Poland’s new car sales plummeted for the third month running in July after European Union entry led to tax changes, boosted prices and sparked imports of used vehicles, car market research agency Samar reportedly said on Tuesday.

In July, Poles bought only 22,073 new cars – the weakest monthly sales figure since December 2001 – down 5% from the previous month and 24% less than a year ago, Reuters said, adding that, thanks to strong sales in the first four months, the total sales in the first seven months of the year were up 7.2% at 214,836 units.

“The month of August will probably bring no positive changes. For a potential rebound, we will probably have to wait longer, until the end of the holiday period, until September or even October,” Samar head Wojciech Drzewiecki reportedly said.

Before Poland joined the EU on May 1, Poles rushed to take advantage of legal loopholes that allowed them to avoid a 22% value-added tax by registering passenger cars as cargo vehicles, Reuters noted.

Since early May, the market also has been flooded by a wave of used cars, often more than 10 years old, after Poland removed trade barriers with the EU, the report added.

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Fiat retained its leadership of the Polish market in the first seven months, selling 37,467 units, up 14% year-over-year, and was followed by Skoda, whose sales rose 11% to 27,326, and Toyota with sales up nearly 14% at 24,494, Reuters said.