Driving Cars and Bikes

Understanding speed limits, road signs and traffic conditions on the roads in Italy...

Rules and Regulations

  • In Italy, drive on the right and overtake on the left
  • The legal minimum age to drive a car (category B) or motorbike over 125 cc (category A2) is 18 years
  • The legal minimum age to drive a motorbike of 50cc to 125 cc (category A1) is 16 years
  • The legal minimum age to drive a moped up to 50 cc is 14 years (category AM)
  • While a 14 year old can drive an AM category vehicle in Italy, they may not be able to do so in other EU countries
  • Seatbelts are obligatory in the front and must be worn if fitted in the back
  • Children under 150cm must travel in a child seat adapted to their size and weight and wear additional safety belts (these must comply with national and European safety standards). Children may not travel in a non-adapted front seat until they are 150cm tall
  • Mobile phones may not be used when driving unless using a hands-free system
  • On-the-spot fines will be handed out for drivers who use bus or cycle lanes
  • Always give way to trains, trams, buses and emergency vehicles
  • In towns and developed areas, priority is given to traffic joining from the right, unless otherwise stated
  • Flashing amber traffic lights means proceed with caution but give way to traffic on the right
  • On a gradient, the vehicle travelling uphill has priority
  • The maximum allowable blood alcohol limit is 0.051%
  • Headlights should be switched on and dipped at all times of day or night when driving on motorways and dual carriageways outside towns
  • If the car is not registered in Italy it must have the EU-style number plates with the origin of the car or a sticker denoting the car's home country next to the rear number plate

What to Carry in the Car

Items to be carried or kept in the car are:

  • the vehicle registration papers
  • a driving licence and photographic identity
  • insurance certificate
  • a red warning triangle (trangolo) to be used in the event of a break down or accident
  • a reflective vest to be used in the event of a break-down or accident
  • spare spectacles or contact lenses if the driver uses corrective eye-wear (an Italian driving licence states if the holder wears spectacles)
  • special documentation for vehicles with 10 or more seats