More Bikes Were Sold Than Cars Last Year in 23 European Countries!

by , 10/30/13

bicycles, cars, European Union, Italy, Romania, bike sales, car sales, recession, bike-friendly policiesBicycle photo from Shutterstock

The bicycle and the automobile were invented in Germany, so the European love affair with both modes of transportation goes back a long time. However last year bike sales actually overtook car sales in 23 of the 27 European Union member states. (New car registrations weren’t available for Cyprus and Malta, and car sales topped bike sales in Belgium and Luxembourg). In Italy, bikes outsold cars for the time since World War II, and in Spain bike sales topped the transportation charts for the first time ever.

Image © Ken Bergman

Researchers attribute the stunning shift from car to bike sales across Europe to the 2008 global recession, which the EU economy is still slowly recovering from. European car sales sank to a 20-year low in the first half of 2013. Romania had the biggest discrepancy, with bikes outselling cars five to one at 380,000 bikes sold versus 72,000 passenger cars. Germany sold the most bikes at 3,966,000 versus 3,083,000 cars.

Many EU governments have instituted bicycle-friendly policies and infrastructure that promote cycling as a safe alternative to driving.

Via Daily Mail

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  1. Dia Huizinga May 16, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Pictures are taken in Amsterdam where bikes are taking over. Not in Utrecht.

  2. Gwenaelle Barbé January 9, 2014 at 3:37 am

    La voiture, une invention allemande ?!!!! Sans chauvinisme aucun, c’est une invention française !

  3. michaeldembinski October 31, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Bicycle a German invention? The bicycle as we know it today (two same-size wheels, rear wheel driven by pedals via a chain, metal frame, pneumatic tyres) is a British invention.

  4. rankindad October 31, 2013 at 11:06 am

    In this U.S. recession, perhaps we should take heed!

  5. dcburdi October 30, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Utrecht, The Netherlands: Been there; Done that. Lived in Wassenaar (on the coast) in 1965-1967. LOVED IT!! Thought HIGHLY of the Dutch people being so energy conscientious then (though 14-16 y.o.) and still do. Wish we would practice more of their concepts in the U.S.

  6. daanmannetje October 30, 2013 at 6:05 am

    In Utrecht (in the Netherlands, were all the pictures in this article were taken) we have so many bikes, they’re becoming a parking problem. So we get our own mega garage:

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