Банкеръ Weekly



The state of the Bulgarian car market is a frequently discussed topic. It is clear to everyone that at the present economic situation Bulgarians cannot set aside more money for vehicles. This is confirmed by a research of the Market Test agency.The data show that 26.10% of the people in Bulgaria have second-hand cars, purchased at up to BGN2,000. The characteristics of these vehicles are: age - over 10 years, technical condition - undefined, appearance - often unsightly. These cars have been purchased over the last five years and they do not include the antiquated vehicles, made in the former USSR, GDR, and Czechoslovakia. More than 18% of the polled people drive cars costing between BGN3,000 - 5,000. They are also second-hand, aged between 8 and 10 years, and their technical condition is comparatively better if the owners attend to them. Only 4.64% of the polled have bought cars priced more than BGN10,000 (both new and second-hand, but not older than 3 or 4 years).According to Market Test, 22.60% of the cars acquired in 2002 were purchased from the shops in Bulgaria, 51.10% - from the local markets for second-hand vehicles, and the remaining cars were imported individually from abroad. To the surprise of many people, Sofia is not the city where the largest number of new cars were purchased, independent of the capital's better economic indicators, such as low unemployemnt rate and higher incomes than the country's average. The greatest number of new vehicles were bought in Northeastern Bulgaria. Of course, these are not absolute figures, but a proportion between purchased new and second-hand cars. Each fourth buyer of a car in Northeastern Bulgaria has acquired it from the official importers. The figures about Southwestern Bulgaria are similar. That part of the country is known by the fact that there live the largest number of customs officers per capita. 24.80% of the cars there have been purchased from the car shops. The respective share in Sofia is 18.50 per cent. Northwestern Bulgaria where unemployment rate is the highest is the region in which the precentage of purchased new cars is the lowest. It is interesting that only 24% of the polled people have bought a car in the last years, while more than 52% became car owners 3-5 or more years ago.

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