Imports of used cars fall for first time under new law
The number of used cars imported in July was 23 percent smaller than in July last year, or just under 3,000 vehicles.
This was the first time that used car imports fell after the taxation of used cars imported from other EU member states was cut last year.
The figures from July may represent a normal monthly fluctuation, but there have been signs that used car imports are evening out after the initial surge.
Car dealerships estimate that the number of imported cars has fallen because car prices have been lowered in Finland. The developments in the technical features of automobiles have also led many car buyers to opt for a new rather than a used car.
According to Pekka Puputti, the Managing Director of the Association of Automobile Importers in Finland, July 2003 may have been an exceptional month for used car imports, as many Finns decided to travel to Germany to buy a used car during their summer holidays. The changes to car tax legislation took effect earlier in the year.
Puputti says that there are as yet no signs of saturation in the Finnish used car market. "It will be interesting to see how these used cars are sold when their owners decide to switch them. How will domestic and imported used cars be valued?"
Puputti believes that some 30,000 used cars will be imported into Finland this year, and 145,000 new cars will be sold in the country. Last year, used car imports totalled 35,565.