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Car numbers growing 25% slower this year

This year, Moldovans continue to buy cars, but at a much more moderate pace than last year, estimates economist Veaceslav Ioniță, of the IDIS Viitorul think-tank.

As of August 1, about 734,000 cars were registered in Moldova, an increase of 16,900 cars compared to 2021. This year, the number of registered cars increases by 2,100 each month, which is 25% less than in 2021, when there was a record increase, of 38,900 for the whole year, or 3,200 each month.

According to Veaceslav Ioniță, this trend affects state budget revenues. Whereas in the first semester last year the state budget collected 591 million lei from excise duties on imported vehicles, this year the collected amount is 45 million lei smaller, and is only 545 million lei.

The increase in the number of cars doesn’t necessarily mean all of them are running on Moldova’s roads. “We have a lot of ghost cars: they are either at the junkyard, or they sit rusting in garages. Or their owners don’t drive them simply because they can’t afford it. To determine the number of cars in circulation, one needs to see how many of them have valid insurances. So, of the total 733,800 registered cars, only 483,500, or 65.9% have an insurance policy”.

This year, according to the Ioniță, the ‘ghost car’ trend is growing more pronounced. “We guess this is due to the high fuel prices, which has led many motorists to shun their cars. As a result, the number of cars registered in Moldova this year increased by 16,900, but their actual number on the streets increased by only 9,300. The remaining 7,500 cars filled the ranks of ghost cars”.

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