Italian government fails to flog Maseratis on eBay

Nine Maserati cars put up for sale by the Italian government on eBay have so far failed to attract a single bid, Italian media reported. The luxury official car sale is part of a symbolic effort to cut outrageous spending by ministries that has sparked public anger.

Italian government fails to flog Maseratis on eBay
The auction includes an armoured car from 2011 priced at €96,000. Screengrab: eBay

The cars, which were put up for sale by Italy’s defence ministry on the auctioning website on April 28th have been described in the media as the stars of the government’s collection.

The models include a saloon car from 2005 priced at €23,000 and an armoured car from 2011 priced at €96,000, which is the most expensive, Italian daily Il Messaggero reported.

A brand new Maserati can cost around €100,000.

The government had hoped to raise almost €1 million from the sale of the luxury cars, but with three days left until the auction closes, this is looking increasingly unlikely.

So far the Italian government has raised €371,400 through the auctioning of 52 of its luxury official cars on the auctioning website.

The cars sold were being used by the police, the fire brigade and the defence ministry and included five BMWs and two Audis, the government said in a statement.

A total of 151 chauffeured cars were hoped to be auctioned off by May 16th in an initiative that has gained broad public support and was launched by centre-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi shortly after coming to power in February.

The government said the official cars chosen for sale were "those that the public administration retains no longer essential for institutional ends".

As Italy struggles to recover from a painful two-year recession, national and local authorities have been forced to cut down on thousands of official cars known as "auto blu" (blue cars) that have been for decades one of the many perks for the political class.

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