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The purchase of new cars surged in the second quarter of this year compared to the importation of used cars, possibly a consequence of Brexit having made the purchase of second-hand cars from the UK more expensive and complicated.

Figures issued by the National Statistics Office on Wednesday show that 3,489 brand new vehicles were put on the roads in the second quarter of this year compared to 2,398 used cars, the first time in years that new vehicle imports were higher than imports of ‘second hand’.

Although a higher number of ‘new’ cars had been imported in the second quarter of 2019, their number was still lower than for used cars in the same months.

Meanwhile, the number of ‘used’ vehicles put on the road in the second quarter of this year dropped to 2,398, the lowest since at least 2018 except for 2,076 in the second quarter of last year, possibly because of the onset of COVID-19. Again, their number was still higher than ‘new’ vehicles in the same months.

In its quarterly statement, the NSO said that in the second quarter of 2021, the stock of licensed motor vehicles increased by 3,902 over the previous quarter to reach 408,205. Out of this total, 76.2 per cent were passenger cars, 13.8 per cent were commercial motor vehicles, 8.9 per cent were motorcycles/quadricycles and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), while buses and minibuses amounted to less than one per cent.

That means that the stock of licensed motor vehicles increased at a net average rate of 43 motor vehicles per day.

During the second quarter of 2021, 7,824 motor vehicles were taken off the road due to a restriction. Out of these, 36.7 per cent were scrapped, 31.3 per cent were garaged, while 30.3 per cent were put up for resale. Motor vehicles that had their restriction ending during the quarter under review totalled 5,784.

The majority were recorded as being garaged (52.2 per cent) or resold (47.0 per cent)

At the end of June 2021, 241,609 motor vehicles or 59.2 per cent of the total had petrol-powered engines. Diesel-powered motor vehicles reached 156,365 or 38.3 per cent of the total. Electric and hybrid motor vehicles accounted for 2.0 per cent of the entire stock, with a total of 8,367 motor vehicles.

When compared to the previous quarter, increases of 28.2 per cent, 21.6 per cent and 12.7 per cent were registered in the Electric, Hybrid (Electric/ Diesel), and Hybrid(Electric/Petrol) motor vehicles respectively.

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