Thousands of cars leave Poland for Ukraine. They buy used cars because they want to work and live

In recent days, the queue to the border in Dorohusk started about 8 kilometers before entering the crossing.

On Monday, at the very end of the string, I stop next to two trucks with tow trucks. On each passenger cars with Polish and foreign registration plates. Rather mid-range cars, nothing exclusive.

– I get a specific order that from point A I have to take the cars to point B in Ukraine. These are coming from Poznań – admits the Ukrainian driver and adds that the huge interest of Ukrainians in second-hand cars is related to the zero duty on cars.

– On Saturday, the traffic jam was as far as Chełm – tells us the owner of the exchange office next to the crossing.

The tax regulations in force until recently significantly limited the import of cars to Ukraine. But because of the war from April 5, customs and VAT on most imported goods, including cars, were abolished. The Ukrainian government wanted to strengthen the economy devastated by Russia’s attacks and to increase the mobility of its inhabitants. – Zero customs clearance has contributed to a gradual reduction in car prices, in the case of most models by 20-30%. – lists Stanisław Buczacki, an expert from the Institute of Automotive Market Research of Ukraine.

It has never been like this before

The owner of a car dealership from Chełm has been working in the industry for 15 years and admits that there has never been such a move. – A lot of used cars are sold. They are mainly bought by car dealerships in Ukraine. But here, close to the border, it is even less visible. Mainly cars imported from Western Europe or second-hand trucks in other parts of Poland go to Ukraine. The best-selling cars are priced at PLN 10-25 thousand. zloty.

A young woman sits in a Volkswagen, warmed from the sun. There are only a few cars ahead of her before entering the border crossing. I am asking for the waiting time. – Two days – he replies. And she admits that the car is not for her, but for trade. Other drivers also do not mind that the cars are imported for a purpose other than for sale. – Poles should be happy because the oldest cars are disappearing from the roads – one of them jokes.

Another Ukrainian explains that the regulations were introduced to make it easier to import cars that can be used in war, such as jeeps. I notice that there are two passenger cars on his tow truck. – And these are just right for me – he smiles.

As Stanisław Buczacki explains, the main reason why Ukrainians now import so many cars is primarily the very low level of motorisation so far, i.e. 230-250 cars per 1000 people. The European average is 610 cars per 1000 people. Buczacki adds that the duties on cars bought and imported to Ukraine have so far been the highest in Europe.

– Vehicles are primarily the ability to move, the ability to meet the needs of the family, run a business, as well as the transport of goods and evacuation in case of danger – adds Buczacki.