Used Car Sales in Poland Return to Pre-Pandemic Volumes: Car Imports Rise Due to Higher Tax Expectations

Until October 2020, the country imported 17.5% less than in the same period in 2019. In September, almost 90,000 used cars were sold in Poland, which is the highest figure in 2020. The number of imported cars that were already in use decreased during the year due to the restrictions imposed on crossing the state borders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. After the restrictions were eased, sales were gradually recovering to pre-viral levels, however, experts believe that one of the triggers is the market expectation of an increase in the tax imposed on used cars imported into the country. Many Poles decided that now was the time to buy the desired car, before the new tax increased the cost of cars.

Expectations of tax hikes have boosted car sales and they continue to rise. Market experts admit that this record may be broken even before the end of the year due to the expected rise in prices due to changes in taxation and reach a volume of more than 100 thousand used cars.

Rumors of a price hike emerged after Yadviga Emilevich announced last month about a possible amendment to tax legislation to revise tax rates. The rate of the new tax was supposed to depend on the age of the car, the size of the engine and the level of emissions that it produces. After the Minister of Development's statement about this, no further information was published.

In fact, this may not happen in the near future, since the affected farmers continue their protests, such measures will further reduce the rating of the current government.

Historically, supported cars from wealthier Western European countries are gradually moving to the east of the continent, where cheaper older cars are still in demand. This is mainly due to the pressure of the legislation of developed countries, which encourages people to get rid of old cars with high emissions. So from Poland, used cars are often sent further to the east, but among the EU countries, it has the largest number (more than a third) of all EU passenger cars that are more than two decades old. Poland is followed by Estonia, where about 30 percent of such cars are in the European Union, and then Finland with a quarter of the total.

Most imported cars run on gasoline and are often converted to LPG, which lowers operating costs as well as emissions, but their number is only about 15 percent, while more than 40 percent of used vehicles carried are diesel.

After the Diesel Gate scandal, when the Volkswagen concern deceived consumers and underestimated the real data on diesel emissions of new models, the popularity of cars with this type of engine, which had been at its peak for more than 20 years, quickly declined and the same countries began to get rid of diesels, again along the chain to the east. So in Poland now the number of imported diesel cars is approaching half of all supported car imports.

The main supplier of old cars to the country is Germany, which has sold more than 300 thousand units to Poland this year, followed by the Benelux countries - with more than 80 thousand imported used cars, and France, which imported more than 60 thousand units. At the same time, the number of vehicles imported into Poland from other EU countries has been decreasing for several years, while imports from overseas are growing, which in 2020 is already approaching 30 thousand units.


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