Number of new car licenses drops 6.5 pct in August y/y

A total of 4,854 new and used cars were issued license plates for the first time in August, according to data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on Monday, representing a decrease of 6.5 percent compared to the same month last year, as cash-strapped Greeks try to curb expenses such as road tax, insurance and petrol consumption.

The drop, however, is quite small compared with that between August 2011 and August 2012, when new registrations plummeted by 44.1 percent.

New motorcycles put into circulation in August also saw a significant decline of 19.8 percent this year compared to last, with 2,676 new registrations.

For the period between January and August this year, a total of 54,010 cars registered for numbers plates for the first time, representing a 3 percent decrease compared to the corresponding period in 2012 when the number of new motor car registrations stood at 55,678. New motorcycles accounted for 23,165 new licenses in the same period, against 25,418 in 2012, representing a decrease of 8.9 percent.

The drop remains significantly lower that the previous year, which saw car registrations decline by 40.4 percent in January-August 2011 to January-August 2012 and motorcycle registrations by 31.3 percent, ELSTAT said.

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