Car ownership

Old Nov 23rd 2015, 8:29 pm
  #1  
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Default Car ownership

Does anyone who speaks/reads/understands Hungarian know by how much car ownership has risen in the last 10 years?

When I first started to visit Hungary 10 years ago, I hired a car from the airport, and it was no problem to park outside my friends apartment block even though there were only limited spaces.

Now her street (and most of the others in this town) seem to have caught the English disease, with cars left parked on both sides of the road and very little room remaining for safe driving.
This like England is particularly bad outside the main school, and on wet days requires the police to be in attendance to control the careless attitudes of mums and dads.

Considering that the cost of new cars is much higher here than in the UK this must point to the increased wealth of Hungary since joining the EU, or is that an over simplification?
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 4:09 am
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Default Re: Car ownership

There are many more cars in Hungary now - but many (most?) are rather old ...
From the licence plate (if it's not a special one) you can see when the car was brought into Hungary and often you see older models with an "M" or even an "N" as the first letter.
Also you have to consider that most new cars are bought by companies, later probably sold to the public, or straight to the workers.
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 5:08 am
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Default Re: Car ownership

When we came here (21 years ago) our Land Rover would gather crowds when parked and turn heads when we drove down the street. Imagine any 4x4 doing that today. So yes there are lots more cars today than when we came here and whilst new cars are relatively more expensive than some western countries second hand cars are actually more expensive. I have heard it said that the priorities of the young are 'his car, her car then the flat to live in! - Its all about the priorities of spending what you have. When I have compared wages between here and the UK I still seem to come up with a figure of 4-5 times more for the UK, but then you can buy a house here, near a major city, for 40k - 50k (GBP) try getting any house near say Guildford for 250k
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 6:06 am
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Default Re: Car ownership

When I first went to Hungary my brother-in-law had a Suzuki Wagon R. A couple of years later he swapped that for Suzuki Grand Vitara. They've since added a Kia c'eed for my sister-in-law and the eldest nephew has a Suzuki Swift. The youngest had a 49cc motorcycle which has since been sold for a run around scooter. Funny enough all three car owners work or study at the local university which puzzles me because surely they could find a way to share two cars.

I suppose like some areas in the UK a car is essential. In Orpington, Kent, where I live it's not essential unless you have friends living in places difficult to get to using public transport.
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 6:31 am
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Default Re: Car ownership

I'm not aware that new cars are dearer in Hungary. I may well be missing something but just compared a bottom of the range diesel Astra and it is 16,995.00 GBP in UK, 13,300.00 GBP in Hungary. Used cars are certainly dearer but that is because there are not enough new cars being later re-sold to satisfy the demand for used cars.
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 6:48 am
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Default Re: Car ownership

Originally Posted by fidobsa
I'm not aware that new cars are dearer in Hungary. I may well be missing something but just compared a bottom of the range diesel Astra and it is 16,995.00 GBP in UK, 13,300.00 GBP in Hungary. Used cars are certainly dearer but that is because there are not enough new cars being later re-sold to satisfy the demand for used cars.
I said that here new cars are RELATIVELY more expensive and second hand are actually more expensive.
Compare how many months (years?) an average Hungarian has to work for the quoted Astra relative to the average worker in the UK. Whilst as you say second hand cars are ACTUALLY more expensive - for the reason you say
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 6:54 am
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Default Re: Car ownership

Originally Posted by FenTiger
I suppose like some areas in the UK a car is essential. In Orpington, Kent, where I live it's not essential unless you have friends living in places difficult to get to using public transport.
40 years ago I lived in Petts Wood, a car was essential as unless you were commuting to central London public transport was a non-starter. At least here public transport offers a workable alternative for most things
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Car ownership

We had to replace the old Opel and we found an interesting thing. With the same deposit and trade in it turned out that the monthly payments on a brand new Opel Astra was pretty close to those of a 4-5 year old Opel Astra.......... The expense of used cars is really apparent at the bottom end of the market, you can't do bangernomics here as the change of ownership fees are really high and 20-25 year old cars are still not far off £1000+ equivalent. Even ancient Ladas can be over 150000 HUF!!!

