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Used Car Market: Almost Half a Million Sales in Jan-Jul

Automotive

According to preliminary data from DataHouse, 498,800 cars had changed hands in the domestic used car market by the end of July 2022, up 5.8% compared to the first seven months of 2021.

This also that there is a good chance that last year's market peak of 817,000 domestic transfers of used cars will be broken.

"The half a million volume means that on average almost one in eight domestic cars changed hands between January and July," points out Bertalan Halász, CEO of JóAutók.hu. "Eight years ago, the total annual turnover of the used car market did not even reach this level. In the coming months, we can expect intensive sales of around 70,000 cars per month, as the new car market is unable to meet demand at previous levels due to supply problems and used car imports are unable to meet demand at previous levels due to the high euro exchange rate." 

"A further question is whether the possible phasing out of fuel price subsidies and the associated increase in running costs will provide a further boost in the last quarter of the year," he adds.

The significant price rises in the used car market have also increased the number of speculative sales. In particular, the price of cars a few years old has risen, with market players seeing price increases of between 15-30% depending on the model. In this segment, it is not uncommon for a car in good condition to carry a higher price tag than the first owner bought it at the showroom, in what were then commonplace promotions. With prices expected to continue to rise for the rest of the year, many see a bargain as a good investment.

"However, there is much more uncertainty than before in the market forecasts," added Halász. "The drastic deterioration in the economic environment and the expected additional household spending has already led to a drop in demand in various segments of the car market. This is likely to reduce price pressure, and the market may rebalance to lower levels in the coming months. If the used car market does set a new record, it will be solely due to the outstanding momentum of the first half of the year."

The two most common brands in the Hungarian used car market were Opel and Volkswagen, with the former accounting for 11.6% of all sales, and the latter for 10%. Suzuki, next on the popularity list, was the subject of 8.5% of sales, followed by Ford with 8% and BMW with 6.5%. Most transactions - 35.2% of all sales - took place in the capital and Pest county.

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