In your home country, Uber is probably easy. You take out your phone, type in your destination and click “Find a ride”. Seconds later you’ll see where your car is and how long it will take to get to you. In most places that will be under 10 minutes. This is because most countries will allow anyone to monetize their vehicle into a taxi or limousine.
Welcome to Italy… because this is not the case.
Uber in Italy?
In Italy you need a license or permit to do pretty much anything. Want to hand out flyers on the street in front of your pizza place? Permit. Explain the Colosseum to friends? Tour guide license. Feel free to drink red wine or eat organic pasta without a permit, but the people producing those items will need to get one!
To drive customers around Rome or any other Italian city, you’ll need to be a registered NCC driver with a NCC medallion. It takes about six months to get it, an exam and a few hundred euros to get the drivers license. Once you get the license you’ll need to purchase an NCC medallion. This can cost from 20,000€ in a place like Calabria to 90,000€ in a place like Rome. Next you’ll have to buy a nice car too and you’re set.
For this reason only NCC drivers can sign up for Uber in Italy. Good news is you can use your UBER app in Italy for the remainder of 2017 and all of 2018. The bad news is it might cost a little more than you are used to. However, for that extra cost you’ll get a cleaner luxury vehicle and a well dressed car. You also won’t have to breath in cigarette smoke of a dirty taxi. It is pretty much “Uber black” all the time.
Uber or taxi?
If you are deciding between an Uber or taxi in Rome, Taxi drivers will most likely tell you Uber is illegal and you may be facing a fine. This is not true. Taxi drivers in Italy have made a reputation for ripping off tourists but the overall tourism community welcomes Uber with open arms!
Alternatives – MyTaxi in Rome
Mytaxi is by far the best taxi app in Rome. It is the same concept as UBER but with a taxi driver. It will probably cost less, but the interface is not as easy to use and it requires downloading a new app and signing up for the service.
Lyft has yet to arrive in Rome, but we will update this blog when and if that changes.
Feel free to pull out your smartphone and call a ride in Rome, Florence, Venice or pretty much any other Italian destination. It may cost a little more, but most taxis will find a way to rip you off anyway, so in the end we recommend you just take an Uber. Safe travels!
For travel tips on how to use the buses in Rome, watch our Youtube video!
Here are our favorite and most useful Travel Apps for your vacation.