Three wheeler registrations in the month of June fell 68.4 percent to 4,300 from 13,753, motor cars fell 56.4 percent to 2,208 from 5,069 and motor cycles fell motor cycles fell 46.3 percent to 12,181 from 22,690, a year earlier, central bank data showed.
Sri Lanka jacked up vehicle taxes in the second quarter of 2011 after the island's rupee peg came under pressure when rulers manipulated energy prices with commercial bank credit and printed money to keep interest rates down as loan demand rocketed.
Amusingly authorities blamed car imports for the fall in the rupee and not the credit funded energy subsidies. But in February 2012 energy prices and interest rates were jacked up and the rupee allowed to fall in line with the underlying monetary policy.
Taxes were raised for ordinary citizens while the island's ruling class of elected politicians get tax free cars and state workers get tax slashed cars. In the past authorities have jacked up taxes on electronic goods claiming they were 'luxuries' for citizens.
Analysts point out that raising interest rates (and energy prices) to go up would have curbed demand, allowing citizens to make the choices which give them the maximum benefits with their own hard earned money without the rulers or bureaucrats interfering in their decisions.
The energy and interest rate manipulation eventually forced the rupee to fall from 110 to 132 to the US dollar.
In the month of July bus imports fell 22.4 percent to 197, dual purpose vehicles fell 26.5 percent to 812, goods transport vehicles including lorries fell 12.9 percent to 944.
In the six months to June total car registrations were down 5.7 percent to 234,388. Motor car registrations were down 26.8 percent to 21,886, motor cycles were down 4.4 percent to 117,689, and three wheelers were down 26.8 percent to 50,811.