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Everything You Need To Know About Renting A Car In Sardinia, Italy

Renting car in Sardinia

Driving in Sardinia seems to be the best way to get around the island — we attest to this very fact, having a successful Sardinian road trip under our belts.

The process of renting a car in a foreign place might seem daunting at first, but don’t you worry: We’ve compiled a thorough list of things to know before you rent a car in Sardinia based on our personal experience, which we think might be of great help to you. Remote and pristine-looking beaches, villages overflowing with history, new and exciting urban developments, — if you get your act right by perusing our guide to renting a car in Sardinia in 2024, you’re guaranteed to have the greatest Sardinian vacation ever known to man.

Is it a good idea to rent a car in Sardinia?

our car in Sardinia

It comes as no surprise that Sardinia is considered to be a great road trip destination: After all, how else would you bask in the warm Italian sun at a few too many of Sardinia’s best beaches or discover hidden gems peppered all around the island’s interior? The great verdant scenery, winding roads, quaint little villages, and exciting destinations — you can experience all of this in the twinkling of an eye, as long as you choose to rent a car in Sardinia.

Why should you rent a car in Sardinia? Well, why shouldn’t you? Unless you’re more set on an all-inclusive laid-back beach getaway (reminiscent of something out of every Turkish resort’s handbook), or you’re a person who simply cannot drive (this would be the main reason to avoid renting a car anywhere in the world), there simply aren’t any other motives that can hold you back from hitting the road in one of the most picturesque places in Italy.

Renting a car in Sardinia means that:

  • You get to explore every little nook and cranny of this majestic island (that includes hitting the remotest (and the most spectacular) little beaches and coves);
  • You take your time at places that most interest you: Road tripping at your own pace, without worrying about public transport’s very unreliable timetables, is the ultimate travel luxury, in our humble opinion;
  • You travel in comfort: It’s much more enjoyable to roam with your own air-con amidst the hottest days of Sardinia’s peak tourist season;
  • You have the opportunity to go far inland, traverse deep into the mountains in search of the island’s most coveted secrets: The real Sardinia is not all about the sea, after all;
  • You get to marvel at the view: From sprawling coastline vistas to crammed inland side roads, the atmosphere of Sardinia is a thing to witness from the car window, that’s for sure.

Where to rent a car in Sardinia?

Italy car rental in Cagliary airport

The beauty of car hire companies in Sardinia is a wide range of car’s pick-up options: You can get it over with right upon landing at one of Sardinia’s airports (Cagliari, Olbia, or Alghero), or you can take a train to one of the bigger cities on the island (from Cagliari Airport to the city of Sassari, for example) and meet your four-wheeled companion there. Keep in mind that some car rental companies allow one-way rentals (where a car is dropped off at a location different from pick-up), but they tend to be more expensive.

  • Аnother thing: Instead of diving headfirst into the wild world of local companies for car rentals in Sardinia (that doesn’t have a clear map of how to proceed with the whole shebang, apart from each company claiming to have the cheapest rental cars in Sardinia), turn your gaze towards the services of DiscoverCars or EconomyBookings. These platforms are a one-stop-shop for all of your car rental needs! Not only is the layout clear and simple to use, the companies also have taken under their wing most of the local rental shops and presented them in an orderly fashion. The best car rentals in Sardinia provide their invaluable services through the platforms and they guarantee the best outcomes at the most competitive prices!

Personally, we went ahead and arranged a pick-up for our car at the airport (through the trusted services of DiscoverCars). Thus, we can help you locate the car rental stands at Cagliari Airport in Sardinia: You will not miss them, as they’re placed right past the baggage claim area, on the way towards the train station.

  • If you touch down in two of the other Sardinia airports, don’t worry: Rental locations in the terminal there can be easily reached on foot, as they’re set either inside the building, or a little way away from it.

Back to our experience: Even though the line at the rental stand wasn’t that long (there were only three people in front of us), we still waited for half an hour before actually starting the process of filling out forms and what not (which took 20 minutes start to finish). After that, it was smooth sailing: With the documents signed, the only things left to do were to go out to the parking lot and finally get our source of transportation for the foreseeable future.

