Bikes outsold cars in UK and Europe in 2012...

But bike sales declined too

New figures suggest bikes are selling faster than cars across most of Europe, despite another set of data saying bikes sales are declining as well.

According to data collated by the news site NPR, bikes outsold passenger cars in 23 European countries in 2012.

In the UK – the second biggest bike buyer behind Germany – more than three million bikes were sold compared to just over two million passenger vehicles.

In Germany, the biggest bike market, almost four million bikes were sold.

Perhaps ironically given its status as a nation of cycle-sport lovers, Belgium and its Low Countries neighbour Luxembourg saw car sales outstrip bike sales in 2012.

However cycle industry website Bike Europe reported yesterday that bike sales figures across 27 EU countries had declined by 1.3m to 18.6m in 2012.

Bike Europe blamed tough economic conditions for declining bike sales. The tough economic conditions were also to blame for people favouring bikes over cars in the NPR story.

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