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Two different road tax rates for Greek drivers from 2010

02 November 2010 / 13:11:40  GRReporter
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Two different road tax rates will be charged in Greece in 2010 depending on when the vehicle was acquired - before November 1 this year or after that date. All the proud owners of brand new cars purchased after the beginning of November will pay road tax based solely on the level of emissions of harmful gases released into the atmosphere. Under the new law, owners of hybrid vehicles that burn a minimum amount of fuel will pay the lowest tax. The second road tax rate is based only on the engine and not on the year of production as it was in 2009 and it applies to all vehicles purchased and registered by Friday, October 29, 2010.

The Ministry of Finance surprised everybody by sending the forms for the unpaid road tax two months earlier than expected. About 5.5 million drivers in the country will receive by the end of the week a form with the amount they are obliged to pay to be able to drive their cars in 2011. The government hopes to collect a billion euro in this way. The Ministry of Finance expects about 3.2 million people to pay less in road tax compared with 2009 when the owners of old vehicles (over 5 years) were charged with an additional amount for each year of life of their vehicle. The reduction is expected to vary between 12 euros and 330 euros. Those who will have to pay a higher amount than the last year are about 1.7 million people and the difference will be between 20 euros and 88 euros.

Last year road tax caused general discontent among the Greek drivers who had to pay amounts two to three times higher than in previous years. Basically, it was the idea of the Minister of Environment, Energy and climate change Tina Birbili. Her ministry presented a formula for road tax calculation which combined the age of the car and the engine power. The result was that all drivers who had cars over 8 years or more than 1400 cubic meters had to pay fabulous amounts. In many cases, these amounts even reached the market price of old cars. As a result, many citizens gave up their old cars and instead of paying the tax they were queuing up at the tax offices to return the number plate of the car.

The increased road tax, steadily rising fuel excise duties, lack of liquidity in the market and the general economic instability in the country proved disastrous for the automobile business in Greece. The turnover of motor representations declined to such an extent in 2010 that more than 2500 dealers in the business went bankrupt. Given the decline in trade and in particular car sales and as the data for the last quarter show, the 2010 results for the Sfakianakis Corporation would be deplorable. This statement was sent to the Greek media by the representation of Suzuki which has lost 60% of its turnover in the first nine months of this year compared to 2009.

Tags: MarketsEconomyRoad tax
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