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Why it was impossible to buy a truck and a minibus in the USSR: an unexpected explanation

Anna OnishchenkoLife
Why you couldn't buy a truck or a minibus in the USSR

During the Soviet era, many things that we now take for granted were not available to ordinary citizens. This applied not only to clothing, food, and household appliances, but also to transportation.

One example is that it was impossible for an ordinary person to buy, for example, a truck or a minibus. To find out the reason for this restriction, read the OBOZ.UA article below.

There was a chronic shortage of many goods in the USSR, and vehicles were no exception. Even cars were not easy to buy. In general, the opportunity to buy a vehicle appeared openly only in the late 40s, but the supply was quite scarce.

Why it was impossible to buy a truck and a minibus in the USSR: an unexpected explanation

At first, people were offered Moskvich-400, GAZ-20 Pobeda, and ZIM, but after demand began to grow, only ZIM remained on sale, which was distinguished by its hefty price.

Why it was impossible to buy a truck and a minibus in the USSR: an unexpected explanation

In the USSR, cars were treated purely as a hobby. They were supposed to be used only for entertainment and recreation, and in no way for work or additional income. In other words, the Soviet government simply did not see any need to provide its "car enthusiasts" with a variety of cars.

There was no direct ban on the purchase of trucks or minibuses, but such goods were a priori not available for retail sale. The constitution guaranteed the right to work and rest, so why would a person working at a factory need anything more than a Moskvich?

In other words, the question of selling, for example, ZIL-130 or GAZ-51 was never even raised. The potatoes from the garden will fit in the Pobeda, and no one wanted to create the risk that people would look for "hacks" somewhere to work as carriers.

Why it was impossible to buy a truck and a minibus in the USSR: an unexpected explanation

The same was true, in general, for minibusses, which were represented in the USSR by the so-called "Bukhanka".

However, if a large family with a dozen children expressed a desire to purchase a large vehicle, then the issue could presumably be considered at a high level. Only in this case could people be given an order to purchase such a car.

However, this raises the question of cost. As a rule, trucks were sold to enterprises on the instructions of ministries, so one could not even dream of retail prices.

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