Car rental in Amalfi - To rent or not to rent a car on the Amalfi Drive? Image of the famous Amalfi Drive with stunning views of the sea.

Drive Me Crazy: To Rent or Not to Rent a Car on the Infamous Amalfi Drive?

That is the Scenic Question!

The Amalfi Drive is a beautiful and infamous road that winds along the Italian coastline. But before you decide to rent a car and hit the road, let’s consider the pros and cons.

Driving restrictions and new rules on the Amalfi Drive. As of May 1, 2023, “Ordinanza Anas targhe alterne” is an Italian rule that limits cars with odd or even-numbered license plates to specific days to reduce both traffic and pollution on the Amalfi Drive.

UPDATE 2024: From June 1st to September 30th, 2024, there are special rules for which cars can drive on certain days: In August and September 2024, these rules apply every day. But from June 15th to July 31st and from September 1st to October 30th, 2024, they only apply on Saturdays and Sundays. During these times, cars can only drive from 10:00 to 18:00, and it depends on the day: On odd dates, cars with license plates ending in an odd number can’t drive. On even dates, cars with license plates ending in an even number can’t drive. If you have a reservation at a place to stay, you can still drive, even if your license plate is restricted, as long as you show your reservation if the police ask.

What kind of driver are you?

Are you a patient and calm driver who can handle the twists and turns of the Amalfi Drive? Or do you turn into a neurotic mess when someone honks at you in city traffic? If it’s the latter, you might want to think twice before driving on the Amalfi Coast.

What’s your driving experience like?

Do you mostly drive in the city on flat roads with a lot of space? The Amalfi Drive is curvy, narrow, and full of “tornante” (hairpin turns). Although the Amalfi Drive itself doesn’t have a lot of steepness or inclination, it’s surrounded by mountain roads and serpentine streets. However, don’t be intimidated by the twists and turns of the Amalfi Drive – if you’ve tackled mountain roads before, consider it a bonus point in your driving experience!

SITA Company Buses reign supreme on the Amalfi Coast, and you’ll know they’re coming by the unmistakable sound of honking. When you’re on the road, be prepared to make way for the bus – it’s common for locals to stop and let them pass. The roads can be very narrow, so you may have to back up or pull over to make way. Keep in mind that the SITA bus drivers are experienced and skilled at navigating the twisty-turny road, so it’s best to give them the right of way.

Consider the challenges:

Finding a parking spot along the Amalfi Drive during peak season is like trying to find a needle in a haystack – nearly impossible. The buses can get overcrowded, and you may have to wait for multiple buses to be able to get on. To avoid these issues, it’s best to explore the area on foot whenever possible. Alternatively, taking the ferry is a great option. Not only is it a reliable mode of transportation, but it also offers a different perspective of the stunning coastline.

Scenic view of the Amalfi Drive with the turquoise sea in the background and a tunnel through the rocky cliffs.
The Scenic Amalfi Drive in Italy © Veronika Pfeiffer

Consider your personal preferences:

Do you usually rely on driving yourself around, and the idea of public transport seems like a foreign concept to you? Well, if you’ve never ridden a bus before, the Amalfi Drive may not be the best place to start. Otherwise, if you have a driving license but haven’t been behind the wheel in ages, you’re feeling a bit rusty behind the wheel, or you simply don’t feel up to the challenge of the Amalfi Drive, then it’s best to stick to the public transport options.

Now, for those who prefer not to navigate the Amalfi Drive on their own, there is a third option: renting a driver. Private chauffeur companies specialize in the Amalfi Drive with knowledgeable drivers who know the roads and the best spots to visit. You can sit back and enjoy the scenery. Plus, if you’re traveling in a group, you can split the cost and make it more affordable than taking multiple taxi rides.

In summary, the Amalfi Drive is a beautiful and unforgettable experience. But before you rent a car, consider your driving experience and personal preferences. And if you do decide to take the plunge, don’t forget to pack your patience and a good sense of humor! The traffic might be crazy, but in a funny chaotic Italian way, that’s part of the charm of the country and the experience.

The alternate number plate system: Anas is a company that manages the Italian national road network, and an “ordinanza” is an ordinance or regulation issued by a public authority. “Targhe alterne” refers to a system in which vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers are allowed to circulate on certain days of the week, while those with even numbers are allowed on other days, in order to reduce traffic congestion and pollution. A Useful link for the Regulation on the Amalfi Drive the official communication in English could be found here:

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