A Guide To Renting A Car In Alghero

Renting a car in Alghero is a great idea and will give you the opportunity to explore the beautiful city and its surroundings at your own pace.

Alghero is a city in northwestern Sardinia with a strong Catalan heart. Centuries of Catalan domination have in fact shaped it into a unique town, with very special features, both in architecture and when it comes to the people living there, who still speak Catalan (alongside Italian, of course).

If you plan to visit Alghero you won’t only be enchanted by the city, but also by the myriad of attractions in its vicinity. From pretty beaches to ancient ruins, from famous wineries to panoramic cliffs and beautiful caves, the area of Alghero is packed with interesting sights, and they are all waiting for you to discover them.

Unfortunately, getting around Alghero and the neighboring places requires a bit of effort. The best option is to rent a car in Alghero.

In this post, I will tell you why you should consider renting a car in Alghero, and everything you need to know for a wonderful experience.

Make sure to also read my post A Guide To Renting A Car In Sardinia.

Should You Be Renting A Car In Alghero?

Despite public transportation in the area of Alghero being actually quite good (there are buses that will take you to the nearby beaches and archeological sites), renting a car in Alghero is still the best option, especially if you are planning to explore what’s outside the city. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Having a car means you aren’t tied to the bus schedules and can drive around freely. If you travel with a lot of luggage, you will not need to carry it on trains and buses – which is especially tiring if you plan on visit several places in Sardinia. And remember, Sardinia is an excellent destination for road trips – and Alghero offers some of the best scenic drives in Sardinia.

Alghero is also in a position that’s ideal for one-day trips. Among the many places you can visit, there are beaches, Capo Caccia Cliff and Neptune’s Caves, the Anghelu Ruju Necropolis, Sella e Mosca Winery, the small and gorgeous town of Bosa, and many others. These are all destinations you are better off reaching by car: local transportation will be terribly time consuming. If you want to enjoy the local gems, you necessarily have to rent a car.

Have I convinced you? Go ahead and check the prices of car rental in Alghero here.

Alghero Airbnb

What You Must Know When Renting A Car In Alghero

The Best Car Rental In Alghero

Alghero Airports has the offices of all major international and national car rental companies – Herzt, Locauto, Sicily by Car, Budget, Avis, Sixt, Maggiore, Welcome Cars and Europcar all have offices there, along with some lesser known companies such as Autonoleggio Sardinya and Ruvioli.

I appreciate that checking out the prices of renting a car from each and every company is quite time consuming, so I recommend using a comparison app to help you with that. My favorite is Discover Cars – they have excellent deals and a reliable customer service.

Check the prices of car rental in Alghero here.

The best pick up location for renting a car in Alghero

The best place to pick up your car rental in Alghero is definitely at the airport. Lots of people would tell you it is cheaper to get a car directly in town or recommend getting in a lesser known nearby village or location to pick up your car, but the money saved would be so little (you’d still have to find – and pay for – some form of private transport to get there) and the time wasted so much, that it really is not convenient after all.

Just spare yourself the hassle and pick up your car at Alghero Fertilia Airport. Before landing in Alghero (way before, indeed), there are a few things you should know.

First of all, book your car rental in Alghero well in advance, especially if you are planning to visit during the peak season – typically between June and September and in the week around Easter.

Landing at Alghero Fertilia Airport with no car rental reservations and expecting to find a cheap car to rent is utopian – not to mention, in some cases you may be completely unable to find a car. The availability of cars for rent in Sardinia is actually more limited compared to other places in Italy, and that’s because Sardinia is an island. You will probably notice that prices are also higher compared to the rest of Italy. So, do yourself the favor and rent as much in advance as you can.

Check the prices of car rental in Alghero airport here.

You will find the offices of car rental in Alghero airport next to the baggage claim area, and the employees will guide you through the process.

Once you have completed the various verifications and payments, remember to inspect your car before leaving the airport, when the rent-a-car employee is still with you. Sometimes, it can happen that – if no proof is found – they will make you pay for damages you didn’t do, once you bring the car back. You don’t want any unpleasant surprise.

While I have suggested that airport is the best pick-up location, keep in mind that you can give the car back anywhere, as long as it’s an office from the same car rental chain.

