Hungary risks becoming ‘Europe’s junkyard’ for used cars

Automotive

Hungaryʼs used car market saw record turnover in 2017, as sales climbed 10.9% to 687,991, used car trader Das WeltAuto said in a press release sent to state news wire MTI, citing figures compiled by Datahouse.  The unfavorable trend of a preponderance of cars over ten years old continued, however.

The used car market in 2017 surpassed its previous record sales in 2005, when 639,104 used cars changed hands in Hungary.

"The market can be expected to grow further in 2018," Das WeltAutoʼs brand director György Frank was cited as saying in a report by news portal napi.hu. "Itʼs important, however, for the average age of the domestic car pool to begin to decrease," he added, noting that for this to happen requires not only a growth in new car sales, but limits on imports of older, polluting vehicles from abroad.

"Weʼre starting to turn into Europeʼs junkyard with the import and entry into circulation of almost 37,000 used cars more than 15 years old in 2017," Frank noted.

In 2017, the lower mid-range category of vehicles proved the most popular, accounting for 30% of total sales. Small cars made up 25% of sales, while upper mid-range cars were chosen by 15% of buyers.

The most popular brand was Opel, accounting for 93,493 transactions, followed by Suzuki (70,146) and Volkswagen (66,879).

Imported cars made up 155,414 of total used car sales, a 9% increase on 2016.

Napi.hu recalled that since the import boom of 2012, a total of 641,015 cars have been bought by Hungarians from abroad, but only 20% of these were less than five years old, while as many as 61% were more than ten years old.

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