Cambodian Car Market 2020

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The Cambodia General Department of Customs and Excise says the Kingdom imported 414,725 vehicles worth $634.98 million in the first half of 2020.

What vehicles has Cambodia imported in 2020?

In 2017, BMI research (U.K) forecast that new car sales in Cambodia will grow at an average rate of 16.6 per cent for five years (until 2022).

Cambodia has from January to June 2020 imported the following:

  • 180,590 motorbikes worth $99 million
  • 192,397 bicycles worth $4.35 million
  • 25,483 cars worth $280.65 million
  • 1,212 vehicles for 10 or more passengers worth $17.448 million
  • 13,812 freight vehicles worth $194.47 million
  • 1,231 other vehicles worth $35.84 million

Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Hong Vanak told the Phnom Penh Post that the vehicle imports account as a primary source of customs revenue in Cambodia. “National income has slipped indeed, most notably in tax revenue from car imports from non-ASEAN countries with high rates, such as the US and those in the Arab region.”

Earlier in 2020, Cambodian Prime Minister, Mr Hun Sen, said “car and motorcycles accounted for only 33 per cent of total income from customs and excise (in the past) but this year that figure has risen to 52 per cent. This is because more and more Cambodians can now afford to buy a car.”

The most popular imports are thought to be four-wheel-drive vehicles and mid-sized sedans and all car imports must be left-hand drive.  More about the import duties can be found here.

The government had said in 2018 that it wanted to have proper standards on any type of imported vehicles by 2023. CAIF (Cambodia Automotive Industry Federation) told the Khmer Times previously that new vehicles that are imported by authorised dealers account for approximately 10-15 per cent out of the total cars imported every year.

Cambodian car imports 2020
Photo Credit: (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Cambodia Vehicles 2019

According to the Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia imported 1,124,210 vehicles worth $1.882 billion for the whole year 2019. However, the Ministry has previously stated that the following 640,183 vehicle registrations were recorded in 2019:

  • 15,956 heavy vehicles
  • 92,958 cars
  • 531,269 motorcycles

The total annual value of imported vehicles, motorcycles, and parts to Cambodia reached $1,616 billion in 2018.

Traffic Congestion in Cambodia

Phnom Penh and other major Cambodian cities have been trying to manage the growing traffic congestion issues which are mostly caused by the increased number of vehicles (and larger vehicles) on the roads.

Some of the measures being looking into in the capital included a possible Phnom Penh sky train but the proposal was cancelled due to costs in July 2020.

In May 2020, plans were also announced for new bridges and tunnels to help address the growing traffic problem in Phnom Penh, while a new heavy vehicle terminal is being planned to be built on the outskirts of Cambodia’s capital by a Chinese firm, China Good Cars Holding Ltd.

The Cambodian Government has also increased fines to traffic violations and updated road laws in 2020 to combat the higher number of traffic accidents and will be particularly vigilant during the holidays and Khmer New Year. According to the National Road Safety Committee, in 2019 there were 4,121 traffic accidents which represented a 26% increase compared to 2018.

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