The following documents are required when purchasing a car in Italy: Proof of residency (for EU citizens) or 'Permesso di Soggiorno' (non-EU citizens)
An EU citizen can only purchase a car in Italy if they are a resident. Those relocating with a car may find it useful to drive to Italy and use their own vehicle until confirmation of their residency. They can then sell the car and buy an Italian car.
In 2018, in Italy, a new law was introduced stating that anybody permanently residing in Italy for more than 60 days, and using a vehicle with foreign licence plates, must register the vehicle in Italy and change the licence plates into Italian ones.
Non-residents wishing to buy a car should go to their local Comune and request a 'Certificato di Domicilio', which should be accepted instead of a residency document. This is a self-certification document, whereby a person makes an individual declaration that the residence of their business or office is located in Italy.
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 'Automobile Club D'Italia' (ACI) and providing the licence plate details.
The cost of registering the car as a new owner can range between €300 or more than €1,500, depending on the type of car. Immatricolazione (transferring a UK plated car to Italian plates)
If a foreign-plated car is imported into Italy, it must be re-registered in Italy within 60 days. 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 regardless of whether it is being used or not. Failure to produce a valid receipt of car tax may result in a fine. Overdue tax has to be paid regardless of any changed ownership of the car. The amount charged is a complicated calculation based on EU emission grades, type of fuel and the power of the car. Payment can be made at your local 'Automobile Club D'Italia' (ACI) office or online. Alternatively, it can be paid at a bar, tobacconists ('tabaccheria'), bank or at the Post Office ('Poste Italiane'). You will need the logbook ('libretto'), the usual ID card and 'Codice Fiscale'.
In Italy, it is now a legal requirement for all cars more than four years old to have a 'Revisione' (the equivalent of an MOT in the UK) every two 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 'Automobile Club D'Italia' (ACI). This provides 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 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 offer a 'no-claims bonus', 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.
This is similar to comprehensive insurance in the UK, but Italian insurance companies do not provide the same kind of comprehensive cover - so double-check the small print.
Fire & theft
Driver cover 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 five years. After age 70, every three years.
EU citizens resident in Italy with the new-issue driving licences may continue to use them in Italy as in their country of issue.
EU citizens resident in Italy with the old driving licences must get them authenticated within twelve months, or convert to an Italian licence.
Non-EU citizens resident in Italy must take a driving test and obtain an Italian licence within 12 months. This also includes citizens from the US, Canada and Australia, as there is no reciprocal agreement between Italy and these countries.
Driving without a valid licence can result in a large fine or invalidate your car insurance in the case of an accident.
If in any doubt, visit your local 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 (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. You will 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|