As for the actual breakdown on how to rent a car in Sardinia, the process is not really a mystery. Still, if it’s your first time actually renting a car, do know that:

  • You will need a passport or an ID card.
  • You will need a driving license. If you’re an EU citizen, then your standard driver’s license is enough. If not, however, then you will need an international driver’s license. Make sure to obtain it before setting out on your trip to Sardinia.
  • You will need a valid credit card for making a deposit. Some companies may allow you to use a debit card, but the process is more complicated this way. The choices of vehicles for rent are more limited, the age restrictions are higher, you might need to provide some additional ID verifications, the debit card must carry either a Visa, Mastercard, or Discover logo, you might need to show your return ticket, and, most importantly, you will have to undergo a credit check. If your credit score is low, there’s high chance you will be denied the opportunity to rent a car in Sardinia.
  • You will need to maneuver your way like a pro in the sea of rental car options: Make sure to pay close attention to every characteristic listed on the potential car’s page. Fuel and mileage policies are most important: Look out for Full-to-Full fuel policies (meaning you get the car with a full tank a gas, and you leave the car with a full tank of gas) and unlimited mileage (there are no limits of how far you can drive at any given day inside your rental period).

Saving money on accommodation

Beach in Sardinia San Vito Sardinia

As the title suggests, it’s not economically sound to both rent a car in Sardinia and book an expensive place to stay in the middle of all the action. The highest hotel prices in Sardinia can mostly be tracked down to big cities’ posh neighborhoods and areas close to the popular beaches. To avoid spending a ton on accommodation, look into Sardinia’s smaller towns and villages. Here, you can rent a humble abode from a nice and welcoming nonna, as opposed to giving your hard-earned cash to a top choice hotel on the current year’s Condé Nast Traveler ranking.

  • Our last July trip to Sardinia was a last minute decision: Because of that, we were scrambling to find any place to stay on the island on the short two-week notice we had to work with. Almost every hotel in any major city in Sardinia provided rooms that started from €150 a night. Thankfully, we decided on renting a car in Sardinia, so we could look into more remote places to stay in. The Universe was on our side: We ended up finding a great apartment for €75 per night. It was located in a small town of San Vito — an hour drive away from Cagliari, and a 15-minute drive from spectacular beaches of Costa Rei and Villasimius.

Where to stay in Sardinia?

our apartments in Sardinia

This question deserves its own entire post, but for now, let’s get the basic info out of the way if a vacation in Sardinia is in the books for your imminent future. Your choices are usually bound to what you want to see in Sardinia:

  • If beaches (the romantic spiagge, as the locals call them) are your top priority, then explore the areas around Villasimius, Costa Rei, and Tuerredda, — these are prime waterfront destinations every traveler coming to Sardinia must explore right out of the gate (the airport gate, that is). Note that properties near the beaches are mostly apartments and holiday homes: You get the most authentic Sardinian experience without the cookie-cutter hotel ordeal;
  • If you’re southbound in Sardinia, then there’s no getting around it: Cagliari — the island’s capital — is your best choice. For a more budget-friendly experience, shoot for the city’s outskirts (in this case, you will also have much less trouble with parking then you would in Cagliari’s city center) — Quartu Sant'Elena, located four miles East from Cagliari, is a wonderful place for a temporary home away from home;
  • Not much of a beach-lying, tan-accumulating, breeze-enjoying person? No worries, since Sardinia’s northern region is clammed with sightseeing opportunities. So, if you’re taking your pilgrimage north (in the general direction of the mountainous Corsica), consider dropping your bags in one of the area’s most influential cities: Alghero, Sassari, or Olbia. While Sardinia’s northern shores aren’t cut out for resort-style vacations, they will most certainly entertain the adventurous spirits: Island hopping is a huge deal in these parts.

As for the actual list of hotels we personally recommend for your trip to Sardinia, we came up with a few lovely options:

🏨 1* Hotel Soleo (Quartu SantʼElena, from €70 per night) — a wonderfully understated hotel that gets the job done: The humble pricing in no way undermines the quality of services provided, and the beautiful garden set to the side lets you pretend that you’re a character in a Luca Guadagnino film, sitting in the shade of the trees and relaxing.

🏨 3* Le Anfore Hotel (Villasimius, from €110 per night) — on a little more expensive side of things, this hotel is worth every penny you spend here: The mesmerizing grounds, the hilly backdrop, an outdoor pool, and authentic dining experience, — all of this with a cherry on top of being within a short 5-minute drive of best beaches in Sardinia.

