Driving in Italy: road trip rules

picturesque image of a canal in Venice with small boats, and buildings either side of the canal

Italy is known for its stunning vistas and incredible food, and it’s a great road trip destination. Travelling by car is the perfect way to explore and enjoy one of Europe’s most exciting destinations.

Whether it’s for a short trip or longer holiday, driving in Italy isn’t anything to get stressed about. But it’s good to be on top of all the important Italian driving rules and regulations.

So, we’ve put together some tips.

Driving in Italy checklist

You’ll need some extra things in and on your vehicle when driving in Italy. Importantly, you must be over 18, hold a full, valid driving licence, and have UK stickers on your vehicle.

When driving in Italy, always carry the following documents:

  • Your driving licence
  • Your passport
  • Your vehicle registration documents including a V5C certificate
  • Your insurance documents

Your vehicle can be confiscated if you don’t have any of the above documents.

For most places in the UK, you don’t officially need an International Driving Permit (IDP). But it can be good to get one for peace of mind, and you can check if you’ll need one on the Post Office IDP site here.

You must also have these in your vehicle to avoid any big fines:

  • Seat belts
  • Warning triangle
  • Reflective safety jackets
  • Beam deflectors
  • Helmet with compliant reflective elements, if you’re riding a motorcycle

Carrying a breathalyser can also be useful to check you haven’t exceeded legal blood alcohol levels.

If you don’t have these items, you can get a pre-prepared European driving kit at the Green Flag Shop. This has everything you’ll need for your road trip in Italy.

Speed limits

The type of road you’re on will affect the speed limit. Keep an eye on the road signs as they’ll indicate to you what type of road you’re joining. Signs will be green for a motorway, blue for suburban roads, and white for urban roads.

These are the national speed limits. It’s best to stick to them, but keep an eye on signs telling you otherwise.

  • Motorways — 130 km/h in normal conditions, 110 km/h in rain, 50 km/h when visibility is under 50 metres.
  • Dual carriageways or inner-city motorways — 110 km/h in normal conditions, 100 km/h in rain, 50 km/h when visibility is under 50 metres.
  • Other roads — 90 km/h in normal conditions, 80 km/h in rain, 50 km/h when visibility is under 50 metres.
  • Urban/built-up areas — 50 km/h in all conditions.

If you break the speed limit you can get a fine of up to €4,400, which would certainly ruin your holiday. You can also have your licence revoked depending on the offence, which would certainly ruin things for a long time.

General rules for driving in Italy

There are a few more things to bear in mind before you set off.

  • Driving while using your phone or any electronic devices is prohibited.
  • The limit for blood alcohol level is 0.5 grams per litre, but 0 if you’ve only been driving for three years – you’ll receive a penalty, fine, or court action otherwise. We recommend never drinking and driving primarily for your safety.
  • As a general rule, priority is given to the right unless otherwise shown.
  • Pets should be in back seats or special cages (which is compulsory if you’re carrying more than one animal).
  • You can’t take a lot of foods into Italy, so be sure to check if you need any permits.

On that last point, come on now. Who’s taking food into Italy?!

For any changes, it’s good to check the Government updates on travelling to Italy.

Breakdown procedure

If you’re unfortunate enough to break down in Italy, don’t call your breakdown cover provider straightaway.

If you’re on a motorway or toll road you need to use the emergency telephone number. In most of Europe, including Italy, this is 112. You’ll need to speak with the police, who will contact a local firm to come and help you.

Once they’ve taken you to a recovery zone, then can you contact your cover provider for any further assistance. Remember to keep receipts so you can claim on any charges you may have received.

To make sure your breakdown is handled efficiently be sure to take out European breakdown cover before your trip.

There’s so much to do while driving in Italy, just be sure to follow the rules.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>