eBay users snub Italy’s luxury official cars

The Local Italy
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eBay users snub Italy’s luxury official cars
A fleet of Maseratis, formerly used by government officials, remain unsold. Screengrab: eBay

Almost 100 luxury official cars, including a fleet of Maseratis, remain unsold after Italian government tried to auction them off on eBay in an effort to shore-up much needed cash.


In a move that was also symbolic of the government’s attempt to show it was serious about trimming spending on “luxuries”, 151 cars were put up for sale on the retail site in March.

Within weeks the government jubilantly announced that it had sold 52 so-called “auto blu” (blue cars), raising €371,400.

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

But since then interest has waned, Il Giornale reported, with the remaining cars, including eight armoured Maseratis formerly used by the defence ministry, yet to be sold.

The government had hoped to raise €1 million from the sales.

The vehicles were among 1,290 the government had planned to sell, with those that weren’t put on eBay “remaining in garages”, the newspaper said, adding that the only option might be to give them to charity.

A law is now in place restricting the number of official cars owned by government ministries with 600 staff or more to five, while ministries with between 400 and 600 staff can only have four cars.

As Italy languishes in its third recession since 2008, national and local authorities have been forced to cut down on thousands of official cars that have for decades one of the many perks for the political class.


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