Once our residency came through, we knew we had 30 days to get rid of our car and replaced with an Italian one or change the registration and make our car an Italian citizen.
So off we went with all the documents needed to the agency that looks after car stuff equipped with car registration, IDs, code fiscale, residency cert, driver’s licence.
Next to the photocopier sits a small thin woman in her 60s, with her hair pinned up on top of her head and silvery blue eye liner. She has a kind face. Her son, who is about 20, is a good-looking chap, with soft brown eyes and light brown hair and ready to be helpful.
He acts as a translator for us with his pidgin English and my wren-sized Italian.
She answers all our questions… the age of the car is not an issue, of course you can change the 13-year-old car… It will cost about 800-1000 euro to do the change over… And she would get working on it straight away… It will take a month to come through…
The woman creates a cardboard file for us with all our photocopied stuff in it, ID, Code fiscale, Car registration, Car insurance.
“Everything is in order, but…” her son says, translating to Ronan what his mother needs from him.
“Your cock is missing. She needs your cock.”
Ronan looks down at his trousers.
“What is a cock?” I tentatively ask trying to stop my wobbling mouth by not looking at Ronan.
“It is the document that has all the specifics of the make of the car. The certified copy would have been given when the car was sold to you.”
“We bought the car second hand five years ago, and it was already eight years old then, so I think his cock may have disintegrated by now or lost along the way.”
“We can get you a new cock in Italian for €230 or you can order one online for less.”
“Does it need to be in Italian?”
“Well then, we’ll do it online. We’ll be back.”
We returned home and Ronan googles car cocks and after some surprising results; he finds what he is looking for.
“We can order one online for 85 euro, just like they said. But I got a brainwave to contact Toyota. They knew exactly what we were looking for and within minutes had taken details of the car and the document is now in the post free of charge.”
The document arrives in the post within days and Ronan goes straight to the agency with it. The lady took two photocopies of Ronan’s cock, which he is very proud of as he got it for nothing, and adds them to our file.
Car insurance was the next thing I wanted to check before making a final decision. Even though I had been driving 30 years without an incident, they said my no claims bonus from Ireland would not be recognised in Italy, so it would be like starting off again as a first time driver. In Ireland, insurance for a first time driver can cost thousands.
“They have to recognise your no claims bonus, it’s EU law,” Ronan surprises me sometimes with his random knowledge of law and regulations.
“Tell that to the Italian government, I dare you.” Orientating our way around legal stuff and bureaucracy is something we both became quite skilled at in Ireland but in a country with an alien language we don’t have a hope in hell of knowing where to start to argue this point.
So I braced myself and sent an email off to the woman who organised our house insurance to give me a rough estimate for car insurance. Once we had this quote, we could weigh up the costs of every option again and make an informed decision.
“Ronan, you are not going to believe the car insurance estimate they just sent. Go on, guess?” Ronan is PC (pre coffee) and not in the mood for guessing games.
“I dunno, 50 thousand, two thousand?”
“No, €450! She would need the full details of the car, a road worthiness cert and it to be Italian registered before going ahead. I couldn’t believe it. All this time I thought it was going to be ridiculously expensive, but it is costing the same, actually a bit less than our insurance in Ireland.”
“Wow,” even PC Ronan was impressed. “So decision made, it’s full steam ahead with making our car an Italian citizen.”
The following day Ronan is closing the plastic boot of the car and a whole section cracks off in his hand. He superglues it back together and hopes for the best. It’s then I notice the small print on the insurance quote. It is for six months, not per year. So it is, in fact, double the cost of my Irish insurance.
It all goes downhill from there.
(Edited extract from A Rosie Life In Italy 3)