Sri Lanka’s registration of motor vehicles has increased substantially during 2015 by 55.7 per cent to 668,907, compared to an increase of 31.5 per cent recorded in the previous year, the Central Bank said. Accordingly, sharp growth rates of 172.4 per cent and 89.7 per cent were reported in relation to motor car and dual-purpose vehicle registrations, respectively. Further, both three wheeler and motor cycle registrations increased significantly by 63.9 per cent and 35.9 percent respectively, during the same period.

“The increase in motor vehicle registrations in 2015, was driven by the increase in disposable income, low interest rates for vehicle leasing and relatively low taxes on hybrid and electrical vehicles and on motor cars with an engine capacity of less than 1,000cc. However, with the upward tax revision on motor vehicle imports, discontinuation of the concessionary tax permits for public servants as proposed by the Budget 2016, restrictions imposed by the Central Bank on financing of motor vehicle purchases, depreciation of the rupee and the gradual increase in interest rates, motor vehicle registrations continued to decline sharply from January 2016,” the Central Bank’s 2015 Annual Report stated.