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Self-Drive Motoring holidays in Italy.

Tips on driving abroad in Italy. Motoring rules and regulations in Italy. Italian motoring laws.

Self-Drive Motoring holidays in Italy.
Tips on driving abroad in Italy. Motoring rules and regulations in Italy. Italian motoring laws.

Autostrada and Tunnel Tolls
Distance Chart 
International Driving Permit
Interactive Route Planner

Relative Carbon Emissions

Buy Road Maps of Italy

Make sure you Drive Alive! Drive on the right!

  • Be especially careful when setting off from service stations or restaurants on the left side of the road.

  • Take care when overtaking - allow more space between you and the car in front so you can see further down the road ahead.

  • Italy has stricter drink driving laws than the UK, only allowing 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood (UK 0.8).

  • Seat belts front and rear are obligatory everywhere.

  • Speed limits, shown below, are implemented rigorously. Radar traps are frequent.

  • When approaching a roundabout give way to traffic already on the roundabout, on your left, unless signed otherwise.

  • Remember - Speeding and other traffic offences are subject to extremely heavy on-the-spot fines.

  • Replacement bulb set is recommended.

In all countries a full UK driving licence is required. As in the UK, seat belts should be worn front and rear. Below are motoring regulations relating to Italy.

Speed Limits Motorway Open Road Dual Carriageway Town Alcohol mg/ml
Italy 130 km/h (see notes) 110 km/h 90 km/h (see notes) 50 km/h 0.5
When wet 100 km/h 90 km/h 80 km/h 50 km/h  

Children in cars: 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.

Documentation: always carry your driving licence, vehicle registration document (V5), and certificate of motor insurance. If your licence does not incorporate a photograph ensure you carry your passport to validate the licence. If the vehicle is not registered in your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive.

Drinking and driving: Don't do it. Over 0.05 per cent and you could face anything up to imprisonment.

Fines: On the spot fines are issued. Ensure an official receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine.

First-aid kit is advised, but not compulsory.

Fuel: All grades of unleaded petrol (benzina), diesel (gasolio) and LPG are available as well as lead substitute additive. Leaded no longer exists.  Credit and debit cards are 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. It's a good idea to let your card issuer know you will be travelling abroad. This ensures they don't suspend your card if they spot it being used in unfamiliar places, which they sometimes do as an anti-fraud measure.

GB sticker: 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.

Headlamp converters are compulsory.

Horns are widely used to warn other vehicles of your approach, although they are officially banned in built-up areas.

Lights: dipped headlights must be used in poor daytime visibility, and in all tunnels at all times. They must also be used when on motorways, dual carriageways, and on all out of town roads. Motorcycles must use dipped headlights during the day at all times.

Minimum age for driving, provided you hold a full UK licence, is 18 for a car and for a motorcycle over 125cc. If you've got an old-style all-green licence you might find the police will not understand them, so either get them up-dated or take an International Driving Permit as well.

Motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear crash helmets.

Motor insurance: third-party insurance is compulsory. A green card is not required but your insurer should be advised of your trip.

Seat belts are compulsory for front and rear seat occupants, if fitted.

Speed limits: From 1 January 2003 some three-lane motorways with emergency lanes may have a speed limit of 93mph (150km/h).

Snow chains are compulsory in mountainous areas or where snow is likely. They should be carried between October 15th and April 15th. and if you do not fit them when conditions demand the police can prevent you continuing your journey. Click for general information on winter tyres and snow chains.

Visibility Vests are now compulsory in France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Norway, Portugal and Spain (and likely to become compulsory throughout the EU). The rules vary from country to country concerning number of vests required and whether they should be carried in the car or boot. Common sense suggests that there should be a vest for every occupant, and that the vests should be carried in the car, and put on before getting out. Do this and you will not have a problem.

Warning triangle is compulsory.

Winter tyres are recommended but not compulsory, but this is Italy, so be warned that local Provinces are free to introduce their own rules making winter tyres compulsory.  Click for general information on winter tyres and snow chains.


All information on this page is provided as a service to our clients. It is intended as a guide to the more important rules for the different countries to which we offer driving holidays. It is not meant to be a comprehensive document. We try and keep the information on this page up-to-date, but we cannot be held responsible in any way for any consequences arising from any inaccuracies. If you find a mistake or would like to send us some additional information, please email us. Your co-operation is appreciated.

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