🏨 Locanda Murales (Olbia, from €60 per night) — excellent choice for rural tourism enthusiasts. The hotel is set in a converted farmhouse, with a garden and a vineyard encircling it from all sides. The location of Locanda Murales is great: It’s isolated enough to feel like a retreat, but close enough to the beach (a 10-minute drive and you’re ready to sizzle!).

Side note: Before going through with confirming your booking, inquire about parking space available on site and whether or not you need to reserve it. Keep in mind that many of the city hotels don’t have their own private parking, so you’ll either be left with street parking options (which may or may not require a fee) or with having to leave your car at a specified location nearby (which is usually not free as well).

Don’t try to rely on Sardinia’s public transport

Sardinia’s public transport

Public transport in Sardinia isn’t poor per se, but it’s not great either:

  • Trains tracks connect major cities, but the trains are few and far between, which can severely monopolize your treasured travel time.
  • Buses here do run between smaller villages, but they aren’t the most reliable, and the number of stops make them take forever.

Besides, most of the unique spots in Sardinia are located in remote areas, making a car the only viable option to realistically reach them. So, if your list of things to do in Sardinia is long and pregnant with authentic little destinations, renting a car is a sound decision to make.

Think ahead when you plan to rent a car in Sardinia

Sandy beach in Sardinia

One of the most valuable things to know before you rent a car in Sardinia is doing it well in advance, especially if your trip falls onto peak tourist season. What’s more, try to make sure that your booking is final: There’s a concept of fully prepaid cars, which guarantee that you will get whatever car you’ve agreed on (and not a car that is on the opposite end of the spectrum, class- or size-wise, like it happened to us). While scary at first, if you’re using a reliable platform (like Discover Cars), you don’t have to worry about falling victim to scam artists.

  • Trust us: Almost two months before our last trip to Sardinia, we booked a Smart Mini (the tiniest car available on Discover Cars), but didn’t pay for it in full. Upon landing, we found out that the only available car left was the absolute mammoth of a “compact” SUV — Toyota C-HR. We wouldn’t say we were disappointed (we were actually quite relieved); but only because we have the experience of driving bigger cars. If you are used to a certain type of car, then pre-paid vehicle is the way to go.

When deciding what car to get while on the island, the prices for different kinds of rental cars in Sardinia certainly play a huge role in the process:

High tourist season (Summer + Shoulder months) Low tourist season (Winter + Late fall + Early spring)
Small cars from €50 from €14
Medium cars from €70 from €16
Large cars from €75 from €19
SUVs from €95 from €23
Vans* from €120 from €100
Premium cars from €200 from €40

*since they double as a living arrangement, prices for campervans do not really drop that low, even in the off-season

Choosing the right type of car for you Sardinia trip

Toyota CHR rental car

Any guide on car hire in Sardinia cannot leave out actually choosing the right car for your personal La Dolce Vita.

  • A small car (or a mini, the one we were counting on getting) is a perfect choice if you’re traveling alone or with one other person. Just please, don’t make it another clowns in the Volkswagen type of a situation. If you’re traveling with a group, however, a medium or a large car will work just fine. All jokes aside, small cars work great for Sardinian roads: City streets are pretty narrow, with limited parking spaces. Plus, most of the roads are pretty smooth and pothole-less, meaning that you don’t need a four-wheel drive to conquer them. Your budget will also greatly appreciate the pricing of small cars in Sardinia.
  • A campervan is for people who want to get the ultimate Sardinian experience: Waking up behind the mountain in some tree grove (assuming you’ve checked that you can park there), having coffee and driving closer to the waterfront, — it’s the ultimate dream of any van life connoisseur. Keep in mind that although Sardinia is pretty camper friendly, wild camping or parking on private land is illegal here. So, do plan your trip thoroughly before actually renting your home on the wheels.
  • A premium car (while glitzy and fun) isn’t very practical in Sardinia; renting a convertible will not result in some Grace Kelly moment (on the contrary, the wind will bring your resemblance closer to that of Marv from Home Alone 2, after he got electrocuted, no less). In general, Sardinia isn’t Monaco, — showing off in a nice car won’t feel the same here as it does in the Billionaires’ Playground.

