For the first time in history, more than eight million cars are registered in Romania. About 81% (6.5 million) of the total number of cars on the country's streets left the factory gates more than ten years ago, so old cars continue to have a monopoly on the roads.
Rabble in traffic PHOTO Costel Crângan
On December 31, 2023, there were 10.33 million vehicles on the roads in Romania, and this means that the car park in our country increased by 327,885 cars, motorcycles, trailers, tractors and other vehicles, compared to the previous data, published on 31 December 2022. Of these, 8,106,570 are cars, a value increasing by 3.07% compared to the end of 2022, according to the data of the General Direction of Driving Licenses and Registrations (DGPCI).
According to official figures, in Romania there are 5.23 million cars older than 16 years, a category that has grown significantly compared to last year, with over 400,000 vehicles. Moreover, many cars driving on Romanian roads at the moment are cars over 20 years old. This category grew by 10% in the last year, by 258,082 units to be exact, to a total of 2.69 million cars.
In 2013, ten years ago, only 4.6 million cars were registered in Romania. The increase of 72.71% in ten years shows as clearly as possible why the roads are increasingly congested, and in the cities traveling by car has become almost impossible. The rise of electrics and hybrids has reduced the market share of petrol and diesel-powered cars, but in a different way than those who believe diesel is on the way to extinction would expect.
We are heavily importing second-hand diesels
According to DGPCI data, at the end of 2023, 45.78% of cars registered in Romania have gasoline-powered engines, while 50.57% are diesel, the rest being electric and hybrid.
A year ago, gasoline vehicles occupied 47.19%, while diesels' share was 50.18% of the car market. Therefore, the share of diesels in the car fleet in 2023 is higher than in 2022. This shows that the majority of used cars entering circulation last year had diesel-powered engines.
ACAROM: “The car fleet has aged instead of rejuvenating”
“Romania's problem is that it has a rather aging car fleet. A fleet that has aged further after the removal of the environmental stamp in February 2017, with a very large number of second-hand vehicles being imported, around 1.8 million during this period, from 2017 until now. So, although we had Rabla programs that took old vehicles off the market, the number of imported vehicles older than ten years was much higher than scrapped vehicles. So that instead of rejuvenating, the car park got old”said Adrian Sandu, general secretary and member of the Board of Directors of the Romanian Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACAROM).
Rabble in traffic PHOTO Costel Crângan
There are several causes that made the segment of cars over 20 years registered to grow by more than 10% compared to 2022.
“It is also a cause of the untaxed import of 95% of second-hand vehicles. If taxes, VAT, etc. are paid for the sale of new vehicles. for the second-hand vehicle trade, the vast majority of it is tax-free. The cars are brought in from outside per individual and sold as such. One pays taxes, one doesn't. This is unfair competition”adds Adrian Sandu.
ACAROM comes with several solutions for renewing the car park. “A balancing of the vehicle tax system in Romania should be done, so that the import is also taxed, but also the use of older second-hand vehicles, at least Euro 2, Euro 3 should be taxed differently compared to new vehicles. In our country there is no demarcation between these levels. In Romania, we currently have 2.7 million cars older than 20 years, somewhere around 33% of the total number of cars. What can we do in this direction? Rather than speeding up the Rabla and Rabla Plus programs designed to support the renewal of the car fleet at the same time as taxation, changing the method of charging for vehicles, for their use”Adrian Sandu also specified for “Adevărul”.
The most popular brands
The most present car brands on the streets of Romania, in the car segment (M1 – vehicles with up to eight seats + M1G – off-road vehicles) are Volkswagen, with 1.456 million vehicles, Dacia, with over 1.4 million, and Opel, with approximately 740,000 cars. They are followed in the ranking by Ford, Skoda, Renault, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot. The most popular models in circulation in our country are Dacia Logan, Volkswagen Golf and Volkswagen Passat.
The situation of luxury cars in Romania
There are also many luxury car owners in Romania. At the end of 2023, more than 13,000 Porsche cars, about 900 Maserati cars, about 800 Bentley cars, 453 Ferrari cars, 346 Lamborghinis, 257 Rolls-Royces, 178 Aston Martins are registered in the records of the Romanian car fleet. To these are added many other luxury models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, etc.