Used cars from abroad a threat to Netherlands climate goals, Dutch association says

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Used cars from abroad are more popular than ever in the Netherlands, and that is bad news for the government's climate ambitions, according to car dealers' association RAI. In the first three months of this year, the Dutch imported a record number of over 56 thousand used cars from abroad, ANP reports. 

Nearly a third of these imported used cars were an alternative to purchasing a new car in the Netherlands, according to RAI. On average, used cars emit 12 percent more CO2 than new cars, the association calculated. 

RAI attributes the increase in imported used cars to the high purchase tax in the Netherlands. The government uses this tax to encourage consumers to buy cleaner cars by taxing cars with higher CO2 emissions more. But this is not working, according to RAI.

"Completely phasing out the [purchasing tax] s the only way to reduce imports, stimulate new sales and effectively implement the forthcoming climate agreement", the association said, according to ANP. 

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