14 Jul 16

Demand for used petrol cars outstrips supply in Belgium

The supply of used petrol cars is far too small to satisfy market demand, which has increased due to Dieselgate and rising taxation of diesel engines, warns VAB, Belgium's leading motorist association. 

Last year, 62% of vehicles sold via VAB's second-hand car scheme were small petrol-based cars. In the first half of 2016, that percentage has gone up to 71%. The increased demand has led to a shortage of high-quality, economical second-hand petrol cars.
The quickest fix would be to increase the share of petrol cars in corporate fleets, as these are replaced every four years on average, VAB says. This would lead to an influx of modern, clean petrol cars on the second-hand market with a relatively short delay.
However, because corporate vehicle tax in Belgium is focused strongly on CO2 emissions, which is to the disadvantage of petrol cars, most corporate fleets in Belgium are predominantly populated by diesel cars.   

VAB therefore requests the competent ministers to consider modifying corporate vehicle taxation in order to stimulate the inflow of petrol cars, which would eventually eliminate the current imbalance on the second-hand market.  

A VAB survey sheds some light on the dramatic shift in opinion about diesel on the retail market. Even though 59% of Belgian private motorists currently own a diesel car, only 16% would definitely opt for a diesel in future – a drop representing 43% of the total number of motorists. Fiscal anti-diesel measures (which do not apply to corporate mobility) would push 3 out of 4 private diesel drivers towards petrol. 

Image: FIK, CC BY-SA 2.0

Authored by: Frank Jacobs