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The Complete Guide To Using Uber In Italy

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When travelling in a foreign country, it’s helpful to know the local transportation options.

Uber is one option for getting around Italy, and this guide will explain how it works.

We’ll cover everything from signing up for an account to payment and cancellation procedures.

So whether you’re planning a trip to the country or are already there, read on for all the information you need to use Uber in Italy.

Is Uber Available in Italy?

First things first, we need to get this question out of the way.

It is indeed possible to use Uber in Italy, but it doesn’t have the same availability that it has in countries like the U.S.

This is partial because many Italian local governments are apprehensive about unfair competition between Uber drivers and the traditional taxi market.

Because Uber has a degree of international funding that isn’t present for the average Italian taxi stand, they can out-compete the taxi pricing model.

Because of all this, Uber only offers its premium services in the Italian market- Uber Black, Uber Lux, and Uber Van.

That means higher prices but also more luxury vehicles.

It also is not available throughout the country, so don’t rely on it as if it is.

What Cities in Italy Have Uber?

As stated above, Uber isn’t available in every Italian city.

Currently, it is only available in Rome and Milan.

If you need transportation in a city like Naples, we recommend using a train or taxi instead (though caveat emptor – beware scams if you take the latter option).

How Much Does Uber Cost per KM in Italy?

Uber does not publicize how much its services cost per KM in general, let alone in Italy.

This is because they have a complex algorithm for determining prices and cannot effectively establish set prices.

In general, when using Uber, you will deal with six pricing elements, each of which varies depending on the specific city you’re using it in:

  • Booking fee: Your booking fee covers administrative costs that Uber needs to pay.
  • Base rate: This is the flat fee that Uber charges you for being picked up.
  • Distance: This is the charge that you pay per KM.
  • Time: Uber charges you per minute and per KM so that drivers don’t earn less money when they spend time in traffic.
  • Surge pricing: Often, there are periods of especially high demands. When this takes place, Uber will charge you a much higher price.
  • Tip: On top of all this, you are charged optionally depending on how much you tip.

All that said, you don’t need to walk into using Uber without any idea of what you’re going to pay.

It does have a process for you to estimate the cost of your ride, which we’ll discuss further below.

Can I Use Uber From the Italy Airports?

You can use Uber from some Italian airports, but not all of them.

Specifically, Uber offers support for airport rides to and from the Rome-Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci (FCO) airport.

To learn more about rides there and request a ride, you can visit their page detailing your options.

How to Check Uber Prices Before Ordering

Uber has several processes in place so you can double-check your pricing before actually ordering the ride.

This is exceptionally helpful because the prices can vary significantly between individual rides.

Uber has two different processes for finding estimates: one through their website and one through the app.

vector graphic showing a hand holding a phone running the uber app and the screen displaying an uber estimate

How to Get an Uber Fare Estimate with Uber Website

To get an Uber fare estimate using their website, you can visit their Price Estimator tool.

This does not require you to have an account with them, so you can do so even before you sign up for your Uber account.

When you estimate your fare through this tool, you also receive a detailed pricing breakdown featuring most of the pricing elements we listed above.

That way, you know exactly why you are being charged what you are being charged.

How to Get an Uber Fare Estimate with Uber App

It’s very simple to get a fare estimate within the Uber app.

All you need to do is open the app, click “Where to?”

And then type in your desired destination.

That should take you to a screen where you will see the different available service options.

Uber has several different service options, so choose the one that is right for you according to the pricing and quality structures offered.

Do I Need Uber to Get Around Italy?

No, you do not need Uber to get around Italy.

It can be a helpful supplement to your other transportation plans if you’re in Milan or Rome, but Italy has excellent public transportation and taxi systems as-is.

If you want to make heavy use of car travel during your stay, renting a car may be easier and more cost-efficient.

To do so as an American, you’ll need to either obtain an International Driving Permit or an Italian translation of your driver’s license.

Is It Better to Use Taxis or Uber in Italy?

That depends on where you are, how streetwise you are, and how comfortable you are in taxis.

If you are outside Rome and Milan, you will be unable to use Uber.

If you’re comfortable in taxis and confident you can avoid being scammed, taxis are an excellent option throughout the rest of the country.

vector graphic showing Uber in Italy - a branded vehicle with the uber logo on it in front of the colosseum

Are Taxis Safe in Italy?

Generally, taxis are safe in Italy.

There are some warnings online about being scammed by taxi drivers—specifically, taxis will often have separate fares for rides that take place within the city and rides that leave the city.

Some people have reported online that they were “taken for a ride” with this policy, whether with poor communication or meter manipulation.

If you want the Uber experience outside of Rome or Milan, we recommend looking at itTaxi (a taxi app explicitly designed for the Italian market) or Free Now (a more international taxi app).

Both allow you to request rides as Uber does, but they operate within Italy’s existing taxi service structure.

If you want to learn more about Italian taxi drivers and taking the taxi there, Grand Voyage Italy has compiled an exceptionally useful guide to navigating the process.

Is Uber Safe in Italy?

Because Uber drivers operate within the context of a larger, multinational corporation, many travelers find them to be much more safe and trustworthy than taxi drivers.

This perspective is warranted, to an extent—Uber drivers in Italy are accountable to Uber and its Human Resources team, while taxi drivers are often much less accountable for misdeeds like scamming.

That said, there are safety risks for both avenues, so always keep your guard up.

Another thing to note is that many Italian taxi drivers have been known to claim that Uber is illegal in Italy.

This is likely a strategy to dissuade travelers from using Uber services, but it is entirely untrue.

Uber is not illegal in Italy anywhere; it just isn’t available outside of Rome and Milan.

Keep in mind that there are risks involved with using Uber in any country, not just Italy.

Always keep your guard up when using Uber.

Double-check your driver’s license plate before entering a car, and keep your eye on whether your driver seems to be following the route established on the app.

Whether you’re in New York, San Francisco, or any European country (or country around the world), Uber can be dangerous but has many safety tools in place for you to use.

Read More: Is Uber safe?

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, you now feel comfortable navigating this topic of Uber in Italy, but if not, perhaps we can answer any remaining questions you have below.  

vector graphic showing Uber in Italy - a branded vehicle with the uber logo on it in front of the colosseum

Do Uber drivers in Italy speak English?

As is the case with Uber in Cancun, this answer varies a great deal from driver to driver.

Uber drivers are not required to speak English to drive on the platform, so many drivers likely will not.

But that should not matter for most customers since you can do a great deal of communication through the app itself.

Do you tip taxi drivers in Italy?

That depends!

Most people do not tip taxi drivers in Italy- it certainly isn’t a cultural norm the way it is in the United States.

That said, if a driver goes out of their way to assist you, it is polite to do so.

Can I contact Uber support for problems with Uber in Italy?

You can always contact Uber support if you have a problem with their service, and that goes for their service as it takes place in Italy as well.

Wrapping Up

As we can see, using Uber in Italy isn’t quite the same as using it in countries where it’s widely available, like the US or the UK.

But that’s alright—as long as you’re either in Rome or Milan, Uber is an excellent option for riders of all stripes.

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