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Home > Italy > Driving In country

Driving in Italy:

Before you pick up your car hire in Italy, it is worth noting some of the rules and regulations about driving in Italy.

Driving licence requirements in Italy:

Visitors may drive using their national licence, provided it is in a language that uses the Roman alphabet. Holders of other licences generally must also show an International Driving Permit in English (available through motoring organisations such as AA, AAA, RAC, etc.)

The authorities require that you carry your driver's licence with you at all times. If your driver’s licence has no photo you need other ID - preferably your passport. Also ensure that you have your rental car's vehicle registration document (V5), and certificate of motor insurance with you.

Age requirements for driving in Italy:

Car hire companies employ age restrictions, which can vary across companies. Please check your quotation for exact restrictions, as there may be an extra fee for drivers below the minimum age or over the maximum age.


Speed Limits on Italian roads:

Motorway (if wet)              130 km/h (110 km/h)
Dual carriageway (if wet) 110 km/h (90 km/h)
Secondary extra-urban rd 90km/h
Urban highway 70km/h
Urban road 50 km/h


Tips for driving your hire car in Italy:

  • Drive on the right. Don't obstruct fast lanes. On some motorways and open roads it may be permissible to overtake slow moving traffic on the left.
  • Be aware of what's happening around you. Adapt to local conditions.
  • Check with car rental staff for local driving regulations.
  • Drivers that wear glasses should have a spare pair in the car at all times.
  • Passengers in the front and rear must wear seat belts.
  • All children must wear seat belts. Children under the age of 12 cannot travel in the front passenger seat unless they use a special child restraint.
  • Children under the age of 4 cannot travel unless they use a special child restraint.
  • Maximum speed limit in Italy is 130 Km/h (80mph)
  • Speed limits are enforced, and there are frequent radar controls. Radar detectors are illegal.
  • Most Italian drivers are polite and courteous. Respect this.
  • Do not argue with police. Be polite and be patient.
  • A visibility must be kept in the car.
  • Two warning triangle should be carried in the car at all times.
  • Drink driving incurs heavy fines or even prison sentences. The legal alcohol limit is 0.05%, or 0% for drivers with less than 3 years experience and professional drivers.

Fuel types available in Italy

  • Unleaded Petroleum (gasoline and all grades) (benzina)
  • Diesel (gasoline)
  • LPG
  • Check whether your rental car uses petrol or diesel. If you use the wrong fuel, do not start the vehicle as severe damage may result, and you will be liable for repair costs. Inform service station staff who will assist in arranging for the tank to be drained and refilled with the correct fuel.
  • Fuel stations are generally open 24 hours, and most are self-service. Rural fuel stations may operate different opening hours, however, and may close during lunch (noon till 3pm).
  • Most credit cards are accepted for fuel payment.

Parking in Italy

It is best to use designated off-street car parks as strict laws apply for street parking. If you do park on the street:

  • No parking signs should always be obeyed, as clamping and on-the-spot fines are common in major towns and cities.
  • Severe penalties may be incurred for dangerous parking.
  • Towns operate a 90-minute parking limit during office hours, and this is generally enforced.
  • Use the litter bins provided. You can be fined for littering.

Getting By On The Road

It's always a good idea to learn a few phrases in the local language. To help you out, we've prepared a simple guide to driving vocabulary for Italian roads

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