The wearing of front and rear seatbelts is compulsory when fitted.
Children under four cannot travel unless they use a suitable restraint system. Children between four and 12 cannot travel in the front unless using a suitable restraint system.
Drink Driving Limits
80mg/100ml (UK 80mg/100ml)
Minimum Driving Age
The minimum driving age using a full UK licence is 18
Urban kph (mph)
Open Road kph (mph)
Motorway kph (mph)
Speed radars are in use throughout Italy.
Police may monitor the average speed of vehicles between tolls.
Dipped headlights must be used in at all times outside built-up areas and in all tunnels. Motorcycles must use dipped headlights during the day at all times.
All grades of unleaded petrol (benzina), diesel (gasolio) and LPG are available as well as lead substitute additive. Leaded no longer exists. It is not allowed to carry petrol in a can. Credit and debit cards are becoming more widely accepted, although they probably won't work at automatic pumps, which are often the only pumps open out-of-hours and at lunch-time (from noon to 3pm) away from the autostrada.
Most motorways (autostrada) require the payment of a toll, payable in cash or by "Viacard" obtainable from tollbooths.
Viacards can be used in automatic and manual booths and must be bought with cash.
A parking disk must be displayed in the blue zones in towns.
On-the-spot fines for minor traffic offences operate in Italy. These may range typically between €150 - €250 Euros. You are strongly advised to stick to the rules of the road, and/or have enough cash if you have to pay a fine. Failure to do so may seriously inconvenience your visit. Ensure an official receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine.
The use of hand-held mobile phones whilst driving is prohibited except where they are fitted with hands free systems.
Dial 112 anywhere in the EU to reach the emergency services.
Police – 113
Fire – 115
Ambulance – 118
If your car breaks down you can dial ACI (Italian Automobile Club) on 116 for foreign-language assistance. On motorways there are SOS telephones at regular intervals with two buttons: one for medical assistance and one for breakdowns.
Other Useful Information
In the Italian Alps it is compulsory to carry snow chains from 15th October to 30th April.
When two oncoming cars are turning left at a crossroads, they must turn in front of one another, rather than behind as is usual in the UK.
If you have an overhanging load, such as a bicycle strapped to the back of the car, you must attach a square reflective panel to it.
It is compulsory to carry at least one reflective safety jacket in a vehicle and to wear it when standing with, inspecting or repairing a stationary vehicle on a public highway.
Italian Police may stop cars from driving in mountain areas in winter if the car does not have snow chains.
Useful Words and Phrases
tutte le direzioni
svolta / curve
Closed to HGVs
vietato transito autocarri
tenere a sinistra
tenere a destra
passaggio a livello
senso vietata / vietato l'accesso
No Entry for Vehicles
vietato ingresso veicoli
lavori in corso
attenzione / avviso
Via XX Settembre 80a
I-00187 Roma RM
(39) 06 4220 0001 or 4220 + extn if known
(39) 06 4220 2431
Note 1: UK registered vehicles displaying Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national identifier on blue background) no longer need a GB sticker when driving in European Union countries. Countries outside the EU still require national identification.
Note 2: Regardless of local requirements it is always a wise precaution to carry a spare set of vehicle bulbs and adjust headlamp beams for driving on the right. A spare bulb kit will not prevent a fine if you are travelling with faulty lights, but it may avoid the cost and inconvenience of a garage call out. On some cars it is inadvisable or impossible for anyone other than a qualified technician to change a headlamp bulb or lamp unit e.g. high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and carrying spare bulbs is not an option. However, it is recommended that spare bulbs are carried for any lights which may be easily and/or safely replaced by the owner/driver. Do not forget to ensure that you also carry any tools that might be required to change the various bulbs.
Disclaimer EUroadlegal has made every effort to ensure that the information contained on this page is accurate and up-to-date. In most instances the information has been collated from either an official document from the country concerned or from two or more reliable sources. EUroadlegal cannot be held responsible for any actions resulting from the adherence to or ignoring of the information contained on this page. If you would like to contribute by adding, removing or modifying the data on this page based on your own experience, please us.