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Chile Driving Guide 2020

Driving in Chile is not so different to driving in the USA, as long as you have an International Driving Permit and an understanding of the basic rules.

Lisa Brown

March 31, 2020

INTRODUCTION

Chile was ruled in the northern part of the country by the Inca before the Spanish showed up in the 1500s. The Mapuche, an indigenous group, lived in central and southern Chile. The country declared its independence from Spain in 1810, but it did not break free from the Spanish completely until 1818. It added territory during the War of the Pacific from 1879 to 1883, during which it won land from Peru and Bolivia. Several elected governments ran the country. Salvador Allende was the Marxist leader of the government who was taken out of power in 1973 by a military coup. Augusto Pinochet then led the country until an elected president was sworn in in 1990. The country has seen steady growth, significantly reduced poverty rates, and the rise of a strong democratic and representative government.

The population of Chile is estimated to 18,186,770, and nearly 89 percent of the country is white and non-indigenous. The Mapuche makes up nine percent of the population, and other indigenous groups are also present in the country, including Aymara, Rapa Nui, Likan Antai, Quechua, Colla, Diaguita, Kawesqar, Yagam/Yamana, and others. About two-thirds of the country is Roman Catholic, while another 16 percent or so is 

Evangelical/Protestant. Most of the country lives in the middle third of the country around Santiago, the capital. There are very few people in the north near the Atacama Desert, and the extreme south is nearly empty as well.

If you plan to visit South America, your trip would be incomplete without a trip to Chile. Boasting some of the most stunning scenery and indigenous cultural diversity in the world, Chile is a country worth taking a road trip in. Traveling from north to south in this narrow South American country will be the trip of a lifetime. Take the time to learn about Chile’s past, great places to visit, and to take in some tips to make your holiday one to remember.

Renting a car will allow you to explore not just the big cities but also those all-important towns, villages and landmarks in Chile

Where to Go in Chile

Chile is a long and narrow country, and it includes a subtropical climate in the north and tundra in the south. For a great first-person guide to driving in Chile, check out Chris Moss’s article in The Telegraph from 10 November 2017, entitled “Desert, flamingos, and Snow: Why Chile Provides a Road Trip Like No Other.” His tips and the personal journey will tell you some of the top places in the country to visit.

Visit La Serena in the northern part of the country. It is the second oldest town in the country and has beautiful architecture and a gorgeous beach. You’ll find it has a reputation as an intellectual town, and it features an archaeological museum and astronomical observatory. Bike in Elqui Valley, or swim/snorkel/dive at Isla Damas (or hike), and visit the Fray Jorge national park if you love the outdoors.

In Santiago, you’ll be able to see the stellar mountain views of Cerro San Cristobal Park. Pablo Neruda’s writing retreat is there if you like to see where poetry history was made. You can ski Valle Nevado or Portillo or do some wine tasting at Vina Aquitania. If you love museums, head the Museo Chile de Arte Precolumbio or Museo de la Moda. Hiking is wonderful in the mountains at Cajon de Maipo.

Except for Tierra del Fuego, Chiloé Island is the largest island in the Los Lagos region. The architecture and culture here are very unique. Wooden churches were built by the Spanish and Jesuit missionaries to try to Christianize the southern archipelago.

If you like gambling and beaches, you’re going to love Iquique. It’s a casino town with a lively boardwalk and amazing Georgian architecture from the 19th century. It’s also a great place to surf, paraglide, or sand-board. If you like history, you can walk down the wooden sidewalks of a historic mining town. The cobbled street of Baquedano gives you a glimpse into its bustling history.

As you head south, you’ll be able to take in the many fjords and channels. They provide the only way to experience this area of Patagonia. You can take trips that start from Puerto Montt and head toward Carretera Austral, Laguna San Rafael, and Puerto Natales. You might see whales, birds, and sea lions as you move south where the channels are narrower than further north.
Valparaiso is located on the coast of Central Chile, and it’s an important port city. It has working-class roots and an underground street art movement. It is famous for its brightly colored houses, great nightlife, and stunning views of the sea.

The Chilean Lake District is a volcanic valley area that goes from Puerto Montt in the South to Temuco further north. You’ll see forests, lakes with clear water, and volcanoes covered with snow. This area was home to the Mapuche, one of the tribes that managed to avoid being conquered by the Incas. You can visit Los Alerces National Park to experience some gorgeous nature. The mountains in the area are only two thousand years old, so they are very tall and rugged.

