I want to express my concerns and give everyone who reads my blog a warning. I’ve always loved Italy—three of my top favorite places, Rome, Venice and Lake Garda. It’s a beautiful country, beautiful people and spectacular history.
The problem and concern I have regarding Italy are their driving laws. Back in February, we rented a car from Hertz and drove to Lake Garda. From there, we went to Verona and Bologna. This past month, my Love received a letter from Hertz stating that they are charging him 35 euros EACH for three moving violations he received in Italy that spanned 15 minutes. He was stunned because he hadn’t even received any moving violations from Italy, so we both went online to do some investigation.
Complaints Board – Traffic ticket complaints in Italy and regarding Hertz.
Fodor’s – Traffic Tickets in Italy
Budget Travel – Italy: Fines for rental-car drivers on the rise
Italy has limited driving zones within city limits to reduce fumes and traffic. In our search, we have found Italy issues close to 27 million traffic violations a year—mainly to tourists. I understand that people should know the driving laws in other countries, but there’s a difference between speeding, running over people, knocking things over, as opposed to driving in an area that is restricted. Why aren’t there gates preventing people from entering if you don’t have a city limit card?
First off, Hertz should have said something to us regarding these limited zone areas. But the fact is, they don’t because they make money off the administration fees. We believe the traffic tickets are from a camera snapping a picture of our car as we passed on the outer circle of the city because we got lost. The times are like 4:01, 4:06 and 4:13 (these aren’t the exact times), so we can assume the tickets are from a camera snapshot. So Italy is going to fine us three times for passing an area in a 15 minute time frame, and the cost could be around 115 euros for EACH violation. I think it’s a disgrace that Hertz purposely doesn’t say anything so they can make more money and that Italy would fine a tourist for getting lost—which the times clearly prove.
We left a beautiful country after having a beautiful time, and now we will have to pay for that time with an additional cost close to 500 euros.
This is a warning to anyone who are considering on going to Italy. Forget about it, or don’t bother renting a car if you plan on going into an Italian city center. You’ll pay more than you bargained for and that leaves a lasting impression.