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The Complete Italy Driving and Rental Guide

Its excellent road conditions and highway network makes Italy an ideal country to discover by car. Here is a brief guide we have prepared to help you ease your trip.

  • Speed Limit and Traffic Signs
  • Seatbelt and Child Safety
  • Parking, Fuel and Toll
  • Traffic Violation
  • Driving Licence and Age Requirements

Speed Limit and Traffic Signs

Driving in Italy is on the right-hand side of the road and you should overtake from the left. Horns must be used in moderation, and honking is prohibited in built-up areas unless there is an emergency. Dipped headlights must be used on two-lane motorways at all times.

Speed Limit

Speed limits for cars and motorbikes (vehicles with engine size over 150 cc) depend on the types of roads, and are of:

- 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban areas

- 90 km/h (56 mph) on minor out-of-town roads

- 110 km/h (68 mph) on major out-of-town roads

- 130 km/h (81 mph) on motorways. 

In the event of rain on snow, the limit is lowered to 110 km/h on motorways and 90 km/h on trunk roads.

Traffic Signs

Traffic signs in Italy follow the general European conventions and can be basically sorted into four types: regulatory signs, warning signs, information signs and direction signs.

Regulatory Signs

Italian regulatory signs mostly feature a circular shape, with some exceptions.

Italy_Traffic_Sign_Give_WayGive WayItaly_Traffic_Sign_Stop_and_Give_WayStop and Give WayItaly_Traffic_Sign_Stop_Pay_TollStop, Pay TollItaly_Traffic_Sign_Stop_Police_RoadblockStop, Police RoadblockItaly_Traffic_Sign_No_U_TurnNo U-turnItaly_Traffic_Sign_No_OvertakingNo OvertakingItaly_Traffic_Sign_Maximum_Speed_30_km_hMaximum Speed 30 km/h

Warning signs 

In Italy, warning signs are in regular triangular shape with red border and white background. 

Italy_Traffic_Sign_Uneven_RoadUneven RoadItaly_Traffic_Sign_Pedestrian_Crossing_AheadPedestrian Crossing AheadItaly_Traffic_Sign_Wild_AnimalsWild AnimalsItaly_Traffic_Sign_Level_Crossing_with_Barrier_or_Gate_AheadLevel Crossing With Barriers or Gates AheadItaly_Traffic_Sign_Level_Crossing_without_Barrier_or_Gate_AheadLevel Crossing Without Barriers or Gates Ahead

Information Signs 

Italian information signs are usually rectangular with blue or brown background.  

Italy_Traffic_Sign_TunnelTunnelItaly_Traffic_Sign_HospitalHospitalItaly_Traffic_Sign_First_AidFirst AidItaly_Traffic_Sign_Youth_HostelYouth Hostel

Direction Signs 

Direction signs in Italy feature a rectangular shape with different background colors to indicate the type of road that is being directed to, which is: green for motorways, white for urban roads and blue for the others. 

Italy_Traffic_Sign_Motorway_DirectionMotorway DirectionItaly_Traffic_Sign_Primary_or_Secondary_Road_DirectionPrimary or Secondary Road DirectionItaly_Traffic_Sign_Urban_Area_DirectionUrban Area Direction
*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Seatbelt and Child Safety

Seatbelt Laws

All passengers both in front and rear seats are required to wear a seat belt in Italy. Failure to do will result in a fine from €40 to €70.

Booster Seat Laws

Regardless of the weight or age of the children, all children under 150cm must use a UN R44/R129 approved child car seat. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Parking, Fuel and Toll


· Permitted Parking

Parking spots in large cities in Italy can be difficult to find. Try to look for paid parking signs and parking metres to pay and park properly.

Italy Street Parking Sign

White lines on the parking lots mean free parking. In many towns, free parking is allowed in certain time frames and is indicated by a parking sign nearby. You will need to display a parking disc behind the windshield. However, in big cities like Florence, free parking spots are for residents only. In Rome and Milan, such parking lots may be free and open to both residents and tourists as long as you follow the instructions of the parking signs.

