Guide car: travel info italy – speed limit, toll, fine

there are a few things to keep in mind when traveling by car in italy. because the traffic regulations differ in part from the german road traffic regulations.

SPORT1 explains the most important differences you should be aware of during your next stay in italy.

speed limits and fines in italy

The following speed limits apply to passenger cars in Italy:

  • Freeways: 130 km/h (on six-lane highways: 150 km/h)
  • expressways: 110 km/h
  • Country roads: 90 km/h
  • In town: 50 km/h

Attention: on freeways, please note that the speed is reduced to 110 km/h in bad weather conditions. On country roads the speed limit is then 90 km/h.

Especially novice drivers should pay attention to the speed limits. In the first three years after receiving your driver’s license, you are allowed to drive at a maximum speed of 100 km/h on highways and 90 km/h on country roads.

For cars with a caravan, a speed limit of 70 km/h applies outside towns and on expressways. On the freeway, the maximum speed allowed is 80 km/h.

In Italy, different speed limits also apply to motorhomes outside built-up areas and on freeways. If you weigh between 3.5 and 12 tons, the maximum speed limit is 80 km/h in built-up areas and 100 km/h on freeways. If the motorhome weighs more than 12 tons, you are allowed to drive up to 70 km/h in built-up areas and a maximum of 80 km/h on freeways.

The observance of the speed limit is not only checked selectively with radar systems, but also with the so-called tutor system. It determines the average speed between two measuring points. The test sections can be very long and extend over more than 200 kilometers – but there are also much shorter sections. An overview of the sections on which the tutor system is installed is available online from the freeway operator austostrada

SPORT1 advises: respect the speed limits at all times. The tutor system is used on many routes and penalizes any violation.

According to the automobile club of germany (avd), a fine of between 155 and 624 euro can be levied for speeding. It is also possible that the fine will increase by 30 percent between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. In case of an accident under the influence of alcohol, the penalty doubles.

Freeway tolls in italy

car drivers have to pay a toll for most italian highways. The toll is partly levied as a lump sum and partly as a flexible charge based on the distance traveled. With the toll calculator of the freeway operator autostrade you can calculate the expected toll costs.

Exceptions to the italian freeway toll apply on the A3 between salerno and reggio di calabria and in sicily. On the island only the A18 between cania and messina and the A20 between palermo and messina are subject to tolls.


The most convenient way to pay the toll is via telepass. It is an electronic billing procedure. you need a transponder, which you place in the vehicle. Telepass offers the advantage that you will be processed more quickly at the toll stations. You do not need to stop, but can pass the tollbooth in the respective lane at reduced speed.

Telepass can be used in other areas: you can also use it to pay in many italian parking lots and on the ferry villa san giovanni – messina.

Before driving, you can purchase the system online from the provider tolltickets. For a conventional trip, it is advisable to choose the option "short-term use" to book. This option can be used for up to 12 months. If you do not return the device afterwards, the contract will be changed into a "long-term use" converted.

If you use the system for a car, you have to pay a one-time activation fee of 5 euro within the first 28 days and a provision fee of 1.75 euro per day. Of course, you will also have to pay tolls if you drive on a toll road.

The dispatch of the transponder can take up to 7 days. You can set the shipping date with the operator toll tickets and thus also limit the delivery date.

Paying at the toll station

Of course you can also pay the toll in the classical way at the toll station. The principle is as follows: when you enter the freeway, you receive a toll card which you hand in at a counter when you leave the freeway. you can pay the toll in cash or by EC or credit card. In advance of a trip to italy, you can also buy a prepaid card (viacard) to pay the toll, which has a credit balance. You can buy the viacard with different credits at the automobile club of europe before starting your trip.

Subsequent payment

The modern freeways A36, A59 and A60 are excluded from the direct payment, where the journeys are settled within 15 days through the operator’s internet site. If you are not connected to an electronic toll payment system, you can pay the toll in cash at certain service stations. The electronic system is called "free flow designated, since you no longer have to stop at the toll station. The registration is done by means of the license plate during the ride. With telepass, the costs incurred on these routes can also be recorded and billed.

