By | 16th January 2018

Should you hire a car in Cagliari?

Do you need a car in Cagliari > Should you rent a car in Cagliari Italy > Cagliari ( CAG )

It would be natural for the first time visitor to Sardinia to assume that this isn’t really the place where there would be much to offer in terms of train services, but this really isn’t the case. Although rail networks always flow a lot more smoothly when they are continuous, some of the larger Mediterranean islands such as Sardinia, and also Corsica and Majorca do still have rail networks of their own.

Do you need a car in Cagliari? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

There are various different ferry services linking Cagliari to mainland Italy. There are also other ferry services from the north and the west of the island with links to Corsica.

Sardinia by train

However, the most popular way to arrive into Cagliari is to fly into the city’s airport, which sits just to the north. It’s always easy to get around somewhere by public transport when the trip starts with a direct rail service from the airport. The train link from Cagliari airport isn’t perfect. It’s a short walk from the terminal, and services aren’t especially frequent. You may well find the bus into town is more useful. However, on the plus side, the main north-south line across Sardinia is the same line that serves the airport. This really is a very easy location to start a rail tour.

The railway lines on Sardinia are some of the finest in Italy. Following recent upgrades and integration into the Italian national system, the trains themselves are of a high standard. Travelling around Sardinia by train also means gaining access to a number of different routes where there is no road running alongside, so it’s a great way to see the island in more depth. Regular buses also run between the major cities and between various different points on the rail network so that all major points are served.

Driving in Sardinia

Sardinia also has some amazing driving roads, especially on the eastern side of the island. Because train services tend to be relatively infrequent, a car is going to offer a lot more flexibility, especially for visiting different restaurants in the evenings.

On balance, our Cagliari car hire advice is that this is really a destination where it’s worth taking a look at the train services first, and then considering how that compares with driving. A car might still be useful, but since both car and train can give access to many spectacular locations.

Why should you rent a car in Cagliari?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Cagliari?

Cagliari Car hire summary

Overall drive rating



Cheapest rate for one week




How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?





Free parking score

Total 580 - of which 279 have free parking. [full notes - parking]



  • For the same reasons as any other rural island location – a car will give you more freedom and flexibility.
  • Amazing driving roads, especially on the eastern side of Sardinia.
  • Public transport is heavily limited in terms of route network and frequency.
  • Public transport is very slow, especially the trains!
[whynot2 num=”52″]
  • Sardinia also offers some of the best rail journeys in Italy.
  • Direct rail links to both the city of Cagliari and the north of the island from the airport terminal (short walk).
  • Reasonable bus connections across the island – but naturally better in the city itself.
  • Ideal opportunity to island hop by ferry, especially to Corsica.


Car rental in - Cagliari Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Cagliari?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.

Is it worth hiring a car in Cagliari?

Based on value for money

Should you rent a car in Cagliari?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Cagliari if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Cagliari if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Cagliari if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?



Final score:


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Should you hire a car in Cagliari? Verdict – no (but look into both).


Would you hire a car in Cagliari?

Have you driven in Cagliari? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Cagliari?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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