Registration of motor vehicles across most categories has finally slowed down in November in response to the restrictions imposed on such imports and their financing in August and September.
The motorcars recorded 3,354 registrations in November, down from 5,826 units in October, but up from 2,400 units 12 months ago, the monthly vehicle registrations tracker by JB Securities, showed.
In August, the Finance Ministry increased the duty on small cars to a minimum of 1.25 million and subsequently the Central Bank increased the margin requirement on such motorcar imports to 200 percent in September, in a bid to curb the vehicle import frenzy of the Lankans, who have been long battered by a poor public transportation system.
Road accidents in Sri Lanka, mostly fatal ones have reached a record level due to reckless driving while almost all major cities have become almost impassable due to congestion, which kills the country’s productivity.
Economists say money spent on purchasing a personal vehicle is one of the most ineffective capital allocation decisions in this part of the world, but free market fighters defy this logic and continue to fight to brake the barriers for owning a vehicle while maintaining deaf silence on its insurmountable economic and social cost.
For instance, those so-called liberal advocates fight for the rights of the three-wheeler owners and prospective ones when they get the wind of measures to clamp down on them, claiming the three-wheeler gives these people the individual freedoms.
But they have failed to say nothing when the same three-wheeler owners and drivers literally infringe the right to use roads by millions of others and their engaging in other vices under the guise of driving a three-wheeler.
Meanwhile, three-wheeler registrations fell to 1,314 units in November, down from 1,932 units over the previous month and 2,270 units 12 months ago.
Two-wheeler registrations recorded 22,373 units in November down from 30,889 units in October and 28,334 units 12 months ago.
Scooters accounted for 14,476 units with the balance 7,897 units being motorcycles.
Bus registrations recorded 130 units in November down from 201 units in October and 381 units 12 months ago.
Meanwhile, premium branded motorcar registrations recorded 158 units in November down from 207 units in October. Brand new accounted for a mere 28 units with Mercedes accounting for 11 units (C class 8 units) and BMW 9 units (5-series 4).
Notable premium cars in November were a Porsche Cayenne-S, three Jaguars XF/XE and a Mercedes Benz C Coupe. In October, there were three BMW i8s, 1 Jaguar XE, 1 Porsche 718 Boxter and one Ferrari 488 Spider.
Across all categories, Sri Lanka registered 31, 358 motor vehicles in November, significantly down from 44,036 in October, the data showed.