As for other tips to rent a car in Sardinia to pay attention to (besides the ones already mentioned above):

✔️ Pick a supplier with 8.0 rating or higher, to avoid unnecessary problems. Even if the offer seems lucrative, the reviews usually don’t lie: You know what they say, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

✔️ Do not gloss over the car specifications: If the question of choosing between manual gearbox or automatic transmission is crucial to you, keep in mind that manual cars are usually shown first, since they’re cheaper.

Diesel or regular fuel?

Gas price Sardinia Parking sign Cagliari

This question in the line of topics on Sardinia car hire bulletin is for travelers who budget their trip allowance to a tee. You see, a car that runs on diesel is understandably more cost efficient, while cars that run on gas are guaranteed to steal more money out of your wallet. So, if you see two cars in the same price range, but one’s diesel, and one’s gas, do not hesitate and snatch the diesel one right up! It’s one of the most financially sound decisions you can make when renting a car in a foreign country.

As we’ve mentioned before, we got lucky with a nice hybrid — Toyota C-HR, which we absolutely adored. It saved us quite a bunch of cash, and the size of it was perfect (although you can easily get away with a smaller car in Sardinia, no problem).

Get to know your vehicle

Parking spot in Cagliari

This seems to be an obvious advice, but if you’re not a particularly seasoned driver (meaning you’ve got driving experience, but haven’t had the chance to work with a bunch of different cars), then don’t be ashamed to ask how everything works. Be sure to learn:

  • How to access the fuel tank;
  • How to open the trunk;
  • How to turn on headlights (both high and low beams);
  • How to work the aircon (this is the key piece of information, especially during summer months in Sardinia), etc.

After you familiarize yourself with your new four-wheeled buddy, adjust your seat and mirrors and hit the road!

What you need to know about insurance?

best beach in Sardinia

The two choices clients face when renting a car is whether to stick with basic insurance (which usually includes Collision Damage Waiver (a thing that limits your financial liability for any damages that might occur) and Theft Protection) or go for a full coverage. Note that basic insurance is most of the time included in the price of the rental, while full coverage will send you back a certain sum each day of your rental period. Then there’s always a question of deposits, which is a doozy to get into: Keep reading for our breakdown of the experience we had last time.

One of the most valuable and nifty tips for renting a car in Sardinia we can leave you with is this: THOROUGHLY check every nook and cranny of the car before driving away from the parking lot. And we mean it: Take your sweet little time, get out your phone out and record every inch of the car, close ups and everything.

Why the paranoia, you might wonder? Well, let us burden you with our personal experience: We decided to forfeit the full coverage in lieu of saving some bucks in the long run (we are daredevils, we know!). So, when we first got the documents for our rented car (a 2023 model, supposed to be as good as new, right? Wrong!), they claimed that the car had only two minor imperfections.

However, once we got to see the vehicle in person, we found at least eight things (which were not mentioned anywhere in the documents) that we could potentially be charged for if it weren’t for our thorough (and timely) investigation.

This isn’t a rare occurrence either, as the so-called “scheme” works like this:

  • After a person with full coverage insurance returns the car, rental company employees aren’t that thorough when inspecting it. However, people with full coverage tend to use the vehicle in a somewhat reckless manner (at least compared to people with basic insurance only), so scratches and dents are almost always guaranteed;
  • When a person with basic insurance gets that same car afterwards and doesn’t check it for minor defects, after their rent period, they might be charged for things they didn’t personally do to the car (but just failed to notice before starting using it).

All things deposit and our experience

Sardinia roads

As a rule of thumb, if you choose basic insurance coverage, your deposit will be a larger sum compared to that you would have with full coverage. From our experience (the prices may vary depending on the car, the rental company, the length of the rental period, and the season, among other things), we were given a few choices when we decided to rent a car in Sardinia:

  • Basic insurance (our personal choice at the time) meant the amount required for the deposit would be quite substantial — €900. Even though we paid for the car itself in cash, the deposit was frozen on our credit card (you could also use a debit card, as we’ve mentioned above, but it would be extra hoops to jump through);
  • Full coverage insurance options were twofold: We could either get Full Coverage + Roadside Assistance for €29/day (no deposit needed), or Full Coverage without Roadside Assistance for €25/day (with €200 deposit). Either way, the size of the deposit with full coverage is substantially smaller (that can be a selling point for people who use their debit card and don’t want to have a large chunk of their funds frozen for a non-specified amount of time).

