What to do if: You're caught speeding or break down




1. You Break Down

  • Make sure you’re covered: Breaking down can be a real nuisance at the best of times, but when it happens abroad it can feel like an even worse situation. One way to make this a little less stressful is making sure you have European breakdown cover in place before travelling. Without it, recovery costs can soon mount up, but with it you at least have the peace of mind that if something does go wrong, help is at hand.
  • Check your car: Setting off on a trip overseas with a car problem you’ve not picked up on, simply because you haven’t checked, is asking for trouble. So, take the time to make sure your vehicle is in good condition by getting it serviced. Have a look at tyres and lights, as well as ensuring visibility is as it should be.
  • What you need to pack: A fluorescent jacket, headlamp beam converters (to avoid dazzling other drivers at night), and a warning triangle.
  • The rescue plan: It’s important to have breakdown cover in place and check its terms and conditions. However, it’s also worth making a note of the A.C.I. (Italian Automobile Club) road assistance’s number, 116. If you do break down, call this number.




2. You Get Caught Speeding

  • One thing you’ll probably notice quite quickly when you’re in Italy is that many drivers aren’t afraid of driving at a high speed, with a good number of them exceeding the speed limit. While it might feel tempting to join them, it’s important to remember doing so leaves you at risk of being caught out and fined.
  • It’s illegal to have a speed camera detector fitted in your car in a number of European countries, including Italy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your eyes open for them. If you do get caught, you could find yourself hit with a demand in the post, but at present there’s no way for offences to impact your UK driving licence (although it’s worth knowing this subject is currently under discussion).
  • If, however, you’re pulled over by Italian police, on-the-spot fines can be issued and be on the heavier side. Police can demand at least a quarter of the fee is paid upfront and those refusing to pay up are at risk of having their vehicle confiscated.

Take a look at the table below to see how the penalties issued relate to the amount the speed limit is exceeded by:

Speed limit exceeded by

Less than 10 km/h                  €35 (approx. £25)
11 – 40 km/h€143 (approx. £104)
41 km/h +          €357 (approx. £260)


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