Italian Breakdown Cover

European cover from just £7 per day

Get a quote   

Price for 1 day cover for up to 9 people travelling in a vehicle up to 1 year old in Zone 2

Breakdown Cover in Italy

If you’re planning a trip to Italy and intend to drive when you’re there, you’ll love the freedom of the open road and the spirit of adventure that driving abroad brings. However, you should also be aware that driving in Italy isn’t the same as driving at home, in the UK. Many aspects are different, including the rules of the road and some of Italy’s motorings laws. You might also find you need to be equipped with certain kit. Use this guide as part of your preparation for your holiday in Italy.


What happens if I break down in Italy?
Preparing for your visit to Italy
Important contact numbers to store in your phone
Rules of the road in Italy
Other important considerations before travelling in Italy

What happens if I break down in Italy?

If you’re unlucky enough to experience a vehicle breakdown in Italy, there are a number of options you can take.

Firstly, if you’ve been wise enough to take out European breakdown cover, you should be covered in Italy - call our English-speaking helpline, which is available for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The number you need is 033 472 435244. Our team can advise you of the best next steps to take.

If you happen to break down on a motorway in Italy, call 112, this number is the European emergency phone number to contact emergency services in Europe. You’ll also find emergency telephones positioned at regular intervals along the roadside, spaced out at distances of 2km.

Preparing for your visit to Italy

Before you drive in Italy, it’s important to be prepared for your trip. As a motorist, you’ll be expected to be equipped with documents and in-car kit that you might otherwise not need when you’re driving in the UK. Here are the some of the things you’ll need to consider:

Documents and paperwork

When driving in Italy - as anywhere in Europe - you should carry a full and valid driving license; passport; a copy of your car insurance documents and your V5C (vehicle registration) document. Note that garages are unable to provide an estimate for repair work without a valid V5 document, so make sure that you have this with you.

Vehicle equipment

You might be used to travelling light in the UK, but items that are optional at home are compulsory in many European countries. 

In Italy, you’re required by law to carry reflective jackets for all passengers if you break down, if you are not wearing a reflective jacket/waistcoat/braces you could be liable for a fine and penalty points on your licence.

You’re also required to carry a spare tyre; a warning triangle, again if you break down and need to warn other motorists that your vehicle is stationary, and beam deflectors for your car’s headlights. If you don’t have any of these items, take a look at our European Driving Kits, which include many of the must-have equipment you need.

Vehicle maintenance

Give your vehicle a thorough inspection before you start your journey to ensure it’s in good condition and ready for the road. Checks you should conduct include the state of the tyres - inflation and tread - fluid levels and windscreen wipers (look out for any tears, even minor, and replace if necessary). It might be worth booking your vehicle in for a service at a garage, too.

Important contact numbers to store in your phone

It’s vital that you have all the contact numbers you need when driving in Italy, so you know exactly who to contact in the event of a breakdown or road emergency. Contact telephone numbers to store in your phone’s directory include:

RAC European Breakdown 0800 942044

Emergency Services 112

Rules of the road in Italy

It may sound obvious, but the rules of the road in Italy aren’t the same as in the UK. Like the majority of European countries, Italy has a number of road laws that motorists need to be aware of when driving there.

Rules of the road in Italy include driving on the right and overtaking on the left; vehicles approaching from the right have right of way and seatbelts are compulsory for everyone in the car. On motorways specifically, there are distinct rules. On those with three lanes, the right-hand lane is reserved for vehicles driving slowly. For more information on road rules in Italy, read our extensive guide here.

Other important considerations before travelling in Italy

Of course, when travelling in Italy there are other aspects you need to consider, over and above driving. You must ensure you have travel insurance to cover you for the duration of your trip, and you also let your bank know that you’re away from home for a period of time. Your bank will need to know you’re abroad so they can be aware of any payments you make while in Italy, and know they’re genuine. It’s a good idea to let your mobile phone provider know you’re away, too, so you can be sure you can use your phone as normal.

Frequently Asked Questions

RAC European Breakdown Cover operates according to zones, with up to 49 different countries coming under our cover. If you want to drive into another country from Italy, you’ll need to make sure you’re covered in the country you’re driving into. Italy is included in zone two, as is Spain; Germany and France are in zone one. However, you’ll also need to check the type of cover you have. If you took out single trip European breakdown cover, you will have specified the exact dates of travel, so you may not have such flexibility. The golden rule is always to check with the RAC first.

Will the RAC provide me with a replacement vehicle?

That depends on your level of cover, but both RAC Comprehensive and Comprehensive Plus European Breakdown Cover will provide a replacement vehicle if you need it. RAC Comprehensive will provide a hire car whilst your vehicle is being repaired, and cover the cost of a hire car up to £125 per day, up to a maximum of £1,500; Comprehensive Plus extends the maximum costs covered to £3,000. Terms and conditions apply.

Join the RAC now and start your European adventure

Our Comprehensive Plus cover is the BEST European breakdown cover policy in the market*

Get a Quote