San Pedro de Atacama is a Chilean town on the border of a massive flood and salt plan dwarfed by mountains the color of copper. Star tours are popular as it is one of the darkest places on earth.

Torres del Paine is a national park located in the southernmost part of Chile. Three large stone pillars, called the “towers of blue,” are the park’s namesake. You can find several other similar towers and glacier lakes. You can move through this park via minivan tours, hikes that take several days, or catamaran trips. You can also see some of the parks on horseback. To see most of the park, however, you will want to hire one of the many guide companies who can help carry your equipment and cook meals on hikes that take between five and seven days.

Over 2,000 miles from the middle of Chile lies Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. This island has several giant statues of humans carved by Polynesians, but no one knows much else about them or why they are there. You can only see the statues from a distance, but you can hike around the island and hang out on two white-sand beaches or go diving off the coast. The island also has an extinct cinder cone and several tours run by natives of the island that allow you to see views that you wouldn’t otherwise get to experience.

If you forget or make a last minute decision that you want to rent a car while you are in Chile, it is possible to get an IDP through a premium fast track service, and it will be sent to you electronically in just a few hours.

Driving in Chile

Driving in Chile as a U.S. citizen is not a complicated process. Driving in Chile with a U.S. license is not hard to do. In fact, regarding driving in Chile, the U.S. embassy says, “[v]isitors can drive with a valid U.S. license for the duration of their tourist permits, which usually last 90 days.” But go ahead and get an International Driver’s Permit just in case your car rental company requires it. It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Getting one is a simple process and doesn’t take much time to do before you leave for your trip to Chile.

Motorcycles

Driving a motorcycle in Chile with a U.S. driver’s license is fine provided you have an endorsement to drive a motorcycle on your American license. You should also have one of your IDP if you get one (which you should, just in case). There are several motorcycle rental and touring companies that will help you plan a trip in just about any part of the country on a motorcycle. You can get fully-featured tours that include hotel stays and meals to make your trip easy and enjoyable! Driving a motorcycle through the incredible vistas of the Carrera Austral in Patagonia or the Atacama Desert in the northern part of the country. You should expect to pay twice as much as you would for a car rental, though.

Getting a Chilean License

If you’re from Canada, Germany, or Australia, you do not need an IDP, either. However, if you’re from another country than these, you will need an IDP to drive while you’re in Chile. Getting an international driving license in Chile isn’t an option. (“International Driving License” is often used the same as “International Driving Permit.”) You should get one before you leave home if you want to drive while you’re in Chile. Once your visa has expired, you’ll need to get a Chilean driver’s license to drive legally. You’ll need to pick up an application for a Chilean driver’s license and file it at the motor vehicle department of the municipal building in your home district. To get a Chilean license, you’ll need to
  • Be 18 years old or older.
  • Have a Chilean identification card.
  • Have a school record to show that you’ve completed at least the 8th grade or higher. If your school records are from the U.S., they must be authenticated at a Chilean Consul in the U.S. U.S. consular officials are not allowed to authenticate U.S.-issued documents for use in other countries.
  • Pass the written and practical driving tests as well as a medical exam.

Get Your International Driver's Permit in 2 hours

An IDP is a legal requirement to drive or rent a car in several foreign countries. It is also a United Nations regulated travel document for your safety and ease of travel.

Renting a Car in Chile

Driving in Chile with a U.S. driver’s license is fine if you want to rent a car, but, as mentioned previously, get an IDP just in case the car rental company requires it. You don’t need a car rental in Santiago as there is plenty of public transportation available, but you’ll need a vehicle if you’re traveling somewhere else in the country, like the Lake District or if you want to do a seaside drive. Here is what you need to rent a car in Chile:

