost province of Sicily is known for its great hospitality and proud traditions. Do visit the picturesque town of Erice, the Selinunte Archeological Park, and charming islands like Pantelleria that are part of the province.
Most popular rental car
The most popular rental car in Sicily is the Fiat Panda. Travelers also love the Lancia Ypsilon and the VW Golf.
Driver licence requirements
- Italy accepts all driver licenses issued in the European Union (EU).
- If your driver license is issued by a non-EU country, for it to be considered valid you’ll need an Italian visa. Another requirement is to have been in the EU for no more than six months at the time of the rental. If you’ve been in the EU longer, you’ll need a driver license issued by an EU country.
- If your driver license is printed in a non-Latin alphabet (Cyrillic, Arabic, etc.), you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an official translation of your license into English or, preferably, Italian.
- You must carry your driver license, not its copy, with you at all times.
- You need to have had your driver license for at least one or two years, depending on the car provider’s requirements.
- There may be additional requirements depending on the car provider and car category, so make sure to check the terms and conditions before booking.
Crossing the border
The region of Sicily has no international borders. Mainland Italy is bordered by France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia, as well as San Marino and the Vatican City, two enclaves inside it. Like Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia are all members of the Schengen Area, meaning that three entry requirements for these four countries are the same as for Italy. The microstates of San Marino and Vatican City are not members of the Schengen Area, but their entry requirements are the same as those for Italy.
Some car rental providers allow you to cross national borders and even drop off your car in a different country, while others don’t. If you’d like to cross a national border during your rental period, make sure to check the terms and conditions before booking a car. Learn more about cross-border rentals in our FAQ section.
Most popular types of rental car
The most popular rental car types in Sicily are mini, economy, and compact. Most highways are in decent shape, but if you plan to drive higher in the mountains, renting a more powerful vehicle might be a good idea.
Top driving routes
- Catania - Syracuse (65 km / 40 mi) Route E45 is the highway that takes you between these two spectacular Eastern Sicilian cities. The distance can be done in under an hour, so why not make a small detour to one of the many spectacular beaches you’ll be so close to?
- Messina - Palermo (230 km / 140 mi) If you’re arriving in Sicily from the Italian mainland, it’s quite likely that you’ll be driving this picturesque road along the Highway E90. If you’re not short on time, take a stop to enjoy the natural beauty in one of the nature reserves that’ll be on the way.
- Palermo - Catania (200 km / 125 mi) Routes E90 and A18 connect the island’s two largest cities, snaking through Sicily pristine inner landscapes. Stop at Parco Delle Madonie to enjoy a relaxing walk in an oak forest and to glance at some of Sicily’s highest peaks. If you’re traveling without any stops, however, the distance between the two cities can be done in two hours and thirty minutes.
How can I save money on my rental car?
There are a number of things you can do to get a good car rental deal in Sicily:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Sicily is the cheapest in March when renting a car is about 40% cheaper than the yearly average.
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Sicily?
What’s the average rental length in Sicily?
What’s the most popular time for renting a car in Sicily?
Top 11 Most Popular Cities in Sicily
Top 15 Most Popular Locations in Sicily
Top 20 Best Sicily Suppliers in 2019
Why choose us?
Exclusive rates from a wide range of suppliersProviding car rental offers for over 2,000,000 cars in 150+ countries, we can find you a great car in the right location for the best price
High level of satisfactionGreat Trustpilot review score – 8.9 – based on feedback from thousands of our customers
Personalized assistance during the reservation process24/7 customer support via your preferred channel — chat, phone, email — in 12 languages