I am traveling to Italy in 6 weeks and would like to rent a car.

I passed my driving license in Norway in November last year, all rental companies I have contacted require you to have held your license for a minimum of one year before renting a car.

Is this a legal requirement?


All the Italian companies I've checked requires the driver to be at least 21 years old and a driving license held for at least an year, claiming that the second one is a European requisite. Problem is, I can't find the exact law anywhere.

But given my long personal experience with renting car, I can tell you that if all the major companies are doing it then they all must have a good reason to do it.

I made some more research, and I cannot find anywhere the normative that rental companies are referring to; mostly because the just say (when they say it) that it's a European thing without any reference at all.

But I've found a possible explanation: there are many limits in place for drivers younger than 21 years old and/or with a driver license held from less than a year, at least in Italy (I found the law reference in their Driving Code). Basically if you fall into those two categories you need a special (more expensive) insurance and can drive only de-powered cars (plus other small tibidids).

That would make really complicate for rental companies to rent cars, because they would have to keep some car only for young and/or new drivers, with a more expensive insurance and a different engine. Now, I don't know if this applies to the entire Europe or not, and in which way...

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    E.g. Sixt operates with very different regulations in different European (EU?) countries. In Austria and Germany, you must have held your driver's license for at least one day. In France it is two years and in Spain three years. There is obviously no EU wide regulation on this subject. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jun 12 '17 at 8:27
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo so, the moment European rental companies affirm that they are all following an European normative that requires a minimum held license, your argument to disprove them is by listing that they all requires a minimum held license? Quite a logic you have, man! – motoDrizzt Jun 12 '17 at 8:33
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    I agree with Tor-Einar, I have seen different regulations for different countries. I am wondering specifically about Italy. I have also read in several places that a surcharge can be paid to bypass some of these requirements. – Kevin Anthony Oppegaard Rose Jun 12 '17 at 8:34
  • Not sure how reliable this link is, but according to europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/vehicles/cars/car-rental-abroad/… there is no EU Wide regulations regarding Car Hire. – Kevin Anthony Oppegaard Rose Jun 12 '17 at 8:37
  • @KevinAnthonyOppegaardRose I know, I'm having really hard times finding it too, but as Tor-Einar pointed out it's a European wide thing, so it makes no sense that it doesn't come from a common legislation or something like that. But I've found something, let me update the answer – motoDrizzt Jun 12 '17 at 8:47

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