Before the New Year holidays, the demand for used cars in Russia stalled. The main car research services report a drop in requests compared to November. Dealers, whose share in this market is 10-20%, on the contrary, experience an influx of customers for used cars – this is facilitated both by replenishing the fleet through trade-in against the background of discounts on new Chinese cars, and the dynamics of the ruble exchange rate.
There was no increase in demand for used cars on the eve of the new year, according to a survey conducted by Kommersant among car search services. Thus, the demand and supply of used cars from Avito Auto from December 1 to 20 remained at a stable level compared to the same period in November. According to calculations by Avto.ru, demand turned out to be 7% lower than in November.
Traditionally, the used car segment decreased in December, which is almost imperceptible this year – demand is at the level of November, says ROAD deputy chairman Alexei Podshchekoldin. Against the background of constant shortages and high prices for new cars, the secondary segment looks attractive, by the end of the year the number of transactions will be around 5 million against 6 million last year.
According to Avtostat, in 11 months the used car market fell by 19.7%, to 4.4 million units.
Sergey Udalov of Avtostat notes that the used car market has been relatively stable in recent months at the level of 430-450 thousand cars per month, and December will likely be in the same range. He notes that imports in the segment are still insignificant – about 30,000 cars – but they are growing and are already affecting prices, reducing them slightly.
At the same time, the share of resellers in the market remains insignificant – about 10%, says Podshchekoldin, and only the abolition of “double VAT” in transactions between legal entities could change the situation. At the same time, a slight recovery in demand in the primary market in December due to further discounts from Chinese distributors also affects the used car segment, says Podshchekoldin: “The number of trade-in transactions increased by about 10-15 % compared in November”.
In a trade-in environment, large retailers see increased sales in the secondary market. For example, December 1-20 used-car sales at Fresh Auto were up 10 percent over the same period last year, the average utility bill up 28 percent, says dealership chief Denis Migal. He connects the growth of the check not only with the market situation, but also with the increase in the share of premium cars in the company’s warehouses. “Demand has also changed: today consumers prefer more reliable cars – for example, SUVs were bought more this year than in the past,” adds Migal. Demand for used cars in December is higher than in November, agrees the director of Avilon. Used cars” Nikolai Baskakov, due to the weakening of the ruble, which significantly increased the demand for cars worth more than 3 million rubles. He also notes that the direction of trade-in for new cars has been revived due to the growth of Chinese auto sales, and the buy-back has been actively developing during the fall.
Services record that, compared to January 2022, December turned out to be a relatively high season.
According to Avito Auto, from December 1 to December 20, 2022, the number of ads for the sale of used cars on the platform increased by 41.6% compared to the same period in January, and demand became more active by 9.2%. On Avto.ru, by the end of the year, the number of used cars put up for sale increased by 36% compared to the beginning of the year, although the share of offers from dealers decreased significantly – by 5 percentage points, at the 21%. Avto.ru clarifies that by the end of the year the share of dealers in the market began to gradually approach the pre-crisis figures of 30%.
Concerns about the shortage of used cars are unfounded, says Migal: “The secondary market is domestic and self-perpetuating, there are more than 50 million of these cars in stock, and this is enough to satisfy all customer needs.” He notes that although people are less inclined to sell cars, the percentage of those selling is still high and dealership inventories continue to be replenished through imports, albeit not as fast as before.