Getting About in Italy…. Part One – Driving

Getting About in Italy…. Part One – Driving

Hi… It’s Lisa here, doing my first blog post which I hope you will find informative. My first blog is about driving in Italy.

Getting around Italy can be easy or very stressful! I’m going to cover the various modes of transportation in Italy which I hope will enable tourists and people looking to relocate to this beautiful country.


DON’T DO IT IF IT CAN BE HELPED!!!!!!!! No, I’m being serious here- the Italian drivers are a law unto themselves. They don’t take notice of road signs, lane markings or speed limits. The drivers don’t use indicators or their brakes. They are impatient and can be intimidating.

Obviously not all Italians are bad drivers but from my experience, there are very few who are not. Now my Italian friends, please don’t get all huffy about what I have said…. you are all wonderful drivers!!!!

Driving in Italy - crazy parking!

I refuse to drive in Italy and I have been driving for 30+ years. It is too stressful and intimidating. I leave the driving to Craig who has adopted a very aggressive driving style. I now just sit in the passenger seat whimpering and “ghost-braking” every 10 seconds. He gets quite exasperated but it’s an involuntary response to ward off a nervous breakdown!

Petrol Stations

If you find you have to drive, the upside is fuel is quite cheap compared to the UK.

The fuel stations will either be manned or unmanned and woe-betide if you start to fill up your tank at a manner petrol station. There is usually a sign at the garage to inform you whether it is manned or not.

The unmanned garages have a machine and you have to put your credit card and enter the amount of fuel you need before you can fill up. Be aware that debit cards are not generally accepted unless they are Italian. The machines however do take cash.

Buying a car in Italy

If you are looking to relocate to Italy and are thinking of buying a secondhand car over here, be warned that they are a lot more expensive than in the UK. You also have to pay a transfer fee which is dependent on the engine size of the car, so it can vary. MOT’s are required every two years and the checks are very cursory to say the least and take about 20 minutes to complete!

Driving in Italy - always somewhere to park!

Fully comprehensive insurance is incredibly expensive and is generally only available for new or nearly new cars. There is an equivalent to Compare the Market which we found useful to insure our car. Read the small print though because things like third party is just third party and not third party fire and theft etc.

The next installment will be on train travel which, I am pleased to say, is more relaxing!!! Until then, ciao a tutti!

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