Published on October 14, 2022

Second-hand cars: a slowdown in the market, rising prices

According to data announced by Unrae, the Unione Nazionale dei Rappresentanti Autoveicoli Esteri, in the first seven months of 2022 the negative balance of transfers of ownership worsened, with 2,631,518 units down 12.6% compared to 3,011,063 in the same period of 2021. If last year was the golden year for the used car market, therefore, the same cannot be said for 2022.

On the front of fuel, in the first seven months of 2022 the preference for used diesel cars (-1.8% over 2021) is close to 50%, followed by petrol at just under 40% (-0.3%). LPG with a 4.4% share takes third place and, with a preference of 3.4%, hybrids are in fourth place. Natural gas stops at 2.2%, while pure electric cars (BEVs) rise to 0.4% and plug-ins to 0.6%.

On a geographical level, in the first seven months of the year, Lombardia, Lazio and Campania absorbed 35% of the property transfers, remaining fairly stable compared to the past. By contrast, all other Italian regions decreased compared to the same period in 2021.

If second-hand car sales are declining substantially, prices are on the rise. According to a survey by AutoScout24, the average value of a used car in July 2022 reached around EUR 21,600, which is +21.7% compared to the same month last year and +33.6% compared to July 2019. The reasons for this increase are also related to the slow production of new vehicles, which is characterised by the absence of semiconductors, causing waiting times that in some cases are very long.

The buying habits of Italians are also changing. If in 2010 Italians buying a second-hand car concentrated their choice on relatively recent cars (only one of four was over ten years old), today half of all purchases involve cars registered over ten years old. This means that there are increasingly older cars on the roads that need careful maintenance and technological adaptation to maintain a sufficient level of safety when driving.

It is possible to equip even a second-hand car with telematic devices made by Viasat that allow immediate rescue intervention in the event of a crash or in the event of theft. And even more high-performance devices that provide drivers with preventive information on the potential riskiness of different road routes or driving styles. Because safety allows no excuses, even if the car is not new.

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