Legally, it is possible for an EU citizen to buy a car in Italy, even if they are not resident there, provided they have reasonably close connections with the country, i.e. if they own a second home there. However, this is not very widely practised in Italy, so there may be some difficulties in trying to buy a car in certain areas without a residency document. Non-residents wishing to buy a car should go to their local Comune and request a 'Certificato di Domicilio' (probably best to explain why) which should be accepted instead of a residency document.
Having bought the car, the 'Passaggio di Proprietà' (transfer of ownership) must be completed within 60 days of the purchase. To do this, you go to an office of the 'Agenzia di Pratiche Automobilistiche'. You can find your nearest office by clicking here. You can also go to any 'Auotomobile Club D'Italia' (ACI) office or your local 'Motorizzazione Civile'.
If you buy the car from a dealer, they will complete the transfer for you. The following documents are required to transfer ownership of a second hand car:
Until the change of ownership has been registered, the former owner remains responsible for any taxes, accidents or motoring offences. It is possible to check that the registration has been completed by the 'Pubblico Registro Automobilistico' (PRA) by contacting the 'Auotomobile Club D'Italia' (ACI) and providing the licence plate details.
The cost of registering the car as a new owner is based on three elements:
This figure could be as little as €300 or more than €1,500, depending on the type of car.
If a foreign-plated car is imported into Italy, it must be re-registered in Italy within 6 months. This must be arranged through your local Immatriculation Centre. The process is somewhat complicated, so you should allow plenty of time. The cost will be about the same as registering the change of ownership on an Italian plated car.
In Italy, car tax must be paid on every car whether it is being used or not. Failure to produce a valid receipt of car tax may result in a fine. You can find out the amount due by clicking here and entering your car licence number. Overdue tax still has to be paid regardless of any changed ownership of the car. The amount charged is a complicated calculation based on the EU emission grades, type of fuel and the kw power of the car. Payment can be made at your local 'Auotomobile Club D'Italia' (ACI) office or online by clicking here. Alternatively, it can be paid at a bar, tabaccheria, bank, or at the post office. you will need the 'Libretto' (logbook) and the usual ID card and 'Codice Fiscale'.
In Italy, it is now a legal requirement for all cars that are more than 4 years old cars to have a 'Revisione' (the equivalent of an MOT in the UK) every 2 years. You will need to find your local 'Centro Revisioni Auto'. Once you have the 'Revisione' it is entered into the 'Libretto'. If stopped by the police and found to be out of date, you will incur a fine.
Mechanical repairs are carried out in an 'Officina' and bodywork repairs are carried out in a 'Carrozzeria'.
Breakdown services are coordinated in Italy by the 'Auotomobile Club D'Italia' (ACI), who provide emergency breakdown services as well as a number of pre-paid breakdown plans similar to the 'AA' in the UK. They can be contacted throughout Italy on the emergency number 116. Alternatively they can be contacted at a national level on the ACI website.
Car insurance in Italy is very expensive and can be quite restricted at times. For instance, some companies are unwilling to offer fully comprehensive insurance to cars over four years old. In Italy it is the car that is insured and not the driver. Consequently, they don't have a 'no-claims bonus' as such, although there may be some discount that amounts to the same thing. You also do not need to add any named drivers to the policy.
The main options are:
This is similar to comprehensive insurance in the UK, but Italian insurance companies do not provide the same kind of comprehensive cover as companies in the UK, so BEWARE!
Fire & theft
Cover to the driver in the case of an accident where the driver is responsible
Italians can drive mopeds after the age of 14 and cars after the age of 18. The Italian driving licence is valid for 10 years up to the age of 50. After that, it must be renewed every 5 years and after age 70, every 3 years.
EU citizens who are resident in Italy, and who have the new style, credit card licences, may continue to use them in Italy as in their country of issue.
EU citizens who are resident in Italy and who have the old style licence, must get them authenticated within 12 months, or convert to an Italian licence.
Non EU citizens who are resident in Italy must take a driving test and obtain an Italian licence within 12 months. This includes citizens from the US, Canada and Australia as there is no reciprical agreement between Italy and these countries.
Driving without a valid licence can result in a large fine or worse still, can invalidate your car insurance in the case of an accident.
If in any doubt, visit your local 'Auotomobile Club D'Italia' (ACI) for details.
