Is the Israeli car market monopolized where only certain dealers can import cars, or can anyone privately import a car from any country?

The market is set up in such a way that anyone who wants to officially sell cars in Israel needs to provide service for that type of car through a licensed shop in all parts of the country while the car is being sold there as well as I believe 10 years after they leave the market.

It's a big gamble for a market that is already saturated. If they enter the market and fail, they still have to provide service all over the country for 10 more years.

Additionally the luxury car market is particularly hard to sell. The tax on buying a new car in Israel is approximately 75%, so you are essentially buying two cars. So when you are buying a luxury car, the price that someone would need to sell it for is astronomical. The dealer side costs sometimes just aren't worth it to bring new cars into Israel, particularly luxury cars.

You are allowed to import your own car into the country, but there are taxes on that as well, for the import itself and based on the value of the car.

A lot of new immigrants can avoid paying a lot of these taxes when buying or importing a car, but for everyone else they kind of suck. Even when buying a private car in the country, people will base the value of the car based on the purchase price including the taxes they paid and from there calculate the depreciation.

There is a big "know someone who knows someone" thing that goes on in Israeli business and society, but if you don't know anyone it doesn't keep you from importing a car; knowing someone just helps streamline the process, but doesn't really make it any less expensive.

Footnotes

http://Not sure if it is 10 year...

Buying a Car in Israel | Nefesh B'Nefesh


The vast majority of cars in Israel are indeed sold by authorized dealers who import them, but it is also possible to personally import cars . The process is not easy, and as befitting a highly bureaucratic government like the one in Israel , there is a long list of requirements you need to satisfy - see יבוא אישי של כלי רכב, but it is certainly doable, and I know a number of people who have done this.


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