Our contribution to AIPO (Alliance of International Property Owners)
Generally speaking, a Foreigner who not resides in Italy or in one of the EU Member States cannot buy and own a car in Italy.
Being Foreigner in Italy having a residence abroad and even if owning a property or a business relation in Italy paradoxically is not be entitled to own a car in Italy. Italian legislation is restrictive and absolute.
To clarify better the situation, we should make this difference:
An Italian citizen who resides abroad;
A citizen from EU Member State;
A citizen from non – EU member State.
Limitation regarding Vehicles registered abroad
Given the above, the Italian Highway Code provides that only who have a residence in one of Italian city can buy a new or used vehicle in Italy.
In addition of that, the article 132 of the Italian Highway Code (“Codice della Strada”) provides that the vehicle registered abroad, after completing the customs formalities, can circulate in Italy for a maximum of one year. After this period, if the vehicle is not registered before the competent Authority in Italy, the owner shall ask the office a warrant to leave the national territory. In case of violation of this rule shall be applied a pecuniary sanction from €712,00 to € 2.848,00 and the vehicle is seized for 180 days. Unless nationalization or exportation, the vehicle shall be subjected to administrative seized accordingly to the article 213.
Limitation affecting the Italian citizen who resides abroad
An Italian citizen residing abroad and registered with the AIRE can only buy a car and register it before the competent Authority only if he/she shall indicate at the moment of registration a legal domicile in Italy. In these cases, the domicile in Italy and the AIRE registration will be indicated on the registration certificate and on the ownership certificate.
The case of a citizen from EU Member State who resides abroad
As above the case, a citizen from EU member State who reside abroad and has a property or has business relations or legitimate interests in Italy can own and register a vehicle in the Public Motor Registry. In this case, the EU citizen shall indicate at the moment of registration a legal domicile in Italy that shall be written on the registration and ownership certificate.
The case of citizen non-Italian or from EU member States.
A citizen, not Italian or non-EU resident and in possession of a visa permit can circulate in Italy with a car only for one year with a special EE plate after registering the vehicle at the Public Motor Registry. If the Foreigner citizen has a visa permit and is also a resident in an Italian municipality can own a vehicle.
In consideration of the above circumstances, the position of a Foreigner can be different from another.
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