The ins and outs of getting a vehicle in Naples

The ins and outs of getting a vehicle in Naples

by Stripes Europe
Stripes Europe

SHIPPING YOUR VEHICLE OVERSEAS

  • Ship your vehicle at least 6 to 8 weeks before you PCS to ensure it gets here soon after your arrival to Naples.
  • Decide between selling your other vehicles, keeping them in storage or leaving them with a friend or family member.
  • A max of two vehicles are allowed per active duty member along with their dependents during their tour in Italy.

GETTING YOUR ARMED FORCES ITALY (AFI) LICENSE

Call the Motor Vehicle Registration Office (MVRO) for driver’s testing. Be sure to ask about test days and times. Capodichino DSN number: 626-283/2832/4454 Comm: 081-568-2831/32, 4454 Email: mvronaples@eu.navy.mil

What to bring to get your AFI license: 

  • Current U.S. driver’s license. It is highly recommended that you renew your license so that it does not expire during your tour.
  • PCS orders/DOCPERS MFR (contractors)/Logistical Support Letter (DOD civilians)

BUYING A CAR IN ITALY

You have the option to buy a new or used car from dealers and private sellers in Italy. There is no tax when buying a vehicle from another military member.

Keep in mind

  • Any vehicle that doesn’t meet U.S. specifications (specs) cannot be shipped back to CONUS.
  • Used automatic transmission vehicles may be more difficult to find and tend to be more expensive.

MOTORCYCLES

If you want to ride a motorcycle while in Italy, you must have a motorcycle classification on your U.S. license, have an AFI license, attend a mandatory motorcycle safety course on the installation and be at least 18 years old. Motorcyclists can only operate a motorcycle of 35 kW or less.

VEHICLE INSPECTION

Each vehicle is required to be inspected periodically depending on its age, in addition to every time the title is transferred. Ensure that your vehicle always has the required equipment at all times, not just for its inspection.

Required equipment for inspection:

  • Vehicle registration.
  • First-aid kit, warning triangle and reflective vest.

REGISTERING YOUR VEHICLE

Contact the MVRO for vehicle registration days and times.

What to bring to register your vehicle: 

  • POV registration application
  • AFI driver’s license
  • U.S. driver’s license
  • Military ID
  • Shipping document
  • Proof of ownership
  • PCS orders/DOCPERS MFR (contractors)/ Logistical support letter (DOD civilians)
  • Funds to cover the registration fee and applicable road tax for a second vehicle to include motorcycles
  • Automobile insurance policy

Note: It’s always best to call the Motor Vehicle Registration Office ahead of time to ensure you’re bringing all necessary documents.

FUELING YOUR VEHICLE

 Tax-Free Fuel Allowance

  • A NEX-issued fuel card, which acts as a debit card linked to your personal credit card, allows U.S. and NATO forces to pay for fuel at the current tax-free price at the time of purchase.
  • The vehicle's engine size, engine base, horsepower and fuel requirement determine the monthly fuel allowance.
  • The NEX administers the fuel card program. You must maintain your insurance, registration, safety inspection and road taxes to continue to receive your allowance.
  • If any one of these parameters are not kept current for any of your household’s vehicles, you will need to correct the issue and register for a new fuel card.

Where to get gas

  • There are no gas stations on U.S. military installations in Italy.
  • Only two Italian gas station companies will accept your fuel card: AGIP and ENI.
  • Use your fuel card like a debit card at the pump. It is recommended to pre-authorize your card before filling up to ensure your fuel card will be accepted.
  • At some stations, attendants will operate the card machines.
  • Fill up at “Fai da te” or “Iperself” pumps to avoid paying extra for full service.

Driving in Naples

Driving habits in Naples are considerably different from those in the U.S. While at first there may seem to be no logic to traffic patterns, a closer look will show that there are distinct rules of the road. Because of the speed of traffic and different conventions, alertness while driving is of the utmost importance. It is important to exercise the same caution in driving here as you would in the U.S.

A few notes to driving in Italy:

  • While horn blowing is technically illegal in many Italian cities, it is loosely enforced. Many people blow their horn to signal their approach at an intersection or their intent to pass. Drivers also commonly use their hazard lights to signal danger, especially during slow or stopped traffic.
  • The Italian law allows you to overtake traffic to pass.
  • Many intersections have no stop lights or traffic control. The vehicle on the right has the right of-way, unless there is a stop sign.
  • Traffic circles or roundabouts are common. When entering a circle, yield to traffic in the circle.
  • Drunk driving is an extremely serious offense in Italy. In Italy, a blood alcohol level of 0.05 is positive proof of drunk driving. If you are under the age of 21 or have been a licensed driver for less than 3 years, the legal limit for alcohol in your system while driving in Italy is 0.00.

DRIVING OUTSIDE OF ITALY

Many countries will not recognize a U.S. or AFI driver’s license. You will need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) at least four weeks before traveling outside of Italy. You can apply by mail or in-person at AAA or the AATA, which are the two agencies authorized by the State Department to issue IDPs.

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