The congestion charge area is known as Area C, and has been introduced by the Municipality of Milan to reduce the amount of cars, traffic and air pollution in Milan. This means that, with a few rare exceptions, if you want to access the town centre you will need to pay the congestion charge.
Ecopass and Area C
Area C covers the central area of Milan which is located within the first ring road ("Zona Traffico Limitato della Cerchia dei Bastioni"). Area C has 43 entrance points which are equipped with cameras that monitor access. This means that every time you pass underneath the cameras, your number plate will be photographed and the system will check to see if you have paid the congestion charge.
Area C: hours and days
The Area C congestion charge must be paid Monday to Friday and is suspended during the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) and Bank Holiday weekends. The hours are the following:
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - 7.30 until 19.30
- Thursday - 7.30 until 18.00
Area C for residents
Milanese residents who live within the Area C zone (Zona Traffico Limitato della Cerchia dei Bastioni) are granted 40 free daily passes per year and a reduced rate (€2 instead of €5) for any additional passes that are needed. In order to take advantage of this offer you must register on the Comune di Milano website (add link). Those residents who live outside of the Area C zone, but who rent a garage or parking place within the Area C zone are entitled to the same benefits as Area C residents.
Company cars registered to companies residing within the Area C zone do not grant the car drivers the same rights as Area C residents.
Area C - Payment
As mentioned above, the congestion charge varies (see below for details). You can buy either a daily pass which is valid from 7.30 to 19.30 or multiple passes which permit you to enter up to a certain number of days. If you have a Telepass why not register it so that you can pay your congestion charge by direct debit.
The daily passes are as follows:
- €5 for everyone
- €2 for residents (once you have used up your 40 free passes. Please note that free passes are granted at the beginning of each calender year).
- €3 for work vehicles (or €5 with 2 hours of parking on a blue line)
There are two types of multiple passes. You can either buy one for €30 or €60.
Where can you buy the Area C passes?
Area C passes are not subject to VAT (IVA) and can be bought from the following:
- Comune di Milano website (see servizi online section)
- ATM Point
- Edicole (Newspaper kiosks)
- Parcometri (parking metres)
- ATM points of Banca Intesa San Paolo
- By calling the 800.437.437 freephone number
- by setting up a direct debit on your bank account
- certain car parks
If you use a pass in paper format you need to activate it using the instructions on the back either the day you use it or within the following 24 hours. Those passes bought at an ATM, parking metre or through the call centre are activated immediately.
Which vehicles are allowed access to the Area C?
The following vehicles can enter the Area C when the congestion charge is operative:
- Diesel Euro 0.12
- Diesel Euro 3 without an anti particulate filter
- Petrol Euro 0
- Vehicles longer than 7.5 metres
The following vehicles do not have to pay:
- Hybrid cars
- Methane gas cars
- motorbikes and vespas (except for Euro 0 a due tempi ones)
- tricycles and quads that are registerd as motorbikes or motorcycles (categoria ciclomotori o motocicli ) on their vehicle registration forms
Euro 3 Vehicles running on gasoline are exempt if they belong to residents or are: tourist buses, removal and transport vans, driving schools vehicles with double pedals or vehicles belonging to a driving school with is registered as such with the Italian Chamber of Commerce (Camera di Commercio).
For further information, please check out the relevant page on the Municipality of Milan's website (Comune di Milano 9collegamento sito internet).