Disconfinement: why the French are turning to second-hand cars instead

The second-hand market seems to be recovering faster than the new market, where vehicles are cheaper and, above all, available immediately in showrooms.

While it is still difficult to obtain precise figures on sales volumes since May 11, figures that change strongly from one week to the next, the general feeling is very positive.

“As soon as the confinement was lifted, we recorded a sharp increase in traffic on our sites,” said Vincent Hancart, Managing Director of AutoScout24 France. In the last week of May, the market returned to normal. For June, the pace remains strong, and could be even better than June 2019″.

“We’ve had a rebound beyond our expectations,” confirms David Rairolle, VPN Autos business manager, who specialises in very recent used cars, in Les Echos.

The conversion premium attracts in concession

Even before the confinement, the second-hand market was doing better than the new market.over the first five months of the year, when the new market fell by 50.3% according to CCFA figures, the second-hand market only fell by 26%.helped by the good start to the year, the second-hand market is benefiting fully from the “conversion premium” effect, boosted by the government’s automobile support plan.at Aramis Auto, 20% of sales are made thanks to the premium.

“We’re not surprised that this mechanism works well,” explains Guillaume Paoli, co-founder and president of Aramis Autos. This mechanism is based on the one set up in 2018 by Nicolas Hulot, which worked very well. Although the criteria are a bit complex, people are familiar with this mechanism, which worked well again last year.

While it created the buzz and attracted customers to the dealership, the conversion premium alone does not explain the success of the opportunity.a portion of the sales are based on purchases that were planned prior to containment and that customers have been making in recent weeks.

Very recent occasions…

And what they find in dealerships, available immediately, are often very recent occasions, less than a year old. At the end of the year, dealers have indeed registered many vehicles before the change in standards. “Dealers have to sell what they have,” confirms Christophe Maurel, president of the dealer branch of the Comité national des professionnels de l’automobile. A second-hand car parked in a dealer’s parking lot loses 1.5% of its value every month.


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