Vocabulary of car-related terms (parts, bureaucracy)

How they are used and what do they mean in practice. This is by no means a comprehensive or exhaustive guide to all the terms you will encounter, but for someone with a basic working knowledge of Italian (one semester course), these terms appear so frequently, it is very useful to get grasp of them before you begin the process.

Bureaucracy and paperwork

Assegno – check. Assegno is a short word for “assegno bancario”, which is a check.

Bollo – stamp duty; stamp; tax disc. It is usually used as marca da bollo, which is a sticker that is to be affixed on corner of an official document as fee paid. You can find it in tobacco shops (tabaccheria).

Carta di Circolazione – Card of circulation. The equivalent of U. S. state registration card. This document permits a vehicle to be operated on public and private roads. The Motorizzazione issues this document. You need to keep this document in your car at all times.

Certficato di Proprietà – Certificate of Ownership. The equivalent of title document, which you have to obtain from the PRA within sixty days after you obtained the permanent registration card. It is not the same as the Carta di Circolazione.

Collaudo – test; refers to the official test on your car performed at the motorizzazione

Dazio – duty. refers to the custom duty on importation

Denuncia – complaint; denunciation; declaration. This is very often used and its meaning depending on the context. If you are renting an apartment, the landlord has to file a “denuncia” to the police in the context of declaration of your presence with the police as required by law; but if your landlord does not return your deposit money after you move out, you can file a “denuncia” to denounce your landlord to the police. If someone stole your car, you have to file a “denuncia” with the police as a report. If the police treats you badly, you have to file a “denuncia” as a complaint. So it’s very important to understand the context when it’s used.

Dichiarazione – declaration.

Dogana – custom.

Giudice – judge, magistrate

Giudizio – judgement

Giudice di Pace – Judge of Peace. A civil court that focuses on civil and administrative litigations.

Giustizia – justice



Autovettura – motor car

La macchina – the car. This is usually used in spoken conversation and not in formal documents.

Parcheggio – parking

Veicolo – vehicle


Alternatore - Alternator

Ammoritizzaore – shock absorber

Aria condizionata – air condition

Batteria – battery

Cambio – shift, gear

Carrozzeria – body (of a vehicle); body work; body shop.


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