Hungary to Ban Use of Foreign License Plates

There's a little plague going on in Eastern Europe, one that causes a lot of trouble for the drivers in countries like Romania or Hungary. That little plague is simply called a tax, one that must be paid by all who are registering a car, new or old, for the first time in their respective countries.

Now, at times, this tax is grotesque in nature and size. In Romania, for instance, the tax is called “pollution tax” and can reach EUR21,000 for a car equipped with an Euro 3 1.4l engine. For those who don't know, that means a granny of a car, one that can be purchased anywhere in Europe, at any used car lot, for three-four times less than the value of the tax itself.

The absurdity of this all is not at all that... absurd. With these taxes, the governments of the respective countries are trying to renew the age of their car fleets, by discouraging the purchase of old, used and polluting cars.

But, as said, we're talking about countries who are no where near the G8. That means that people there still want to buy old, used and polluting cars. And even if they buy a new one, they still don't want to pay a fortune to get it registered. So what's the solution? Luckily, both Romania and Hungary are part of the European Union, which means that their citizens can register their cars wherever they like. Or wherever it's cheaper.

The Romanians have made a habit of registering their cars in neighboring Bulgaria, where the taxes are smaller. For the Hungarians, the preferred destination is Slovakia. For the Romanian government, the solution is still some months away. But Hungary seems to have made up its mind.

So, sooner rather than later, people who are permanent residents in Hungary will no longer be allowed to own a car with a foreign license plate. Bummer.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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