Driving certificate

Driving to Italy from the UK: top tips

Fancy a long road trip in Italy? Our guide has all the information you need ahead of time

One of the greatest things the automobile offers is the promise of freedom – the ability to drive where you want, when you want.

And once you’ve crossed the English Channel and entered mainland Europe, much of the world is yours, with Italy being one of the countries you might consider driving to, especially if you want avoid the usual stress and uncertainty. inherent in air transport.

There are a few key things to know before hitting the road though, and this guide will walk you through them.

What do I need before driving from the UK to Italy?

You will clearly need a full UK driving license and you must also be over 18 to drive in Italy.

Even if you may not be asked for them at any time, it is advisable to bring your insurance certificate as well as a copy of your car’s V5C logbook.

Also, make sure you pack high visibility vests, because while it’s not mandatory to wear them in Italy, you could be fined if you break down and don’t wear one on a road trip. hard shoulder.

An Italian road trip has a certain charm

You’ll also want European breakdown cover, so check with your provider if this comes automatically with any policy you might have.

Oh, and don’t forget a country of origin sticker for your car – it’s now a ‘UK’ badge rather than a ‘GB’ badge.

What does my car need before driving from UK to Italy?

It’s a good idea to do a thorough check of your car before any long trip, making sure all fluids are at the correct level, checking that all your lights are working properly, and making sure the tires are in good condition and at the right pressure.

Italy drives on the right, so consider whether you need adhesive headlight converters to prevent your car from dazzling other drivers at night, or whether your car has a mode that changes the beam angle of the headlights.

Some modern cars will use GPS technology to automatically detect the country you are in and adjust the headlights accordingly, while other vehicles may need to be instructed to switch their headlights to left-hand drive mode. Consult your vehicle’s manual for more information.

check if your car automatically adjusts its headlights to right-hand drive, if you have to do it yourself

You will also need to make sure your car has a danger warning triangle, and it is also recommended that you have a set of spare bulbs for your car.

I’m going to drive through France – what else do I need?

You will need the reflective vests mentioned above, but you will need one for each occupant of the vehicle. Also carry a disposable breathalyzer.

If you cross Paris by car, you will have to pay for a Crit’Air sticker (abbreviation of Air Quality Certificate). This displays your car’s emission class, with cars that do not meet Euro 4 emissions criteria being banned from entering the area inside the ring road between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday.

Do I need the same if I go through Belgium and Germany?

Regulations in Germany and Belgium are broadly similar to those in other EU countries (drive on the right, warning triangles are mandatory, adjust your headlights), but if you’re traveling in Germany, you might be tempted to stretch your legs of your car on the freeway.

Note that not all sections of the German motorway network are unlimited and you should be confident in both the mechanical condition of your car and your own abilities as a driver before performing any type of sprint.

How much will it cost to drive from UK to Italy?

It depends on where you are going in Italy, how efficient your car is and where you will be stopping for the night – the trip to Italy is too long to responsibly cover in one daytime.

Let’s say you are heading from London to Milan via France, a distance of about 800 miles. If your car manages a consistent 35 mpg in the real world and runs on petrol, that’s 23 gallons (105 litres) of fuel, with French and Italian prices being around €1.80 for a liter of unleaded , so on petrol alone you’ll spend around €189, or around £160.

If you’re driving to Bari on Italy’s south-east coast, it’s more like 1,330 miles, which would bring your fuel costs down to something in the region of £262 at 35mpg.

Add an extra £300 for accommodation and food (this will vary hugely depending on your tastes in food and hotel, and the number of people in your party), and you’re looking at around £500-£600 for your travel. – although these are very rough estimates.

You will also need to consider the cost of Autoroute tolls in France and Autostrade tolls in Italy.

Where should I stop on the way if I’m driving from the UK to Italy?

Again, it depends on where you are going in Italy and what route you take to get there. Lyon, Cologne, Dijon, Strasbourg and Reims in France could all work for an overnight stopover, or you might want to detour to the Nürburgring in Germany, or check out Geneva in Switzerland.

If you’re heading further afield in Italy than Milan, you might want to visit Bologna or San Marino, while those looking for scenic drives might consider taking the coast from Monaco and Nice to Genoa, or checking out the Alpine passes. from Germany and Austria, or through the Mont Blanc tunnel in Switzerland. It’s a long journey, with multiple route and stopover options, and you’ll be in the best position to decide where you’d like to see along the way.

How long will it take me to drive from the UK to Italy?

As mentioned above, Italy is a big place, and it depends on where you’re going – but plan between 1 and 30 hours, not including rest and overnight stops.

How is it, driving in Italy itself?

It’s reasonable to expect a country home to automakers Maserati, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lanborghini and Pagani to have enthusiastic drivers, and that’s definitely the case with Italy.

Some might find the prospect of driving in Italy daunting, but many people return from an Italian road trip with positive memories of driving.

Italian roads have a lot to offer

A few Italy-specific rules to keep in mind:

  • On narrow mountain roads that can accommodate only one vehicle, the descending vehicle must reverse to a crossing location.
  • It is technically forbidden to honk in urban areas. Judge for yourself if this rule is respected.
  • Urban speed limits are 50-70 km/h (31-44 mph)
  • Outside the city, the limit is 90 to 110 km/h (56 to 68 mph)
  • Autostrade (motorways) have a limit of 130 km/h (81 mph), reduced to 110 km/h in rain or snow.
  • Radar speed detectors are illegal
  • Fines for speeding can range from €40 to €4,400 (the latter being for the most serious offences), with the police able to demand payment on the spot of 25% of the fine.
  • Italy’s drink-driving limit is 0.5mg, lower than the 0.8 allowed in the UK

Where should I go when I arrive in Italy?

With a history dating back to before the time of Christ and covering 116,310 square miles, there’s a reason long, comprehensive guides exist for Italy (and other countries, of course).

The Ferrari Museum offers a lot for oil lovers

We’ll stick to what we know, though, and recommend visiting Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari in Maranello, Museo Automobili Lamborghini near Bologna, Maserati Factory Tour in Modena, Pagani Factory Tour in San Cesario sul Panaro, the Museo Storico Alfa Roméo just north of Milan… you get the idea.

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