Nothing less than new wheels will do for Luxembourg drivers
Luxembourg continues to live up to its reputation as a nation of car lovers, with the country boasting the highest share of new vehicles anywhere in the European Union, the bloc's statistics agency said on Friday.
One in five cars in the Grand Duchy is no more than two years old, Eurostat said, with the country snubbing second-hand vehicles at a faster rate than any of its neighbours.
In France, Austria, the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Sweden, the share of new cars younger than two years old is between 16% and 17%.
Half of all cars in the country are no older than five years, also a record in the bloc of 27 countries, according to Eurostat. The Grand Duchy also has the highest number of cars per resident in the EU, accounting for the highest level of carbon emissions compared to the size of its population.
The main reason behind the spike in the registration of new cars in Luxembourg is state support schemes that offer people money if they swap petrol cars for carbon-neutral electric vehicles, Eurostat said. Luxembourg provides a subsidy of up to €8,000 for fully electric cars, which is set to end in March 2024.
With petrol prices reliably below those of its neighbouring countries, Luxembourg has long been seen as a paradise for drivers - and a magnet for fuel tourism. Yet, price hikes at the pump following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and more generous state subsidies made German fuel cheaper in comparison, threatening a reliable source of tax revenues.
Europe's car industry has also been dealt other blows this year, with lockdowns in China disrupting supply chains and the EU phasing out combustion engines after 2035.
People in Luxembourg continued to buy new cars this year, but fewer were registered for the road as parts shortages continued to delay vehicle deliveries, the country's automobile industry lobby said in July.
In the EU, Lithuania has the highest share of cars older than 10 years with 81%, followed by Romania's 80% and Poland's 78%. In Luxembourg, that share is the lowest in the EU, with just 24%.
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