Driving in Italy – How to Avoid Traffic Fines at ZTL

PUBLISHED ON Jan, 20 2023

UPDATED ON Mar, 07 2024


A holiday in Italy with a rental car is a great idea – but many tourists end up renting a car in Italy with expensive traffic fines because of the Zona Traffico Limitatoin method or ZTL for short. How can traffic fines in Italy be avoided in restricted traffic areas in the historic centers of major cities? The complete guide we have prepared for you is a must read before driving in Italy.

Italian ZTL fines: What are they?

Italian zlit fines were issued automatically to drivers who crossed over restricted traffic zones (ZTLs) in a city without permission to do so and who were arrested or charged. Most cities don’t have an ZTL area. There’s no scam here. In 2008 almost 900000 tickets for violations in Florence were issued. Of them, almost half have been cited for being unrestricted to operate vehicles in restricted areas or in confined locations. ZTL has clear boundary marks to help you know what you are looking for. These are examples of boundary signs on the ZTL.

Italy ZTL Restricted Driving Zones, Explained

If you drive into ZTL without authorised permission it will cause you severe penalties and tourists are prohibited from acquiring the passes in most situations and only a resident driver can drive these zones. The fine imposed on the crossing of the border between ZTL and ZTL will be issued via ticket-cameras on each of them, and this ticket will vary according to the location you travel to. It will cost about 45 euros to enter the ZTL zone in Italy. Below are found ZTL map details for Rome, Florence, Milan and Pisa.

Vacation in Italy – More on the same topic:

Vehicles That Have Permission to Enter the ZTL

What is the best method for gaining the authorization to use the ZTL? Vehicles with permits for entering the ZTL typically include people residing at the property or employees, the hotel guest, the park, and other users in the parking area. In certain towns electric cars can enter ZTL freely. You don’t need permission for a ZTL to be entered.

What are the fines imposed on behalf of ZTL?

Italian police ZTL fines come in the form of reports that are automatically generated by computers connected to traffic cameras and sent to drivers who have crossed the Zona Traffico Limitato without permission. Such areas do not exist in every city, but these fines should be taken seriously. For example, in the city of Florence alone, which has a population of 365,000, almost 900,000 reports of traffic violations were recorded, of which more than half were for unauthorized entry into a restricted area – ZTL.

The boundaries of Zona Traffico Limitato in areas are well marked, but you must pay attention to the signs to locate them. The sign here is an example of a ZTL restriction sign – The red circle indicates that there is no entry for vehicles. The numbers on most of the signs below the red circle indicate the hours of the day using the 24-hour clock – that is, when the caption is 08:00 – 20:00 it means that there is no entry into the area by car between 8 am and 8 pm. The small caption below the hours usually states that entry is allowed for vehicles with a permit – as the residents of the neighborhood have, but if you took a car rental in Italy, your rented vehicle is not allowed to enter the Zona Traffico Limitato in

5 reasons why so many tourists in Italy receive ZTL fines

Many tourists simply see while driving in Italy other cars (of the residents of the neighborhood) that cross the ZTL borders and naturally assume that they too are allowed to enter – but this is not the case. You may see a lot of Italian drivers crossing a certain ZTL area, but they are local and have pass permits. You do not have one, so you will be fined.

Not in all cities in Italy the rules of the ZTL are similar, so if you know the rules in Pisa , it will not necessarily be the same in Rome or Milan . In some cities, non-residents are not allowed to enter ZTL at all. In other cities, any car can enter, but only with a pass clearance. In Milan, access to ZTL and the type of permit to be obtained depends on the type of vehicle and the extent to which it is environmentally friendly. The details are explained on the signs, so all you have to do is get to know them and read them. But it’s not easy when you do not speak Italian and are in a moving car, and because the areas are in the city centers, there are usually other distractions like pedestrians, bicycles, and sofas, narrow streets, congestion of parked cars, etc.

