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Italy: Car Import, Registration, Insurance

With plenty of picturesque routes across the country, driving around Italy can be a great way to explore. However, the local driving style can take some getting used to. Read our guide to help prepare yourself for a venture onto the Italian roads.
A drive through the Italian Alps is beautiful, but also requires your fullest attention to the curvy roads.

Bringing Your Own Ride

If you want to bring your own car to Italy from another European country, you have little to worry about in terms of customs regulations. You simply need to register it in Italy in order to get Italian license plates.

Police tend to pull persons with foreign plates over and request registration information. If it turns out that you have legal residence in Italy but have not yet registered your car, your car may be impounded. It is therefore a wise decision to go directly to a registration office and apply for Italian plates.

Importing your car from a non-EU country requires you to pay an import duty and a registration fee. Used cars have a higher import tax, and owners of new vehicles imported into Italy have to pay the standard VAT of 22%. Provided you are able to prove that you have been the owner of your car for more than 12 months, you can import the vehicle duty free.

Vehicle Registration

In order to register your car, you need to prove that you reside legally in Italy and own the car. If your car is used, it needs to pass an inspection before you can get your plates. This is to make sure that it complies with Italian safety and technical standards. The following rule applies: if your car is more than six months old and has a mileage of more than 6,000 kilometers, it is considered used.

You also have to supply the following documents:

  • proof of cancellation from the traffic control authority in your home country
  • your vehicle registration documents (original, copy, Italian translation)
  • roadworthiness certificate (original, copy, Italian translation)

Car Insurance in Italy

Italy has compulsory civil liability insurance, and it is highly recommended to get a comprehensive vehicle insurance package. Contact the ACI (Automobile Club d’Italia) for information on where and how to apply for insurance, as it depends on the region you live in.

Buying a Car in Italy

If bringing your own car to Italy is too inconvenient and expensive for you, buying a car is not a bad alternative. Quattro Ruote is a good website for finding both new and used cars in Italy. The process of buying a car is similar to almost any other country. Be aware that things are made much simpler if you have legal residence in Italy before purchasing a vehicle.


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