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Daily Dutch News in English

Dutch Car Sales Soared, Propelled by New Tax Measures

Car imports and new cars sales in the Netherlands soared in the fourth quarter according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands.

Turnover generated by importers of new cars rose by 35 percent in December 2013 relative to last year. Despite the surge in the fourth quarter, total turnover fell by 10 percent in 2013. Car dealers more than doubled their sales in December 2013. Annual car sales declined by more than 17 percent.

After several quarters of declining sales turnover realised by car importers soared in the last quarter of 2013; from more than 10 percent in October to 35 percent in December.

The turnover growth is partly due to the fact that the rules for addition to the taxable income have become stricter on 1 January 2014. Until 2014, the addition to the taxable income for private use of (semi) electric company cars was zero. In 2014, the addition to the taxable income was raised to 4 percent for electric cars and to 7 percent for semi-electric cars. Tax incentive measures for entrepreneurs had also become more austere. The small-scale investment deduction on cars, for example, no longer applies.

Despite the solid fourth quarter, turnover generated by car importers decreased by 10 percent in 2013 relative to 2012.

More new cars sold in fourth quarter
The tax measures announced for 2014 triggered a surge in new car sales in the last months of 2013. There was a high demand for cars with a zero percent addition to the taxable income (will be 4 or 7 percent in 2014) and a 14 percent addition to the taxable income (probably 20 percent in 2014). The percentage for cars purchased in 2013 will apply for a period of five years.

In December 2013, more than 39 thousand new cars were sold, an increase by 115 percent relative to the December 2012. Semi-electric cars in particular sold well. Altogether, more than 417 thousand new cars were sold in 2013, a reduction by 17 percent compared to 2012.

Car sales down across Europe
The total number of new cars sold in Europe in 2013 fell by nearly 2 percent. New car sales decreased most dramatically in Cyprus (35 percent), followed by the Netherlands (17 percent). In the United Kingdom, Estonia and Portugal car sales were more than 10 percent higher.