There are frequent roadside checks in Italy. If stopped, the police will expect you to be carrying the following documents:
In addition it is necessary to carry bright yellow luminous jackets which are available from any petrol station. If you have an accident or need to stop on an autostrada, you must wear them if you leave the car.
Your dipped headlights should be used on all major roads and autostrada. As there is considerable confusion as to when you need them most Italians have their lights on all the time.
Your driving licence, ID card, and libretto should all show your current address and you can be fined if they are not correct.
In some areas it is necessary to carry snow chains during the winter months. Signs at the side of the road will advise you if this is required.
|Type of road||Speed limit dry km/h||Speed limit wet km/h|
|Built up areas||50||50|
|Section||Road||Cars €||Cars towing €|
|Bologna - Florence||A1||6.50||8.30|
|Rome - Naples||A1||11.60||15.00|
|Milan - Bologna||A1||12.00||15.50|
|Florence - Rome||A1||14.60||18.80|
|Milan - Naples||A1||45.10||58.30|
|Genoa - Savona||A10||2.40||3.00|
|Savona - Ventimiglia||A10||11.50||21.70|
|Florence - Pisa||A11||5.90||7.80|
|La Spezia - Livorno||A12||6.60||9.30|
|Livorno - Rome||A12||8.30||11.00|
|Genoa - La Spezia||A12||9.20||12.40|
|Genoa - Viareggio||A12||11.40||15.60|
|Genoa - Livorno||A12||14.00||19.30|
|Bologna - Ferrara||A13||1.90||2.40|
|Ferrara - Pádova||A13||4.50||5.80|
|Bologna - Pádova||A13||5.60||7.20|
|Bari - Taranto||A14||3.80||5.00|
|Ancona - Pescara||A14||8.70||11.20|
|Bologna - Ancona||A14||11.40||14.70|
|Pescara - Bari||A14||17.80||23.00|
|Pescara - Taranto||A14||21.60||23.20|
|Bologna - Taranto||A14||42.50||54.90|
|Bologna - Ravenna||A14||4.10||5.30|
|Parma - La Spezia||A15||10.90||15.20|
|Naples - Bari||A16||15.70||20.20|
|Messina - Catania||A18||3.30||14.80|
|Messina - Caccamo||A20||10.40||30.60|
|Piacenza - Brescia||A21||3.80||5.00|
|Alessandria - Piacenza||A21||4.90||6.40|
|Turin - Alessandria||A21||5.90||7.70|
|Turin - Piacenza||A21||11.30||14.80|
|Verona - Modena||A22||5.30||6.90|
|Trento - Verona||A22||5.50||7.10|
|Brenner Pass - Trento||A22||8.00||10.30|
|Brenner Pass - Modena||A22||18.80||24.20|
|Udine - Tarvisio||A23||6.00||7.70|
|Rome - Teramo||A24||11.60||14.80|
|Rome - Pescara||A25||13.60||17.60|
|Genoa - Alessandria||A26||4.30||5.50|
|Genoa - Iselle||A26||12.60||15.00|
|Venice - Belluno||A27||6.60||8.40|
|Naples - Salerno||A3||1.60||3.50|
|Caserta - Salerno||A30||3.30||4.30|
|Vicenza - Trento||A31||1.50||2.00|
|Turin - Tunnel du Frejus||A32||9.80||17.60|
|Padova - Venice||A4||2.70||3.60|
|Brescia - Verona||A4||2.90||3.80|
|Verona - Padova||A4||3.70||4.90|
|Milan - Brescia||A4||5.60||7.10|
|Venice - Trieste||A4||7.00||9.20|
|Turin - Milan||A4||9.60||12.10|
|Milan - Venice||A4||15.70||20.40|
|Santhia - Aosta||A5||11.30||17.00|
|Turin - Aosta||A5||12.90||19.30|
|Turin - Savona||A6||10.90||14.70|
|Milan - Tortona||A7||3.60||4.70|
|Milan - Genoa||A7||7.50||9.80|
|Milan - Varese||A8||2.60||3.40|
|Milan - Chiasso||A8/A9||3.20||4.10|
|Section||Road||Cars €||Cars towing €|
|Frejus Tunnel||A32 / E70||35.10||46.40|
|Grand St Bernard Tunnel||T2||23.60||36.50|
|Mont Blanc Tunnel||A5 / E25||35.10||46.40|
|Munt La Schera Tunnel||Livigno||10.00||20.00|