  • You should be 20 years of age or older (Although some sources say you must be 25 or 21. Check with your rental agency.)
  • A credit card in the driver’s name (or maybe a large cash deposit, depending on the agency).
  • Home country driver’s license.
  • International Driving Permit (just in case).
  • The U.S. embassy in Chile notes that you may not be able to get insurance in some forms if you don’t have a Chilean or international driver’s permit.
If you’re wondering, “What is the driving age in Chile?” here’s the answer. To drive in Chile, you have to be at least 18 years old and have a driver’s license from your country. You must have held that license for a year. So if you’re too young to rent a car on your own in Chile, but you’re traveling with someone who is, you may be able to drive the vehicle if you meet these requirements. Check the rules with your car rental company.
Expect to pay about 24,000 Chilean pesos, or about USD$28, per day for a car with a 150-200 km daily limit (or maybe unlimited mileage). Extra insurance, fuel, and the 19 percent IVA (value-added tax) will add significantly to the cost of renting a vehicle.
You can rent a car in Chile for one-way trips. Expect to pay different prices based on the rental company. It is not allowed to drive your rental car from Chile and drop it off in another country.
If you’re going to travel for several months, it may make sense to purchase a car. You have to change the title within 30 days, or you may have to pay a fine. You can do this through a notary by asking for a compraventa, which costs about 8,000 Chilean pesos, or USD$9.50. Additionally, you’ll have to get a tax identification number, a Rol Único Tributario, and you can get it through Impuestos Internos, the Chilean tax department. It takes about 10 days to get this number. You can’t sell Chilean cars in other countries.
You can find cheap cars for sale in duty-free areas of Regiónes I and XII (Tarapacá and Magallanes), but only people who are permanent legal residents of those zones can drive the vehicles outside the areas for up to 90 days each year.
You’ll also need “insurance coverage in the event of death or bodily injury as a direct consequence of accidents in which the insured vehicle participates. It will also cover the expenses if you are a pedestrian or the passenger of a public motorized transportation service, but will not cover any damages to the vehicle,” according to the U.S. embassy in Chile. Seguro Obligatorio de Accidentes Personales is the name of this insurance or SOAP, and you must buy it once a year when you purchase your vehicle’s registration.

Truck Driving in Chile

If you plan to live and work in Chile, and you want to drive a truck, you will need to get a Chilean license for truck driving. Truck driving in Chile means getting a license that suits the class of vehicle that you will be driving. For example, a professional license class A4 or A5 will allow you to drive a cargo vehicle that weighs over 3,500 kilograms. Go to your transportation center in your city’s municipality buildings to take the necessary exam(s) and to learn more about getting your license.

Driving in Chile and Argentina

Driving over the Argentinian border in Chile can be simple and quick, or you could be stuck for hours. If you’re not prepared, you may even be turned back. If you’re thinking of renting a car and driving to Argentina, make sure you talk to your rental car agency well ahead of time. Most of them will allow you to drive the car over the border, but you will need a special permit to do so. This permit will cost about 20,000 Chilean pesos, or about USD$24. You will also need a permit to cross the border into Argentina as well as special insurance. If you’re leaving Santiago, go north on Route 57, and then head towards Argentina on Route 60, but don’t forget to take your passport, permit to take the car into Argentina, and proof of valid insurance. You can get insurance from just about any insurance agency.

Without the permit or insurance, you won’t make it past the border crossing. You’ll head to the immigration center in Horcones 16 km past the border on Route 7 in Argentina to have your documents checked. Renting a car and driving to Argentina is the road trip of a lifetime across the Andes, and you don’t want to miss it by not having all your documents prepared ahead of time. Without them, you’ll have to turn around and drive right back to Chile.
According to LonelyPlanet.com, “One-way rentals are difficult to arrange, especially with nonchain agencies, and may come with a substantial drop-off charge. Some smaller agencies will, however, usually arrange paperwork for taking cars into Argentina, provided the car is returned to the original office. There may be a substantial charge for taking a car into Argentina and extra insurance must be acquired.”

If you are traveling with kids and want to cross into Argentina, you need their passports (U.S. and Chilean, if there is one Chilean parent or the child, was born in Chile), original birth certificate (or certified copy). If the children are alone or with only one parent, they need travel judicial authorization (notarized permission from non-traveling parent(s)), and Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI).

Get Your International Driver's Permit in 2 hours

An IDP is a legal requirement to drive or rent a car in several foreign countries. It is also a United Nations regulated travel document for your safety and ease of travel.

Driving for Tourists in Chile

Here are some tips for driving in Chile as a tourist:

