Driving in Italy



Respect for traffic regulations should help you cruise along Italian roads with very little to on your mind other than the many things to do and a lot to explore. Here is some information that you will find useful.

Traffic Police

Traffic violations are treated very seriously and the police have the authority to collect on-the spot fines. Always collect a receipt for any fine that you pay to an official.  

Driving License 

The minimum age for drivers in Ireland is 18. Holders of full UK Licenses and International Driving Permits are allowed to drive in the country. Those possessing an old style green license could face conviction by the police if they are unable to read the license. If your license does not have a photograph, carry your passport or valid photo ID.   

In case you do not own the car you are driving, a letter from the owner permitting use of the car will be necessary. 


Italians drive on the left side of the road. Overtaking is from the right. Allow safe distance between vehicles while overtaking.  

Seatbelts are mandatory in the front and back seats.  

Children less than four years of age are not permitted to travel unless they are seated in a standard child safety seat. Those under 12 years of age are not permitted to travel while seated in the front; they must be seated in the back seat, properly fastened with a seatbelt. 

The use of headlamp converters is mandatory. Horns are used throughout except in built up areas.

Remember to carry a warning triangle in your car at all times. This is mandatory.

Also carry an extra set of bulbs and a first-aid kit in your car.   

Display of a GB sticker indicating your country of origin on your windscreen is mandatory. 


Adhere to speed limits as any violations will be treated very seriously with imposition of heavy on-the spot fines. Speed limits differ in different areas. Prescribed speed limits are 130 kph on motorways and 50 kph in cities. Speed limits vary on wet days and you should take steps to know exactly what they are.

The blood alcohol limit is 0.5 mg. Drinking and driving is regarded as a serious violation.  

Dipped headlights are mandatory in the event of low visibility and while traveling through tunnels, open roads, dual carriageways and motorways. Visibility Tests are mandatory and should be enough for the number of passengers in the car.   

Be alert and cautious, particularly when faced with poor weather conditions.   

In Case of an Accident 

In case of an accident, wait for the police to arrive and be sure to have your insurance information ready. If the accident involves harm to vehicle/vehicle or people and the damage is severe then call the emergency numbers: Police (and general emergency): 113, Carabinieri (military police): 112, Medical emergency: 118, Fire or Disaster: 115. It’s always useful to have international car insurance in place in case of accidents overseas.

Consideration for other drivers and adherence to speed limits are the first few steps to enjoying your stay in this beautiful country.