Special safety regulations in italy

Winter tires obligation

There is no general obligation to use winter tires in Italy. It is dependent on the respective provinces. Which regulation is valid in the respective region, should be inquired individually before the beginning of the journey. In South Tyrol, for example, between 15. November and the 15. April the obligation to be equipped with winter tires. In the aosta Valley, between the age of 15. October and the 15. April an obligation to be equipped with winter tires. winter tires or summer tires with snow chains are allowed.

obligation to use lights

In Italy, headlights are compulsory all year round in built-up areas and on freeways. modern vehicles equipped with daytime running lights may use them.

blood alcohol limit

A vehicle may be driven with an alcohol level of up to 0.5 per mille. If a violation is detected, a fine of at least 530 euro is to be expected. If you exceed the limit of 1.5 per mille the vehicle can be impounded.

Phone at the wheel

Drivers are only allowed to use a telephone with a hands-free kit.

Smoking ban

Those traveling in italy must also be prepared for stricter protection of non-smokers in the car. If pregnant or minors are in the car, they are not allowed to smoke.

Child seat

For children weighing less than 9 kilograms, you must use a rear-facing child seat.

If the child is less than 1.5 meters and weighs between 9 and 36 kilograms, you need a child seat designed for the size and weight of the child.

Special traffic rules

On mountain and mountain pass roads, uphill vehicles always have priority. An exception is made for buses: they always have priority.

This is to be considered in italian cities

environmental zones

In many cities there are passage restrictions. You will be considered as "zona traffico limitato" (ZTL) designated. you can only enter these areas with a permit. For vacationers, it is important to check before traveling whether the destination is in such an area. Then you must apply for an exemption in time.

However, this is only available with sufficient justification, for example if your hotel is located in a ZTL. In certain cases, the exemption can be requested only by the hotel.

If you have not applied for a permit, you should in any case not drive in the area. At the entrances there are cameras that register every offense. An infringement is punishable by a fine of at least 80 euros.

congestion charge

In bologna, palermo and milan an additional city toll is charged. The day ticket costs 5 to 6 euros for tourists. Depending on the city, there are multi-day or monthly tickets at a lower price. Some mountain passes and tunnels are also subject to an additional charge.


If you want to park your vehicle in an urban area, you should pay attention to the color of the parking areas and zones. It provides information on the conditions under which a vehicle may be parked in this area. The following rules apply:

  • White: in principle, these parking areas can be used free of charge. However, restrictions must be observed.
  • Blue: these are metered parking spaces or those where a parking disc must be used.
  • Yellow: the parking spaces are reserved for certain road users – for example for severely handicapped people or residents.

Fuel prices in italy

According to ADAC, fuel prices in italy are higher than in germany. Super gasoline and diesel are about 18 cents per liter more expensive. Refueling can be unnecessarily expensive if you go to a gas station with attendant. Make sure the gas station is marked with "fai de te" (self-service) is marked.

In italy, too, it’s worth getting off the highway to fill up. However, gas stations on country roads or in towns are closed at night. They usually open around 7 a.m. and close around 7 p.m.30 o’clock. In part, a lunch break between 12.30 and 15.30 o’clock obligatory.

However, unmanned gas stations are widespread, where you pay via a vending machine. They are available around the clock. Make sure you have enough cash with you, as the vending machines may not accept foreign EC and credit cards.

What does it cost to drive from germany to italy?

If you want to drive from germany to italy, you have to drive either through switzerland or austria. if you choose the direct route via the freeway, you will have to pay additional tolls in both countries.

in switzerland you only have the possibility to buy a freeway vignette for the whole year. It costs 36.50 euros and applies regardless of the date of purchase. You can use the vignette during the year indicated, as well as in the december before and the january after. So it has a validity of 14 months.

The alternative route through austria is cheaper not only because of the freeway tolls. For the shortest period of ten days, the vignette is available at the price of 9.20 euros. In addition, the prices for gasoline and diesel are cheaper than in switzerland. It can also be worthwhile to fill up the car with gas.

What must I have in my car in italy?

In order to avoid penalties in the event of a traffic control, it is necessary in Italy to carry the following items in addition to the warning vest:

  • First aid kit
  • Warning triangle
  • Vehicle registration
  • Driver’s license

SPORT1 advice: do not leave important travel documents or your vehicle and driver’s licenses in the car. In the event of vehicle theft, you will also lose these. Thieves can use the vehicle registration document to pass themselves off as authorized drivers.

by the way, the BF17 driving license (accompanied driving at 17 years) made in germany is not recognized in italy.

Attention novice drivers: even if you have already passed the probationary period in germany after two years, stricter regulations apply in italy. Even foreign drivers are still considered novice drivers three years after getting their license.

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