Italy Parking White Lines(Image from cinqueterreinsider.com)

Parking in yellow zones is only permitted for taxis, official vehicles or disabled people who have a disabled permit or a European Blue Card.

Italy Parking Yellow Lines (for Disabled only)

Parking places with pink lines or a pink parking sign are used to serve expectant mothers and women with infants for both residents and short-term visitors. Although local police cannot really check whether these parking spots are taken by particular drivers, most Italians still respect the rules and will not take up these spots unless there is an emergency.

Italy Pink Parking Sign

Italy Pink Parking Area(Image from thelocal.it)

· Paid Parking

In most Italian cities and towns, blue lines indicate paid street parking. Follow the parking signs to pay and park within the permitted time frame. If no dispenser machines can be found near the parking areas, try asking the tobacco shop or news stands nearby.

Italy Parking Blue Lines(Image from arizaisaretleri.com) 

· Forbidden Parking

In Italy, parking signs feature some words telling you when and where to park.

Accompanied Italian wordings -- “Passo Carrabile” means you are not allowed to park at all times.


Otherwise, certain time frames will be provided together with the “No Parking” and parking signs to indicate prohibited and permitted parking time.


Parking illegally in Italy will result in a car clamping or towing away as well as a fine.

Fuel Prices

The average price for gasoline price in Italy was 1.57 Euros per litre in January 2018, while diesel was 1.44.


Tolls are only required when driving on most of the highways. Highways in Italy are marked with the letter A followed by a number in a green octagon.Italy_Traffic_Sign_Motorway_Number_Sign_A

When entering a toll road, you will receive a ticket from a machine with a sign “Bigliette” standing nearby. Keep this ticket carefully when you are on the highway.

When you reach the exit, lanes marked by different colours mean that there are different ways to pay, namely: Telepass, credit card or cash.

Italy Highway Entrance(Image from euractiv.com)

Telepass is an electronic toll device connected to your Italian bank account, allowing you to pass through without stopping and serving very much alike with the Electronic Tolling System you may find in other countries. It most suits the local drivers. 

To pay by credit card, you should provide the ticket you have collected at the entrance and insert it into the auto-collecting machine and then pay with your credit card.

Have a look at this local highway site to calculate the toll fees you may be charged with in Italy.

Note that if you fail to pay the toll in Italy while driving a rented car, the authorities will pass on the infringement information to the car hire company, which will usually add some management fees. However, as not every car hire company can pay your unpaid tolls on your behalf, you are sometimes required to pay for it on your own on the local highway website by entering the notice number. And you are always welcomed to contact EasyRentCars’ 24/7 customer support team to assist you with this matter.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Traffic Violation

DUI Laws

In Italy, drink driving will be treated as severe infringement. The BAC for regular drivers is 0.05% (50mg per 100ml). Breaching 50mg and to 80mg per 100ml will result in a fine between €500 and €2,000 as well as a 3 to 6 months' licence suspension. From 80mg to 150mg, the fine will goes up and from €800 to €3,200, with 6 to 12 months’ licence suspension, or even up to 6 months imprisonment in extreme circumstances.

Traffic Fines

Receiving a speeding ticket can be quite often especially for international travellers or short-term visiting drivers. Speed cameras are set up in many places, in big cities as well as small towns, and it is very easy to miss the notice that you have entered into a 50km per hour zone.

Speeding fines in Italy depend on the amount you are over the speed limit, ranging from €41 up for 10km/h to €828 for more than 60km/h. Paying within 5 days after the citation is issued can result in a 30 percent discount.

Note that if you are renting a vehicle in Italy, the unpaid speeding infringement information will be passed onto the car hire company by the authority. In this case, the car hire company will charge you for an additional administrative fee if it is eligible to collect on behalf of the authority.

· The Limited Traffic Zones

Most of the central areas in major Italian cities and towns have Limited Traffic Zones (called Zona Traffico Limitato or ZTL in Italian) for which entrances are usually marked with no vehicle traffic signs and supplementary signs explaining the times of the ban and which categories are excluded. The entrances of the ZTLs are mostly located at crossings, traffic lights or roundabouts and monitored by cameras that register the transiting vehicles.

