Imports of used cars to Bulgaria have risen sharply since the country joined the European Union at the start of the year, local reports said Tuesday.
In the first three months of 2007, Bulgarians imported more than 60,000 second-hand vehicles, some 70% more than the 35,000 imported during the corresponding period in 2006. Such cars have become cheaper in Bulgaria following the country's January 1 EU accession owing to the scrapping of value-added tax (VAT) on transactions between physical entities. Also strongly up in the period were the sales of new cars, growing by some 30%, Bulgarian car dealers announced. Currently five of every six Bulgarian car buyers opts for a used vehicle compared to just one for a new car. That ratio was 1:3.9 in 2006, the dealers said, warning that purchases of cheap, old vehicles were jeopardizing the environment and safety. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur)