Registration of new vehicles increased by over ten times in last two decades, statistics of Department of Transport Management (DoTM) shows.
According to the data, 159,272 units of vehicles were registered in Nepal until Fiscal Year 1994/95. The number has increased by over 10 times, with total number of registered vehicles touching 1,995,404 units by the end of 2014/15.
Though the increase in annual vehicle registration was slow until 2004/5, it has been increasing rapidly since 2008/09.
Compared to other vehicle segments, there has been massive growth in segments like motorcycle, car/jeep/van, tractor-power trailer, and bus among others in 20-year period. As per the data, 1,567,589 units of two-wheelers, 163,667 car/jeep/van, 103,695 tractor/power trailer, and 36,651 buses have been registered in the country until 2014/15.
However, auto dealers say that the growth in automobile registration is nominal compared to country’s population. Refuting the idea that number of vehicles has increased in overwhelmingly, they said number of obstacles have been hindering the growth of automobile industry.
“Though auto registration is increasing with every passing year and has increased significantly in the past two decades, vehicle penetration in Nepal is still very low,” Gopi Neupane, general secretary of Nepal Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) — the umbrella organization of automobile dealers, said, adding, “Two million vehicles compared to Nepal’s population of almost 30 million is very low.”
“The fact is number of vehicles has not been able to increase in line with country’s increasing population,” Neupane said, adding that hindrances like limited road networks, excessive taxation, and transportation syndicates, among others, have blocked the growth of domestic automobile market.
Neupane, however, said growth in two-wheelers segment has remained satisfactory. “Two-wheelers have proved to be the best and easy means of transportation. It has become a basic need of commuter,” Neupane shared.
Officials of DoTM also accept that the growth rate of vehicles is nominal. “Growth in registration of two-wheelers has brought overall vehicle registration to this level,” Mukti KC, director of DoTM, said, adding, “Growth in other segments is still low.”
According to him, vehicle registration is increasing with every passing year due to expanding road networks and increasing purchasing capacity of people.