drivers no longer know what to choose, the car market has stopped
Car sales are bad. The reason: international delivery difficulties and lack of electronic chips. But also an undecided client in the face of environmental obstacles, such as the Low Emission Zone (ZFE) in Toulouse (Haute-Garonne).
Sebastian didn’t know what to do. This employee of a Toulouse company is in a real dilemma. Owner of a 2002 van with 330,000 kilometers on the clock, he belongs to the category of drivers with classified vehicles Crit Air 4that is, between 5 and 7,000 in the pink city region. He no longer has the right to drive in Toulouse (Upper Garonne) since on January 1, 2023. “I took the ring road this morning. I know I’m illegal because of the Low Emission Zone (EPZ)“He admitted that he was a little shy. He goes further when he mentions the possibility of buying a new car: “The second hand in Crit’air 3 it has increased in terms of price. It is at least 15,000 euros. Either I risk going around with my old van, or I take public transport, my bike or I buy a 125cm3 scooter.”
Toulousain is not the only one to fall into this dilemma. “Buyers are literally disappearingtestifies to the person in charge of a concession installed in Tarn. They hesitated in their choice of machine. Should I get a hybrid? An electric one? Or so choose to stick with a cheaper internal combustion engine, cost issue?”
The figures of the French car market do not say otherwise. In 2022, sales fell 7.8%. “Clients are constantly subject to conflicting mandatescontinues to explain to our professional. On the one hand, they are told to consume less electricity, but are being pushed to buy electric cars with a ban on thermal cars by 2030.”
“Following Covid, we had some difficulties to have enough vehicles while there was a shortage of electronic componentsreports Michel Pardailhé, president of the Mobilians 31 union. We cannot provide as many vehicles as we may need. Of course, we have customers who come to change.“
Direct consequences: the price went up. “Within a year, it was a disasterChristian is sad Beyracmanager of MBA Automobiles, in Saint-Sulpice-la-Pointe (Tarn). We find cars difficult. And when we had them, they were more expensive than in France and there were delays of 8 months for the manufacturer. With this shortage, the price of thermal vehicles has increased, becoming quite expensive. An old Peugeot 3008 which were sold for 24,000 euros in 2016, before the crisis we were able to raise them up to 30,000 euros as agent because Peugeot has raised its prices like all manufacturers. Currently, you need to add 3 to 4,000 euros more.“A difficult situation for drivers, but also for independent sellers. christian Beyrac preferred to go out of business on January 1, 2023.
Some destructive measures, put in place by local authorities, do not help to clarify the situation: “If a driver has an order form for a Crit’Air 0 to 2 car, he is authorized to drive his classified vehicle Crit Air 4 in 6 months if I understood correctly, the time to recover his new caraccurate Michel Pardailhe. And there’s also a 52-day pass for little ones to ride on EPZ. This has earned us comments from customers, who tell us: I didn’t ride for 52 days. If only I had known, I would not have bought the car.“
“I cannot apply for the 52 Day PassChantal complained. My car, I need it every day to work in Toulouse.” His 2005 Golf Diesel still has a year off. Classified Crit Air 3, it will not be affected by the ban on EPZ before January 1, 2024.“I I said to myself why not turn to electric but when I move, my trip is often long. I can’t see myself queuing up to recharge my car every 300 km. Otherwise, there is a hybrid, but even there, it is overpriced.“
“If we want to go for hybridization or total electricity, then the budgets no longer match the clients we haveobserved Christian Beyrac. Builders are a bit further away, as they mainly rent with an option to buy. This is a solution that is costly in the end, but lowers the monthly payment, but you are not the owner of the vehicle..”
Moreover, the rental is the solution offered by the representative of Mobilians to the unspecified customers: “This is my advice to them in the situation. Lease for 4 years and choose it time“.
However, of many aids can lower the bill. Government but also local fiscal measures. “We asked for the help of the Toulouse Métropole to be more visible and more transparent. They are still not well known. It would be good if there was more communication. This will help us. Example for Crit Air 3, the aids are not yet in place“note Michel Pardailhe.
The evolution is too brutal for the organization of dependent employers necessary adjustments to the ZFE in the coming months.
But another phenomenon was confirmed. Motorists are keeping their cars longer. From 10 to 12 years old, a few years ago, the average age of the French car fleet rises to 14. The trend can be explained by these clients who are increasingly missing out on its options, but also due to the difficulties in providing vehicles, shorter and shorter distances or the development of carpooling.
So thermal, hybrid or electric? The best solution may not be to choose. “II tell people: if you have a thermal vehicle: keep it up! proclaims former Tarn dealer, Christian Beyrac. Because in three to five years, we will be very happy when the cars are in good condition and the situation will get worse.”