Europeans buy old cars to avoid using public transportDecember 1, 2020
In Europe, motorists choose used cars to avoid using public transport due to the pandemic.
Across Europe, car enthusiasts fearful of spending too much on a new car in turbulent economic times are buying older models in an effort to avoid using public transport during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Public transport is great here, but with COVID and everything else, it’s best to avoid it,” said Robert Perez, who recently moved to the Spanish capital Madrid from Argentina and bought a 2001 red Seat Toledo for 2,000 euros.
According to research firm IHS Markit and the online car marketplace AutoScout24, there has been a notable shift in Europe towards an increase in the number of used car registrations, as well as an increase in Internet searches for used cars.
This situation negatively affects the public transport network and the environment. In the long term, however, the shift from public transport to individual mobility will help automakers.
The prices of cars, mostly over ten years old, are reported to have jumped 25 percent as buyers who used to ride trains and buses seek affordable alternatives.
In the United States, Europe, and especially China, demand for new cars in recent months has helped major automakers recover to some extent from the financial blows associated with blocking the spring pandemic. But an analysis of car registration data in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK shows that there is a significant shift towards older used cars.
In France, for example, analysis showed that the number of used cars rose by nearly 16 percent in the third quarter, while new car sales fell more than 5 percent. It also showed that in 2020, cars over 15 years old accounted for a higher proportion of registered used cars than in 2019.
Spain saw an even bigger jump, with the number of used cars growing by almost 25 percent. A similar situation is observed in other European countries.