How to buy and drive a scooter or a car in Italy

How to buy and drive a scooter or a car in Italy



Question: What do I need to buy a scooter or a car in Italy?

Answer: The basic requirements to buy a scooter or any car in Italy are to possess Italian registered residency and motor Insurance policy.

In addition to the above requirements, there are some other aspects to take into consideration when planning to own or drive a car in Italy, like age and driver’s license.

At what Age can I drive in Italy?

If you are at least 14, you can drive a small scooter or small car (in Italy, commonly called a ‘minicar’, which has a small engine not larger than 50cc). To operate a small scooter or small car, you would need a 50 cc driver’s license.

If you are at least 16 you can drive a motorcycle or minicar with a bit bigger engine, up to 125 cc. If you do not have a standard car driver’s license, you need a special driver’s license to drive 125 cc vehicles.

When you are 18+, you can get a driver’s license to drive any type of motorcycle or car. However, in the first three years of driving, there are some restrictions.

Restrictions for people who get an Italian driver’s license for the first time

During the first three years after you get the standard driver’s license (the one you can get at 18+), there are some restrictions:

  1. Maximum speed 90 km/h on large roads outside cities and 100 km/h on highways;
  2. You can only drive cars that have no more than 75 horsepower;
  3. You can drive only with a 0% Blood Alcoholic Level (BAC), i.e., no drinks at all before driving;
  4. When you drive between midnight and 5:00 am, you can drive with a maximum of one additional passenger in the car

Italian residency requirement

In order to buy any motorized vehicle in Italy, be it a scooter (e.g., a Vespa) or a car, you are required to be registered as a resident.

Additionally, Italian residency is a requirement to get any Italian driver’s license. If you have a comparable driver’s license issued by a EU country, you can use it in Italy. If you have a non-EU driver’s license, you can use it in Italy if you also have an international driver’s license that you can usually get for a small fee in the country where your non-EU driver’s license was issued.


There are some exceptions to the rules above. For example, within the first three years of having an Italian driver’s license it is possible to drive more powerful cars or drive more passengers after midnight if you have a passenger in the car who is not older than 65 and has had a driver’s license for at least 10 years.

Additionally, you can buy a vehicle in Italy without residency or insurance if you intend to export it overseas through a shipping service.

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