Average age of Czech cars exceeds 15 years, used imports soar

Photo: Ondřej Jánoška

The average age of the Czech Republic’s car fleet in the first quarter of 2016 increased to over 15 years, the Automotive Industry Association announced on Friday. That’s the highest figure since 1993. Last year, the average age of the country’s car fleet stood at 14.3 years.

Photo: Ondřej Jánoška
According to the head of the Automotive Industry Association, Czech car owners are not motivated to get rid of old cars, which don’t comply with the ecological and safety regulations. Some car producers have been pressing for state incentives to scrap older cars but the Czech government has been traditionally reluctant to go down this road. Even during the depth of the economic crisis, Prague did not offer incentives to buy new cars unlike other European governments.

And one of the reasons for the ageing fleet is the low disposal income available to many Czechs to buy a new, or younger second hand car. The prices for used cars in the Czech Republic are also more expensive than in Poland and Hungary, sometimes by as much as 12 percent for the same models. Slovak prices are broadly on a par with those on the Czech market.

According to a recent research carried out by the Médea Research company and Auto ESA car seller, around one fourth of Czechs are forced take a loan to finance the purchase of a used car. That figure is estimated to have risen by around 11 percent over the last year.

Another reason behind the increasing age of Czech car fleet is the increasing import of used cars. Last year, 151,000 used cars were imported into the country, which is 30,000 more than in the previous year. Over 50 percent of these cars were over 10 years old.

According to figures from December 2015, the overall share of vehicles older than 10 years in the whole Czech vehicle fleet is over 66 percent. The share of vehicles older than 15 years was 40.6 percent.

Among the most popular used models is the Škoda Octavia, Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Hyundai i30.

Motorcycles belong among the oldest vehicles on Czech roads. The average age of registered motorcycles increased to 33.4 years during the first three months of 2016. In 2015 that figure stood at 32.5 years.

A total of 5.2 million passenger cars were registered in the Czech Republic in the first quarter of 2016, is 47,000 more than last year.