Spaniards buy old, polluting cars amid recession and COVID fears
(Reuters, 4 Sep 2020) Sales of vehicles older than 20 years jumped 31% year-on-year in July and August, while public transport traffic plunged 40% during the summer.
Fearful of catching the coronavirus while also feeling the pinch from recession, Spaniards are increasingly shunning public transport and turning to cheap old cars, industry data shows, in a trend that risks more toxic emissions.
Sales of vehicles older than 20 years jumped 31% year-on-year in July and August to nearly 44,000 cars, according to data from the Institute of Automotive Studies.
The average price of those purchases was around 1,400 euros ($1,655.36), vehicle sales portal Sumauto said, with some cars going for as little as 500 euros.
As sales for old cars jumped, sales of new units rose a modest 1.1% year-on-year in July and fell 10% in August.
At the same time, public transport traffic plunged 40% during the summer compared with the same period last year, Sumauto added, quoting the association of public transportation operators.