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Unexpected decline in domestic used car market in April

Automotive

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Contrary to expectations, the second quarter started with a slowdown in the domestic used car market: according to the latest preliminary data published by DataHouse, 56,300 cars were sold in April in Hungary, down 12% from the previous month.

Still, sales were about 29% higher compared to the April 2020 figure of 43,700. 

However, the two figures are difficult to compare given the markedly different circumstances. April 2020 was the first full month in which coronavirus-related lockdown measures were in place and many car dealerships did not open at all.

But April this year was the weakest of the last four months in terms of sales, despite the economy slowly returning to normal with the gradual easing of restrictions.

"There is no particular reason for the decline in the domestic used car market in April: the fact that the number of sales has left the narrow band of 63,000 to 65,000 of the past months seems to be a one-off effect," explains Bertalan Halász, CEO of JóAutók.hu. "The renewed restrictions introduced in March may have unsettled some buyers, anticipating that the epidemic situation may last longer than expected. However, if the easing measures that have since been introduced are gradually phased in, monthly sales could return to around 65,000."

The positive economic outlook in the coming months should give a significant boost to all segments of the car market for the rest of the year. Therefore, despite last month's lower sales statistics, JóAutók.hu maintains its forecast that the domestic used car market will hover around the 800,000 mark this year.

In the first four months of 2021, a total of 248,500 cars changed hands in the used car market, up 5% from 236,300 in the same period last year. In the same period, the number of used cars imported was 40,700, down 10% year-on-year.

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