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FRAUD

Italian police bust petrol station scam in Naples

Italian police have seized two petrol stations in the city of Naples where the pumps had been tampered with to fool customers about the quantity of petrol they were getting.

Italian police bust petrol station scam in Naples
Look out for petrol pumps that might have been tampered with. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

At one petrol station in the southern city, which has a reputation for rampant fraud, police discovered a pump had been customised so that its counter could be activated by remote control, even without petrol being pumped.

The other had a hidden switch which activated the counter as soon as the nozzle was lifted, again without petrol coming out. 

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Italy's new petrol pump labels


Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
 

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EXPLAINED: How and when you can use Italy’s new car bonus in 2024

Italy has announced a new round of incentives for the purchase of low-emission cars this year. Which categories of vehicles does it apply to and how much can you claim?

EXPLAINED: How and when you can use Italy’s new car bonus in 2024

The Italian government on Thursday announced a new round of incentives for the purchase of low-emission vehicles under plans to boost the national electric car industry and tackle pollution.

The scheme, which follows a series of similar discounts made available in 2022 and 2023, will run with a fund of 950 million euros in total, offering motorists price cuts of up to 13,750 euros. 

Though the decree hasn’t yet been made into law (this should happen in early March according to the latest reports), Italy’s business ministry has now confirmed details about which categories of vehicles the bonus applies to and how much can be claimed.

Which cars does the bonus apply to?

The scheme takes two parameters into account: carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which cannot exceed 135 grams per kilometre (g/km), and vehicles’ list price excluding VAT (or IVA in Italian).

The categories of vehicles available under the bonus can be broken down as follows:

  • Electric cars with CO2 emissions in the 0-20 g/km and with a list price of up to 35,000 euros
  • Plug-in hybrid cars with emissions in the 21-60 g/km range and with a list price of up to 45,000 euros
  • Hybrid or thermal (running on petrol or diesel) cars in the 61-135 g/km emission range and with a list price of up to 35,000 euros

How much can I claim?

How much you can claim depends on the emission range of the car you’re purchasing and whether or not you’re scrapping your former vehicle at the same time.

Electric car, Italy

An electric SUV charging at a station in downtown Milan in March 2023. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

Scrapping a car is not required to claim the bonus unless you want to buy cars with CO2 emissions between 61 and 135 g/km, in which case scrapping is mandatory.

Those who choose to scrap a car are entitled to higher discounts, with price cuts getting progressively higher as the environmental class of the car being scrapped decreases (classes range from Euro 6 to Euro 0, with Euro 0 indicating the least environmentally friendly vehicles).

READ ALSO: ‘Città 30’: Which Italian cities will bring in new speed limits?

You can find out the environmental class of your current vehicle on the transport ministry’s website.

Here’s a rundown of how much you can claim under the latest bonus.

Without scrapping

  • Vehicles with emissions between 0 and 20 g/km: 6,000 euros
  • Vehicles with emissions between 21 and 60 g/km: 4,000 euros

With scrapping

Vehicles with emissions between 0 and 20 g/km: 

  • 9,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 4 car
  • 10,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 3
  • 11,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 2, 1 and 0

Vehicles with emissions between 21 and 60 g/km: 

  • 5,500 euros with scrapping of Euro 4
  • 6,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 3
  • 8,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 2, 1 and 0

Vehicles with emissions between 61 and 135 g/km: 

  • 1,500 euros with scrapping of Euro 4
  • 2,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 3
  • 3,000 euros with scrapping of Euro 2, 1 and 0

For people with an annual household income (calculated as ISEE) of 30,000 euros or less purchasing a vehicle in the 0-60 g/km emission range, the original discount increases by 25 percent in all cases (with or without scrapping).

For instance, those buying a 0-20 g/km car without scrapping will get a 7,500-euro discount (as opposed to 6,000) if they fall into the above category.

What else do I need to know?

As with previous car bonuses, there are some conditions you need to be aware of before claiming a discount.

Electric car

Electric cars from French car maker Renault charging in Rome in March 2016. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

Chiefly, you can only scrap a car that you or a member of your household have owned for at least 12 months. 

READ ALSO: Who needs to exchange their driving licence for an Italian one?

Also, you can’t sell on a vehicle bought with the bonus before 12 months of ownership have lapsed.

And of course, in order to buy any motorised vehicle in Italy you are required to be registered as a resident.

When will the bonus be available?

According to the latest reports, the car bonus decree should be made into law in early March, which means that the incentives could be available by the end of the same month.

How do I claim?

As with the previous round of funds, claiming the bonus will be a fairly straightforward process for the customer.

It’ll be up to car dealerships to request the bonus from Italy’s Ministry of Business and Made in Italy and apply the discount to sales.

So all customers will need to do is select and buy an eligible vehicle and, should the scrapping of an old vehicle be part of the deal, deliver that vehicle to the dealership.

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