However, their margins for progress are still huge as digital takes up a very small percentage of used sales. A study estimates the value of the used market in Europe at 600 billion euros, but the estimated share of the digital represents only barely 2% nowadays.
Between individuals, the cheapest, and yet…
The “little mechanic” who buys cars very cheaply and resells cars very expensively continues to work with us, no doubt especially in relation to the level of investment: people prefer to see the vehicles first and have direct contact with the seller. Individual ads slightly less.
“The purchase between individuals remains the cheapest, but also the most dangerous in terms of the vehicle’s mechanical condition. The strength of these new players is their databases and the digitization of advertising, they have criteria for age, models, choices… they scour the classifieds and even buy from individuals dependingSupply and demand“. Prices can rise very high, especially via auctions: “It is a fully capitalist market, very open, with prices that are completely free“.
Professionals monitor the prices, but they also offer a service, they offer a guarantee that reassures the individual buyer.
Regarding the seller, since “I pay immediately and you don’t have to do anything“It seems to attract more and more car owners, according to Olivier Duquesne.
The Belgian “Case”
Indeed, these groups and centers are already highly developed in countries such as France. Auto1 will face competition from players established for several years such as Gemy, Aramis (which has established a partnership with Cardoen), or even ALD, which specializes in rental but which has established a subsidiary for the resale of these vehicles.
If it only starts to point its nose in Belgium, according to Olivier Duquesne, it is connected to the weight of the company car in Belgium: “In Belgium it is more recent because company cars represent every other new registration. In France, apart from senior employees, they have to buy their car, and therefore the second-hand market was already much larger“.
And so until now, the used market has been strongly driven by these company cars, which at the end of the lease return to private individuals (who, according to Olivier Duquesne, represent 90% of buyers of used vehicles, only newer SMEs and not yet solidly avoiding new ones).
In the case of Cardoen, there is also improvement of the dealers’ unsold stock to make room for new models and enable it to offer genuine new items at spot prices.
A difficult context
However, the general correlation is not so good. Unlike 2020 and 2021, the 2022 holidays are synonymous with returning to the plane and not road trips. This dissatisfaction is linked to the problem of supplying vehicles to the used market.
Newer models – and with low kilometers – are becoming rarer, and buyers are reluctant to invest in an older vehicle that no longer represents a good plan if its consumption is high (especially with the increase in fuel) and can no longer fit into several urban “low emission zones”.
But that’s what justifies the high prices mentioned above…for newer vehicles. For older vehicles, the resumption of trade is, on the contrary, quite unfavorable for Belgian buyers: the export of older used cars to Eastern European countries has increased again and is limiting the inventory on the Belgian market. Because we have to remember that there are two “parallel” markets right now: The one with “good” cars that we will be able to refurbish and make them look like new, and the “junk” ones… that we will sell in countries that are less aware of legislation.