Under 1% of the cars on the roads in Albania are less than two years old, according to data compiled by the EU’s statistics office Eurostat.
Albania, followed by neighbouring North Macedonia, has the oldest car fleet out of 29 countries assessed by Eurostat, including EU members, EEA countries and candidate countries. Data was not available for the remaining Western Balkan states.
As of 2020, out of Albania’s fleet of 539,497 cars only 4,077 were under two years old and a further 11,595 were between two and five years old. The majority – 311,525 – were 10 to 20 years old and a further 180,834 were more than 20 years old.
At the other end of the spectrum, Luxembourg had the highest share of new passenger cars, with 22% of all passenger cars in the small country under two years old.
France, Austria, Ireland, Belgium and Sweden all had shares of between 16% and 17% new cars.
Among the EU members assessed, the highest shares of the oldest passenger cars (20 years or older) were in Poland (40%), Estonia (33%) and Finland (28%).
Lithuania had the highest share of passenger cars over 10 years old (81%), followed by Romania (80%) and Poland (78%).
In Luxembourg (24%), Ireland (29%) and Belgium (32%) under one third of the fleet was more than 10 years old.
A number of countries mainly in Western Europe have launched programmes to support purchases of new cars with low emissions, though the renewal of the fleet has slowed recently as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic disrupted automotive supply chains.
Meanwhile, many East European markets, especially those in the poorer EU members and candidate countries like Albania, are dominated by second-hand imports from Western Europe.
This is despite a number of governments and city authorities considering bans on the oldest, most polluting cars.