  • Bencina is the word for gasoline, and it costs about 750 Chilean pesos, or USD$0.89 per liter, and up, and gas-oil(diesel) is cheaper.
  • If you break down, you can usually find at least one good mechanic in even the smallest towns.
  • Carry extra fuel with you when you go to remote areas because fuel may not be available. Rental agencies provide you with an extra container for fuel called a bidón.
  • Purchase extra insurance if you rent a car for additional liability coverage. Read your policy thoroughly. You can usually travel on dirt roads, but you shouldn’t go off-roading. Your credit card may include insurance for your rental card.
  • You’ll pay about 300 Chilean pesos, or USD$0.36, for thirty minutes of street parking. You’ll get a piece of paper under your windshield wiper that states when you arrived from a parking attendant, and you will be charged when you leave. You don’t usually have to pay on weekends. Attendants may be present, but you don’t usually have to pay.
  • You’ll typically drive on good roads in Chile, and there are sometimes toll booths, called peajes on the Pan-Americana. You have to pay when you use a distance of the road, which costs between 600 and 3,000 pesos, or USD$0.71 and $3.56, or when you exit the highway to get into a city (600 Chilean pesos, or USD$0.71). Check www.turistel.cl for a list of tolls.
  • You’ll find that several roads in the southern part of the country are in the process of being paved. You’ll see distance markers every 5 km on the Pan-Americana and the Carretera Austral.
  • Watch out for dogs on the roads and highways. You’ll also see many people using the highways as places to walk, so be careful when you drive.
  • You may be surprised at the number of gravel and dirt roads that pop up unexpectedly in Chile. They are not shown on maps, typically, and road construction can slow you down significantly. Plan accordingly. Road construction can also cause your drive to be muddy and or bumpy.
  • • Drivers in Chile are quite conservative compared to other countries in South America, and this is especially true for pedestrians. Despite this, city drivers often run red lights and don’t always use their turn signals.
  • • Speed limits come with fines of 35,000 Chilean pesos, or about USD$42.
  • • Driving in Santiago, Chile can be difficult because it’s a large city. You’ll see that there are restricciones vehiculares (vehicular restrictions) that are in place according to smog levels. Depending on the last digits on a license plate of a vehicle, you may not be able to drive on certain days. Watch the news the day before you plan to drive to see if there are restrictions on your driving. If you violate those restrictions, you’ll have to pay fines. Check out www.uoct.cl for more information on these rules. The rules typically involve cars without catalytic converters.
  • • If you are in a car accident, report it to the Chilean police, called Carabineros, as soon as you can. Give the name of the injured or dead, the license plate of the vehicle, time/date/place of the accident. The police report will be needed to file for compensation with insurance. Don’t throw away receipts for expenses related to the accident. Insurance may cover all or only some of the medical/funeral expenses. You can find out more about SOAP on the Chilean Securities and Insurance Superintendence website.
  • • Emergency numbers: 131 (fire), 132 (ambulance), 133 (police).
  • • Parking doesn’t always follow rules in Chile, and it is only more formalized in large cities. You’ll still see people parking in odd places there. Just find a safe and marked lot so that you’ll be safe. Some large cities have parking meters or ticket kiosks in commercial areas, but it isn’t expensive. You can go to large parking lots that are covered or uncovered. They are more secure, but they cost more. Your car may be towed if you don’t park in the right place, but it doesn’t happen often.
  • • If you have a disabled placard, take it with you. Even though there isn’t much in the way of laws or help for disabled drivers, having the placard can help you perhaps in finding a more accessible parking space.

WHAT DRIVING RULES IN ITALY DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT?

As well as the above specifics that have caught out many unwary visitors, there are some more general driving in Italy rules that you need to understand before you get behind the wheel. Most of these are common sense, but the consequences of ignoring them could prove to be expensive.

Seat belts

Italian law demands that the driver and all passengers must wear seat belts. The only exceptions are if there are none fitted, for example in a classic or vintage car, or if someone has a medical exemption. In the latter case, this needs to be in the form of a letter from a doctor or gynecologist and you will need to have it officially translated into Italian. The local police are experts at spotting people who ignore the seat belt law, especially back seat passengers.

 

Children in the car

Children under 12 are prohibited from sitting in the front seat. They must also be securely fastened in using either a child seat or booster that is appropriate for their age and size. This should go without saying, as no responsible parent would transport their children unless they were safely secured. But do keep in mind that if a police officer should spot a child riding in the car without a suitable restraint, he will not only fine the driver. He will also prohibit you from continuing on your journey until you have everyone properly buckled up.

Cell phones

No big surprise here. There are more than 3,000 deaths on Italy’s roads every year, and more than 40 percent of these are a result of distracted driving. The number one distraction is the cell phone, and Italian police have joined with other European forces to crack down on people using their phones behind the wheel. Follow the rules, or you will face a stiff on the spot fine as well as a dressing down from the police officer. Hands-free devices are allowed as long as they are genuinely hands-free – having the phone on loudspeaker while it is precariously balanced on your knees will still get you a ticket and a fine.

Use of the horn

Avoid using the horn in built-up areas, especially during hours of darkness. As a general rule, it must only be used to warn other motorists of your presence.

