Buying a Vehicle in Italy

Helpful Pages


Fast Facts

  • You do not have to pay Italian Value Added Tax or import fees on personally owned vehicles
  • Because of that, U.S. military members and civilians are only allowed to register three (3) vehicles during their entire 3 year tour.
  • If you purchase a car with European specs, you will not be able to bring it back to the U.S. (unless you change it over to U.S. specs, which can be expensive)
  • Know that whatever you buy, your vehicle will most likely get banged up a bit over in Europe from car doors and tight parking spaces.
  • If you are purchasing a second vehicle in Italy, you will have to pay a road tax on your second vehicle. Also keep in mind that gas coupons are based on your primary vehicle and you cannot purchase both gas and diesel coupons. If your primary vehicle uses gas and your second one uses diesel, you will only receive fuel coupons for gas and pay pay full price for diesel. Note: diesel is less expensive than gas in Europe.

Things to Consider

  • Automatic vs. Manual
  • Diesel vs. Gas
  • U.S. vs. European specs
  • Coupe vs. Four Door
  • Gas Mileage
  • Size
  • Travel vs. Town Car
  • Insurance Rates
  • Car Value
  • Mileage
  • Four Wheel Drive vs. AWD vs. RWD, vs. BWD
  • Tires (tire tread, all weather)
  • Cruise Control
  • Safety Features
  • Extras (GPS, heated seats, fold in mirrors, parking assistance)
  • Maintenance Costs
  • Owner Reviews


Buying a Used Car

  • The availability of used cars for sale is rather limited in Italy. Most likely you will have to purchase a car from another service member or from one of the few used car dealers near base.
  • That being said, it is difficult to find a reliable car being sold by other service members in Italy. When they do become available they are bought up fast!
  • Search the listings and get the word out that you are looking for a used vehicle. Most service members look to sell their vehicle right before they PCS.
  • If you speak Italian or know an Italian seller that speaks English, you may be able to purchase a car from one of the locals. This would require a few extra steps to the purchasing process.
  • Keep in mind that most Italians drive vehicles with manual transmissions. The availability of automatic transmission vehicles in the Italian market will be slim to none.
  • Don’t buy a car that is notorious for being expensive to insure back in the states. Insurance in Italy is very expensive! Better yet call your car insurance company to find out the insurance rates.
  • Whatever you do, make sure the vehicle has been recently inspected before purchasing. Most of the used car dealers offer guaranteed pass of inspection and a 1 year warranty.

Used Car Dealers/Websites

  • Vicenza Beaters Facebook page – service members selling their vehicles, some cars are nice and others are “beaters” meant to get to/from work.
  • Vicenza Bookoo – service members and used car dealerships post listings here
  • Also check out the lemon lots on base. Sometimes there are a few cars for sale. One is located by the shopette (front row near the road) and the other is in the BOSS parking lot.
  • Patriot Auto Sales – located across from the main gate of Caserma Ederle next to the gas station, they also have dealerships in Aviano and in Germany so they have the biggest selection of used cars. They have listings on their website. (Military Auto Source is located in the same building selling new cars)
  • Car & Cars Military Sales – outside of Chapel gate, the car lot is on the corner leading to Hotel Mary, the office is located across the street. They have more than what is available in the lot. Online listings can sometimes be found on the Vicenza Bookoo page.
  • Pentagon Car Sales – located right outside chapel gate near the traffic circle, mostly new and small used car selection. Brands include BMW, Lexus, Mini, and Ford.
  • Bavarian Motor Cars GmbH – serving military members in Germany (I’m not sure about the logistics of importing to  Italy), new (BMW’s, Mini’s) and used cars.
  • American Motor Military Car Sales – serving military member in Germany (I’m not sure about the logistics of importing to  Italy)
  • If you speak Italian or find someone that speaks English, you may be able to buy a car through one of these websites:

Vehicle Research Websites

  • CarGuru.com – research prices and owner reviews of the specific make, model, and year.
  • Edmunds.com – research prices, specs, road test performance
  • TopTen.eu – European consumer reports

Buying a New Car

  • Local Italian dealers usually only sell cars with European specs. Before coming back to the U.S., you would either have to sell the car or convert it over to U.S. specs, which can be expensive.
  • The military auto dealers near base sell new cars made with U.S. specs. The benefits of buying a new car may include tax free purchase, help with customs forms, free shipping, world-wide warranty, maintenance, and trade in options.
  • U.S. Specs Car Dealers
    • Military Auto Source – located across from the main gate of Caserma Ederle next to the gas station. Brands include Audi, BMW, Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes, Nissan, and Toyota.
    • Auto Exchange – on post, right when you enter the gate, small selection on hand, but you can also order a new custom car. Brands include Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, and Jeep.
    • Pentagon Car Sales – located right outside chapel gate near the traffic circle, mostly new and small used car selection. Brands include BMW, Lexus, Mini, and Ford.
    • Bavarian Motor Cars GmbH – serving military members in Germany (I’m not sure about the logistics of importing to  Italy), new (BMW’s, Mini’s) and used cars.
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