Registration of new motor vehicles has almost doubled in the first month of this year, in comparison to last year, Commissioner General of Motor Traffic B.D.L. Dharmapriya said.
In January 2010, a total 19,090 vehicles were registered with the Department of Motor Traffic, while in January, 2011, a total of 39, 544 have been registered, he said.
The increase in registrations as well as the importation of vehicles had begun around June last year when the government announced reduction on import duties on motor vehicles.
The biggest increase has been in the registration of new cars which have risen to 4,759 in January this year from 308 in January last year.
There has also been an increase in the import of luxury vehicles with 343 Mercedes Benz cars and 44 BMWs registered within three months, i.e. November and December, 2010 and January, 2011, he said.`
The number of newly registered three-wheelers has also increased more than twofold from 3,863 in 2010 to 10,450 in January, 2011.
The number of vehicles registered on a daily basis by the Motor Traffic Department is around 1,700, Mr. Dharmapriya said.
Since January 1, 2011, the Department has imposed a luxury and semi luxury tax on diesel vehicles exceeding 2500 cylinder capacity and petrol vehicles exceeding 2000 cc.