‘Belgium registered 81% more second-hand cars than new ones’
In 2021, registrations of second-hand cars boomed (+80,9%), while those of new cars fell back to the level of 35 years ago. According to mobility federation Traxio, last year, 709 605 second-hand vehicles (+7,5%) were registered, which is almost 81% more than new cars (-10,1%) compared to 2020 (and even -29,5% compared to 2019).
Registrations of new cars, in general, declined, and fell back to the level of 1985-1986, while those of used cars are doing well. Figures of December confirm this tendency: Traxio listed hardly 20 857 new registrations in the last month of the year (-31,1% fewer compared to 2020). In November 2021, 53 169 second-hand passenger cars were registered, more than twice as many as new cars.
Traxio noticed a similar trend on the market of light commercial vehicles: 4 698 registrations of new vehicles (-22,3%) against 10 353 used ones (+16,0%). Only the registrations of new trucks showed a positive trend (+7,1% compared to 2020).
Sales of two-wheeled vehicles halved in December. In the last month of the year, barely 604 new motorbikes were sold, bringing the total figures for the year to 25 374 (-1,8%). Sales of second-hand motorbikes, on the contrary, increased by 5,8% in December (3 318 units), reaching a top score of 80 667 units for 2021 (+6,6% compared to 2020, and +15,3% compared to 2019).
“2021 again was an atypical year, in which the automotive sector suffered from both the corona pandemic and the general shortage of semiconductors,” explains Filip Rylant, spokesperson for Traxio, in a press release. “Both crises made the sector plummet to new car registration levels of 1985-1986. The market declined by 29,5% in two years.”
“Consumers were forced to look for alternatives, and this lead to record sales of second-hand vehicles: 709 605 in 2021, ” Rylant continues.
Balance on the market
In the meantime, the tide is slightly turning, Rylant concludes. “Order books are getting full, and new cars will be delivered – with a delay, though. The market of new car sales will stabilize, and the registration of new cars will go up again. More new cars on the market also increase the inflow of second-hand cars. Supply will go up, but demand (and price) will go down. It will take a while to recover the balance on the market.”
Mobility federation Traxio represents more than 9 800 employers, active in sales and repair of new and second-hand cars, motorbikes, bicycles, body shops, tires, fuels, in the three Belgian regions. The federation represents almost 100 000 jobs.