Tips & Advices on How to Drive in Milan During the Milan Design Week – Are you are planning on vacationing in Milan or visit this great city for the Milan Design Week or for any other Event? And are you planning on driving a car during that trip? If you are, then you must read and save this article, because it will save you from a vast array of problems and ultimately a heavy fine!
The traffic situation in Milan is chaotic! We can’t put it in any other way. Just like any other Big City, Milan’s roads are always filled with cars and it’s hard to find a day when you don’t have traffic jams in any major roads, even on the weekends! So it’s unsurprising to know that Milan has got one of the worst car accidents statistics in all of Europe, surpassing cities like Rome, Berlin or Barcelona!
The biggest advice we can give you is to use Public Transportations! Milan as a great system of Public Transports that includes plenty of options regarding Buses, Trams or the Subway! These transports are well connected and can take you to any part of the city. The city also has a strong Uber and Taxi system that can take you to any specific zone of Milan or even the neighboring zones! To top that it also as a powerful Train System that can transport you to any major suburb or neighboring cities of Milan, like Lake Como or Verona! So if you have Time and don’t want any extra troubles, then the Public Transports or private transports like Ubers are the right option for you!
But if driving is really your only option, then you don’t need to worry. It’s not the end of the world! You just need to take in consideration some specific rules of Milan that you must obey! And to help you we’ll list all of them for you and we’ll divide it by zones!
Unless you stay in the Center of Milan, you’ll need to use Highways to get to the Center of the City. You’ll need to pay a Toll for every use, that’s obvious, but the biggest danger of the highways are the Speed Limits! There are radars on every corner and the Milan Authorities are ruthless. If you go over just 5 miles over the speed limit you’ll get a ticket. If you are thinking: “I’m using a Rental Car. The ticket will only be sent in a few Months, so the Rental Company will pay it“, then you are gravely mistaken. As soon as the Rental Car Company receives the ticket they will forward it to you! Even if you provide wrong information (wrong address) we guarantee that they will find you and will make you pay that ticket with extra costs! So drive carefully and always below the speed limit!
You are now at the City Center with your car. No problem, right? Wrong. You have to face the horrible and constant traffic jams, the narrow streets, the troublesome Tram lines that run across plenty of streets, the lack of parking, and….Restriction Zones. Driving in Milan’s city center is not recommended, as access to this part of town is limited by the Congestion Charge area (Area C) on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at varying times (usually from 8AM to 7H30 PM).
The Area C Zones are well delimited with a Big AREA C sign and are easily spotted. To enter the dreaded Area C (The Historical Area of Milan), drivers must purchase a ticket in advance at specific buying points around the city, newsstands, tobacco shops, parking lots or subway stations. But unless you buy it on the specific buying points, you’ll need it to Activate that Ticket and you can only do it Online at this Website.
If you don’t buy a ticket in advance, you can always register and buy that ticket on that Website! You just need the Licence Plate Number and a Valid Credit Card! Confused? Let’s see some examples:
Example 1 – A reaches Area C in Milan at 10AM on a Wednesday. He didn’t buy an Area C Ticket in advance. He reaches Home at 9PM of the same day and he knows he will get a fine if he doesn’t do anything. So he goes to the Area C Website and he buys a Ticket and after he receives the Pin Code associated to that Ticket, he Activates it immediately referring the ticket for that Wednesday. The system will automatically converge the Data and will associate the Plate of A’s Car to that Activated Ticket (That includes A’s car Plate Number). If you follow this example, you need to keep in mind that you must buy and activate the ticket until 24 Hours after the hour you’ve entered in the Area C for the first time. In A’s case, he had until the 10Am of Thursday to do this procedure.
Example 2 – A reaches Area C in Milan at 10AM on a Wednesday. He left is Car at a Parking Lot and buys there an Area C Ticket. Is A safe from a fine? No! For the ticket to be valid he has to Activate that ticket on the Website, because only in that way can the system associate that Ticket to A’s car. Non-Street private Parking Lot’s don’t do that for you!
Example 3 – A reaches Area C in Milan at 10AM on a Wednesday. After parking his Car he buys a ticket in an Area C Buying Point (a machine). Does he need to activate that Ticket at the Website? Not necessarily. The machines of Area C around the city are programmed for you to buy and activate that ticket immediately, so if you insert the car’s plate correctly in the machine, then you won’t need to activate it later. But the system often fails, so be sure to confirm in the Website of Area C that the Ticket Number that you bought is actually active and associated with the current license plate.
Example 4 – A reaches Area C in Milan at 10AM on a Wednesday. He doesn’t buy an Area C ticket and decided to risk it because Milan’s Police can’t control all the cars in the city. Will he get a fine? Yes, it’s a 100% certainty. The surveillance system of Area C is extremely advance and they can automatically detect any car’s plate and insert it into the system immediately. So if you enter the Area C and don’t use an Area C ticket, then you’ll get a fine for sure.
Example 5 – A reaches Area C in Milan at 10AM on a Wednesday. He doesn’t buy an Area C ticket on that day. He only remembers to do it on Friday. Will he get a fine? If A forget to pay the admission fee within 24 Hours, he can regularize it within 7 days of access by purchasing the € 15 ticket in the purchase section. This ticket is exclusive of the Website, so can only be activated from his personal MyAreaC page. Important Note: You can’t buy it anywhere besides the Website!
Example 6 – A reaches Area C in Milan at 10PM on a Thursday and leaves Area C at 11PM on the same night. He doesn’t buy an Area C ticket. Will he get an Area C Fine? Probably Not. The Area C Ticket isn’t required for entrances on Weekends or on Weekdays past the 7:30 PM hour, but there are days where these rules don’t apply like Hollydays or Special Events. To make sure, visit the Area C Website to find out all the rules regarding days and hours of the entrance.
Another troublesome part of Milan is the parking situation. Next to Speed Limit Ticketss and Area C irregularities, Parking Tickets are the most comon Legal Problems that Drivers face in Milan. Truth be told, Milan’s city center is in great part reserved for pedestrians. Private Cars don’t have much space or rights within the City, and that’s why parking for non-residents is limited and expensive. Visitors may park on parking bays with blue lines, but this bays aren’t that many common.
Don’t park on bays with yellow or any other color rather than blue, because those bays are reserved for residents and official vehicles that have special permission and special stickers. If you park on those zones, regardless of the hour or if it’s a weekday or a weekend, you’ll get a fine and your car won’t be there when you get back to it. Milan Residents fight for their right to park in the City, so if they find a Car without an official sticker in a Yellow Spot, they will call the Metropolitan Police to get your car out of there!
There are plenty of public car parks around the city, but they are extremely expensive and they aren’t all that safe. However, they are, by far, your best option to get a parking spot in the city!