Speaking of return period, there isn’t one given timeline for all rental companies: Some of them will give you your deposit back as soon as you return the car (we got ours back within 15 minutes of the drop-off), while others will hold your money hostage for days, or even weeks (our latest Malta escapades kept our deposit for more than two weeks).

Car rental in Sardinia reviews give mixed messages: Some love to live on the edge with basic insurance and big deposit, while others swear by full coverage. Keep in mind though, that driving carefully still should be your number one priority in either case: Even if you’re covered, most rental companies cover only up to €2000-3000 in deductibles. So, to avoid paying out of pocket, follow the rules like it’s your driving test.

Fuel up in advance

Sardinia street

Traveling around Sardinia means making do with its gas stations, rest stops, and other roadside paraphernalia. In the general city areas, you will have no trouble finding a place to pull over, stretch your legs, and get some fuel in both yourself and the car. However, more rural destinations require your due diligence in keeping the tank full — there might not be a gas station for miles on end.

There are two kinds of Sardinian gas stations you need to know about:

  • Servito — means an attendant will do the work for you. Because of the added labor, the added expense of approximately 5% (around €0,5) is expected when choosing this option.
  • Self-service — you do the whole nine yards yourself, and then use an automated machine to pay for the fuel (so, zero human contact needed — every introvert’s dream). The terminal usually takes both cards and cash (but it won’t give you change). We got “lucky” and our machine’s card slot was out of order, so we had to feed the beast €15 big ones (since nobody could break our bills, even in the nearest cafe; we’re pretty sure it was a tourist scam).

Keep in mind that many gas stations are closed at around 8-9 a.m.: On the weekends, at least (we’re pretty sure the same rings true for weekdays).

Also, the cost of gas usually fluctuates a tiny bit from station to station, so pay close attention to their signs with the list of prices on them: That way, you can save a penny or two on fuel and spend it on a coffee and a snack.

Staying connected while on the road


After you go through the process of renting a car in Sardinia and finally drive away from the Cagliari Airport car rental lot, you need to remember that your journey into the wild word of this heavenly island is only just beginning.

Every tourist knows that the need to stay connected while on the road in an unfamiliar area is of prime importance when planning your trip. While it’s true that most of the rental cars nowadays come with an integrated GPS system, it wouldn’t hurt to have a back-up option.

  • And no, we’re not talking about the old-school paper maps that are impossible to put back the way they originally were once you open them, don’t worry! (Although we do have the penchant for the drama of the physical map, it gives you perspective on how vast and pregnant with detours the area actually is).

Because we live in the 21st century, a simple download of the area on Google Maps will do. And we mean it — download the map while you have reliable Wi-Fi at home, because the spotty reception in remote areas on the island of Sardinia will make your skin crawl with the low speed of Internet connection. Plus, Google Maps lets you create your own itineraries in map form, thus killing two birds with one stone (or feeding two birds with one scone, a vegan version of the sentiment) — you get both your navigation and plan for the day.

The best time to go to Sardinia

Sea in Sardinia

Every year, Italy is practically overrun with tourists on their summer vacations: And we get it, the promise of sunny days is too tempting not to pack your carry-on and catch the next flight to the Mamma Mia promised land. However, keep in mind that this exact thought enters the minds of millions of other travelers, so expect every inch of the country to be absolutely packed with pasta-eating, dolce far niente-preaching flaneurs.

Besides, if you’ve followed the news cycle for the last couple of years (at least weather-related portions), you would now that Europe in summer gets hotter than a jalapeño’s armpit.

So, when is the best time to travel to Sardinia? Shoulder seasons are the way to go if you’re a normal human who cannot withstand blazing hot temperatures: September, October, and May are the months to plan your Sardinia trip for. The sun has calmed down a bit (but not too much, you can still get a sunburn), the skies are clear, and the water is great for swimming. Put down your next year’s vacation dates now: You don’t want to miss the perfect weather window!

