Lebanon Businessnews News

Used cars sales
cede to new ones
Secondary market shrinks by half
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Sales of used cars have dropped by 50 percent in the last five years. The Used Cars Importers Syndicate said that around 32,000 cars were sold in 2014.

The new car market has seen a 14 percent growth during the same period. Figures of the Association of Car Importers said that 37,800 new vehicles were registered in 2014.

Elie Azzi, President of the Syndicate said that demand is mainly focused on small cars. These usually have small engines, with low fuel consumption. Korean manufacturers, such as Kia and Hyundai, have been topping the lists of sellers for over three years.

Buyers of small cars, said Azzi, are mostly students and low income individuals, whereas the medium income buyers, who usually prefer larger cars, prefer used vehicles.

Azzi said that paying Customs duties represents a burden to used car importers. “We pay Customs duties the day the cars reach the port to be able to introduce them to the local market. New car importers by contrast, pay these duties the day they sell the car,” he said. Customs duties are higher on used cars. For example, a car with a value below LL20 million ($13,000) is charged at least $5,000 in Customs duties, said Azzi. He said that for a new car of the same price, the duty starts at LL2 million ($1,330).

He said that they are trying to work on a new Customs law to reduce this tax.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Feb 09, 2015
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