New passenger car registrations in Bulgaria in first two months of 2023 up 28.8% y/y

The number of new passenger car registrations in Bulgaria in the first two months of 2023 was 28.8 per cent higher than in the first two months of 2022, according to figures released on March 21 by the

European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, ACEA.

There were 5101 new passenger car registrations in January and February 2023, compared with 3960 in January and February 2022.

In February 2023, there were 2589 new passenger car registrations in Bulgaria, an increase of 34.1 per cent compared with the 1931 recorded in February 2022.

ACEA said that in February 2023, the EU passenger car market continued to perform well, growing by 11.5 per cent to 802 763 units.

However, it is important to note the low base of comparison due to the semiconductor shortage crisis at the beginning of 2022, the association said.

Most EU markets showed strong growth, including the four largest ones, with Spain and Italy experiencing the most significant increases (19.2 per cent and 17.4 per cent, respectively).

In the first two months of 2023, the EU market reached almost 1.6 million new cars registered, up 11.4 per cent from the previous year, thanks to double-digit increases in both January and February.

Looking at the four major EU markets, Spain (32.1 per cent) and Italy (18.2 per cent) saw the highest gains, followed by France (9.1 per cent). German car registrations remained flat (0.2 per cent) during this two-month period.

In February, there was a rise in the number of battery electric and hybrid cars registered in the EU, now representing 12.1 per cent and 25.5 per cent of the market respectively. However, petrol remained the top choice for newly-registered cars in the EU, with a market share of 36.9 per cent.

Last month, new battery electric vehicle (BEV) registrations in the EU increased by 39.7 per cent to reach 97 300 cars, resulting in a market share of 12.1 per cent, compared to 9.7 per cent in February 2022.

Except for the Czech Republic (-3.2 per cent) and Slovakia (-28.2 per cent), all markets in the region contributed to this growth with double- and triple-digit percentage gains, including the three largest ones: Germany (14.7 per cent), France (45.7 per cent), and the Netherlands (88.9 per cent).

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) also had a strong month, with sales increasing by 22.3 per cent to 204,883 units. This growth was largely sustained by double-digit gains in the region’s four key markets: Spain (31.8 per cent), France (24.6 per cent), Germany (24.2 per cent) and Italy (23.9 per cent).

As a result, HEVs achieved a market share of 25.5 per cent, up from 23.3 per cent in February 2022.

By contrast, registrations of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) in the EU decreased by 7.4 per cent to 57 569 cars sold. This decline was mainly due to a significant drop in German sales (-44.8 per cent), following the end of subsidies for plug-in hybrids in 2022.

In February 2023, registrations of new petrol cars in the EU rose by 11.1 per cent, holding a market share of 36.9 per cent, which is on par with the share recorded in 2022.

Spain (19 per cent), Italy (16.3 per cent), Germany (8.9 per cent) and France (7.7 per cent) all contributed to this growth.

On the other hand, the diesel car market in the EU continued to decline (-8.4 per cent), despite increases in some Central European markets like Poland (+18.9 per cent) and the Czech Republic (+12.4 per cent), as well as in Italy (2.2 per cent). This resulted in a market share of 15 per cent, down 3.2 percentage points from February 2022, ACEA said.

Please support independent journalism by clicking on the ‘become a patron’ button below and signing up to become a Patreon supporter of The Sofia Globe. For as little as three euro a month or the equivalent in other currencies, you can support The Sofia Globe via

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.