So we have gone for the new one. We are unusual in that we had the cash for enough of a deposit but it's sobering to think that it is a yearly salary for an average worker. And still been a challenge to actually buy the thing. Yes the specification we have is much cheaper than for the UK but it is also an outgoing model. Also the dealer was really, really trying hard to sell a car to us and has spent a lot of time and effort organising things!

We are just outside Budapest and use the M0 to get to work so we do see a lot of newer cars around but they must mainly be company cars judging from the way they are being driven!! Several used cars we looked at were German/Austrian imports and it is common to see cars with number plates much more recent than original build date.

So maybe Hungary is getting wealthier but a reported gross monthly salary of 250000 HUF doesn't seem to be nearly enough to explain it? Especially as net that is going to be more like 170000 HUF at least? Or, (as I have heard tell) lots of people still get brown envelopes alongside the official salary in order to avoid taxes so maybe that average salary is much higher? Would be surprised to see such high salaries outside of Budapest though.

Last edited by jetsam1; Nov 24th 2015 at 7:06 pm.
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: Car ownership

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
I said that here new cars are RELATIVELY more expensive and second hand are actually more expensive.
Compare how many months (years?) an average Hungarian has to work for the quoted Astra relative to the average worker in the UK. Whilst as you say second hand cars are ACTUALLY more expensive - for the reason you say
It was Duztee that said new cars were dearer in Hungary.
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: Car ownership

Years ago , an economist friend told me the only true way to compare prices is to take an object - say a litre of diesel, and work out how long it takes to earn the money for it in the various countries. for example, here in Cebu, diesel is the equivalent of about 45p a litre. In UK its about £1.20? Min wage in UK is something like £6.50 hour - so one hours money buys you roughly 5 litres. minimum wage here is equivalent to less than £5 a DAY,so one hours work pays for about 1.75 litres. On that basis, diesel here is more than twice as expensive than in UK. For us expats, yes it seems inexpensive.
That explains why the Hungarian Astra is more expensive than the UK version to a local worker. This simple system works for any commodity you care to name - pint of beer, bottle of coke, a house etc etc. sorry for the diatribe!
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 11:44 pm
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Default Re: Car ownership

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
40 years ago I lived in Petts Wood, a car was essential as unless you were commuting to central London public transport was a non-starter. At least here public transport offers a workable alternative for most things
Sorry, off point ..... have you been back to Petts Wood since? I think the only change has been addition of Morrisons.
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Old Nov 24th 2015, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Car ownership

Originally Posted by FenTiger
Sorry, off point ..... have you been back to Petts Wood since? I think the only change has been addition of Morrisons.
No - No reason to return since I left.
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Old Nov 25th 2015, 6:10 am
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Default Re: Car ownership

Jetsam1, congratulations on the Opel!

Since starting to go on holiday her almost 20 years ago I've found that they have two advantages, especially to Hungarians:
They're reliable - my old Astra is driven now by my stepson who imported it to Hungary and has more than 200 000 km and my Merica A just clocked 180 000 km

And secondly you have a lot of competent repair men for them - and enough used spare parts ...

Back to prices:
Yes, what's (sometimes ridiculously ...) cheap to us making or having made our money in pounds or €s is expensive for the average Hungarian.
So more time and effort is invested in repairing something where we just would buy something new ...
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 8:18 am
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Default Re: Car ownership

We have a two and a half year old and another on the way and we frankly need a bigger car and a car that can survive getting driven into. I am under few illusions over the standards of driving I have seen over the last few years.

Hopefully it will be a long relationship! When it is out of warranty we have a very good mechanic and it is capable of the German autobahn too. Hopefully! Hopefully we can pick it up on Saturday but apparently the registration office are being difficult recently and I have to work the weekend so I won't get to have the first drive.

I earn in Forints and yes it is really an eye opener.
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