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I am staying in Italy for the summer and I already got an international driving permit to drive. However, I got my license last November (less than a year ago) and I want to know if I can drive any kind of car, or if there's any limitation (as there are for Italian citizens with an Italian license).

Does somebody know the answer or has had experience?

Thanks.

  • 1
    Do you plan on renting the car? More than being legally allowed to drive some car or the other, renting the car might be an issue. – SJuan76 May 13 at 13:53
  • My parents have a care there – Luke Brown May 13 at 16:23
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While the other answer correctly states the limitations for domestic licenses, international driving licenses are governed by international treaties.

If you hold an International Driving Permit according to the Geneva Convention it should be completely valid for the class of vehicles noted on the IDP[1].

To be on the safe side, however, you should assume that at least the reduced speed limits for a new driver do apply (as does the code of the road).

International driving licenses are only required for non-EU drivers - if you have an EU license, it is basically treated the same as an Italian one.

However, you need to be at least 18 years old. This is the minimum legal driving age (for cars) in Italy; and the international conventions explicitly allow to refuse younger drivers. You must also not be a resident in Italy - once you take residence, you're required to obtain an Italian license.

The car needs to be "legal" as well (so all the bits about insurance do always apply).

Even if you're legal to drive, car rentals can (and will) refuse to rent or surcharge you if you're young (e.g. under 25) and/or a new driver.

[1] Note that some nations (like Russia, Germany and Mexico) also issue permits under the Vienna Convention, and cross-acceptance between nations using different conventions can sometimes be murky; though Italy should supposedly accept both.

(Edited to add information about EU licenses and cautions)

  • in fact, you don't need an IDP at all. It's not a driver's license, but just a piece of paper providing a translation of a driver's license in various other languages. – jwenting May 15 at 3:32
  • That isn't universally true. While you may not need an IDP in many case, they may also be required. (From the Geneva convention: "A Contracting State may however require that any driver [...] shall carry an international driving permit [...]"). – averell May 15 at 4:42
  • never needed one anywhere in Europe or North America. Maybe if I'd had a license from some obscure country or a country with a non-Latin alphabet it'd be different :) – jwenting May 15 at 5:04
  • Note that "need one" isn't always the same as "technically required". E.g. some U.S. states will technically require international permits; but will accept European licenses even without. For Italy the law (linked above, Italian only though) says that you need a translation or IDP - however I suppose that the police may also accept licenses that they are familiar with or they can somehow understand. – averell May 15 at 5:25
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I am not sure the following applies, but here's a reference for new italian license holders (in italian): https://www.automobile.it/magazine/neopatentati/quali-auto-possono-guidare-neopatentati-1669#limitazioni-per-neopatentati

If you are "neopatentato" (new license holder, less than 2 years IIRC) you:

  • should not drive high power cars (engine power limit is 70kW / 95 Hp) you should be ok with most cars
  • absolutely no alcohol before driving (Italy's limit is 0.5 grams/liter blood alcohol level)
  • lower speed limits
    • 90 km/h where limit is 110 km/h
    • 100 km/h where limit is 130 km/h (toll highways)

Other useful hints:

  • always have your original license and IDP with you and a valid ID (passport or other)
  • make sure the car you are driving is insured and that the insurance covers a non-owner driving. Insurances may have a limit on age of driver
  • make sure the car has passed the bi-annual inspection ("revisione")
  • make sure the car has the owner's card in it ("libretto")
  • in case police stops you, surrender IDP, ID and "libretto", they should not ask you for insurance since they check it using your plate number, but better to have a paper copy with you (no source for this info, I read it on the news)

source: I'm Italian

Enjoy the most beautiful country :-)

  • 2
    The IDP is not valid by itself, so the "always have...with you" point should include the underlying license as well as the IDP and valid ID (I assume that the license would not count as valid ID under Italian law). – phoog May 14 at 16:56
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    Those restrictions only apply if OP has an Italian license. If he has a license from another country he's not restricted. – JonathanReez May 14 at 18:20

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