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Italy's defence ministry sells BMWs on eBay

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Italy's defence ministry sells BMWs on eBay
The asking price for one of the government's BMWs has been set at €19,000. BMW photo: Shutterstock
11:49 CET+01:00
Italy's defence ministry has put a fleet of official cars up for sale on eBay, including BMW and Fiat models, as part of the government's latest effort to reduce the deficit.

The first ten cars went up on eBay on Thursday, with 23 more to be added to the online marketplace next month, the government said in a statement.

Those on sale include BMW, Fiat and Alfa models, with prices starting at €2,000. The highest asking price has been set at €19,000 for a grey BMW 525. Potential buyers have just seven days to place their bids on the first ten cars, before the next fleet appears on the auction site.

eBay screenshot

The sale by the defence ministry is the latest in a series of government auctions to sell off state cars, known as “auto blu”, which are viewed as unnecessary luxuries in the era of austerity.

The government has so far sold 82 cars on eBay, garnering 1,377 bids, while 36 have failed to attract bids. Most of those already sold were used by Italy’s state police, while 16 came from the justice department and five from the defence ministry.

They include four bullet-proof Audis, 35 BMWs and two Jaguars.

The vast majority of state cars have been sold within Italy. Two have however been bought in France and three in Germany, including an Audi A8 previously used by retired presidents. 

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