Puglia/Apulia is a southern region that forms the heel of Italy’s boot. The capital is Bari, and it is a diverse and exciting region with incredible landscapes with mountains, huge coastal stretches, deep valleys and everywhere you go there is beautiful food. It’s a fantastic location for a car hire trip. There are so many places to visit that it would be difficult to do so by local transport alone, so travelling by car is a real plus here. Off the motorways, the roads can be quite narrow so a smaller, city-style car might be best if you want to get inland and explore the villages and higher regions. You’ll also want to visit the cities, so a parking-friendly car will be best.
You drive on the right in Puglia/Apulia and overtake on the left. This is the opposite of the UK system. It might be worth requesting an automatic car if you're not used to driving on the other side of the road. All passengers need to wear a seatbelt and children need to have a car seat. It’s worth checking if your car hire company can supply one or if you need to bring your own. Your car hire company also should ensure you have warning triangles and reflective jackets in the car, and you should always carry your passport or ID with you. You can drive on a UK or EU driving licence.
If you’re a foodie, a fantastic way to plan a route in Puglia/Apulia is to follow a food trail. The region is rightly celebrated for its incredible food so you could travel through it while visiting agritourism destinations, celebrated restaurants, famous food locations and more. A small amount of research in advance will reveal a bounty of food destinations in the region that are best reached by car.
The main toll roads or motorways are called AutoStrada and they have green signage and start with the letter E. So, in Puglia, you might be on the E55 between the cities of Foggia and Bari. When you enter the motorway, you take a ticket and then pay for your toll at the toll exit, depending on how far you have travelled. You will pay on average €9 per 100km (62 miles).
FAQs about hiring a car in Apulia
If you really want to get to know this region then it’s well worth hiring a car. From the wild national park of Gargano in the northeast to its incredible coastal drive, as well as the historic villages of the hinterland, you will never run out of places to stop and stare. The road quality is good, but driving is fast and aggressive across the region. Motorway speed limits are 130km/h (80mph).
You need to be at least 21 years old to hire a car in Puglia/Apulia. Drivers under the age of 25 will have to pay a daily surcharge and this may well be extended by individual car hire firms to anyone under the age of 30, and also those over the age of 75. If you fall into this older bracket, it might be worth bringing a letter from your GP to prove you are competent to drive.
Italian driving culture has been immortalised on TV shows and movies and it really is as aggressive and animated as it appears. It’s quite common for the car behind you to drive much closer than you would be used to in the UK, and they often drive a lot faster than the speed limit. When driving on motorways, tourists should stay in the right-hand lane, which is the slower of the lanes. The major roads tend to be very good quality and the minor roads, while smaller and much slower to travel, are very attractive and can take you to surprisingly beautiful places. It’s well worth coming off the motorways for the experience of driving in rural Italy. Parking in cities is notoriously difficult so it’s often worth parking on the outskirts and taking local transport or a taxi into the centre to explore on foot.
On average a car hire in Apulia costs $65 per day.
In the past 72 hours, the cheapest car hires were found at NOLEGGIARE ($15/day), Ecovia ($23/day) and SICILY BY CAR ($38/day).