Check the prices of car rental in Alghero airport here.

Which car should you rent?

Which car best suits your needs hugely depends on the type of trip you are planning. If you travel alone, a smaller car will do its job just right, but if you are traveling with friends or family, you can’t expect to fit everyone inside a minicar!

Another important factor to keep in mind is where you want to go. If your plan is to stay inside Alghero and mainly explore the city and its immediate surroundings, a small car is more than enough. Parking isn’t always easy and the streets can be quite narrow: a bigger car might get stuck or damaged.

You could even consider an electric car if you don’t want to get outside the city: they are easy to drive and can circulate in the limited traffic areas – which is to say, the city center and some other crowded places. You can park them easily and recharge them often: almost every parking lot has at least some recharging stations.

If your itinerary includes more explorations, one-day trips, and the like, a bigger car is the best choice: you can fit more luggage (and people, if needed) and drive more comfortably.

Here’s how to pick the best car for your needs:

Choose fully prepaid cars so that you don’t have to pay anything on arrival.

Pick a supplier with 8.0 or higher ratings – there’s a reason they are recommended!

Make a note of the amount required for the deposit. It will be returned once you give the car back, but alas it may come as a surprise otherwise. Remember the main driver must have a credit card, but there are companies that only ask for a debit card.

Choose Full-to-Full fuel policies to avoid unexpectedly high fuel charges.

Beware of the allowed mileage — unlimited is best if you are planning a longer roadtrip.

Read the pick-up instructions carefully.

Pay attention to the location types — locations in the terminal are more convenient than shuttle buses to the pick up place.

Remember that unless you have an EU driver’s license you’ll need a valid international driver’s license to drive anywhere in Italy. This is a requirement when renting a car in Alghero.

Pick the best car for your trip to Alghero here.

Nuraghe Palmavera

Driving to and from the airport

Driving from Alghero Airport to the city center takes about twenty minutes. Once you have picked up your car, take State Road SP 44 to Alghero, turn left and take SS 291. After about 15 minutes, turn into SP 42 at the first roundabout. You’ll be in Alghero in no time, from there.

Make sure to read my post How To Get From Fertilia Airport To Alghero.

Where to park your car in Alghero

There are different types of parking spots in the city and you should be careful about some. It isn’t always easy to find parking in Alghero, so it’s best to ask the hotel or the owner of the apartment where you will be staying to point out a nearby parking space, just to make sure. Otherwise, you will find a large (paid) parking lot in Piazzale della Pace, which is walking distance to the historic center and on your way coming from the airport.

Be sure to respect the rules on parking: pay attention to the lines’ colors on the pavement. White lines indicate a free parking spot; blue lines are for the places where you can park but have to pay an hourly or daily fee, and the yellow lines signal the parking reserved for the disabled.

Never, ever park on a yellow parking spot: not only it’s a sign of no respect to those who actually need that parking spot, but it will also be fined up to €700. You better drive a little bit more and find a suitable spot.

Things to know about driving in Alghero

Alghero is a small town so driving there is never too challenging, except in the peak summer months when it can get really busy. The main thing you need to keep in mind is that the city has some historic areas parts the streets are narrow and difficult to steer in (but chances are that’s part of the limited traffic area, and you can’t access it by car anyways); lots of roundabouts and traffic lights; and is can get very crowded, both with people and cars, in the summer and at weekends.

This is what a ZTL sign may look like

You can’t drive around every corner in Alghero: like other cities in Italy, there are ZTL to be taken into consideration. ZTLs are limited-traffic zones that are created to preserve the historic areas of the cities, from excessive smog and more generally to guarantee a safe area to walk around for pedestrians. The only cars allowed to drive in a ZTL throughout the day are electric cars and those of residents. Others will have the chance to drive through only at certain times.

Keep in mind the local regulations, such as speed limits and parking rules. Many areas in the city have 30 km/h speed limits and it’s not uncommon to find a speed camera hidden somewhere – be careful not to catch a fine, and drive safely.

Further Readings

Are you planning a trip to Alghero? These posts will be useful:

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Discover what you need to know when renting a car in Alghero - via @c_tavani

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