RAC Cars News


Driving Holidays In Italy

By raccars Published

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France and Spain may be the most popular destinations for Brits who choose to drive abroad for their summer holiday, but Italy is gaining in popularity, thanks to its delicious food, beautiful scenery, amazing historic significance and, of course, the balmy Mediterranean climate. As usual when you are driving abroad, you should make sure you have researched the different driving regulations and customs at your destination.

You can drive legally in Italy with a full, valid UK driving licence, as in all European Union member states. You should also carry with you your insurance documentation and your car's V5C registration document. If your car's number plate doesn't display a GC-euro symbol, then you should use a GB sticker. The law in Italy stipulates that each car must be provided with warning triangles and high visibility jackets in case of breakdowns.

While driving, you should use DRLs or side lights at all times, day or night. Right hand drive vehicles must fit beam deflectors to headlamps, to prevent other motorists being dazzled by your lights. It is illegal to use speed camera detection devices in Italy but you are permitted to use the fixed camera location warning on your satellite navigation system. Mobile phones must not be used while driving but you can use Bluetooth and hands free devices.

Italy's legal blood alcohol limit is in line with most of the rest of Europe, at 50mg per 100ml, or zero tolerance for those who have held their licence for less than three years or who are driving professionally.

Italian motorways are called Autostradas and are subject to toll charges. The fee you pay is based on the distance travelled, so the 215km route from Bologna to Milan, for example, will be charged at €14.60 for cars and €20.00 with a trailer or caravan. Italy is also one of the few European countries where fuel costs more than in the UK, so fill up before you cross the border from France!

The standard insurance policy allows you to drive your car for up to 90 days in EU countries, usually with third party cover only. However, you should check your policy details before leaving, to make sure you are legally insured and consider paying for an extension to your policy, to provide more comprehensive cover. Breakdown cover is optional in Italy but is always a good idea. Most larger breakdown recovery firms cover all EU countries but, again, it's worthwhile checking before you leave and making additions to the contract if necessary.

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