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Road Rules and Traffic Regulations in Italy - Driving Nuances

1. All roads have different speed limits. In the territory of cities, the maximum speed is 50 km/h, and when driving in the country drivers should pay attention to road signs as they indicate the speed limit. Depending on a type of a road, the maximum speed can be 90, 110 or 130 km/h.
2. When driving, all the passengers (including people sitting at the back) must fasten seatbelts. Children under 12 years can only be transported in a special chair, which is allowed to be set in the back seat.
3. Drivers, who are used to using a mobile phone when driving, must purchase a headset. If a driver is caught using a mobile device without the “hands free” headset while driving, then he is likely to get a big penalty for breaking the traffic regulations.
4. When driving on a highway that has several lanes in one direction, drivers should occupy as extreme right lane as possible. The extreme left lane should preferably be used only to regroup and overtake other cars. Once the maneuver is finished, drivers should return their cars to right lanes.
5. If a crossing has a circular movement, cars within the circle have a priority. Entering such an intersection, as well as leaving it, is considered one of the most risky and difficult maneuvers for inexperienced drivers. In order to "fit" the fast moving row of cars, a driver must have a considerable skill level.
6. When driving on a highway, stops can only be made in specially designated places. They are made in a shape of small draw-ins with the «SOS» sign. Making a stop in the wrong place will result in a large fine.
7. Local drivers often ignore speed limits. However, foreign visitors should not break the local traffic regulations. Fines for violation of the traffic rules in Italy are the highest in Europe.
8. For example, for a speeding of 5 - 30 km/h one can get a fine of 30 - 200 euro. Drivers, who exceed the speed for more than 30 km/h, will receive a fine between 400 and 1400 euro, and will be suspended from driving a vehicle.

Nuances of Car Rental in Italy

To save on your rental, we advise to book your car in advance. You will save the most if you do this several weeks or even several months prior to your trip. Rental offices in Italy usually raise rental prices over time, based on the number of cars left available for the accounting period.

When looking for an exotic car (cabriolet, minivan or limousine), we advise to check in the rental offices located at airports, as they usually provide much wider choice comparing to offices in urban areas.

Upon receipt of invoices, bills and documents for your car at the rental location, please compare the obtained data with your voucher. Quite often, employees of rental offices in Italy try to add optional charges or services without informing customers.

It is very important to pick up your car at the rental office in Italy in a correct way. Prior to leaving the office, carefully inspect the car for various defects, and ensure that all the discovered defects are mentioned in your rental documents. In case of a non-compliance found, place a demand for correction to the rental officer.

You can always check our car actual rental offers in Italy. Simply use the search form at the top of the page. We guarantee that you will not find better prices anywhere else!
9. Do not hope that speeding will be unnoticed. There are many radars on roads, and they accurately capture even a slightest deviation from the normal speed. However, drivers also should not move slower than the speed indicated on road signs - it will certainly displease local drivers.
10. Driving in a state of alcohol or drug intoxication is one of the most serious violations in Italy. Violators of this rule will have to deal not only with heavy fines, but will be also imprisoned.
11. It will be not simple to find a suitable place for parking in the city. The majority of local streets are very narrow and winding. There are several types of parking, which are very easy to distinguish thanks to their color markup.
12. Free parking spaces are marked in white. If a road is marked with black and yellow traffic lane markings, the parking is prohibited there. Free parking lots can be found close to major shopping centers, but finding a free stall in them is not easy – as a rule, all the parking spaces are occupied by vehicles of local residents, who know their cities and free parking lots very well.
13. Paid parking lots are usually marked with blue color. The cost of parking there costs from 1 to 3 euro per hour. As a rule, the most expensive parking lots are located close to major attractions and shopping centers.
14. The majority of parking lots are equipped with special machines that accept payments. When entering them, drivers should receive a ticket that indicates the time of parking. This ticket should be installed on the inside of the windshield, or simply pressed by the janitor. People, who plan to use such parking lots, should get enough coins and money in small denominations – ticket machines do not give change.
15. If a parking lot is not equipped with a ticket machine, most probably it is operated by special cards. These cards are sold in newspaper and tobacco shops, some cafes, shops and hotels. The cards also need to be attached to a conspicuous place with the time that indicated the start of parking.
16. Underground parking lots are considered the most expensive ones. Therefore, there is almost always a free place in them. The high cost of such parking is also the result of the fact that cars are driven to the lot by the staff of the parking.
17. Ordinary drivers are not allowed to park their cars on yellow parking lots - they are intended for special categories of people. In some cities, there are green parking lots. These parking spaces can be used only on weekdays and only during the period from 16:00 to 9:30.
18. Local residents traditionally enjoy riding two-wheeled types of vehicles. Bikers are also considered participants of traffic, and they have the same rights as motorists. There are special parking lots for bicycles, mopeds and bikes. Cars cannot be parked there.
19. Wrong parking will also result in a fine from 30 to 150 euro. Do not leave your car in the wrong place, even for a short time. This will be enough for a police officer to issue a fine for you. If your car prevents street cleaning or road repairs, it can be brought to a fine-parking.
20. Despite the fact that local drivers are considered to be quite aggressive and they often exceed the speed limit, they know the traffic regulations very well and have an extremely negative opinion on blatant violators. If a driver ignores the rules and drives in the extreme left lane, local drivers will surely "sit on his tail" and will dazzle the violator with distant lights until he gives up and returns to the right lane.
21. A large part crossroads have a circular movement. Therefore, timid and inexperienced drivers should prepare in advance to such maneuvers as entering and leaving the circle. Traffic at crossroads is very fast, and no one will clear out the road for beginners.
22. The brand of a car does not play any role in the organization of the traffic. All cars have the same rights on Italian roads. Drivers are also not recommended to change lanes very often, ride on the side of a road, and try to overtake cars in a rough way. Such a behavior is not accepted here and will surely cause a lot of frustration.
23. Super senza Pb (95th unleaded petrol) remains the cheapest type of fuel. The most advantageous way to refuel is to use special self-service petrol stations. Their fuel prices are slightly lower than in large petrol stations. Before driving to a petrol station, make sure you have a sufficient number of money in small denominations.
24. In Italy, any usage of cans for refueling and fuel storage is prohibited. Therefore, it is impossible to buy petrol to make a "reserve". However, drivers are unlikely to have difficulty finding petrol stations. There are many of them even on roads far from large cities.
25. All the roads are divided into four types - highways (A) superways (SS), regional (SR) and provincial (SP). Regardless of the type, all the roads are distinguished by a very good quality and the presence of all necessary road signs and symbols.
26. Highways are the most convenient way to make long distance rides. They do not have branches, so it is absolutely not difficult to orient on them. A part of the A3 road, which connects Naples to Reggio Calabria, is the only free highway in the country. Driving on all other highways of the country is paid.
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