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Price of petrol in Italy spikes at more than €2 a litre

Driving in Italy just got more expensive: the price of petrol at Italian pumps has climbed to its highest level in months, topping €2 a litre in several parts of the country.

Price of petrol in Italy spikes at more than €2 a litre
It's even more expensive than usual to fill the tank in Italy. Photo: Giulio Napolitano/AFP

With the US seeking to block Iran's oil exports and fighting raging in Libya, the rising cost of crude is being passed on to consumers, according to the Italian government's Fuel Observatory, which monitors petrol prices.

Two of Italy's biggest fuel companies, Eni and IP, raised their recommended prices for unleaded petrol and diesel by 1 euro cent on Wednesday. And service stations along Italian motorways have been spotted charging as much as €2.020/litre for petrol outside Milan, €2.051/litre near Florence and a whopping €2.071/litre outside Naples, the observatory said.

Nationwide, the average prices at attended pumps are €1.750/litre for petrol and €1.643/litre for diesel (or at self-service pumps, €1.618/litre and €1.508/litre respectively). That puts petrol at its most expensive since October 2018, when it hit a two-year high of €1.658/litre.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Italy's new petrol pump labels


Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

That's bad news for drivers in Italy, who are expected to take to the roads in their thousands from Thursday for the long Liberation Day weekend.

If you're looking to save a few cents, avoid refuelling on the motorway, where prices are typically highest, and fill the tank yourself: fuel from self-service pumps is generally at least a cent cheaper per litre.

The biggest money-saver, though, are so-called pompe bianche ('white pumps'): independent petrol stations that pump unbranded fuel, which is on average five euro cents cheaper per litre than its branded equivalent at big-name stations. There are an estimated 7,000 across Italy; find your nearest one via this map.

READ ALSO: 

Even when geopolitics aren't pushing the price up, fuel is almost always more expensive in Italy than most other European countries thanks to a hefty excise tax that makes up nearly half of what consumers pay at the pumps: the equivalent of €728.40 per 1,000 litres of petrol.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini promised during last year's election campaign to reduce the fuel tax, though so far no reforms have been tabled. 

Useful vocabulary

la benzina (senza piombo) – (unleaded) petrol

il gasolio or il diesel – diesel

il GPL – LPG, liquid petroleum gas

il benzinaio or la stazione di servizio – petrol/service station

fare il pieno – to fill up (the petrol tank)

 

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MONEY

EXPLAINED: How and when you can use Italy’s new car bonus in 2024

Italy has announced a new round of incentives for the purchase of low-emission cars this year. Which categories of vehicles does it apply to and how much can you claim?

EXPLAINED: How and when you can use Italy’s new car bonus in 2024

The Italian government on Thursday announced a new round of incentives for the purchase of low-emission vehicles under plans to boost the national electric car industry and tackle pollution.

The scheme, which follows a series of similar discounts made available in 2022 and 2023, will run with a fund of 950 million euros in total, offering motorists price cuts of up to 13,750 euros. 

Though the decree hasn’t yet been made into law (this should happen in early March according to the latest reports), Italy’s business ministry has now confirmed details about which categories of vehicles the bonus applies to and how much can be claimed.

Which cars does the bonus apply to?

The scheme takes two parameters into account: carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which cannot exceed 135 grams per kilometre (g/km), and vehicles’ list price excluding VAT (or IVA in Italian).

The categories of vehicles available under the bonus can be broken down as follows:

  • Electric cars with CO2 emissions in the 0-20 g/km and with a list price of up to 35,000 euros
  • Plug-in hybrid cars with emissions in the 21-60 g/km range and with a list price of up to 45,000 euros
  • Hybrid or thermal (running on petrol or diesel) cars in the 61-135 g/km emission range and with a list price of up to 35,000 euros

How much can I claim?

How much you can claim depends on the emission range of the car you’re purchasing and whether or not you’re scrapping your former vehicle at the same time.

Electric car, Italy

An electric SUV charging at a station in downtown Milan in March 2023. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

Scrapping a car is not required to claim the bonus unless you want to buy cars with CO2 emissions between 61 and 135 g/km, in which case scrapping is mandatory.

Those who choose to scrap a car are entitled to higher discounts, with price cuts getting progressively higher as the environmental class of the car being scrapped decreases (classes range from Euro 6 to Euro 0, with Euro 0 indicating the least environmentally friendly vehicles).

READ ALSO: ‘Città 30’: Which Italian cities will bring in new speed limits?

You can find out the environmental class of your current vehicle on the transport ministry’s website.

Here’s a rundown of how much you can claim under the latest bonus.

Without scrapping

  • Vehicles with emissions between 0 and 20 g/km: 6,000 euros
  • Vehicles with emissions between 21 and 60 g/km: 4,000 euros

With scrapping

Vehicles with emissions between 0 and 20 g/km: 

  • 9,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 4 car
  • 10,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 3
  • 11,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 2, 1 and 0

Vehicles with emissions between 21 and 60 g/km: 

  • 5,500 euros with scrapping of Euro 4
  • 6,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 3
  • 8,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 2, 1 and 0

Vehicles with emissions between 61 and 135 g/km: 

  • 1,500 euros with scrapping of Euro 4
  • 2,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 3
  • 3,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 2, 1 and 0

For people with an annual household income (calculated as ISEE) of 30,000 euros or less purchasing a vehicle in the 0-60 g/km emission range, the original discount increases by 25 percent in all cases (with or without scrapping).

For instance, those buying a 0-20 g/km car without scrapping will get a 7,500-euro discount (as opposed to 6,000) if they fall into the above category.

What else do I need to know?

As with previous car bonuses, there are some conditions you need to be aware of before claiming a discount.

Electric car

Electric cars from French car maker Renault charging in Rome in March 2016. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

Chiefly, you can only scrap a car that you or a member of your household have owned for at least 12 months. 

READ ALSO: Who needs to exchange their driving licence for an Italian one?

Also, you can’t sell on a vehicle bought with the bonus before 12 months of ownership have lapsed.

And of course, in order to buy any motorised vehicle in Italy you are required to be registered as a resident.

When will the bonus be available?

According to the latest reports, the car bonus decree should be made into law in early March, which means that the incentives could be available by the end of the same month.

How do I claim?

As with the previous round of funds, claiming the bonus will be a fairly straightforward process for the customer.

It’ll be up to car dealerships to request the bonus from Italy’s Ministry of Business and Made in Italy and apply the discount to sales.

So all customers will need to do is select and buy an eligible vehicle and, should the scrapping of an old vehicle be part of the deal, deliver that vehicle to the dealership.

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