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bblount Aug 1st, 2006 08:43 PM

Buying gas in Italy
When renting a car, where is the best place to get gas? Please tell me anything I need to know about buying gas.

hopscotch Aug 1st, 2006 09:18 PM

Go to any gas station. It's pretty much the same as in the USA except that it costs more in Italy.

SeaUrchin Aug 1st, 2006 10:47 PM

Gas 101:

The autogrills usually are very nice places to stop for gas, snacks and little groceries. toilets, magazines, books, candy, etc.

There are gas stations here and there along small roads, sometimes self served and sometimes manned. With self serve you may have to buy a card to use.

Don't rely much on the opening and closing times listed, they are just suggestions.

Be careful with diesel and regular gas, figure out which one your rental uses.

Have the rental company show you where to put the gas and how to open the lid, etc. before you drive away.

They use litres to measure.

Hmmm, I can't think of anything else. Be sure and look at the slowtrav site, it is helpful.

Happy driving.

flanneruk Aug 1st, 2006 11:15 PM

Presumably you're asking where petrol's cheapest.

There isn't in Italy an easily-located category of petrol stations (like French hypermarkets) that discount, an aggressive discount chain (as Jet sometimes has been in parts of Europe) or generally cheap location (like the "wrong" side of the road in the US). Nor are motorway service stations as disgracefully pricier than off-motorway stations as is the case in Britain or France.

If you go to, and select the region then the province you're driving in, you'll see a range of petrol prices. Hypermarkets are often a bit cheaper, but are rarely that easy for tourists to find. In any event, the range of price differences is quite small, and as a rule in Italy just fill up a bit before you need to is about as much as you need to know.

I've never heard anyone actually use the word "petrol" at a petrol station, least of all in Italy. Conversation usually goes:

Attendant (for they are still rife in Italy): Il Pieno?
You: Si

Four minutes later:
Attendant: Settanta euro
You just give him the money
Attendant: Grazie: Buon viaggio
You (or at any rate, me, as I'm a stuffy old fart, but that's always the best way to be with strangers in Italy): Prego: ArriverderLa

daka Aug 2nd, 2006 07:16 AM

No, not stupid it's smart to be aware of whatever differences there are.
If you can get a diesel car they get much better mileage and the fuel is less expensive. Unfortunately they are almost all manual transmissions...
Be sure to put only DIESEL FUEL IN IT GAZOIL if I remember correctly

guaranteed Aug 2nd, 2006 09:15 AM

Don't assume that the self serve stations are user friendly for North Americans. I tried to use one just outside Milan during rush hour. As stupid as it sounds, I couldn't figure out the system. Meanwhile 3 or 4 cars lined up behind me, voicing their displeasure. I drove off like an idiot and found a full service station.

Go figure.


rickmav Aug 2nd, 2006 10:08 AM

There's a great section on where they tell you all you need to know about driving, getting gas, etc. in Italy:

Scullysioux Aug 2nd, 2006 10:12 AM


That was really uncalled for. This is not the place for that kind of abuse.

Trophywife007 Aug 2nd, 2006 10:22 AM

My only advice would be to NOT let the tank get too close to "e" since gas stations may be closed for a couple of hours in the middle of the afternoons and also all day on Sundays. You wouldn't want to get stuck. Fill up early and often.

Have a wonderful trip!

bblount Aug 2nd, 2006 02:15 PM

Thanks again everyone. Never would have thought that gas stations might be closed in the middle of the day...
Scullysioux - Thanks.... I was really upset by that remark, especially since I'm fairly new at this posting stuff.

Scullysioux Aug 2nd, 2006 05:39 PM

Don't mention it. I see the post is gone now.

Budman Aug 2nd, 2006 06:41 PM

If I can recall correctly, the gas pump handles for unleaded gas is green, and for diesel, black. Back when they had leaded gasoline, the pump handles were red. I don't know if they still sell leaded gas in Europe. ((b))

Xander Aug 4th, 2006 05:05 AM

Budman is right about the colors. Pay particular attention to that.

Where I live diesel is green, in Italy unleaded gas is green.

Luckily, pay at pump there doesnt accept credit cards it takes a bankomat card. Attendant came over to show me that I needed to put cash in instead of card and kindly changed hose from gas to diesel. Would have been a really expensive error had she not helped.

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