In order to hire a car, you must be at least 21 and have held a driving licence for at least a year.
Car hire from the airports
From Florence Peretola airport:
Avis (+39 055 315588; www.avis.it), Hertz (+39 055 307370; www.hertz.com), Maggiore (+39 055 311256; www.maggiore.it), Europcar (+39 055 318609; www.europcar.it) and Budget (199 307373; www.budgetaoutonoleggio.it).
Car hire from Pisa Galileo Galilei airport (web addresses as above):
Avis (+39 050 42028), Hertz (+39 050 43220), Maggiore (+39 050 42574), Europcar (+39 050 41081) and Budget (199 307373).
Car hire from the city centre
Avis (Via Borgognissanti 128r; +39 055 213629), Hertz (Via Maso Finiguerra 33; +39 055 2398205), Maggiore (Via Maso Finiguerra 13r; +39 055 294578), Europcar (Via Borgognissanti 53r; +39 055 290438) and Budget (Via Borgognissanti 133r; 199 307373).
To hire or not to hire
If you are planning to stay in the city for the duration, I would strongly advise against hiring a car; you really don’t need it and driving and parking in Florence are two headaches that you can do without, trust me. The city is small and most of the sights you will want to see are within easy walking distance and there is a good bus service. However, if you want to explore the delights of the Tuscan countryside, it is essential to have wheels.
If you do end up driving in the city, bear in mind that parking in the centre of town without a resident’s permit is almost impossible. One option is to pay for a parking place in one of the many private garages that are to be found all over the city centre, but at around 25-30 euros per 24 hours, this is not cheap. Another is to leave the car in one of the 12 much cheaper, municipal car parks run by Firenze Parcheggi (www. firenzeparcheggi.it). Most of them are a little way from the centre of town, but the most convenient are situated at Porta al Prato, the Parterre near Piazza della Libertà and in Piazza della Calza on the city side of Porta Romana. These all cost 18 euros for 24 hours.
Flying into Florence
If your trip to Florence involves a flight, the chances are that you will either arrive at Florence’s Peretola airport or Pisa’s Galileo Galilei. See my advice on Florence flights.