A Guide to Driving in Italy

What’s not to love about driving through Italy? The stunning scenery, expansive roads, not to mention the Amalfi Coast, often hailed as one of the best driving routes in the world. Every stop you make is likely to reward you with historic treasures and glorious views, but before you get set off, make sure you have arranged adequate car hire insurance, and check out our guide below to driving in Italy.

What you need to know about driving in Italy

To legally drive in Italy, you must be in possession of a full UK driving license and be at least 18 years of age. Unlike in England, you are required to drive on the right hand side of the road and overtake on the left. As this goes against the way you learnt to drive and how you have driven for as long as you’ve been qualified, you will need to maintain focus on the roads to ensure you don’t fall back in to old habits.

Road laws to remember in Italy

In Italy there are a few different road laws you should be aware of:

Driving etiquette in Italy

Whilst they are officially banned in built up areas, the Italians widely use horns as a signal to other drivers that they are approaching. When the visibility during the day is poor, or when travelling through tunnels, on motorways and dual carriageways, always use dipped headlights.

Parking in Italy

There are several points to consider when attempting to park in Italy:

  • Using ‘off street’ car parks is recommended as street parking often carries strict laws
  • Camping and fines are a regular occurrence in towns and cities
  • Dangerous parking can incur heavy penalties
  • During office hours in towns, the parking is limited to 90 minutes, and this is strictly controlled

Restricted roads

Throughout the historic centres of Italy, private cars are not allowed. If you plan on driving to a hotel in a city centre, you may be required to obtain a pass, which can be purchased at a wide range of car hire agencies. However you will need to buy a pass for each city you intend on driving through as one will not cover all.

More information about driving in Italy

If you’re hiring a car in Italy, it’s also recommended that you take out car hire excess insurance for peace of mind. Learn more about UK & Europe Car Hire Excess Insurance before hiring a car.