Sardinia traffic laws and regulations to know

Roads in Sardinia traffic

While not being that different a country from the rest of the EU, learning the main driving rules in Sardinia is paramount, especially for the first time visitors. A short breakdown commences:

  • Speed limits: 30 km/h in residential zones, 50 km/h on urban roads, 90 km/h on non-urban roads, and 110 km/h on the Carlo Felice superstrada (a major freeway that connects the island’s bigger cities on either part of it). Keep in mind that in Sardinia, weather conditions affect the speed limits (the correction for wet weather usually appears on the signage).
  • There aren’t many speed cameras, and the few that are here all exist in the general Cagliari area (we’re not really sure they’re working, since fellow drivers don’t seem to be slowing down when passing them).
  • Fines in Sardinia can be brutal, reaching to thousands of euros in amount. Better to be safe than poor! (However, we didn’t see a single policeman when driving around the island, so we have no idea how the fines get enforced here).
  • In reality, driving in Italy (the rule part of the experience, at least) seems to be a thing open to interpretation by the locals: They overtake over solid lines, they completely disregard speed limits, they don’t use their turn signals (this one is particularly strange, since we all know how Italians love to gesticulate, so why not indicate your intention with a turn sign?), they turn without assessing the road, etc. Because of all this, it’s easy to get confused when on the road in Sardinia: The sign says 50 km/h, but everybody’s going more than 90 km/h. Trust the signage, and let the pazzos speed off into the sunset.
  • The first oddity that we encountered in Sardinia concerned the exit from the airport parking lot: There isn’t a lane reserved for people entering the main road, so you have to stop the car completely and wait for ages for the opportunity to sneak into traffic. Not a very convenient move, but who are we to judge?
  • There are a LOT of roundabouts, but they shouldn’t scare you too much: Driving on them is easy, the cars that are already on the roundabout have the priority of traffic.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol completely if you’re a novice driver in Sardinia. If you’ve been behind the wheel for a significant number of years, then you can imbibe a little — one glass of wine is the cut off though. Bottom line is, you cannot have over 0.5% alcohol in your blood. If you plan on doing a wine tasting tour, think ahead: Either get a designated driver or go with an organized tour and leave your car behind.

Map out your road trip at home

La pelosa beach

As we’ve mentioned before, planning your road trip in advance is paramount to having a great time. And if you’re renting a car in Italy, a road trip is a mandatory activity, hands down.

Now, filling up your itinerary with exciting things to do in Sardinia is a topic for another time. There are a couple of things, however, that you need to take into account when creating your road trip plan:

  • You will not cover the distance of 100 kilometers in an hour in Sardinia: The roads are usually single-lane, there are almost no highways, overtaking is mostly banned. Everybody drives at the same speed (except for the Italians themselves, those carbs sure make you impatient), and another stop sign will level everybody’s chances.
  • The iconic winding mountain roads here are not at all lit, so we advise you don’t plan on any drives through the hilly center of the island after the sun has set.

Apart from these points, Sardinia is your oyster: See as much of the island as you can, because such a unique combination of nature and history is a rare thing in our modern world.

Parking in Sardinia

Parking in Sardinia Cagliari

Remember how we told you to get the car on the smaller side while in Sardinia? Well, now you will learn why: Parking here (especially in big cities, like Cagliari) is a pain for any car owner (or renter). The roads are steep, they’re narrow, and the spots that are available will make your head turn with limits and constraints.

First and foremost, look down and search for the lines by the side of the roads: Like everywhere else in Italy, parking spots are color-coded (white lines mean free parking, blue lines mean paid parking, yellow lines mean accessible parking). When it comes to blue lines, the spots are usually time-slotted, so try and locate parking signs that will explain you all the details (you will pay somewhere between €0,5-1/hour, depending on the city).

  • In the center of Cagliari, parking is usually free from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and all day on Sundays.

You might also want to be cognizant of ZTL areas — Zona Traffico Limitato, or simply areas with limited traffic. They’re usually located in the city centers, and are considered efforts to keep the historic spots devoid of gas fumes and tire screeches. The areas are off-limits to vehicles without certain permission slips, so you might want to stay away from them altogether (there is a fine for breaking the rule).

Another areas in Sardinia that you will understandably want to park your car by are the island’s iconic beaches (after all, these are the places to visit in Sardinia if you know what’s best for you). In general, you will have to shell out somewhere between €5 and €10 for the parking space near a beach (for the whole day, not an hour).

  • If your car is electric, you will get a discount for a parking space by the beach. Gas cars will get no discount.

