Vehicles made between 11 and 15 years ago underwent the biggest price rise, €500 on average, car salespeople say. One of the factors was the introduction of the euro.
Economists say that Lithuanians still readily buy cars, despite higher prices and more expensive maintenance. Car ownership remains an important part of the identity of many a Lithuanian consumer, economists say, who a ready to spend a sizeable portion of their income to own a car.
“In this respect, we are an exception in Europe, since in other countries transport expenses make up less than one tenth of total consumption,” Swedbank economist Nerijus Mačiulis says. “Even with the fall in oil prices, there has not been much change in that. In Lithuania, a car remains an important part. Even with cheaper fuel, transportation expenses remain high.”