Is Uber available in Italy? Is it easy to get an Uber in Italy? How do you book a car? In this simple and complete guide, we tell you everything about this not-so-new taxi service that has been a big hit since its foundation.
As a matter of fact, Uber in Italy hasn’t always had an easy life. Landed in 2013, it started immediately to clash with the local laws and local taxi drivers, who launched a huge protest against the new service.
The Italian hostility towards Uber reached its hype in 2015 with the arrival of UberPop which is more popular in the US where a private driver can simply decide to provide taxi services to anyone via the app. In Italy, this is illegal: to ensure safety and loyal competition with the local licensed drivers, any taxi driver has to obtain a legal license. In all honesty, I would never book a taxi service that doesn’t have a license, whether it’s in Italy or in the US.
UberBlack, too, the more expensive Uber service, went under attack when landed in Italy, even though after some legal battles, it’s not active.
So, yes, there is Uber in Italy, but not quite as you know, and would use it in the US. Our guide strives to give you all the information you need about Uber as well as other related taxi services in Italy.
Where is Uber active in Italy?
In 2018, in Turin, Uber launched also another service called UberTaxi. In this case, Uber serves as a platform where users can book a taxi in partnership with Uber. In this case, drivers holding a regular license but with a car that is inferior to UberBlack can offer their services through the Uber app. Apart from Turin, UberTaxi is now active also in Naples, Milan, and recently in Rome, too.
By checking the Uber website, I can see that it lists several Italian cities where their service is presumably available. However, if I want to estimate a fee, this is not possible for most of the places. This confirms that Uber in Italy is available only in the bigger cities I just mentioned.
This is something quite important to know if you are planning your Italy trip and reserving transport as well as hotels and tours.
Today, Uber in Italy has expanded its business to two different areas: food delivery with UberEats and urban transport in partnership with Lime where you can use the Uber app to book a bike or a scooter inside the city.
Is Uber cheaper than a taxi in Italy?
This is the big difference with the U.S. In Italy, in fact, using Uber is more expensive than the regular local taxi. Taxis in Italy are subject to setting the meter at the beginning of the ride, while Uber doesn’t have a fixed rate. Plus, Uber fares include fees for distance, booking, tolls, time, and other factors.
So in the end, depending on the car, the driver, the distance and other aspects, an Uber from Milano Malpensa Airport to Milano Centrale train station can cost a few hundred euros while the local taxi will cost around 100€ or even slightly less.
Is it easy to get Uber in Italy? How to book it
Even with all the problems that has faced since its arrival, it’s not difficult to book an Uber in Italy. Here are the steps you need to follow in order to book your Uber in Italy.
- Create your account on Uber. Head over Uber website and add your email and phone number will suffice.
- Download the Uber app. You can request a ride also via a web browser but I’m guessing the app makes it easier especially if you are outside.
- Set your destination. If the app is in Italian, click on “Dove si va?”, add your desired destination, and click “conferma” to confirm and be assigned a driver nearby.
- Meet your driver. Through the app, you can also monitor his arrival and wait for him at the set departure point.
- Make sure it’s the right driver! Check the plate number, the model of the car, the name of the driver, and also that the driver knows your name.
- Pay for the drive. You can do so by cash directly to the driver, by card, or even using the Uber Cash that you have left in your account, if any.
What do they use in Italy instead of Uber?
FreeNow is a popular taxi app in Italy and in Europe. In fact, you can book a car through FreeNow in more than 100 cities in Europe. In Italy, FreeNow operates in Rome, Milan, Naples, Turin, Palermo, Catania, and Cagliari.
With FreeNow, you can book a cab, an electric bike, a scooter, car sharing, and electric scooters, which are now becoming so popular in big cities.
The Italian version of Uber is IT Taxi, an Italian app hailing metered taxis to your location through GPS on your phone. IT Taxi partnered with Uber in 2022, so in cities like Rome, you can just use either Uber or IT Taxi as a taxi-hailing platform while in Italy.
Uber and NCC in Italy – Are they the same thing?
NCC is the acronym for noleggio con conducente which roughly means car rental with driver included. As a result of the legal battles that involved Uber in Italy, now Uber drivers must have an NCC license. This, however, doesn’t necessarily make them the typical NCC that has been operating in Italy before Uber’s arrival.
Uber provides a taxi service, meaning that you book for a ride from place A to place B through their app. If you book an NCC, however, you can request more than just a service.
First of all, you can book an NCC through their website or email and their offer can include several additional services such as providing a luxury car for a wedding, or for tourism purposes if you are staying in a city and want to take a day trip, airport pick up and drop off, taxi service for users with specific needs, and more.
Moreover, an NCC is a public service, so it’s legally bound to ensure professional assistance not simply because of a private contract.
Should you tip Uber drivers in Italy?
In Italy, tipping taxi drivers is not mandatory. Whether you are using a regular taxi or an app like Uber or FreeNow. However, if the driver shows much patience, and commitment to help you and assist you as much as he can, it’s nice of you to leave a small tip.
Your tip depends on the fee, but a couple of euros or leaving the change would be enough.