Features
19 fév 24

Q4 growth for Big Five used-car markets

Used-car sales grew across Europe’s Big Five markets (Germany, UK, France, Spain and Italy) in the last quarter of 2023. That’s thanks to a wider range of cheaper models, Autovista says. As supply issues eased across the continent, there was still plenty to distinguish each market from the other four. An overview. 

For more remarketing insights, join Fleet Europe’s first Remarketing Expert Track of 2024. The online event is scheduled for 7 March (from 2  pm) and will focus on optimising used-car values. Click here for more info and to book a free ticket.

Positive Q4 figures helped four out of five markets achieve positive whole-year results, with France being the exception. With new-car registrations growing across all five countries in 2024, their used-car markets can look forward to a stable base for the near future. 

Germany

With used-car transactions up 9.1% year-on-year in the last quarter of 2023, Germany’s was the best-performing used-car market of the Big Five. According to figures released by the KBA, the German used-car market had a very strong October (+17.2%), a good November (+8.7%), and a more modest December (+1.2%). 
Over the entire year, 6.03 million used vehicles were traded in Germany in 2023, up 6.9% from 2022. 

UK

According to data from the SMMT, the UK had four straight quarters of used-car market growth, including in Q4 (+6.9%), spread unevenly across October (+6.9%), November (+3%) and December (+12.4%). Year-on-year growth was up 5.1% for the whole of 2023, to 7.24 million units. 

  • Petrol and diesel vehicles still amounted to 94.3% of that total in 2023, with petrol improving 4.5% year-on-year, and diesel 2.1% (contrary to the drop in new diesel sales). 
  • Electrified vehicles represented 5.6% of the used-car market in 2023, up from 4% in 2022. BEV transactions rose 90.9% to 1.6%. PHEV sales improved by 40% and full hybrids went up 25.1%.

France

According to figures from AAA Data, the French used-car market had a relatively strong showing in the last quarter of 2023 (+7.2%), with positive results fairly evenly spread across October (+7.7%), November (+6.1%) and December (+7.8%). However, as the market declined in the first seven months of the year, the whole-year result was slightly negative (-0.2%), down 8,400 units to 5.2 million.  

  • Sales of cars over 10 years (+1%) made up the biggest chunk (48%) of the market, cars 5 to 10 years (+3%) had a 21% market share, while cars less than 5 years old (-4%) represented 31%.
  • AAA Data expects fuel prices, low-emission zones and powertrain price differentials to exert a negative impact on the used-car market this year, but thanks to greater purchasing power, new incentives, and the drop of the minimum driving age to 17, there should be moderate growth in 2024.

Spain

According to GAVNAM, Spain’s final quarter last year was slightly positive (+1.6% year-on-year) only thanks to the October results (+7.9%), with November stalling (+0.3%) and last December performing worse than the previous one (-2.5%). Overall, results were better in the first half of the year than in the second half, resulting in 2.6% annual growth, which translates into 1.9 million used vehicles traded.  

  • Most used vehicles traded in Spain were diesel (55.3%), followed by petrol (37.2%). PHEVs represented 0.9% of the total and BEVs just 0.6% - but that was up 24.8% and 6.6% over the previous year, respectively. 
  • Spain’s used cars are old. In 2023, the average age of used cars sold in Spain was 11.1 years, with 40.3% over 15 years old. 

Italy

Data from ANFIA shows a strong October (+11.4%) and November (+11.7%), followed by a slower December (+2.5%), making for 8.7% growth across Q4 for the Italian used-car market.
In March, used-car sales in Italy dipped by 7.8% compared to the same month in 2022, but apart from that, 2023 had 11 months of growth, resulting in whole-year growth of 6.6%, to 5.06 million cars.  

For more remarketing insights, join Fleet Europe’s first Remarketing Expert Track of 2024. The online event is scheduled for 7 March (from 2  pm) and will focus on optimising used-car values. Click here for more info and to book a free ticket.

Image: public domain

Authored by: Frank Jacobs