Corona: second-hand car sales are booming
In many countries of the EU, second-hand car sales are booming since the corona pandemic outbreak. Especially when compared to new car sales. Very new and ancient second-hand vehicles are dominating the market. Is this also the sign of a change in mobility patterns again?
In the Netherlands, we see that second-hand cars’ sales are three times those of new cars this year. In Belgium, sector federation Traxio points out that the second-hand car market is suffering far less from the pandemic.
In France, 538 207 second-hand vehicles were sold in October, 3,4 times more than new cars. If you take the first ten months of 2020 into account, the second-hand market lost only 4,9% compared to last year. Despite the lockdown months, the new car market is at -27%.
Very young and very old
Now that France is in a second lockdown, like more and more countries in Europe, the market will probably slow down again. Two types of second-hand cars are trendy, the nearly new ones and the ancient ones. The latter are sometimes 15 years or older. “They offer an individual solution to mobility at a meager cost,” remarks Marc Bruschet from the national council of automobile professions (CNPA).
On the other side of the spectrum, the cars younger than two years were very sought after. They are an interesting alternative for a new car that wasn’t available at a certain time. More so because the most recent ones were also eligible for the official reconversion premium. According to the specialized website AutoScout24, there’s even a shortage of this type of second-hand vehicles.
When we consider the type of fuel, more than half (57%) are still diesel cars, but gasoline is progressing (+2,7%), while electrified vehicles are entering this market, taking a 2,5% share at the moment. “It’s still too early,” says Marc Bruschet, “but the offer of EVs has really developed in 2020, and we will see the results on the second-hand market in 2021 and 2022.”
The fear of using public transport because of the pandemic has driven the French in their individual cars again. As new cars’ availability was also for a long while restraint because of the first lockdown and its consequences, people turned to second-hand.
Another possible answer to these figures is that French society is being more divided into different social groups. The more wealthy people living in or at the cities’ border are more interested in alternatively driven new vehicles. The less affluent people living in the suburbs or the countryside are sometimes in desperate need of a means of transport, and a cheap second-hand car is here the most obvious solution.