What you need to know about Italy’s new petrol pump labels

Petrol pump labels are set to change in Italy and across Europe as part of the European Union's bid to standardize the labelling system. Here's what you need to know.

What you need to know about Italy's new petrol pump labels
Petrol pumps in Rome. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
From October 12th, petrol pumps will look slightly different in Italy and across the EU, as well as in neighbouring countries including Norway, Iceland and Turkey. 
Under the new EU directive, instead of “Unleaded” and “Diesel”, petrol pumps will be labelled with letters and numbers, relating to the type of fuel and the amount of biofuel it contains in a bid to help consumers select the appropriate fuel for their vehicles throughout Europe.
This will see names for different fuels being shortened and a set of symbols will also be introduced.
Under the new system, “Unleaded 95” and “Unleaded 98” will both be replaced by the letter “E” surrounded by a circular border, followed by a “5” for 5 percent biofuel or “10” for 10 percent and the fuel currently labelled “Superethanol” will become “E85” (see below).
Diesel will be identifiable by a square containing the letter “B” followed by either the number “7” or “10” depending on the amount of biofuel it contains. There will also be square label containing the letters “XTL”  the XTL which indicates the fuel is synthetic diesel and not derived from crude oil (see below). 
Finally, the diamond symbol will be used to indicate hydrogen fuel when it contains “H2”, compressed natural gas when you see the letters “CNG”, liquified petroleum gas when it contains the letters “LPG”, and if you see the letters “LNG” in a diamond shape the pump contains liquified natural gas (see below).
To help with the transition, both the new and current labels will be displayed alongside each other at petrol stations.
To read more about the changes in English, click here.
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Reader question: How can I buy a telepass for my trip to Italy?

For long-distance travel by road in Italy, you may want to use the Telepass system - but how can you sign up before you arrive in the country?

Reader question: How can I buy a telepass for my trip to Italy?

Question: “I’ve tried to buy a telepass for Italy’s autostrade from a German company online, but they refuse to send the unit to my United Kingdom address. Do you know how I can buy a telepass electronic travel unit before my trip?”

If you use Italy’s autostrade or motorways, you’ve no doubt heard about the Telepass system.

It’s not essential to have a Telepass, but it can be a more convenient (and cheaper) way to use Italy’s motorways, as well as to pay for parking, and even for other transport services like taxis, trains and ferries.

The Telepass is best known as a device that you stick in your vehicle which lets you pass through Italy’s motorway tolls without queuing at the gates or having to stop and pay with cash or card.

If you have it, you can drive through dedicated toll lanes (you’ll see yellow lines and sometimes a yellow ‘T’ on the road). The barrier will lift automatically and you can drive right through once you hear the device beep.

Telepass Europe plans also allow the device to be used on motorways in Spain, France and Portugal.

READ ALSO: What is Italy’s Telepass and how do you use it?

People living in Italy usually pay a monthly subscription for the device, but there’s also a pay-as-you-go option too with a one-off activation charge of €10 which is usually more convenient for visitors.

See the official Telepass website for details of current offers and pricing plans. 

You can sign up directly via the Telepass website or the app, through which you’ll also make payments and keep track of your subscription and expenses.

There are also various third-party websites offering Telepass plans, but as our reader found, these do not always ship to addresses outside of mainland Europe.

READ ALSO: How to pay Italian traffic fines from abroad

The Telepass website says the device can be sent out to your home address. There does not appear to be any limitation on the countries to which the device can be shipped, but if in doubt you can contact the Telepass customer service team via their support page.

You can also choose to pick up your new device from a Telepass point, located at gas stations around Italy.

Do you have a question about travel in Italy? Get in touch with the team at The Local by email.