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Transportation Options in Italy for New Residents


If you're new to Italy, you may be wondering about your transportation options. There are a number of different ways to get around, including renting a car, buying a car, using public transportation, or hiring a private driver.


Rental Cars


Renting a car is a great option if you want to have more flexibility and freedom to explore Italy at your own pace. There are a number of different rental car companies in Italy, so you can find one that fits your budget and needs.

  • Daily rentals: Rental cars are available for daily, weekly, or monthly rentals. Daily rentals are the most expensive option, but they can be a good choice if you only need a car for a short period of time. Weekly rentals are a more affordable option, and they can be a good choice if you're planning on doing a lot of driving. Monthly rentals are the most affordable option, and they can be a good choice if you're planning on staying in Italy for an extended period of time.

  • Discounted monthly rentals: Not all rental car companies offer discounted monthly rentals, but some do. These rentals are usually available during the off-season, so you can save money if you're planning on visiting Italy during the winter or spring.

  • Tip: Get full coverage insurance at the rental counter. Driving in Italy is an adventure, make sure you are fully insured before venturing out.

Buying a Car


If you plan on staying in Italy for an extended period of time, you may want to consider buying a car. This can be a more cost-effective option in the long run, especially if you plan on doing a lot of driving.

  • Documents: When buying a car in Italy, you will need to provide the following documents:

    • Proof of ownership

    • Act of Sale

    • Valid vehicle inspection certificate

    • Passport or Carta d’identita

    • Residence certificate

    • Codice fiscale

    • Proof of insurance

Good to know: Automobil Club d’Italia (ACI) provides useful information such as where to pay your car taxes.


Used Cars


If you're buying a used car, you will also need to provide the following documents:

  • Vehicle registration certificate

  • Act of Sale

  • Inspections

It is always a good idea to have a mechanic inspect the car at the time of purchase or request the seller produce a report of a recent inspection.


Where to buy


There are a number of different places where you can buy a car in Italy. You can buy a car from a dealership, from a private seller, or at an auction.


Public Transportation


Italy has a well-developed public transportation system, so you can get around without a car if you need to. There are trains, buses, and trams that can take you to most major cities and towns.

  • Trains: Trenitalia is the national railway company in Italy. They operate a network of high-speed trains, regional trains, and local trains.

  • Buses: There are a number of different bus companies in Italy. They operate a network of intercity buses, regional buses, and local buses.

  • Trams: Trams are a popular form of public transportation in some Italian cities. They are a good option for getting around the city center.

Private Drivers


If you're looking for a more luxurious or convenient way to get around, you can hire a private driver. This can be a good option if you're traveling with a group or if you have limited mobility.

  • Uber Black Car: Uber Black Car is available in many major cities in Italy. This is a more expensive option, but it can be a good choice if you want a reliable and comfortable ride.

  • Taxis: Taxis are a good option if you need a ride to the airport or to a train station. They are also a good option if you're traveling in a group.

  • Local drivers for the day and errands: There are a number of companies that offer local drivers for the day or for errands. This can be a good option if you need help getting around or if you need someone to run errands for you.

Equipment Required to Have in Your Car in Italy


By law, all cars in Italy must have a warning triangle and a reflective vest. It is also recommended to have a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and a tool kit in your car.


Driver's License


Italy and the USA do not have a driver's license exchange agreement. Your driver’s license from the US is not exchangeable for an Italian license. After 1 year of residency in Italy, your US license will no longer be valid and you will need to take the course and tests for the Italian driver’s license. This test is 2 parts, theory and practical and taken in Italian (a small number of areas allow for the test in German and French).


To drive legally during the first year of residency or as a tourist, you need to have an International Driver’s Permit. The IDP is a translation of your USA license, it is $20 and available at your local AAA before leaving the US.


Note: Many rental car companies will not ask you for the IDP. If you are pulled over by the police or involved in an accident you will need to produce your IDP and your US driver’s license by law. Failure to show the IDP may result in a fine and ticket.


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