Essential kit

Before driving off onto Italian roads, make sure you have the following essentials on board – it is a legal requirement:

  • Warning triangle
  • Fluorescent jacket
  • Spare wheel / tire
  • Fire extinguisher (not mandatory, but strongly recommended)

If you are in a rental car, these things should already be in place. However, as the driver, it is your responsibility to make certain, and you are the one who will face the on-the-spot fine if something is absent.

Get Your International Driver's Permit in 2 hours

An IDP is a legal requirement to drive or rent a car in several foreign countries. It is also a United Nations regulated travel document for your safety and ease of travel.

WHAT IS A ZTL ZONE?

ZLT stands for Zona Traffico Limitato or Limited Traffic Zones. These are being rolled out across all the major cities in Italy, including Rome, Milan, and Florence. Zones are clearly marked with a red circle, the words Zona Traffico Limitato and times of operation. Legally entering a ZLT zone To enter a ZLT zone, you need a pass.

If you are determined to drive into a city center, speak to the car rental company and they might be able to arrange a temporary pass for you and your vehicle. However, the best advice is to avoid ZLT zones entirely. They have been set up with the objective of reducing congestion and pollution in Italy’s historic cities, so enter into the spirit and save yourself the aggravation of battling through traffic and searching for parking spaces by leaving your car outside the zone.

What are the penalties?

The problem with these zones is that if you get too close, they can become impossible to avoid due to one-way systems. They are monitored by cameras that check the license plates of all vehicles entering, and these will automatically issue fines to drivers who enter without a pass. Fines range from €50 to €80 ($55 to $90) and are cumulative. In other words, they will send another fine for every infraction, so the costs can soon mount up.

HOW STRICT ARE THE DRINKING AND DRIVING RULES IN ITALY?

Italy is a country renowned for its fine wines as its iconic car manufacturers. But there is one vital thing to remember when driving in Italy – never mix the two. If you have visited Italy in the past and seen a relatively relaxed attitude towards drinking a few glasses of wine and then driving a car, be aware that the laws changed in 2013. Today, the Italian authorities are as strict as any others in Europe.

Drivers caught behind the wheel over the legal blood alcohol level will face a severe fine at best. In the worst case, they could have the car impounded and even face a prison sentence. It all depends on the severity of the offense and whether it led to injury to others.

WHAT ABOUT DRIVING IN VENICE ITALY?

Venice is a city unlike any other and is an essential stop on any trip to Italy. Of course, the city itself is made up of a network of canals, so there is nowhere to drive your car. Nevertheless, as you follow those signs for the center, you will experience the usual tell-tale signs of any city, as traffic gets busier and parking spots become harder to find.

Naturally, you will need to leave the car somewhere outside the City Center while you explore the sights and sounds of Venice. This can prove expensive and difficult, but the following tips will help:

  1. If you are staying overnight, choose a hotel on the edge of the city that provides parking. Once you are there, don’t touch the car again until it is time to check out and move on to the next location.
  2. If you are just visiting for the day, your best bet is to head for the ASM Venezia parking garage. This is Venice’s official parking facility and has enough spaces to accommodate almost 2,300 vehicles. The rate varies from €24 to €29 ($26 to $32) depending on the size of your car. That is for an entire day, and while you could try driving around to find somewhere cheaper, is it really worth the time and stress?

Get Your International Driver's Permit in 2 hours

An IDP is a legal requirement to drive or rent a car in several foreign countries. It is also a United Nations regulated travel document for your safety and ease of travel.

HOW DO I USE TOLL ROADS WHEN DRIVING IN ITALY?

Toll roads are increasingly common throughout Europe, but nowhere more so than when driving in Italy. In some respects, that makes it easier – all the autostrada are toll roads, so there is no way of getting confused.

Green means autostrada

If you are following green road signs, it means you are either on or rapidly approaching an autostrada, so get ready for the toll booths. If the road signs are blue, you are on a major road, but not an autostrada, so there will be no tolls to worry about.

Paying your way

When you enter the autostrada, take a ticket from one of the automatic machines and put it somewhere safe. On leaving the toll road, hand the ticket over at the booth and pay in cash. While some toll booths accept card payments, it is best to have some Euros with you, as some are cash only and others have temperamental machines that only accept certain cards.

Make sure you choose the correct lane when you leave the toll road. Specifically, avoid the ones marked Telepass as these are only for drivers who have registered their vehicles and receive a monthly invoice. If you inadvertently use a Telepass lane, you will receive a bill for using the toll road from your point of entry to its furthest point.