Italy ZTL Sign(Image from internationalgarage.com)

Use the above sign as an instance. This sign indicates you are not allowed to drive into this area between 7:30 to 19:30 from Monday to Saturday. The crossed hammers on the sign mean these restrictions do not apply on Sunday and holidays. Driving and acting on a safe side is always recommended if you are sure about what exactly the sign indicates.

Fines will be incurred when failing to follow the regulations of the ZTLs and the amount of fine can range from 50 to 150 Euros, varying by city.

To avoid ticketing from the ZTLs, we would recommend the following measures:

- Park your car outside the historical centre of Italian cities and use the public transportation to get there. 

- Get a passing certificate from a grocery store and send your plate number and identification number of the passing certificate to the Provincial Office of Motor Vehicles (Ufficio Provinciale della Motorizzazione Civile, UMC) via mobile messages. Each passing certificate costs €5 and is valid for one day

- Find the “ZTL Parking” lot after entering the ZTL within 20 minutes and your plate number will be taken off the record automatically or manually (note the parking fee is costly). 

- Go to the hotel’s front desk and ask them to help to take off your record from the policy if you are staying in a hotel within a ZTL. 

- Or just simply avoid the ZTLs by using Google Map or any other navigation soft wares. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Driving Licence and Age Requirements

To rent a car in Italy, the driver need to be in possession of a valid driving license and generally be held for at least 2 years

All licences issued by the European Union (and Switzerland) are accepted. 

Driving licences from non-EU countries are accepted if you have not been in Europe for longer than 6 months. If your domestic driving licence is not in English, an International Driving Permit (IDP/IDL) or an official translation in English is required together with your original driving licence. 

The minimum age generally to rent a vehicle in Italy is 18 years old (age may vary by car categories and suppliers). 

*IMPORTANT NOTE: Each car hire company has its own requirements. Please check Terms and Conditions of your hire car during the booking process. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Best car rental deals in Italy

Best rates found by EasyRentCars users in the last 30 days.

Frequently asked questions

Q1.What is an insurance excess?

The excess is the amount you'll only be liable for in case of damage(under Collision Damage Waiver) or theft(under Theft Protection) of the vehicle.
Information about the excess will be clearly stated in the price inclusion when you reserve a car on EasyRentCars.

Q2. How can I add an addtional driver?

You are advised to make a request upon your arrival at the rental counter. Additional charge per day will incur unless '1 Additional Driver Included' is stipulated on the rental.
Please note that the same licence and age requirement applys to the additonal driver. The addtional driver is supposed to present the required licence document along with the main driver at pickup.

Q3.What if I want to pick up or drop off my rental car out of office hours?

EasyRentCars will show you the car offers available at your chosen time on the search results.
However, pick-up or drop-off out of general opening hours may subject to an extra fee unless self-service pick-up or drop-off is available.
After you reserve a car on EasyRentCars, we will inform you of specific policy of the car hire company by email.

Q4. Can I take the hired car to another country or cross border?

If you want to pick up your car in one country and drop it in another, your search results will show you cars you can do that with.
If you're planning to cross any borders during your trip, bear in mind:
1. You may have to pay more.
There are often extra fees, taxes or additional cover you'll pay at the car hire counter.
2.It may not be allowed.
Depending on where you're hiring, you may not be able to take your car to another country.
Please email us if you want to take your hire car into a different country during your trip, and we'll talk you through your options.

Q5. Can I pick up my car at one location and return it at different location?

Yes. You can pick up the vehicle in one place and drop it off in another. An ‘one-way fee’ will incur. Whether it is inclued in the rental price or what additional cost may arise will be clearly stated at the time of booking on EasyRentCars.
Please inform the car hire company of your drop-off location when you pick up the vehicle or contact them directly during your trip. You will find a phone number on the rental agreement you signed at pickup.

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