Rome ZTL map:

Rome ZTL

Florence ZTL map:

Florence ZTL

There is camera surveillance of the areas, so fines are generated immediately and automatically as soon as (and whenever) a car crosses the ZTL border. You will not be able to talk to a traffic inspector and explain that you are a tourist and did not understand. The card will be sent to the address linked to the car – that is, to the company through which you booked a car rental in Italy – which will transfer the fine to your credit card (with an additional fee from the car rental company as a “handling fee”).

GPS systems do not recognize the ZTL areas and will simply offer the shortest route – which may include driving directly in the direction of the unauthorized area.

From the moment you get close to the ZTL area, you may see that it is not possible to go back. When you finally see the signage, it may be too late and the fine will already be recorded. Due to the heavy traffic, or narrow or one-way streets (which are probably the reasons why the area has been designated as a Zona Traffico Limitato in area), you may have to enter such an area for not being able to walk around

What is the amount of ZTL fines while driving in Italy

The amount of fines varies depending on the city in Italy where you drive, but expect that entering the ZTL area will cost you between 50 – 80 euros. If you book a car through a car rental company in Italy expect this the rental company will usually add another “handling fee” so there is a very reasonable possibility that after a year from the moment you get home from the trip in Italy you will receive a 130 euro fine charged directly to the credit card.

Decoding a ZTL Sign in Italy

Often ZTL sign are simple, like the following: It shows the ZTL closed, and if it does not ask permission you cannot enter. It is easy for people to view your license plate just before the pole. Another illustration of zlat signs in Italy is given below. Access will be restricted to non-autonomous vehicles only (ecceto) for authorized vehicles that help disabled persons only in emergencies or vehicles authorized to load (but only for 15 minutes).

How to avoid a ZTL fine while driving in Italy – 4 tips

Like any traffic offense, there is no fine if you have not committed it so it is advisable to simply avoid entering the ZTL: the most sensible advice is to simply not drive in the historic centers of Italian cities. Take the train or park the car at the entrance to the city centers outside the Zona Traffico Limitato in and use on foot, bus, subway, tram, or taxi when you want to get to the city center.

If you’re planning to drive in a historic area of ​​a large city in Italy, make sure you have a map of the ZTL area.


When renting a car in Italy it is advisable to ask the representative of the rental company if there is a Zona Traffico Limitato area in the same city and if an access ticket can be purchased. But no matter what you are told at the car rental company in Italy, you are still the ones responsible for every fine you receive. It is advisable to rent a car at a branch of a car rental company in Italy which is located on the streets of the city, and not inside the historic center, to avoid a fine when you come to return the rented car, the return taxi cost will be lower than the fine and it also helps to avoid traffic jams.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you’ve found everything you need to know about how to avoid ZTL fines in Italy right here! We wish you a safe trip, and if you are renting a car, don’t forget to purchase car hire excess insurance.


I see other people driving inside a ZTL-area. Why can they and I can’t?

While the traffic can vary between cities, traffic is generally allowed by citizens and by public transport. Do not take the assumption that people entering zones marked ZTL are safe. Always find the signs.

How the ZTL Works for Hotel Guests

In hotels in the city center you can enter ZTL. The hotel staff will retrieve your registration number and send it to the relevant authorities (in Florence, it’s Servizi alla struda ), which place it in a listabianca (White list). It’s possible for people who have been listed not to pay fines for this. During your stay, your automobile is allowed to park at a nearby hotel. You may drop your luggage off at your hotel, pick it up from your hotel during the day or take it back at your hotel at the end of your trip.

What happens if I accidentally drive into a ZTL?

There is a penalty for your actions. There are cameras along the ZTL’ s limit which register the number plates for cars passing. The fine can be paid when you are driving on the highway, which means you could face the penalty multiple times.

3 Responses

  1. zoritoler imol says:

    I want to convey my thanks for your support to visitors who actually need help with this matter.
    Your interesting advice denotes much a person like me and my friends.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Ann says:

    Are fines you mention here still walid for Pisa? And is it a maximum charge a day? Was stuck in two streets and was drivingnin circals 🙈

    • Gil Farkash says:

      Dear Ann,

      Thank you for taking the time to visit our site.
      Yes, the fines are still valid for Pisa
      Have a safe trip

      The CarInsuRent Team

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