Do I have to have an global driver’s license in Italy?

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Traveling has often occur with complications. Our By The Way Concierge column will get your journey dilemmas to the industry experts to assistance you navigate the new normal. Want to see your question answered? Post it here.

“We are planning a excursion to Puglia in April and renting a car. We have been getting mixed messages about no matter if or not we will need to have an worldwide driver’s license. What need to we do?” — Joe O., Berlin, Md.

You are ideal about the combined messages. The site for the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Italy suggests you “should attain an Worldwide Driving Permit before leaving the U.S.” But a number of paragraphs later on notes “tourists may also use their valid American driver’s license if accompanied by an formal translation in Italian.” I talked to a bunch of Italy journey authorities to kind out the procedures.

Duncan Greenfield-Turk, taking care of director and chief journey designer for International Travel Moments, instructed me he advises anyone who options on driving in a foreign region — Italy and otherwise — to get an Worldwide Driving Allow (IDP). He also stated the procedures for driving in Italy are obvious: You will have to possibly have an Italian driver’s license or a single issued by a European Union country. If you do not have 1 of people, you will need to get a IDP to have with your dwelling country driver’s license.

Rental automobile businesses may check with you for both your U.S. license and IDP to select up your car or truck, but not always, states Rocco Giuseppe Gambardella, who owns the Amalfi Coast culinary ordeals firm Bè Authentic Dwelling Expertise with his wife, Carla. It “depends on the car rental companies,” he stated, so you could hardly ever will need to current an IDP although you’re in the state.

That’s been the situation for American vacation journalist Angel F. Castellanos, who claims he’s never ever had challenges getting rental cars and trucks or driving in Italy with out an IDP. Even when he’s gotten dashing tickets, “I’ve never experienced to current my license to a police officer,” Castellanos said.

Essential traffic violations are captured by digicam footage, then tickets get despatched to vacationers later. Individuals have been expensive, Castellanos warns, and occur by way of the rental vehicle providers who cost provider fees on top of the violation.

But in the case you do get pulled about by Italian law enforcement or get in a vehicle incident, and you really don’t have the allow, you can get fined hundreds of euros. And Kathy McCabe, host of the PBS show “Dream of Italy,” claims that the necessity has been enforced a lot more generally in current many years.

7 Italy holidays that test every journey type

Fortuitously, it’s quick to get an IDP, McCabe suggests. There’s a $20 cost, as well as tax, to use for a single as a

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Pennsylvania drivers spend more on repairs as the chip shortage cuts off supply of new cars


“I have customers that want new cars. It’s just, what they want is not available, or it’s a year behind.”


  • An-Li Herring/WESA

Used cars for sale on a lot at a dealership in Doylestown, Pa., Friday, Feb. 4, 2022.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Used cars for sale on a lot at a dealership in Doylestown, Pa., Friday, Feb. 4, 2022.

As car production continues to lag amid the global chip shortage, the demand for auto repairs has shot up.

With fewer new vehicles available to buy, customers have opted to invest more in the cars they already have, said Mike Kirsch, the head mechanic at Brunner’s Garage in the South Side Flats.

“[We’ll] look at their car and say, ‘Well, your car is going to be, I don’t know, $500, $700, $1,000 to repair,’ whatever the number is. And they will look at it and say, ‘Well, it’s an older car. Maybe I’m going to go buy a new car,’” Kirsch said. “But there’s just no new car out there right now to buy. I have customers that want new cars. It’s just, what they want is not available, or it’s a year behind.”

Pushed to keep their old vehicles, he said, customers end up “spending a lot of money on regular maintenance: brakes, tires, some check-engine lights. People are spending a thousand, fifteen-hundred dollars [on] their car to keep it for another year at least.”

Mike Kirsch is the head mechanic at Brunner's Garage in the South Side Flats. He said the global semiconductor shortage has increased the demand for vehicle maintenance by limiting the supply of new vehicles that require less service.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Mike Kirsch is the head mechanic at Brunner’s Garage in the South Side Flats. He said the global semiconductor shortage has increased the demand for vehicle maintenance by limiting the supply of new vehicles that require less service.

Wait times have gone up at Brunner’s and nationally because supply chain disruptions continue to delay parts deliveries. Labor shortages have also helped to bump up by 1.5 days the average turnaround time at automotive repair shops across the country, according to an August 2021 survey. The research shows that one in every four automotive repair shops said a lack of auto technicians was a primary cause of service delays.

Kirsch said the work shortage is a long-building problem that reflects the overall aging of his industry.

“All the technicians are all my age: They’re all old people now. They’re all getting ready to retire. And a few of the garages around here … they retired [and] closed up,” he said.

Auto tech shortage

While Brunner’s Garage is fully staffed today, Kirsch noted that the four-employee operation has struggled to

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