Automotive: Why used cars are now more expensive than new vehicles

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The pandemic and the semiconductor crisis that has spread since then have disrupted the automotive market, dramatically increasing lead times. Unprecedented phenomenon, some used vehicles are being traded today at a price equal to or higher than new ones!

Not long ago, after making your choice, your dream car color displayed, options ticked, it was normal to wait a while. No offense, we waited for the mail or the call from the “mechanic” for several weeks, or even longer. It was the right price to pay for being behind the wheel of a new car, and too bad if our tastes changed during the long wait. Maybe time hasn’t passed at the same speed as it does today…

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The post-pandemic period and the resulting shortage of semiconductors (the groups also lamented major problems with the supply of plastics and steel) severely impacted the production lines of almost all factories. Delays between purchase orders and key delivery have increased to the point of regularly reaching several months. It is not easy to accept at a time when it is “urgent” to be served at the exact moment you decide to buy, but that is how it is. In order not to degrade their margins, manufacturers preferred to reserve their available electronic chips for their high-end models.

Duster, Sandero, the “modest nuggets”

The highly sought after Duster, one of the most sought after on the used market today.

At the other end of the scale, some customers, a little more hasty, accept to buy a slightly different model, forgetting about the electric opening of the trunk, a certain upholstery or even the expected color. Others, many, do not hesitate to resort to the occasion.

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Suddenly, at dealerships or on the Net, inventories drop and bid prices soar. Especially for the “pearls” of the market, the Dacia in particular, Sandero and Duster in the lead, but also the compact cars from Toyota or the timeless Renault Clio and Peugeot 208. If you are today in the shoes of a candidate looking for one of these nuggets “modest”, you will understand us easily. Important precision, even rental companies and companies, heavyweights of the sector, end up taking an interest in the low mileage “second hand”.

A year and a half ago, even if the current trend is a little calmer, “second hand” took 20% more. While the prices of energy and those of many basic necessities, in particular food, are rising, the increase in our already so expensive cars, frankly, is not welcome.

In 10 years, a €7,000 increase in the price of the new

According to observers, this situation is not expected to improve before the beginning of next year. It should be noted, however, that this phenomenon only concerns certain vehicles and that if we take the entire market, the opportunities, fortunately, continue to be more accessible than the new ones. After the two months of closing in 2020, everyone expected a spectacular recovery and everyone was disappointed. From 2.214 million in 2019, sales dropped to 1.650 million in 2020 and 1.659 million last year. The occasion, in turn, broke its record with 5.96 million sales.

The uncertainty of the moment with doubts linked to the “mandatory” switch to “clean” vehicles (read elsewhere) and the increasingly higher sales prices (invoices on average increased by 7,000 euros between 2010 and 2020) are disturbing the strong recovery.

The 2022 crop is unlikely to mark a return to normal. In August, however, after fourteen consecutive months of decline, the number of passenger car registrations (Dacia well ahead) saw an increase of 3.8% to 91,411 units. Promise ? Thinning? Chimera?

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