Watch your speed

The great thing about the autostrada is that it provides you with mile after mile of clear roads. It can be tempting to put your foot down, but that would be a big mistake. There are numerous speed cameras, and they will automatically send fines to those who break the speed limits. If you are in a rental car, you can expect the agency to add their own processing fee on top, too.

Similarly, however, make sure you don’t drive too slowly. The autostrada will dictate minimum speeds for each lane, signified by a white number on a blue circle. Be sure to stay between this and the maximum of 130 km/h.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET STOPPED BY THE POLICE IN ITALY?

Spend any amount of time driving in Italy and you will see police checkpoints from time to time along both major and minor roads. Manned by Italian police officers carrying large guns and wearing bullet-proof vests, these can look alarming to a family of tourists driving in Italy.

However, underneath it all, they are just regular people doing a difficult job to keep everyone safe. If you get stopped, either at a checkpoint or by a patrol car, the following tips will see you through.

1. Remain calm

Italian police officers do not need a reason to stop you, so getting pulled over does not mean you have done something wrong. It is most likely a routine stop to check your papers – remember, Italian police have an uncanny knack of sniffing out foreign tourists in rental cars!

2. Be nice

There’s a simple rule with police stops that applies the world over. If you are irritable, ill-mannered or aggressive, the stop will take twice as long and the officer will look extra hard to find something amiss. This could include a complete search of your vehicle. Think of a police officer as a mirror – if you are polite, friendly and cooperative, you will get exactly the same attitude in return.

3. Take a deep breath

If there is even a hint of alcohol on your breath, you will be breathalyzed. We have already discussed the potential consequences of DUI, and it is worth noting that refusing to provide a sample of breath is treated with exactly the same seriousness as being over the limit.

4. Have your documents in order

The police officer will need to see your driver’s license, International Driving Permit, passport, and documents relating to the vehicle, such as rental contract and insurance documents. Make sure you keep the latter in the vehicle glovebox, as they are no use to anyone sitting in your hotel room. In Italy, no documents mean no car, and the officer has the right to confiscate your vehicle. Note that your passengers might also be asked for their identity documents, so make sure everyone has their passport on them at all times.

5. Check your equipment

This is the point at which you will be so glad you checked the fluorescent jacket, warning triangle and spare tire were in the trunk of the car before you drove away from the rental agent. If they are absent, you will be presented with an on-the-spot fine.

Penalties and fines

Italian police have the right to implement fines on the spot. These vary depending on the severity of the offence, but in most are discounted if you pay within five days. You can pay the police officer then and there to get it out of the way – if you choose this option, make sure you ask for a receipt.

 

Get Your International Driver's Permit in 2 hours

An IDP is a legal requirement to drive or rent a car in several foreign countries. It is also a United Nations regulated travel document for your safety and ease of travel.

ENJOY DRIVING IN ITALY

From the people to the landscapes to the rich history to the cuisine, there is no country in the world that is quite like Italy. It has influenced every other western nation in every way imaginable, and the US is no exception.

Driving in Italy is the only real way to properly experience all that Italy has to offer, and by following the driving in Italy advice and tips that are outlined above, you will find it to be a straightforward and pleasurable experience.

As a final reminder, keep the following important points in mind every time you get behind the wheel of a car in Italy:

  1. Always carry your driver’s license, International Driver’s Permit and vehicle documentation in the car with you on every trip.
  2. Never drink and drive in Italy. As well as putting lives at risk, you could face a prison sentence.
  3. Watch the road signs closely, and be particularly careful to avoid the ZTL zones in the major cities.
  4. Carry plenty of Euros on you so that you can use the toll roads without incident.

Don’t believe everything you see in the movies. Italian drivers might have a few bad habits, but aggression is definitely not one of them, so drive with a smile on your face and enjoy the open road.

Sources:
Driving in Italy – Information for Foreign Tourists, Automobile Club d’Italia
The Largest Countries in the World, World Atlas
EU Member Countries, European Union
Driving in Italy, The RAC
Laws and Rules of the Road, Italy Explained
Annual Accident Report 2018, European Commission
Italy Car Rental FAQs, Auto Europe
Hiring a Car, Your Europe
How to Avoid a ZLT Fine, Îtaly Beyond the Obvious
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in your Body, Healthline 
Driving in Italy, Lazy Trips
Italian Road Signs, Italy Explained
Italy Gasoline Prices, GlobalPetrolPrices.com
Tips on Driving in Venice, Italy, Auto Europe
Don’t be Afraid of Driving in Italy, My Travel in Tuscany