our tips for buying a used car

Fewer used cars for sale and rising prices

With five million used cars sold in 2022, the second-hand market is down in volume, especially since 2021 was an exceptional year with more than 6 million sales. Despite this, the prices of used cars increased by an average of 30%. They are more popular than ever in a market where new cars are rare and delivery times are extremely long. The new market, which is generally more than 2 million registrations per year, will fall to 1.659 million in 2022. “We are at the level of sales of the 1970s! Argus reliability. A large decrease related to the problems of lack of parts, raw materials and batteries, but also transportation problems, because many drivers are Ukrainians.”

Also read > Our tips for safe driving

The Argus reviews its used car quotes: what are the new prices?

Rising prices prompted Argus at the start of the year to re-evaluate its rating system. This historic rating, which has existed since the 1930s, very rarely changes, because it is a depreciation rating that starts with the selling price of a new vehicle and not from the regulation of supply and demand. “Since we have noticed a gap that is becoming too large between the selling prices of used cars and our ratings that are necessarily lower, we have adjusted our depreciation curves to ensure that they stay on the market better” , announced in January Olivier Flavier , managing director of L’Argus.

Previously sold at prices 25 to 30% below the price of new after one year of use, second-hand cars are now sold on average at 10% below their new price. “In this tense context, you can now find used cars (used cars) almost at the price of a new one” observes Gregory Pelletier.

Where to buy a used car in France?

Almost 50% of used car sales are manufactured between individuals on sites like Leboncoin, La Centrale, AramisAuto, Argus… Then came car dealerships who usually sell new and used, then independent traders and auctions. Here, too, prices are rising, because manufacturers no longer provide them with demonstrations, employees or rental cars. So far, less than 700,000 used cars have been sold on Leboncoin.

Also read > Can you benefit from a conversion bonus to buy a used car?


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Is it easier to buy stuff abroad?

“There is no need to extend your research to Europe, or even beyond, advise against the head of the Argus used department. The situation is the same everywhere in the world.” The risks are also greater of being mistaken for different levels of equipment from one country to another and of odometer fraud.

Expert advice for buying a used car

Follow the advice of Gregory Pelletier, head of the used/reliability department at Argus to succeed in buying your used car for less:

  • Target a vehicle without a coast! A Renault Latitude or Talisman keeps the prices reasonable, but forget the Clio which is still in high demand in the market.
  • Target a petrol or diesel car. There are even fewer second-hand cars than hybrid or electric cars, where new volumes sold are still very low. Diesel remains a safe bet, except in metropolitan areas or ZFE (Low Emission Zones) where vehicles running on diesel are subject to restrictions. But big cities are not France and diesel remains the most used engine. Be careful, however, to choose your fuel carefully according to your use, insist some professionals: if you drive a little, really avoid diesels that work with AD Blue, the additive that makes it possible to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, because it really risks clogging your engine.
  • Postpone your purchase! And for at least one year, the market will not return to its equilibrium before the end of 2024.

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