Our tips for buying a used car

Fewer used cars for sale and rising prices

As five million used cars are sold in 2022, the second-hand market is shrinking in volume, especially since 2021 was an exceptional year with more than 6 million sales. Despite this, used car prices have risen by an average of 30%. They are more popular than ever in a market where new cars are rare and delivery times are very long. The new market, which totaled 2 million registrations per year, thus fell to 1.659 million in 2022. “We are at the sales level of the 1970s! The reliability of Argus. The big decrease is due to the problem of shortage of components. , raw materials and batteries, but also for transportation problems, because many drivers are Ukrainian.”

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Argus reviews its used car prices: how are the new prices?

The rise in prices is forcing Argus to re-evaluate its rating system at the start of the year. This historic rating, which has been in place since the 1930s, rarely changes because it is a depreciation rating that starts from the selling price of a new car, not an adjustment of supply and demand. “Since we see the gulf between used car sales prices and our necessarily lower ratings too large, we’ve adjusted our depreciation curves to make them stick more to the market,” Olivier Flavier announced in January. , managing director of L’Argus.

Used cars, which used to sell for 25-30% less than new after one year, now sell for an average of 10% less than new. “In this tight context, you can even now find used cars (used cars) for almost the price of a new one,” notes Gregory Pelletier.

Where to buy a used car in France?

About 50% of second-hand car sales are made between individuals On sites like Leboncoin, La Centrale, AramisAuto, Argus… Come later car dealers generally selling new and used, then independent traders and auctions. Here, too, prices rise because they are no longer supplied by manufacturers with demonstration, employee or rental vehicles. Today, Leboncoin has less than 700,000 used cars for sale.

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Is it easier to buy used abroad?

“There is no need to extend your research in Europe, much less advise against the head of the Argus’ used department. The situation is the same all over the world.” The risks are also greater than mistaking different levels of equipment from one country to another and odometer fraud.

Expert advice on buying a used car

Follow these tips from Gregory Pelletier, head of used/reliability at Argus, to get your used car for less:

  • Aim for a vehicle that doesn’t coast! Renault Latitude or Talisman keep reasonable prices, but don’t forget Clio, which is still in high demand in the market.
  • Aim for a petrol or diesel car. There are even fewer used cars in hybrid or electric vehicles, where new volumes sold are still very low. Diesel fuel remains a safe bet except in metropolitan areas or ZFE (Low Emission Zones) where diesel vehicles are subject to restrictions. But big cities are not France, and diesel remains the most used engine. However, be careful, choose your fuel carefully according to your use, insist several professionals: if you drive less, really avoid diesel fuel with AD Blue additive, which allows you to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, because it is real. risks of your engine stalling.
  • Postpone your shopping! And for at least one year, the market will not regain its equilibrium until the end of 2024.

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