Used cars costlier than plush homes in this country in India’s neighbourhood

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Some of the most basic and run down car models carry a price tag that is nearly double the annual income of citizens.With imports of new models on hold and the current economic crisis, second-hand vehicles are objects of massive desire due to a lack of option.

By HT Auto Desk
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Updated on:
26 Jan 2022, 03:19 PM

Customers look at cars displayed for sale at a car dealership in Malabe, in the district of Colombo. (AFP)

A five-year-old Toyota Land Cruiser for $312,500 or approximately 2.34 crore. A 10-year-old Fiat with a de-commissioned engine for 6.17 crore. Regardless of which make and condition of used vehicle that prospective customers in Sri Lanka are hunting for, it is more than likely that it is likely to cost them significantly higher than rates in most other parts of the world.

This is because the country is on the brink of bankruptcy and with inflation at sky-high levels, the country’s government has put restrictions on all non-essential imports to save its dollar reserves.

According to a report in news agency AFP, used cars have become one of very few viable options for Sri Lankans looking for a personal mobility vehicle. With a massive rise in demand, prices have shot through the roof – and beyond – with some of the models carrying a price sticker that is more than even a house in a premium locality in the country.

Local mechanic shops in Sri Lanka are reportedly seeing an increase in business as dated models come in for a check or repair.
Local mechanic shops in Sri Lanka are reportedly seeing an increase in business as dated models come in for a check or repair. (AFP)

Compact vehicles and basic sedans are selling like hot cakes despite carrying a price sticker that may well be considered just insanely high in other parts of the world. As for the limited options among feature-loaded second-hand vehicles, the asking price is higher still.

The report quotes buyers and used-car dealership owners as saying that recent times have seen both demand and prices shoot up. For someone who may have purchased a vehicle even early 2021, it could now be a very valuable investment considering the re-sale value.

The local car industry in Sri Lanka is almost non-existent and buyers have mostly always relied on imported products. But with the current economic crisis in the country, it is unlikely that new batches would come in any time soon and therefore, the limited stock of used vehicles may continue commanding a massive premium.

First Published Date: 26 Jan 2022, 03:18 PM IST

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