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How to fuel the car in Italy?

If you are traveling by car in Italy, you need to know that not all gas stations you will find a gas station attendant. Today we learn know what to do in the famous "fai da te!" We will explain how these gas stations work step-by-step!

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How to fuel the car in Italy?

In some countries, when we enter the gas station, soon someone approaches our window, we hand over the keys, we say what we need and voilà: minutes later the car is filled, with water in the tanks, clean glasses, tip in hand and everything is fine! In Italy, it is not so, well, not always! Is there this type of gas station? Yes, but there are many others that are called “fai da te” (in English, ‘get by!’ Hahaha…). Shall we learn how to fuel the car in Italy? Here at   Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia   you make the trip of your dreams !!! ALSO: see our   “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”


Well, first let’s take a quick look “inside” an Italian gas station (in Italian benzine). Some stations have two service stations: one “fai da te” and another “servizi”, where you park and one employee comes to you. Some stations have a convenience store, but not all, and product prices are not so absurd. Read our Special Post on The definitive guide to what you need to know to drive in Italy!


In 2018, there was a change in the denomination and symbols of ‘carburanti’ (fuels) so that the EU had only one denomination for the various types available. They are the following:

  • A circle, for gasoline (benzine);
  • A square, for diesel (gasoline);
  • A diamond, for gaseous fuels.


In addition, there are still the following identifications to really not have an error:

  • “E” to indicate gasoline together with a number, which indicates the percentage of Ethanol; the higher this number, the better the quality of the product;
  • “B” to indicate diesel along with a number to specify the ‘ecological’ percentage of that fuel, such as biodiesel, for example; the higher this number, the better the quality of the product;
  • For LPG, of course: LPG;
  • “H2” (or other letters) for gaseous fuels.

1) How to fuel the car in Italy? TYPE OF FUEL

How do I know which fuel to use in my car? Ask directly at the car rental company and be sure to ask if you can use only ONE type of fuel or more. If you forget to ask for this information, don’t worry: the car has an indication of the fuel that can be used in the ‘tappo’ (cover) of the ‘serbatoio’ (reservoir, gasoline tank). If the rental car runs on natural gas, depending on the route, it is evident that it lasts much longer, but it is always good to know what can and cannot be used in the rental car, O.K.?

2) How to fill the car in Italy? TANK SIDE

How do I know which side my tank is on? Observe, on the gasoline indicator panel, which side the triangular arrow points to: if it is to the left, this is where the tank is; the ‘advice’ goes to the right too! Hahaha … “I arrived at the gas station, now what?” Well, already knowing which side the tank is on and which fuel you can use, just position the car next to the ‘pomp’ (pump).

Tip 1

  • Always pay attention to the chosen fuel! Make sure you get the correct hose when parking to fuel. Although the identification is always very clear, it is better not to take a chance and take a second look. Usually the green pistol is for gasoline and the black one is for diesel. Anyway: don’t worry, there is the name of the fuel on the hose pistol, O.K.?

After parking and choosing the fuel, just open the gas tank. Some cars, especially the newer ones, have a key (similar to the one that opens the engine) inside the vehicle itself. If your car doesn’t have this ‘key’, which you just pull, it’s the ignition key that will give you access to the tank. After that, get straight to the payment. In the payment panel, you enter the information, such the amount to be paid. Here you can use card or cash!

Tip 2

  • Some pumps only accept cash; others only accept cards! Stay tuned, O.K.?!

After entering the value, select the pump where your car is. They are numbered, so you just need to identify the pump number where you left off. Let’s assume that you want to fill up the tank, entered the desired amount, but the tank has already filled: the machine will give you a ‘scontrino’ (note) with the remaining amount for you to use next time or, if there are employees there, he can give you change, that is, you don’t lose money, OK? After payment, the pump pistol will be ‘released’ and then you can put it in the tank and wait for the service to be completed

Important to Know

  • For cash payment, remember that bills must not be damaged, dirty or taped.
  • For payment by credit card, be sure to remove it from the machine BEFORE fitting the pistol in the gas tank, O.K.? That’s because if you leave it there, the machine will understand that you want to make ‘il pieno’ (fill up the tank) and you may end up paying more than you need at the moment.
  • In some places, payment is made inside the convenience store, where you enter the number of the pump used. There are security cameras that serve to check the ‘targa’ (license plate), so (very rarely!) it may happen that you’re asked for your car ID, O.K.? But keep in mind: inquire and see if it works that way so that your card doesn’t get ‘stuck’ in the machine, O.K.?
  • If you have a note from another fuel supply, just approach it to the QR reader present on the machine, it will read the value and ‘release’ the liters of fuel that are there.
  • It is also important to ‘get rid of the static itself’! “My God! How do I do that?” Hahaha… when you get out of the car, touch the car’s body with both hands (it could be on the hood), this will ‘neutralize you’. When this whole process is over: remove the hose, put it back in place, close the gas tank and have a good trip!

3) How to fuel the car in Italy? DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GAS STATIONS

What is the difference between gas station with attendants and ‘fai da te’ gas stations? Mostly, the price! Since there are no employees in the ‘fai da te’, gasoline costs less (20, 30 cents less – depends on the supplier), since the company doesn’t have to pay employees. At gas stations with attendants, fuel costs a little more, nothing absurd, but if you need to fill the tank, the difference in value will be considerable.

4) How to fuel the car in Italy? 24-HOUR SERVICE

Is it a 24-hour service? It depends on the city, the time you travel, the weather forecast, the goodwill of the owner of the post hahaha. Some gas stations are open 24 hours, but only the ‘fai da te’; in others, not even the ‘fai da te’ service is open 24 hours a day. The gas station is not always huge; sometimes the ‘gas station’ has a gasoline pump, a diesel pump and a natural gas pump, just that! So much so that, many times, we pass by them and we don’t even realize it! Hahahaha …

5) How to fuel the car in Italy? SERVICES

“What if I want to pour water on the windows?” Some gas stations, not all, provide a kind of water to clean the glasses; as it is difficult to know how long that water has been there, whether it is clean or not, use the water from the tank of the car itself, it is ‘safer’.


The largest Italian fuel distributor is Agip Eni, with 4,309 service stations spread across Italian territory, followed by Api-Ip, Q8 and, our old acquaintance, Esso. In this link here it is possible to check the price of Italian fuels (in Euros, of course!), Including by region!

Traveling by car in Italy

How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.

Don’t know where to rent the car?

We have a partner that can help you: Rent Cars! Have you ever thought about renting a car in Italy, without leaving your home? Click on the banner below to learn more! Search, compare and choose!

Watch this video and learn: How Do Tolls Work In Italy?


How to fuel the car in Italy? Fueling a car alone does not require practice or experience, just attention and some basic care, but nothing absurd, is it? Have a nice trip! And if you feel insecure or have no time, and need help to organize your trip, do not hesitate to look for me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy. And how can I do that? Continue reading this post until the end and you will understand how can we make your life and journey easier.

Did my post help you? If yes, make sure to leave your comment below, but if you still have questions, just leave them as a comment below and I will reply, O.K.?

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