Diesel vehicles in the second-hand market

Since the beginning of 2018, 64% of the vehicles sold on the second-hand market in France have a diesel engine with just 35% having a gasoline engine. This is a significant difference in comparison with the market for new vehicles. Indeed, 55% of the new vehicles have a gasoline engine. In 2017, about 3.7 million second-hand diesel vehicles were registered in France, 2.5 million of which were more than 5 years old. Following the introduction of a new conversion premium on 1st January 2018, which is now available when buying a second-hand vehicle, dozens of thousands of old diesels (registered for the first time before 2006) will exit the market and sent into ELV centers.

Over the past few years, the share of diesel vehicles in second-hand vehicles that France exported has been increasing; from 67% in 2012 to 75% in 2016. In the main, diesel vehicles are being exported to the countries of South and East Europe whereas electric vehicles are primarily in demand in Scandinavian countries.

“Belgium and Austria, along with France, are the main European countries where diesel cars are present. However, they import very few vehicles”, explains the head of the second-hand department of a major French group. “Furthermore, Spain mainly imports premium diesel models. We are pretty much left to our own devices when it comes to these second-hand vehicles and the most direct way to sell them is to lower the prices”.


Looking for new opportunities…

The group “BC Auto Enchères”, Re-marketing Specialists in Europe, is actively studying the issue by looking for new territories. From her perspective, the head of Re-marketing of long-term renter Arval declared: “French brand models are very popular in Portugal. There is no slowdown in our exports of second-hand vehicles. Still, we are working on developing and diversifying the re-sales channels in order to anticipate a potential downturn of the second-hand market in Europe, for fiscal policy or regulation reasons.”

Such a scenario could happen in Germany where diesel is very unpopular; especially since some cities like Stuttgart and Düsseldorf have prohibited old diesel cars from circulating.


A solution unable to resolve the main issue

Of course, some specialists stress the fact that these exports only “displace the issue of pollution in the EU instead of solving it”. Africa (West Africa most particularly) recognizes a similar scenario to Europe. The Central African Information Agency estimates that between 4 and 5 million second-hand vehicles leave Europe to the African continent. And it appears that 450 000 of these are sold in West Africa.

In 2013, Gabon took strong action by prohibiting second-hand vehicles of more than 3 years old from entering its territory. In 2016 it changed the limit to 5 years. Togo is also considering adopting a similar measure. Most importantly, the UN Program for Environment is currently working in collaboration with the Central African Information Agency. Indeed, they are creating a study dedicated to the reselling of used cars in Africa. This study aims at protecting African countries from car pollution

Source: Pro L'argus