However, there are a few wonderful beaches in Sardinia that have free parking available:

  • Spiaggia di Sa Perda Longa;
  • Spiaggia Le Saline;
  • Spiaggia di Mari Pintau, and others.

Roads in Sardinia

Roads in Sardinia

Before you hit the road (Jack), it’s advisable to know what it is that you’re getting yourself into.

✔️ There are lots of tunnels here (a parallel to cannoli, we presume);

✔️ The roads are mostly single-lane (there are a few superstradas that connect major cities, but these are a rare treat);

✔️ On the bright side, there are no toll roads in Sardinia;

✔️ While overall road quality is okay, some stretches of the road can be flat out horrible: Full of potholes and botched patches;

✔️ It snows in the province of Nuoro: Winter tires (or at least some chains) are recommended here in the period between November 15 and April 15;

✔️ Driving in Sardinia can be monotonous, especially in the center of the island. The roads all look the same, the towns and villages are few and far between, and the “vivid” surroundings that consist of hills covered with sun-scorched grass and an occasional humble shrubbery, intercepted with some roadside junk, paint a pretty picture in your head, don’t they?

✔️ If you decide to traverse the island from its southernmost to its northernmost point, you won’t have the privilege of one modern highway. It’s more like a web of state and and provincial roads, each less scenic then the other. The speed limits on them vary between 50 km/h and 70 km/h, but as we’ve established before, nobody here respects the limits. The occasional sharp bend in the road will keep you from getting too comfortable though, so at least there’s something;

✔️ We haven’t seen a single truck on the Sardinian roads, which is great for impatient people who don’t want to get stuck behind a big four-wheeled (eight-wheeled? twelve-wheeled?) boy for hours on end (and for people still scarred from that scene from Final Destination 2, although it’s highly unlikely there are trees that can be cut down on the island);

✔️ But don’t get us wrong, there are a few spectacularly beautiful stretches of the road in Sardinia:

Alghero To Bosa — a stunning coastal road, winding in and out of the mountains; it takes about an hour to complete. The beauty of this part of the road (located in the northwest of the island) is in its unique hairpin turns and vertiginous views over cliff sides and azure water. It reminded us of Highway 1 (LA to San-Francisco): The area has the same dark green vegetation, an occasional succulent, and, of course, the sharp cliffs.

Solanas to Villasimius — located in the southeast of Sardinia, this coastal road has the best views: Cerulean sea, wind- and water-sculpted shoreline, and unpredictable dips and turns in the verdant scenery. Driving on it is definitely a pinch-yourself moment, but try and be careful snapping pics: Let your shotgun do the Instagramming.

FAQ about car rental in Sardinia, Italy


We believe we’ve answered all the specialized questions one might have when planning a car rental above (the requirements, the deposit, the traffic laws, different kinds of cars), so here are some general things to know before you rent a car in Sardinia:

+ Is it easy to drive a car in Sardinia?

The narrow and winding roads, some of which are of appalling quality, might scare away a novice driver, but fret not: As long as you follow the traffic regulations, you’ll be fine.

+ What is driving like in Sardinia?

Well, with all the crazy Italian drivers whooshing past you in places that don’t allow overtaking (at the speed that is clearly higher that the set limit), one can feel a little intimidated. But again, you do you, let them do them, and all will be great in the Sardine Capital.

+ How many days in Sardinia is enough?

Personally, we believe that a week is a good starting point for exploring the island. We crafted our Sardinia itinerary focused on 7-days vacation. It’s quite vast, and the opportunities for adventure here are boundless: Beaches alone will take at least four days to scratch the surface of (and to get a sun-kissed look), and don’t forget about the cities — Cagliari is one of the most enchanting places ever. Our last trip lasted for five days, and we admit, it was quite rushed: So, plan ahead some extra vacation days.

Final thoughts

Beach in Sardinia 1

We hope that our guide on renting a car in Sardinia has made you more sure in your decision to get your own four wheels to traverse the island. We believe it’s one of the greatest decisions you can make if you want to get out there and explore every nook and cranny of Sardinia. So, what are you waiting for? Now that you know how the process of renting a car works, you can start hand-crafting your next Italian getaway right this second! If the play-by-play is still a little confusing to you, feel free to leave the questions in the comments down below. Ciao!